This quick guide is intended to help you determine which is the right printer to meet your needs. On the program: laser or inkjet, single or multifunction printer, or even connectivity.
If the general trend is towards dematerialization, the need to own a printer at home has never been so strong. Whether it is because telework is developing widely, or because we have experienced periods of confinement, the opportunities to print documents are becoming rarer.
However, we still need to materialize certain papers: working documents, Vinted dispatch slips or commercial contracts. Or more simply because you are one of those who like to write on paper.
Whatever the reason, chances are a home printer will come in handy. And finding one is now very easy, whether in stores or on the Internet. Their technology has not evolved much in recent years, they have simply become more efficient and less expensive. You will have to choose between laser or inkjet, colour or black and white, printer function or multi-service device.
Before buying the printer you are missing, here are some questions to ask yourself to define which is the right model that will best meet your needs.
Related article: Que Choisir printer buying guide
Both technologies: laser and inkjet
The two main printing technologies that currently exist on the market are inkjet and laser. A reminder of their differences.
Laser technology is the latest. During the printing process, static electricity is generated within the machine by a drum (a kind of roller) which is rolled over the paper. The electricity thus created attracts the ink (we are actually talking about toner, which is an ink powder), which then attaches itself to the sheet.
Toner cartridges are more expensive than traditional ink cartridges, but they also last longer. Thus, the cost per printed sheet is lower with a toner printer. Conversely, these laser printers are priced higher than their inkjet cousins.
Laser technology has a few additional advantages: it prints faster and the print quality of the text is generally better. However, for the images, it will be necessary to aim for a good printer, otherwise, the inkjet technology will be more effective for the images.
Related article: The Tonerpartner guide to cleaning your laser printer
The inkjet printer is a non-contact printing process that consists of projecting tiny drops of ink, via nozzles, directly onto the paper. There are actually several types of inkjet systems. The most common include separate colour cartridges, whose inks combine to create all possible shades.
Depending on the quality (and price) of the printer, the model will include two cartridges (one black and one that includes the colours cyan, magenta and yellow), four cartridges (black, cyan, magenta and yellow) or more ( more colours and different shades of black).
The main pitfall with inkjet printers is the cost of the cartridges. If the device itself is generally not very expensive (around 50€ to 100€), the price of the cartridges can quickly become expensive. The idea is then to find a model that accepts cartridges from other brands, and not only those manufactured by the brand of the device.
Which printer is right for you?
In order to determine which printer is best for you, all you need to do is answer a few questions to find out how you will use it.
Your printing needs
Your printing needs largely define which printer is right for you. Concretely, if colour is not important to you and you mainly need to print text, laser technology will be preferred because it is faster and cheaper in the long term. Conversely, if you plan to print colour photos or documents, inkjet will be a better value-for-money solution.
Also, consider whether or not certain models offer double-sided printing. This will save you paper.
Your option needs
If you spend several days a week working from home, a multifunction printer may be necessary. Depending on the model, your device will be able to scan documents, duplicate them, fax them or even save them as . It is particularly a very good reflex to keep only the bare minimum in paper at home, the rest can be converted into PDF.
Modern printers typically offer a variety of connectivity. Depending on your preferences and habits, remember to check that the model you have your eyes on offers Bluetooth, NFC or even a Wi-Fi connection.
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