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What Printer Specs Require My Attention?
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When purchasing a printer, the main specifications that you need to consider include the type of toner or ink used, connectivity type, size, paper path, speed, paper types and sizes, what type of printing the printer is capable of, print quality, and functions the printer can perform.
It used to be that all printers were pretty much the same in terms of what they could do and how they printed. Those days are far gone. Now there is a variety of printers to choose from, whether you’re looking for an inkjet printer or a laser printer, a stand-alone printer or a printer that can print, copy, fax and scan. Your options are nearly endless. Here is a rundown of the types of printers you can purchase in today’s age of advanced printer technology.
Laser printers employ a digital printing process that quickly produces high-quality text and graphics on paper. Similar to digital photocopiers and multi-function printers, laser printers utilize a zerographic printing process. These printers differ from analog photocopiers because the image that is produced by the printer is produced by the direct scanning of a laser across the printer’s photoreceptor. Laser printers are often used by businesses, both large and small, due to their faster printing speeds and their economical operating costs.
Dot Matrix Printers
Dot matrix printing, also known as “impact matrix” printing, is printing that uses a print head which runs back and forth or in an up-and-down motion on the page and prints using impact. The printer strikes an ink-soaked ribbon against the paper. When a dot matrix printer is used, the letters are drawn out so that different fonts and graphics can be printed. These printers are known for their strength and durability. As a result, many consumers purchase them if they know that they will be working the printer hard and want the printer to last. They do, however, tend to be more expensive than many of the other types of printers available on the market.
Inkjet printers propel droplets of ink through a microscopic nozzle onto the paper to create text and digital images. These printers are some of the most-commonly purchased printers in today’s day and age. Inkjet printers range from small and inexpensive to large, professional models. These printers can create quality images and at very affordable prices and are often purchased for use in homes and businesses alike.
Label printers are most commonly used by businesses. These printers can print on self-adhesive labels and/or card stock. Some label printers feature built-in keyboards and displays while others connect to a computer via a USB port or wireless connection. Label printers have a variety of possible applications including barcode printing and the printing of price tags as well as packaging labels and other labels used in supply chain management and other applications.
Card printers are electronic printers with single card feeders. These printers print and personalize plastic cards, such as gift cards and key cards for hotel rooms. Businesses that issue gift cards, customer rewards cards and other customized cards that are the size of a credit card use card printers for these purposes. These printers are usually only used by businesses as they tend to be pricey for the average personal consumer.
CD and DVD printers print an image directly onto a CD or DVD disc, eliminating the need to use a sticker label. Most CD/DVD printers can only print on inkjet-printable discs, which cost more than normal discs. The impression made by custom CDs and DVDs, however, is often one that companies are willing to pay for since custom discs, whether it be a CD or DVD, can create a very professional image. These printers are usually only used by businesses since the purchase price for a CD/DVD printer is normally higher than the price a personal consumer would be willing to pay to customize discs in his or her own personal collection.
Receipt printers are usually thermal printers. These printers create receipts for businesses that utilize POS (point of sale) applications. These printers can interface with a company’s POS terminal and print out receipts for completed transactions. Although receipt printers are usually used for commercial purposes, there are many affordable models that make these printers available to businesses both large and small.
Multi-function printers are printers that perform more than one task. For example, a multi-function printer may work as a printer, scanner, copier and fax machine all in one compact unit. These printers are very commonly used in home offices as they eliminate the need for multiple machines, saving space. There are also a number of affordable models on the market so home users can easily afford a quality model.