Inkjet or laser, multifunction or to print your photographs… When buying a printer we must know that there are many types, each with its own characteristics. We help you choose depending on your needs.
Printing equipment is a basic element of equipment in the family environment. Printing a school project or a document for tax or bureaucratic procedures are tasks that make the presence of a printer at home worthwhile.
They are still necessary for many professionals. However, with digitization, printing habits have changed and with them, so has technology. Indeed, in the last decade, printers have undergone an important evolutionary process; they have diversified and become more efficient . Let’s see how the offer is configured today.
TYPES OF PRINTERS
Based on their printing technology, the two main types that we find on the market are ink printers and laser printers . Among them we will find the ideal candidates to be the best home printers .
We should also add the so-called photo printers , models that are gaining great popularity for their portability, but also for being high-quality color printers . They become ideal companions for our mobile devices since we can take them with us anywhere.
INKJET PRINTERS: THE MOST POPULAR CHOICE
Despite the success that laser printers had in their day, in recent times improvements in inkjet technology have tipped the balance towards this technology as dominant.
In the domestic market, ink is the one that monopolizes the largest number of purchase options , even more so if we take into account that almost all affordable laser models are monochrome.
Each manufacturer uses its own technologies to make the ink go from the cartridges to the paper with the greatest possible precision and at the highest speed. Either by heat or with piezoelectric heads, the print is formed by accumulating microscopic or nanoscopic ink drops on the paper from the deposits that store it.
EPSON ECOTANK ET-M1120 WI-FI
Epson has developed a very economical monochrome printer both in price and in maintenance. It has achieved this thanks to the EcoTank system , based on a refillable ink tank. Up to 5,000 pages can be printed with the included black ink.
It also has Wi-Fi connectivity , stands out for a printing speed that reaches up to 15 pages per minute, and the ignition time is practically instantaneous.
HP OFFICEJET PRO 8210
HP is one of the leaders in the inkjet printer market, with a range of models for all budgets. The HP OfficeJet Pro 8210 is a good example of a quality printer with the main features that we can demand, such as double-sided printing or Wi-Fi connectivity.
This model prints in full color by having a system of four individual inks, and is compatible with the HP Instant Ink service, the automatic home ink service.
THE LASER: FAST, ECONOMIC AND SUITABLE FOR LARGE VOLUMES
Laser printers , for their part, do not use wet ink, but a very fine powder called toner that is stored in large cartridges. Its operation is very different, since it does not soak the paper or dry the ink on it. Instead, a laser beam is passed over a cylinder (also known as a drum) with a negative charge, causing the toner to adhere to the paper using heat. Its operation is very similar to that of a photocopier .
Laser printers can be found in offices of all kinds, whether in large companies or home offices. They are usually larger than inkjets, but have certain advantages that set them apart. Mainly, they are very fast and stand out for their enormous reliability .
Laser printers like the Brother HL-L2350DW are presented as a fantastic option for those who want to make many copies and invest a small amount in the peripheral. We are facing a monochrome model, which does not lack double-sided printing .
Among its specifications to highlight is printing from all types of devices, thanks to WiFi connectivity , Wi-Fi Direct and mobile connection. The printing speed reaches 30 pages per minute and its toner ensures a life of 700 pages.
HP COLOR LASER 150NW
We incorporate color into our prints with this HP printer that stands out as the world’s smallest in its category and offers exceptional quality on every page, creating crisp black and white text and vivid, sharp color graphics.
For greater comfort of use we have a color touch screen and it is possible to print from any device thanks to the HP Smart application. Available connectivity is dual-band Wi-Fi, USB, and Ethernet.
MULTIFUNCTION AND MAXIMUM CONNECTIVITY, IDEAL FOR THE HOME
If we look at the functionality of the printers instead of their printing technology, we find another possible classification. The multifunctional equipment integrates, in addition to printing itself, a scanner and connectivity to offer the possibility of scanning documents, making photocopies or managing faxes. In recent times, non-functional printers are disappearing from manufacturers’ catalogs except for professional vertical uses such as photo printers.
The price reduction in MFPs has made offering devices that only print not worth it . Even size is not an obstacle thanks to the high degree of integration that goes into the construction of the MFPs. From just 50 euros, you can already have a multifunction device with WiFi connectivity.
WiFi connectivity allows remote printing within the home network, both from computers and mobile devices, although the next step has already been taken: printing via the cloud. A large part of the multifunctional equipment, in addition to having WiFi, integrates cloud technology , so that they are in permanent communication with a server to which print jobs can be sent from mobile devices, laptops, PCs or through email addresses where the Attached documents are processed for printing on our MFP.
HP DESKJET 4130E
All super sales in the printer market , thanks to its excellent relationship between the price and the benefits it offers. HP has conceived a multifunction model that lacks nothing.
We enjoy the configuration and mobile printing through the HP Smart application , it has WiFi connectivity to end the cables, it also gives us access to the automatic HP Instant Ink home ink service (the first 6 months included).
CANON PIXMA TS6350A
Canon knows how to make eye-catching printers that are perfect for showing off anywhere in the office. But it’s not just about making a stylish device, as this PIXMA model can boast the use of 5 independent inks . It is an ideal printer for photographs thanks to FINE technology and its ChromaLife100 ink.
Wireless connectivity is also there, with special emphasis on mobile use with the Canon PRINT, AirPrint (iOS) and Mopria (Android) applications. You can check the status of the printer at a glance thanks to its LED status bar.
EPSON ECOTANK ET-2810
If you are looking for a multifunction printer that offers you the highest quality, but at the same time is prepared to work with high volumes of prints, then you should consider the Epson EcoTank system . Without cartridges, the ink tank can be refilled with bottles that allow us to save 90% in costs.
The EcoTank ET-2810 is the ideal model to access this technology, with a set of bottles you can print up to 7,500 pages in black and 6,000 in color. There is no lack of the latest in connectivity, and the possibility of controlling it from a mobile device with the Epson Smart Panel application.
PHOTO PRINTERS, WITH YOU ANYWHERE
The world is mobile . The vast majority of people have decided to do without the computer for many of their daily operations, since the telephone has become the main device in our lives. Mobile applications and adaptations of the main services are making it so.
When it comes to printing, the industry’s leading companies have not shyed away from the change and are creating portable printing solutions . Using special photographic papers, laboratory-quality snapshots are achieved.
Obviously we are not dealing with printers designed to work, the idea is to re-share and touch the photos , which will mostly be taken with the mobile phone. A mix between past and present that is becoming a trend.
HP SPROCKET SELECT ECLIPSE
The Sprocket Select uses ZINK printing technology and an adhesive photo paper that allows us to generate printed photos – and stickers – up to 2.3 x 3.4 inches. Prints offer a resolution of 321 x 600 dots per inch, and take just 68 seconds.
The printer has a mobile application that allows us to create frames and introduce filters to the images before being printed. It is important to know that its size is a little larger than that of a mobile phone .
CANON SELPHY CP1300
Canon has identified that the mobile user also demands larger images , and wants them with laboratory photographic quality. The answer is offered to us with the Selphy CP1300, an elegant and portable printer, ideal for use with mobile devices and cameras.
The printer is capable of printing 4 x 6-inch photos in just 47 seconds . Wi-Fi connectivity is not lacking with support for Canon PRINT, Mopria and Apple AirPrint. It also stands out for its SELPHY Photo Layout application, with which you can add details to prints, such as stamps, filters, borders, text, overlays and designs.
CONSUMABLES, THE NEXT EVOLUTIONARY STEP
Another of the great changes that are taking place in the world of printing is the management of consumables . The price of a cartridge replacement can easily exceed the price of the printer itself, which makes users seriously consider printing any content that is not really essential.
Here we can propose several solutions for each user.
CONVENTIONAL INK CARTRIDGES
Ink cartridges are the most comfortable option for small sporadic jobs , especially if we are going to need color. The problem, for users with high printing needs, is the price of the cartridges.
If we are going to use them sparingly during the year, they may fulfill their function, but if the printer is going to receive more intensive use, because it is in an office or there are several students at home, a subscription plan may be interesting. Services like HP Instant Ink allow us to print 100 pages a month for five euros .
RECHARGEABLE INK PRINTERS
Another very interesting option is rechargeable ink printers, we have already proposed a model throughout the article. In this case, we’re not talking about refilling the cartridge using dirty and potentially unwarranty methods, but rather refilling a reservoir with ink bottles .
These printers are perfect for people who require a high volume of color prints. HP models are found within the Smart Tank Plus line , Epson’s are known as Ecotank , and Canon’s are within the Megatank family .
We are talking about systems that can reduce ink costs by up to 90%. Epson ensures that each of its bottles is equivalent to 72 cartridges.
TONER CARTRIDGES FOR BIG JOBS
The toner, for its part, provides an absolutely pure black by not requiring a mixture of inks to obtain it, but, in addition, laser equipment is very, very fast in the printing process. Even so, the biggest advantage of its consumables is its enormous duration.
Depending on the model and the print quality, we may be talking about the possibility of printing thousands of pages with a single cartridge . They are very economical in relation to the volume of pages printed and have the advantage that they never dry out, so nothing happens if you leave the printer unused for months.
Due to its benefits, toner is a great option for offices and homes where only black printing is to be done and in large quantities. They also provide outstanding color printing, although color supplies can be more expensive than ink supplies.
OTHER ASPECTS TO TAKE INTO ACCOUNT
In addition to consumables, printing through cloud services or printing technology, there are details that may be important when choosing a printer. For example, the possibility of printing double-sided documents automatically.
It may seem irrelevant; but, in practice, double-sided documents, in addition to saving paper, offer a more professional appearance in order to present high-volume jobs. Other features, such as print speed , are less important today unless you need to print hundreds or thousands of pages a month on a regular basis.
The number of cartridges is another variable with which we can play to choose a printer. In general, systems with individual cartridges for each color are more recommended for photographic printing, both for quality and logistics. If we print photos with, say, dominant blue tones and use cartridges with multiple inks, we will have to change the entire block, even though the red and yellow are almost unused.
It is advisable to make sure that we have WiFi and cloud printing services . It is a trend that is already present in most models, but it is worth confirming that we have this type of functionality. Be it ePrint by HP, Cloud Link by Canon, Epson Connect by Epson or Google Cloud Print.
WHICH IS BEST FOR ME?
Bearing in mind that multifunction printers are the majority option , the answer to this question involves identifying use scenarios where the selection criteria has more to do with print volume than with the technology itself.
WHAT TYPE OF PRINTER IS MOST RECOMMENDED?
There is no specific best type for all activities, you have to know very well the place where it is going to be used. For particularly high print volumes and where color is not a priority, lasers are still an interesting proposition.
A typical usage scenario would be a department in a college or university, for example. The printing of exams, tasks, various documentation or posters and informative announcements for the students of that department is a scenario where the laser continues to fit.
If what is needed is to cover photographic needs , then the commitment to inkjet with multiple cartridges is the ideal option.
WHAT IS THE BEST PRINTER TO HAVE AT HOME?
For the home environment or small businesses with moderately high, above-average printing needs, an ink multifunction device where you don’t have to worry about excessive consumables is an interesting proposition.
Taking all this into account, it is best to bet on refillable ink printers .
WHICH IS BETTER: AN INK OR TONER PRINTER?
The eternal question we face when purchasing a new printer. It does not have a quick answer and it depends a lot on the printing needs. In general lines we can find the following advantages in each system:
- Laser: more common in companies, the price is somewhat higher for the printer, but the toners are much more durable, so the price per page is lower. They are very fast, so they are ideal for high volume printing. They do very well with text and graphics.
- injection. They are more common in home environments and better for photographic prints as they support heavier papers. There are models for all budgets, but the price of the inks is high.
And now that you know everything about printers, we can only remind you that, whether you buy on our website or in our stores, you have the possibility of easy and interest-free financing .