Best printer for the home



There are hundreds of printers available, but when you ask; which is the best printer for the home? The question you should really be asking is; which is the best printer for me?

So, the first thing you should do is have a think about why you are getting a printer in the first place. Is it to print out a few pages here and there – such as school work and perhaps a photograph or two? Or is it to print lots of pages on a regular basis? Before you decide which printer to get, you just need to know what you’re going to use it for – then we can move on.

There are two main types of printer; Inkjet printers and laser printers.

Inkjet printers

Inkjet printers are cheaper but cost more to run than laser printers. They use ink and are perfect for a printing a few pages and they are also good at printing photographs and anything in colour. Inkjet printers are the most popular printers for the home.

Laser printers

These printers are great for higher-volume printing. Laser printers use toner, not ink. Toner is basically a very fine dust.

Laser printers print more pages from each toner cartridge, making the cost-per-page much less than inkjet printers. As a rule, laser printers are more expensive to buy, but cheaper to run.

Oh, let’s not forget ‘All-in-one’ printers

If you need your printer to do a variety of things such as; print, scan, copy and fax – then you need an ‘All-in-one’ printer.

What can the best printer for the home do?

Gone are the days when printers were simply used to print off a document. In recent years, there has been an explosion of technology, and printers have changed to keep up with the latest developments. We’ve compiled a little list below of things you may want to use your printer for, so don’t make your decision just yet.

1 Print photos from your iPhone

With iPhone and Android devices now featuring brilliant quality cameras, most of us have the facility to take photographs whenever we choose

If you want to print photographs from your mobile, then many printer manufacturers offer their own dedicated Android apps that you can install on your phone and use to print photos to a Wi-Fi-enabled printer. For example, these apps include HP ePrint, Epson iPrint, and Brother iPrint&Scan. If you’re buying a wireless photo printer just for this, be sure you’re getting one that can work with an Android phone - and not necessarily just with Google Cloud Print (see number 4 below).

2 Digital cameras

Do people still use digital cameras? Yes, they do – and to print photos from yours, you’ll need to buy a printer that has a card reader slot.

3 Air-Print

Print photographs directly from your Apple devices. (Mac, iPhone, iPad). Check to see if the printer you’re interested in is compatible. Many are.

4 Cloud-Print

This enables you to print from Google programmes and services. One of the best features is that you can give others access to your printer remotely. Imagine coming home to a lovely photograph of your day out that a friend has sent direct to your printer.

Now you’ve read the little list above, you may have more of an idea about what you’d like your printer to do for you.

It’s easy to just jump in and buy the first printer that catches your eye, but we say STOP! Here are a few ‘Do’s and Don’ts’.

DO

  • Read reviews to get a full picture.
  • Consider brands – there’s a reason why brands are successful.
  • Think about uses for your printer at home.
  • Look at the ‘pages-per-cartridge’ ratio.

DON'T

  • Buy the cheapest printer you see in a sale.
  • Assume cheaper cartridges are better value.
  • Buy any printer because it’s cheap.
  • Buy the most expensive printer – that doesn’t mean it’s the best.

Think Ink for inkjet printers

If you are not going to be printing many pages, then the standard printer ink cartridges will be fine. If you want to print quite a few pages on a regular basis, then it would definitely be worth your while to buy the XL cartridges. These are a little more expensive than the standard ones, but last a lot longer, so are much better value for money.

Toner for laser printers

If you’ve decided you are going to buy a laser printer (high volume), then again, we’d advise you to go for the XL toner option. It’ll cost you more initially, but you get so many more pages for your money.

This is important: How many cartridges?

Mono printers will use a single toner cartridge. But colour printers will use more.

Two cartridges

A two-cartridge printer will use; one black cartridge and one tri-colour cartridge (cyan, magenta and yellow all in the same cartridge), and typically uses less ink maintaining themselves when you turn the printer on and off. If the ink ever dries up, then it will only block the cartridge, not the printer, as most two-cartridge printers have the printhead built into the cartridge. If you don’t do much printing, then this is probably for you.

Four cartridges

A four-cartridge printer uses one black cartridge and three individual colour cartridges (cyan, magenta and yellow). These work out cheaper, as unlike the tri-colour cartridges, if you run out of a particular colour, then you only have to replace one colour cartridge, not the whole lot – whether the other colours are empty or not.

Environment

If you’d like to do your bit to help the environment – then several printer companies run a recycling to scheme and will do a free return service for your empty cartridges.

Best printer for the home? Decisions, decisions…

As you are probably aware by now, the ‘what’s the best printer for the home?’ question depends on a series of decisions that you have to make. By just giving the question some thought, you’ll find the best printer for the home. The good news is that you can get great printers at great prices these days, and there is so much information around to help you make the right choice.

Best printer for the home? Decisions, decisions…

As you are probably aware by now, the ‘what’s the best printer for the home?’ question depends on a series of decisions that you have to make. By just giving the question some thought, you’ll find the best printer for the home. The good news is that you can get great printers at great prices these days, and there is so much information around to help you make the right choice.


View the range