Today's printers are useful for a wide variety of tasks, including printing
web pages, brochures to advertise your home business, creating custom
greeting cards for friends and family, and sharing your digital camera
photographs with others.
Most of the printers you will find are color inkjet printers and black-and-white
laser printers. Both will create sharp printouts. Printer quality is measured
in dots per inch (dpi), and even the least expensive inkjet printers will
print at a sharp 1200dpi. The brands of printers that Abt carries are
Canon and Sony. Many of today's printers have the capabilities of being
multi-functional. They can print, copy, scan, and fax, all for as little
as $99 or less.
The big differentiating factors among printers are speed, price, and
color. Laser printers, which can cost from as little as $200 to more than
$1,000, are fast and best for printing text, but they provide only monochrome
output unless you are willing to spend significantly more for the color
units. Basic inkjet printers can cost as little as $50, but more expensive
models can be as fast as many laser printers. Color inkjets are also much
better suited for printing photographs.
Some inkjet printers offer special ink cartridges with extra colors for
more accurate photo printing (Canon offers up to 9 in some models). These
printers have the advantage of allowing you to change only the color you
run out of. This is better suited for photo and high volume printing.
For low volume printing, it is better to use dual ink cartridge printers
(black and tri-color ink cartridges).
Specialized photo printers frequently offer slots that let you directly
print from the removable memory used in digital cameras. Photo printers
are available in inkjet and dye-sublimation models. Inkjet photo printers
produce stunning output and can create prints at 8x10 inches or larger.
Dye-sublimation printing uses special ribbons and media, and produces
prints that look almost like a continuous tone photograph on photographic
paper. With photo printers, the main consideration is the size of the
prints that you will be producing. Dye-sublimation printers give excellent
results, but cost per print is substantially greater than that of an inkjet.
While laser and inkjet printers will meet most of your needs, specialty printers might be better suited to some applications. Label printers offer convenient, speedy printing of mailing labels, product labels, and even electronic postage stamps. You can even buy a special printer that can make your CD-Rs look professionally printed.
When buying a printer, keep in mind the three main factors: speed, color,
and price. Today's inkjets offer a good combination of all three. Laser
printers have come down in price and offer long-term savings if you print
a large volume of copies (a laser printer's cost per page is the lowest
of all the printer types). However, if you need color output, the least
expensive color laser printers (non-multifunctional) still cost more than
Borderless Photo Printing
Photo ink cartridge