When it comes to buying printers, there are no specific seasons in which the prices of these external computer outputs’ prices dropped off. However, it is highly recommended that you buy printers when classes are about to start because printer manufacturers usually give discounts to students. It works the same in the first few weeks of summer, too.
Since the printing industry continues to discover upgraded technology that they tend to incorporate in their latest models of printers, you should be aware of the latest models because that would be the most convenient and up-to-date printer out there. Most printer manufacturers announce their latest models at the beginning and end of the year so you should watch out for that.
Some frequently-asked questions when you have to find a printer to buy: where is the nearest print shop? what types of printers do you need? printer hp or printer canon? how to install a printer driver or printer software? what are printer parts? and how to use your printer properly? how to compare printers? how to do printer test? Here is a complete printer buying guide that can help you choose the right printer for you, whether it’s for residential or commercial use.
Types of printers
Before you visit any printer store, you should familiarize yourself first with the different types of printer you can choose from. We will start with types of printers according to brands.
HP is known for worldwide for its high-quality printers. Whatever printer it is that you may need—laser print, sharp printer, inkjet, even printer drivers, and printer software, the printer HP can offer it for you. It is one of the most reliable printing company because they had been in business for a while.
In USA, this printer brand topped the most usable and convenient printer. It has also claimed several awards for providing high-quality printers to their clients at a reasonable price. Their printers can be both used for residential and commercial use.
It is also an USA-based company that is known for high-quality printers and there is a wide variety of printers that you can choose from. They offer inkjet, multifunctional, digital, laser print, and other printer software that their customers might need.
You must’ve heard about the brand Canon from DSLR to printers—they all offer high-quality products. As of now, it ranked top 1 on the list of the high-quality printer manufacturers in most of the countries. The company is based in Japan, therefore they also tend to utilize up-to-date technologies on their printers. Canon is also known for its wireless and multifunctional printers too.
What could be one of the oldest and reliable printing services in the history is the company Epson. Most of their printers are great in both commercial and residential use. Similar to Canon, this company also offers printers that are multifunctional in order to provide a wider variety of tasks to be completed.
The Samsung company offers reliable and high-quality products before they released their multi-functional printers. Therefore, most of their customers trusted their product and it turned out well because there are some functionalities and components in a Samsung printer that you cannot find in other available printers out there.
From wireless, multifunctional, B&W, and color printer, Panasonic has it all for you. It’s a Japanese brand that is known for its high-quality products not just in printers but in other appliances that they offer as well. Whatever type of printer that you may need, you will most likely find it in Panasonic because they respond greatly to the demands of their clients.
Principles of Operation
Now that you have an idea on the top brands in which you should choose your printer from, let’s move on to printers by the principle of operation. Here you will find out printers that are specifically designed for home use only and printers that are ideal for commercial use as well.
Inkjet printers are most commonly used at home for school and office purposes. If you tend to compare it to a laser printer, inkjet printers generate high-resolution photo pictures. For those who are studying photography, this type of printer is perfect for you to develop an album with its high definition graphic resolution. You can print as many pictures that you wanted from your phone or your DSLR without burning a hole in your pocket because the ink cartridge is affordable and available in most department stores.
Laser printers are mostly found in offices for commercial use. If you are trying to print out a large number of documents in a short amount of time only, you should consider buying a laser printer. Printing it by batch would help you to print out what you need in higher speed. However, the toner of a laser printer can be quite expensive compared to inkjet cartridges. But this toner can print up to 1400 pages before it will run out so it’s still cost-effective for the price.
A multi-functional printer is very convenient because it can cover a wide variety of work. It usually includes a photocopier, scanner, and a printer in one external output device only. You can choose a multi-functional printer in both laser and inkjet according to what you need and prefer. If you have your office in your house, it can be ideal because there are also some multifunctional printer that has their own fax machine.
If you are a designer, there’s no doubt you’ll choose the 3D Printer. With the upgrading technology nowadays, 3D printers are more convenient and easy to use when it comes to manufacturing small scale. Feel free to design and create. You can change the design of your cellular phone case every now and then or test-fit the parts before proceeding to machining—3D printer has it all for you.
How to use a Printer
Before you finally buy a printer, you should know how to utilize it properly so that you can avoid common mistakes and take good care of your printer. Once you learn how to properly use a printer, you will be able to apply what you learn in the rest of the models as well. Here are the following steps to be followed when using a printer:
Step #1 Setting up your printer
Make sure that your printer is properly set up before you push the “on” button. Even if it’s a wireless one, check your computer or laptop to see if the printer is properly connected. For those who are using their printer for the first time, it will most likely to test print a single page for the user. The moment you push the “on” button, you’ll instantly notice that there’s something moving around on the inside of the printer. Your laptop will also notify you that the printer is connected and it’s working accordingly.
Step #2 Installing the software
Before you can finally use the software for printing pages, you are required to install the software first. Your printer package comes with a CD, insert it in your DVD-ROM and open the drive. You will find the file there. Run the software needed so that you can finally install the printer.
Step #3 Choosing the desired page to print
After that, you need to open the file of the page that you are going to print. Double check if there are errors and types that need to be taken care of before you finally go to “Print Setup” or you can just click on your keyboard the demand for print which is CTRL + P. The tab of printing options will appear. You need to put the size of the bond paper, the number of pages that you wanted to print, the layout of the page, and the model of the printer that is being connected to the laptop or computer. After everything is settled down, click on the “Print”.
Step #4 Checking out if the printer run out of ink supply
Even if you are just using your printer every now and then, it would eventually run out of ink supply. Therefore, you need to check out if you are running out of ink cartridge. Latest models of printers will send you a notification telling that you need to refill your ink supply. If you have bought older models, you can tell by the printed pages of the printer if it needs ink supply because it would eventually look faded.
Different Ways to Connect Printer
When it comes to connecting your printer to your personal computer, it will most likely be really easy and hassle-free because Windows tend to recognize most of the printer brands out there. In fact, all you need to do is to install the software that is required so that you can connect to your printer.
If you wanted to connect your printer to your devices such as tablet or phone, make sure that your device is able to detect a wireless printer so that you can print right away. Installing your printer into your local drive
If you are going to connect your printer to your local computer for personal use, make sure that the USB cable is properly inserted into the USB plug of your computer and then push the ON button of the printer. Once you have installed the software for the printer, the external computer output will automatically appear under Printers. If not, then you are required to install the software first or just simply click Add device so that your printer will be recognized.
In case you are not able to install your printer, you can try downloading the latest updates of the software so that your computer will recognize your printer. Otherwise, contact your manufacturer for further assistance.
Installing a wireless, Bluetooth printer
Wireless printers are becoming more and more popular nowadays. If you have bought yourself one, here are some easy ways to install it on your computer. The same process is required in installing a wireless printer.
- Go to settings and click Add device. It will make you choose whether it’s a wireless or Bluetooth printer that you wanted to install. Available wireless or Bluetooth printers will automatically appear as a list.
- Choose the model that you wanted to install and then click Next. You will be asked to install the drive, just follow the procedures until you can complete the installation wizard of your wireless or Bluetooth printer and then click Finish.
In order to get the most out of your printer, your manufacturer may keep on offering you to install new updates regarding the drive. Make sure that you update your drive every now and then so that you will be able to have a fast and smooth transaction with your printer.
How to choose the right printer for you
While a printer isn’t that costly, you need to make sure that you choose the best printer if you wanted it to last longer. Especially if you are going to use the printer for commercial use, you have to make the most out of your investment.
Choose a printer that suits your needs
First things first, you should evaluate the type of printer that you need. For instance, if you are going to buy a printer for occasional use at home, then there’s no need to buy a laser printer. It is highly recommended that you choose an inkjet printer instead. Make sure that you are only paying for the ink, components, and printer maintenance that you need.
As what we have mentioned above, inkjet printers are most suitable for home use. But if you think that you will never print out some documents with attached photos, you should consider buying a monochrome laser printer. There is no colored option for this kind of printer as it will only print black and white documents.
If you are going to utilize the printer for business purposes, you can choose between inkjet and laser printers out there. Just make sure that whatever you choose between the two, it can provide you a fast print speed especially if your company is really busy. Aside from that, you should also check out the maximum pages of the document the printer can generate every 30 days so that you will have an idea on which printer you can rely the most if you are printing documents by batch.
If you are a photographer and you wanted to make an album, there are printers that are specifically designed to suit your needs. Compared to another printer, it can give you the highest resolution of pictures that you wanted to print out. Just limit your search to photo printers and make it a habit to read articles about printer comparison so that you will have an idea on the best photo printer available in the market today.
The main advantage of using a wireless printer is that you are able to access the printer easily from your devices such as a tablet, laptop, computer, or android phones without ever having the need to plug in the printer. It will be easier for you to print out documents or photos that you wanted to print because you don’t need to transfer the files to your computer anymore.
Printing using android phones
If you are going to print using your android phone, just install the Google Cloud Print. You will be connected to your wireless printer immediately and feel free to send pictures of documents to be printed out even if you are in China and your printer is in California. That’s how reliable a wireless printer could be.
Printing using iOS phones
If you are an iOS user, you should install the AirPrint. It’s an application that is only applicable for iOS users so that you can easily connect your Mac, iPhone, or iPad to your wireless printer. Similar to the application in android phone, it is very easy to use—allowing you to print out pictures anytime and anywhere.
Consider the ink consumed by the printer
Now that you have chosen the type of printer that suits you the best, you should consider the ink that the printer will require you. Be aware of cheap printers because there are instances that the cheaper the printer is, the more expensive the ink they require to.
Maintaining your Printer
It is important that you use your printer properly, refill its ink when needed, and attend to its maintenance work. Here are the following maintenance tips that you should always keep in mind when it comes to your printer.
Always turn it off
When it’s not needed, it is highly recommended that you turn your printer off. Aside from that, if you are required to open your printer, the system inside are moving and can be quite hot. Let it cool first before touching it to avoid getting burned.
Check out if the printer head is clogged
Do you find it odd that some of your printer documents are faded or with white across the graphics itself? Well, the printer head must be clogged and needs some cleaning. If you have bought an up-to-date printer, it will most likely self-clean it with a command on your computer. But for older printers, you are required to clear the clog manually. Just make sure that you follow the manual very carefully when it comes to cleaning to avoid damage to your printer.
Make sure your printer is free from dirt and dust
Over the time, your printer will most likely to accumulate dust and dirt. As much as possible, you should provide a cover to your printer to protect it from dust and dirt. Aside from that, you could also use it using clean cotton soaked with water only or you can also use a vacuum. As what we have mentioned above, make it a habit of reading the manual of the printer because there are some sensitive components that should not make contact with water or any damp objects.
Consider a maintenance kit
If you wanted to ensure that your printer will last for a little longer, then you should consider having a maintenance kit directly from the manufacturer of your printer. It usually includes the replaceable parts of your printer as well as the cleaning products and tools that you will use in maintaining your printer.
Being able to know the right time to buy a printer, to choose the right printer for you, and to maintain the printer accordingly can assure you that your investment will last. Make sure that you educate yourself first so that you can avoid common mistakes and have a great user experience with your printer. Sure enough, technical problems will come along the way but don’t let it stress you out. Printers are bound to last, no matter how cheap it is, if you know how to take good care of your investment. Enjoy printing!
Here are some frequently-asked questions that you might want to know. You may be able to find the answers that you are looking for:
What is the first thing to do if my printer is damage?
If you do not have any idea why your printer is not functioning properly, the best way to do so is to contact your printing manufacturer. While waiting, you could also search for the possible reasons and try to troubleshoot your printer as of the moment.
What would I do if my printer is already out of warranty?
A printer that had been damaged and already out of warranty from your manufacturer to repair should be taken into consideration. For instance, if the repair cost is quite costly and you’ve purchased the printer at a low price, then it’s not worth repairing anymore. But if your printer came from a reputable company and is quite expensive, you should consider extending its longevity especially if it’s working according to your wishes. Of course, the age of the printer, the damage, and the cost should also be considered before you decide to repair it.
Does the brand of the printer matter?
Yes. Reputable printing manufacturers live up to their good image. Therefore, they will ensure you that they provide high-quality products to their customer. Aside from that, their customer service is reliable. If you have any problems with your printer, they are more than willing to provide further assistance until you can resolve your problem.
Does the quality of the paper affect the print out pages?
Yes, it does. Especially if you are printing out graphic images, you should make sure that you also invest in high-quality photo paper for the best result. A high-quality paper combined with a high-quality printer will most likely provide you with a rewarding result.
What if I don’t purchase a maintenance kit? Will it affect the performance of my printer?
While purchasing a maintenance kit for your printer is highly recommended, it will most likely depend on the user on how he takes care of the printer and use it properly. Therefore, even if you do not purchase a maintenance kit, as long as you know how to take good care of your printer, you will most likely extend its service life. Maintenance kit is not mandatory but recommended.