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12/16/13

At Your Finger(Prints): Not all printers are created equal, but does that matter?

You're in the market for a printer but with so many options, you find yourself confronted with far too many brands, price points and features that put your proverbial head on a swivel.
How much should you spend?
What about ink, speed or the location of the paper tray?
Do you think bigger is better when it comes to printers?
Perhaps the best place to start is figuring out where exactly this printer would be stationed, which narrows it down thankfully to two choices: home or office.

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If you're buying a home printer, you probably don't want something that is too big or looks like it belongs in a conference room. You'd be better served to go smaller with more of a table top model.
Size aside, you have to figure out exactly what you'll be using the printer for and if you'll be printing photos, black and white only or opting for a USB connection or wireless and WiFi enabled.
The last criteria comes standard on most printers and comes in handy when more than one person around the home is printing; there's no need to fight over that USB cable when you can print conveniently from bedroom to basement.
If that factor doesn't factor into your decision, than the tried and true USB method will save you a few dollars off the sticker price.
As far as color versus black and white, most home printers include a color option, and even the ones priced at or around $100 can print decent color photos. If printing in color or high quality photos is a daily occurrence, you certainly should look into a printer made specifically for that.
The real price difference comes when you discuss printing speed and just how quickly you need documents. That same $100 printer will more than suffice if you're printing out a few pages at a time, such as a resume or a spreadsheet for a business meeting.
If you're writing a screen play every other weekend that tops out at 100-plus pages, then you probably don't want to go too cheap.
The average household that uses the printer for a little bit of homework for the kids or perhaps a stray form here and there shouldn't be lured into buying a printer that is more than they can handle or need. The tendency with just about any product is to associate price with quality, but in the world of printers that thinking doesn't always compute.

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