How to Choose a Printer for your Home Office
When choosing a printer for your home office, you’ll want to consider a few things before jumping in.
Inkjet or Laser?
This may be the most difficult to decide and potentially the biggest impact on the total cost of ownership during the life of the printer. Inkjet printers are fast and relatively inexpensive to operate because they work with most types of paper. Laser printers are generally more expensive to purchase and operate depending on what you’re looking to print. Some laser printers require special papers to work. Inkjets tend to print better images while lasers do better for text heavy documents. Inkjets require more regular maintenance to clean their nozzles, especially if they are used infrequently. Better photos require better paper for the inkjets. Lots to consider between these types of printers and we haven’t even gotten to their functions beyond printing yet. Inkjets are better for low volume printing whereas lasers perform well for higher volume printing.
Single or Multifunction
While you can still get a standard, single purpose printer, multifunction printers are much more common and useful. If you think you’re only ever going to need to print and not scan, copy or fax anything, you can save a little money going the single function route. A multifunction printer typically includes a document scanner/copier of some kind and also a telephone jack for connecting to a landline phone for faxing purposes. More expensive multifunction printers typically include a multi-sheet scanner allowing you to load a stack of documents for scanning rather than having to go one at a time with a single sheet scanning system. This could also mean more things to go wrong or get jammed.
Going beyond letter sized
Depending on your needs, you may also want to consider a label printer or some other form of specialty printer. This could include a dedicated photo printer for printing 4×6 or 5×7 prints, a recipe or index card sized printer or even a large format photo printer for posters and bigger prints. It really boils down to what your day to day needs are for your home office.