Looking to buy a printer? Start Here!

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Printer FAQs:

1. "What kind of printer do I need"?

This is best suited on a case by case basis. A home printer looking to print on only 8.5" x 11" printer will be best suited to the kinds of printers that you can buy at any electronics store. A graphics person looking to use large format printers will need a different kind of printer. A standard home ink jet printer can cost anywhere from $75 to $400. A standard large format ink jet printer can cost anywhere from $2,000 to $20,000+. Standard wide format laser printers can cost between $20,000 - $100,000+.

2. "What can my printer do in addition to printing?"

In addition to printing, multi-function copiers (MFCs) are the variant of choice for household appliances. In addition to standard printing, these machines also serve as scanners, fax machines and single-sided copiers.

3. "Can I print from my phone / tablet?"

This is a common dilemma in the smart phone era. You want a printer that will communicate with all your devices. Any printer that has a WiFi in / output will allow for phone and tablet printing, and this is especially true among most common house hold printers.

4. "Can I print wide format printing?"

Your standard house hold printer will only allow for 8.5" x 11" printing, although some will accommodate legal size (8.5" x 14") and ledger size (11" x 17"). If you need more than that then you will be paying more.

5. "What is the difference between a laser printer and an inkjet printer?"

Aside from the obvious difference in cost of both the unit and the toner cartridges available, a laser printer can connect to any number of PCs on a given network. Laser printers also exponentially increase the amount of pages per toner cartridge available. The color contrast on a laser printer is also greater. A standard household ink jet from HP may print only 16,500 colors, where a full color laser jet will print over 1,000,000 colors on a much higher resolution.

6. "What toner cartridge do I need?"

Your manufacturer will specify on the box or in the owner's manual exactly what toner cartridge you need. These are usually numbered. For instance Epson 69A, or HP 82X.

7. "What size of paper do I need?"

There are several types of paper ranging from standard letter (8.5" x 11") all the way to billboard size. The most common types are:

- Letter: 8.5" x 11"
- Legal: 8.5" x 14"
- Ledger: 11" x 17"
- ANSI C: 18" x 22"
- ARCH D: 24" x 36" (AKA standard poster size)
- ARCH E: 30" x 42"
- ARCH E1: 36" x 48"

8. "I want a 3-D printer. Where can I get started looking for one?

3-D printing is an incredibly exciting new technology. There are lots of resources available on the internet if you wish to purchase a 3-D printer whether it is for building models or whatever you want to create. Start with these websites:

- http://www.3ders.org/
- http://www.engineering.com/3DPrinting/3DPrintingResources.aspx?sec=3

9. "Can you help me pick out a printer that suits my needs?"

Please fill out this questionnaire as much as you possibly can as this will narrow down the list of printers that will be ideal for your needs:

1. What is your printer budget? What is your country of origin?

2. Preferred Brand(s)

3. Brands Not Preferred (state reason why)

4. How many pages do you print per day?

5. Do you want your printer to perform other functions (scanning / copying / fax)?

6. Preferred website for printer (eg Newegg / Tiger Direct, etc)?

7. Do you want your printer to have WiFi capability?

8. Do you want your printer to have full color or black and white?

9. How much do you currently spend on ink/toner?

10. Do you print high quality or high resolution documents or photographs?
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