Top tips on choosing a new printer

Buying a new printer can be a minefield of tough decisions, which brand, what type, what should you spend? In our latest blog, we take the guess work out of the decision and give you our top tips.

 

What type of printer is best for you? 

The most important question to consider when buying a new printer is whether you should buy an inkjet or laser. Inkjet printers are typically cheaper up front, but cost more to run, while laser printers are pricier to buy but can produce quality prints faster and more cheaply.

 

Other key questions include whether you want to scan and copy as well as print. Are you happy with just black and white or do you want to print in colour?

 

Inkjet printers

Inkjet printers are great all-rounders. They can handle text-heavy documents such as a student’s coursework or minutes from a meeting but they can also print photos – and do a better job of it than a laser printer. They’re quiet and unobtrusive, and they also take up less desk space than a laser, however, cartridge inkjets are usually more expensive to run than laser printers, costing you more in ink per printed page than you would pay for laser toner.

 

Laser Printers

Laser printers shine when it comes to printing a lot of black text. While colour models are more expensive than colour inkjets, they also produce professional-looking business graphics. They’re normally faster than inkjets when it comes to this kind of job and can handle a heavier workload if you’re planning to print a lot of pages every month.

While the toner cartridges are expensive, most print a lot more pages than an inkjet cartridge, so the actual cost per black-and-white or colour page is usually much less, however, laser printers are usually bulkier and noisier than the equivalent inkjet printer and will take up more space on your desk.

 

While colour laser printers can produce good graphs and charts, they aren’t much good at printing photos. Stick to an inkjet if you’re likely to print off your holiday snaps.

 

All-in-one Printer

You can buy straightforward inkjet or laser printers but a device that scans and copies as well won’t cost you a whole lot more. Most have wi-fi connectivity so that you can print from several PCs or laptops, not to mention tablets or smartphones.

Some all-in-one printers have an automatic document feeder (ADF) on top, which is handy for scanning and copying multi-page reports.

 

 

How much should you spend?

While you can buy a new inkjet printer for less than £50, you’ll likely pay more over time due to high running costs.

If you’re looking for an all-in-one model which can scan, print, and copy, you’ll need to pay more, but there are still some great models for under £200.

Perhaps the most important cost to consider is upkeep, as some cheaper cartridge inkjets cost considerably more to run than laser printers. Picking a cheap, ink thirsty model could easily cost you hundreds of pounds more over the lifetime of the printer.

As well as ink and toner costs, it’s worth considering the features you need from a printer. An all-in-one printer/scanner with wi-fi and Apple AirPrint could set you back as little as £40. For premium features like an automatic document feeder, or automatic double-sided printing, you can expect to pay upwards of £100.

 

 

Security and support

Software and security support are important considerations when buying any smart product, since this will dictate how long the brand aims to continue updating the device with new features and security patches, to guard against emerging threats.

By default, most home printers are configured for convenience rather than security. That leaves you to personally decide how to secure your printer. This is no secret to hackers – an Epson printer was the most commonly targeted device by real hackers in the Which? 2021 hackable home study.

 

The good news is that the risk of a breach can be greatly reduced with a few straightforward changes to your settings. Hackers are typically interested in easy pickings, so even small tweaks like these can make your printer a significantly less appealing target.

 

  • Set a strong password
  • Update your firmware
  • Secure your network
  • Set up a guest network
  • Turn off unnecessary permissions

 

 

Don’t forget to recycle

Ink and toner cartridges account for a huge amount of waste plastic – with tens of millions going straight into landfill every year in the UK alone, fortunately, there are ways to reduce this.

Most printer manufacturers offer some form of free recycling service – although they’ll only recycle their own brand of cartridges. This usually involves either putting your cartridges in a pre-paid envelope or printing off a Freepost label using your own printer.

Many supermarkets and office supply stores have designated recycling points for ink cartridges, so you can drop off cartridges if you’re shopping there already.

 

 

If you’re in the market for a new printer and need any advice or pricing, get in touch with our friendly team who are here to help, contact us HERE.

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