When to upgrade your printer

28. August 2012 06:00 by Calvin Yu in Troubleshooting and Printer Tips  //  Tags:   //   Comments

Old dot matrix printer In many ways, it's smart to keep using the same printer for as long as possible. While some people always need to have the latest features and swap old printers for new ones constantly, others are a little more frugal about things. If you fall into the latter category, you may currently own a fairly old printer. At some point, you're going to have to upgrade it. The question is when you should do so. How you go about doing so is important too. Learn about a few of the telltale signs that your printer needs to be upgraded and how to handle it below.

Signs that You should Upgrade Your Printer

If it's not broken, why fix it? The old adage is generally true, but there are limitations. In the case of a printer, an old model could eventually become a major liability. A few of the top signs that your printer needs to be upgraded include:

  • Replacement Inks and Toners are Difficult to Find - As your printer becomes more and more obsolete, finding replacement inks and toners for it can become a major issue. At first, finding affordable toners and inks is a snap. Eventually, you'll come to find that locating affordable supplies is extremely difficult. Before you know it, you'll be spending a small fortune just to keep your printer running. With a new printer, you'll be able to take advantage of the many compatible inks and toners that are available online. While you'll have to spend extra money upfront to buy a new printer, you'll save a huge amount of money to keep it printing legible copies in the future.
  • New Drivers are Not Available - At a certain point, new drivers and updates for your printer may no longer be available. Even if they are, they may be difficult to find. There's only so much that a new driver can do. When new updates become few and far between, or when they stop being available at all, you should probably consider upgrading your machine.
  • Print Quality is Poor - Many things can cause poor print quality on a printer. If you've run through all of the possibilities and still end up with smudges, smears and other problems, you should go ahead and fork over the money for a new printer. It's simply not worth it.
  • The Printer Vibrates Excessively or is Extremely Noisy - If your printer is far noisier than it ever was, or if it vibrates to the point where it's in danger of falling to the floor, you should plan on getting a new model soon. It's better to be proactive about the situation. Waiting for a major problem to occur is never a good idea.

Tips for Upgrading to a New Printer

If it's been awhile since you bought a new printer, you may be at a loss about how to proceed in finding the right printer. The first step is to set a strict budget. The next step is to jot down a list of the features that you absolutely need. From there, browse online shopping sites and familiarize yourself with what's available. Make sure to avail yourself of the many user reviews that are posted online as well. Once you have narrowed down the list of printers you are considering, look up the cost for the ink or toner and calculate a cost per page. Cost per page is calculated by taking the cost of the cartridge divided by the page yield. Choose the printer with the lowest cost per page, because the consumables is where you spend the most money.

When you have your new printer up and running, you'll probably wonder why you waited so long to upgrade it. As long as you invest in a decent machine, you should be able to go a long time before buying a new one.

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