Printer Technology and Buying Guide

Printers are devices that produce graphics or text on paper. There are two main categories to classify printers including the non-impact and impact printers. Impact printers produce images and text when tiny wires located on the printer’s heads strike ribbons and contact the paper physically. The non-impact printers produce graphics and text without physically striking the paper. Based on the print technology and method, the printers can also be categorized. The most popular printers are the laser printers, inkjet printers, thermal printers, and the dot-matrix printers. The dot matrix printer is an impact printer. The others are non-impact printers.

Types of Printers

As stated above, there are two types of printers. Let us focus on the non-impact printers because of their popularity and wide use in the modern times. To produce characters on the paper, the non-impact printers do not strike the paper. Because they don’t strike the paper, they often run quieter.

Inkjet Printers

Inkjet printers form images and characters on paper with little dots just like the dot matrix printers. However, these dots are just ink droplets. The printers spray ink on the paper through their tiny nozzles located at the printer heads in a magnetic field that arranges the charged particles at the rate of 200 characters per second. The ink is absorbed and dries as soon as it contacts the paper. You can use a wide range of ink colors on the paper. Inkjet printers come in many colors. Some printers allow you to replace the colors directly.

Laser Printers

A laser printer works similarly with the photocopy machine. They direct a burning laser beam on a mirror that bounces it back to the drum to produce characters and images on paper. There is a special coating where the toner sticks. While using small dot patterns, the laser beam conveys information from the computer to a drum that has positive charges to be neutralized. The toner detaches from all these areas. As the drum rolls the paper, the toner is used to make printing letters or images to the paper. The toner is bonded to the paper using a hot roller.

Specialty Printers

Photo Printer

Photo printers are color printers used to produce quality pictures on a photo paper. They can also be used to print other documents. While they have a high number of nozzles, they can print fine droplets for an improved quality of the image. Some have media card readers to print images without the use of computers. Some of the other specialty printers with the same technology include the portable printers and the Multi-Function printers that have scanners and fax machines.

Home VS. Business All-In-One Systems (Print/Copy/Fax)

Printers suitable for small businesses or office use are not so different from the home printers. The market also offers a wide range of options to choose. Another important categorization when it comes to business printers is the multi-function printers that can copy, print, scan, and fax. There are many things to consider when looking for the home or business printers. The top of the list is performance. Multiple user is a key role for business printers. Many business printers are monochrome because of their increased speed and functionality. Some cheaper printers have a high maintenance cost as compared to the expensive ones. When purchasing printers, ensure you research about the toner and ink costs.

Where To Buy Printer Ink

Shopping at an established retailer is one of the tested methods of finding cheap ink and toners. This also guarantees the quality of products you purchase. However, it can be a challenge to find third-party ink for your printer especially when your unit is not popular, very new, or very old. If you are dealing a new vendor, ensure you ask questions. A reputable retailer or online store will provide contact and name information for the ink manufacturers that supply their ink.