Selecting the right printer requires an understanding of your needs. Ask yourself these questions:
What will I use the printer for?
How much will it have to print?
How fast do I need it to print?
Do I need to print in color?
Do I need it to perform several functions?
Look ahead and determine if your needs will grow or change and look for a printer that will meet your needs now as well as into the near future. The initial decision you will have to make is whether you need an inkjet printer or a laser toner printer. There are advantages to both.
The ink jet printer has become a very popular choice for home computers. They are able to print text and produce color photos close in quality to lab-produced photos. When considering inkjet printers remember the quality of the printed material is determined by its resolution or the DPI (dots per inch). Depending on the paper path, these printers also print stickers, transparencies, T-shirt transfers as well as high quality personalized greeting cards. Inkjet printers accept a variety of paper types and sizes. When purchasing a printer for color photos make sure you examine an actual printed page and not a professionally enhanced sample. While Ink jet printers may run into some expense with the cartridges, they have been reported to be the most affordable and versatile form of print technology.
The laser printer will meet your needs if you are primarily printing text but are not the best choice for printing photos. These printers have historically been found in offices but with recent advances and lower cost they are a viable choice for home computers as well. Laser printers yield high resolution copies of top quality. They use a laser beam to create the image yielding a result that is crisp, fast and less expensive than ink jet printers. Color laser printers, like the HP toner printers, are available but are generally more expensive. It is recommended that inkjet printers be used for your color print needs. The main advantage to a laser printer is the speed of printing and the cost per page. If you are printing large amounts of text documents, a laser printer would be advantageous.
Once you decide on an inkjet printer or a laser printer you may want to consider the option of a multifunction printer.
A multifunction printer is an all-in-one piece of technology that will allow you to print, copy, scan and fax from one machine. One obvious advantage is the space saved by having all the services in one device. The down side is that if one part breaks you may have to service or replace the entire unit.
If you are only going to print photos you may want to consider a snap shot printer. They are small, fast, and transportable with the ability to run on batteries. A computer is not necessary as they can print directly from your digital camera.
For more help on choosing between ink and laser, read this post: http://247inktoner.com/blog/post/2012/08/12/How-to-choose-between-a-laser-printer-and-an-inkjet-printer.aspx.