We have all had one of those days where the only thing that seems to be working right is Murphy’s Law. So imagine you are at home, and it is really important that you print out a certain document. You turn the printer on, hear a really scary sound and find that your printer has decided to DIE a noisy death at this exact moment of dire need. So now it’s time to buy a new printer, just grrr-eat.
You have decided you don’t need a beefy office model. No you need something cheap and rated for home use. That would be the inkjet printer. However when it comes to this technology there is a wide, wide range of choices. So much so that it could seem a little daunting.
Inkjet printers meant for home use fall into two categories: inexpensive inkjets that typically cost far less than $100 for single-function printers and $150 or less for all-in-ones (AIOs), and a highly photocentric category, with prices of $150 or more for single-function printers and $300 or more for all-in-ones.
The inkjets in the first price category often include limited photocentric features like the ability to print directly from PictBridge cameras and memory cards. Inkjets in the more expensive category are photocentric to the point where you can effectively use the single-purpose printers as simple photo “kiosks” and the all-in-ones as standalone photo “labs.” They typically come with relatively large LCDs for previewing photos, and in some cases with touch-screen LCDs for giving commands. All-in-ones add the ability to scan 35mm film and print high-quality photos directly from slides, negatives, prints, memory cards, and cameras. Less common features include built-in optical drives to let you store images to or print from discs, and the ability to print labels directly onto optical discs.
Office inkjets include the few single-function printers and all-in-ones designed for relatively heavy-duty printing. They also include any AIO that adds office-centric features to the home all-in-ones’ ability to print, scan, and copy. Typically, they will work as standalone fax machines; fax directly from your PC’s hard drive; and scan to an e-mail easily, using your PC’s e-mail program and automatically adding the scan as an attachment. Office all-in-ones also add an automatic document feeder (ADF) for easy scanning, faxing, and copying of multipage documents, and they offer paper capacities of 200 sheets or more, often with a built-in duplexer (for two-sided copying). They usually leave out photocentric features.
You can count on almost any inkjet to print graphics well enough for both internal business use, like printing PowerPoint handouts, and home use, like printing party invitations. Pick carefully, and you can have output quality a graphic artist would be happy with.
It is also true that almost any current inkjet can print photos that at least match the quality you’d expect from your local drugstore. The few exceptions are primarily among printers aimed at offices, but even most office inkjets do a decent job with photos. Once again if pick carefully you can find all-purpose inkjets whose output rivals photo printers meant for professional photographers.
These are a few of the current Hot Printer Deals at Staples this week:
An affordable, easy-to-use all-in-one with fax capabilities. Prints and copies up to 28 ppm black, 22 ppm color. 20-sheet automatic document feeder (ADF). $79.98 with Free shipping!
Find great weekly deals and Staples coupons here!!
HP Photosmart C4680 All-in-One Printer 3-in-1
Print, copy & scan with USB connectivity. Media card slots for direct photo printing. Prints up to 29 ppm black, 23 ppm color and up to 8.5″ x 11″ borderless printing. $69.98 with free delivery!