5 steps to choose the right printer for home/office

Do you need to buy a printer for your home/office? 
Unable to decide whether to go for a laser or an inkjet printer?
Or do you need a printer that gives you the best 'per print price' and low refill charges? 

Read this short article to get a crash course on features available on today's printers and which one's the best for you.

A few days ago, my brother asked me to buy a printer for him. His requirements were simple:

  • Color Printer 
  • All in One (Printer, Scanner, Copier)
  • Cheap printer cartridges 
  • Useful for Home and his son's school work.
  • Wireless online printer
After researching thousands of printers available on the internet, I finally selected one for him, that not only was cheap but also offered a lot of features in addition to the ones mentioned above. More on that later...

What kind of Printer do I need?

There are different printers available in the market today. However, based on the requirements above, there are two types of printers that you should select between:
  1. Laser
  2. Inkjet

Inkjet or Laser Printer?

Well, if you are planning to buy a printer for basic use like printing a document or an occasional photograph, scanning and copying stuff, then an All-in-One Inkjet printer is the best for you. Not only is it comparatively cheap, but is also compact and has cheap refill printer cartridges. 

A laser printer on the other hand is usually used in a more professional environment. If you need to use a printer several times a day and require prints/copies in bulk, then you should go in for a laser printer. A laser printer makes better use of toner (ink for laser printer) and in the long run, gives you a better 'per print ratio' of all your print outs. 

This, however, comes at a cost. Laser printers are usually expensive, have a high toner cartridge cost and may be bulkier.

What is 'All-in-One Printer'?

Printers today can not only print, but can also scan and copy documents/photographs for you. However, not all printers comes with this option. If you need to, you can still buy a single function print-only printer. I, personally would suggest you to go in for an all in one variant.

Online Printers / WiFi enabled printers

An additional feature that you should look for in a printer is its connectivity. Gone are the days when you needed to keep your printer connected to a computer to be able to use it. I can now give a print command to my printer wirelessly using my iPhone, Android phone, iPad or even a smart TV. A WiFi enabled All-in-One printer scans a document and sends it directly to my phone or tablet. These internet enabled printers are also suited best for small businesses. 

While buying a printer, look for the one that is WiFi enabled and is capable of connecting to cloud services like 'Google Cloud Print' and 'AirPrint'.

Ink for the Printer

Apart from choosing the best affordable printer, one must also look for the cost of its refill cartridges. You may be getting a great deal on the printer, but if the refill ink cartridges are expensive, in the long run, you may end up with a very very expensive affair. A typical cartridge churns out the following number or prints before running out:

Black: 100 prints (average)
Color: 35-45 prints (average)

Tip: Calculate the 'per-print' price of the cartridge by dividing the price of the cartridge with the above numbers.

Which printer is the best?

I have personally used Canon, HP, Brother and Ricoh printers in the past and can safely say that they all are good for their respective uses. For the above mentioned requirement, I would suggest you to buy an HP All-in-One WiFi enabled printer that offers refill cartridges at low prices. I finalized and selected an HP 3545 all in one colour inkjet printer for my brother who's now happy with its performance.

all in one printers

I hope this article was useful to you. Please let me know in the comments section below if you have any questions and I will try my best to answer them as soon as possible. Please feel free to connect to me via the social media circles mentioned below for regular updates on my blog: