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ItalianPrincess1217's avatar

What type of printer should I purchase for my needs?

Asked by ItalianPrincess1217 (10534points) March 12th, 2014

I know very little about computers and printers so I need some advice on my upcoming purchase. I need a printer for printing photos, school papers, and wedding invitations from my laptop. What type of printer would be best for all of these things? I’m doing some online browsing and the list of different types of printers is overwhelming! There are laser, inkjet, all in one, dot matrix, 3D, photo…and I’m sure I missed some! Any suggestions?

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11 Answers

Pachy's avatar

Based on your stated needs, a simple inkjet model will do fine. Many brands have almost the same features and even parts inside, so you can’t go wrong with an HP, Dell, Epson or Canon. You should be able to get a really nice printer for a $100 or less. Check out Best Buy if you have one nearby.

jerv's avatar

For just that sort of stuff, a simple inkjet printer will do. I had an old HP inkjet that I picked up on sale for $30.

Personally, I prefer all-in-ones since I do a bit of scanning. Very useful if you need to send documents, and only ~$100. But if all you need is a printer, go inkjet.

jaytkay's avatar

I am biased – I hate printers. They jam a lot and the ink is expensive.

So my #1 recommendation is don’t get one. Always try to email stuff to people instead of printing. Print at the library or Office Max/Staples/Office Depot. You can upload photos to CVS or Walgreens and they will make you really nice photo prints.

You probably don’t agree (most people don’t!). So my #2 recommendation would be a cheap laser. Samsung has some nice ones. Print black & white at home, and see recommendation #1 when you want to print color.

But you probably want to print color at home (most people do!). So recommendation #3 is an inkjet all-in-one (combined printer and scanner.) Unlike printers, scanners are awesome.

Adirondackwannabe's avatar

What do you do the most of? That makes a difference.

ItalianPrincess1217's avatar

@Adirondackwannabe I think I care more about the photos being good quality. I will occasionally be printing my school work and printing invitations once, but mostly I will be using it for photos.

Adirondackwannabe's avatar

@ItalianPrincess1217 The best photo printer I had was a HP Photosharp printer. It printed all sizes and it was excellent quality. It also printed pages, etc. It was an inkjet and it took a bit more of ink for pictures, but it was worth it.

jerv's avatar

@jaytkay Laser printers are generally more expensive, especially for refills, and less reliable. Show me a laser printer for under $50 that can be refilled for under $10 and still last 5 years or more. As for jams, none of the inkjets I’ve owned ever jammed; that’s a laser thing due to the different (and more complicated) process involved in laser printers which necessitates a convoluted, more finicky feed mechanism.

ragingloli's avatar

A cheap inkjet will do. You should however first find out for which model you can get the cheapest 3rd party knock-off ink cartridges, because the genuine ones are are fucking expensive.

Cupcake's avatar

I agree with @jaytkay. I send all my pics to Walgreens and they are ready in an hour (and look better than home printed).

Please look at the cost of ink cartridges when you consider the price of the printer. We pay about $100 every time we change all cartridges at home (and we don’t print pictures). The cost really adds up.

I would suggest something on the cheaper end that only uses black ink for school work… and find an inexpensive printer for invitations and photos.

jerv's avatar

For those that complain about the cost of ink, I sincerely hope none of you drive; you’re hypocritical if you do.

Yeah, I’ve spent $100 on ink… over the last three years! Shop around, and even new cartridges cost less than a tank if gas, and, and last a lot longer. Hell, the per-print cost is less than the gas I’d burn driving to Walgreen’s, wwithout even getting into Walgreen’s charging you. False savings based on bias instead of math.

maybellekim's avatar

the 3 in 1 type, printer + scanner + photocopier.

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