You can never underestimate how handy it is to have a printer lying around at home. Whether you print documents regularly for work or you just need to print something last minute, having a decent printer really can be a lifesaver. If you’re looking to upgrade an old model, or you’re buying a printer for the very first time, our buying guide will help make your decision easier.
Laser printers are designed for offices or homes where printing is in high demand. These robust printers are great for batch printing text heavy documents, and each toner cartridge will usually print around 1400 pages. They’re not as effective with colour printing when compared to inkjet printers.
The perfect printer for everyday use, whether your need it for coursework or to print out those flight tickets at the last minute. Inkjet printers are good value models that are great at printing in colour, as well as standard black and white. They are slower than laser models.
As well as both inkjet and laser models, printers come in all shapes and sizes with different features best suited for different needs.
The perfect allrounder for your home printing needs, these models come with a scanner, copier and printer all-in-one. You can find them in both inkjet and laser variations to suit your preference.
If you don’t fancy manually connecting your printer to your computer, a wireless printer is the one for you. You’ll be able to wirelessly connect your printer to multiple devices so you can print from anywhere in your home.
A lot of printers with WiFi connectivity let you send files to print directly from your phone for ultimate convenience. So next time you need to print a pair of tickets last minute, you can do it in just a few simple clicks.
If you’re looking to print on A3 paper you’ll need to get your hands on an A3 printer. You can choose from both inkjet and laser models, plus you’ll find all-in-one A3 printers and most will have WiFi connectivity.
Duplex printers simply let you print double sided, ideal if you’re printing large batches and want to cut down on how much paper you use. You’ll find that most laser printers let you print on both sides.
When deciding on which printer to go for, you should ask yourself what you’ll mainly be using it for. Different types of printers are better suited for different types of jobs, so you’ll want to make sure you get the right one for you.
If you’re a budding photographer or fancy finally printing out those holiday pics, you’ll want an inkjet printer. They produce great results when printing colour, especially when paired with photo paper. Look out for an inkjet model with mobile printing so you can effortlessly print your favourite phone snaps.
To hit those deadlines and conquer your coursework, pick up an all-in-one printer. You can easily photocopy, scan and print any vital documents and keep on top of your studies. We’d also recommend choosing one with WiFi connectivity so you can send files wirelessly without a router.
If you’re looking for a printer for business or work from home needs, an all-in-one model which can copy, scan and print is definitely the top choice. For office use, we’d recommend getting a laser model as they’re designed to cope with high demand and can print large batches both double sided and at speed. You’ll almost definitely want a model with WiFi connectivity so you can hook up multiple devices wirelessly.
An inkjet printer is best if you’ll be mostly printing out visual work such as digital art, sketches and mood boards. If you’re looking to print out high quality brochures, posters and portfolios, then a laser printer is your best bet. Look out for a model that can connect to your mobile phone or tablet for convenience and flexibility. For crafts and organising, a label printer might just be the ticket.
The main difference between the two is that an inkjet printer uses ink to print while a laser model prints using a laser.
First you need to know what you’ll be using it for. For general home use, a good value inkjet printer should do the job. If you’re using it for work, or you know you’ll be printing a lot of documents, a fast and powerful laser printer is ideal.
Printers can cost anywhere from £20 up to over £250 depending on what type you want.
Printer ink can be expensive, especially if you want to print in colour. Unlike inkjet models, laser printers use toner cartridges to print, and each toner cartridge can usually print around 1400 pages, making them fairly inexpensive to run.
An all in one printer is a printer that can photocopy, scan and print. They’re great for home offices as they’ll take care of all your printing needs.
GSM stands for grams per square meter, and this relates to the paper’s thickness. As a rule of thumb, the higher the GSM, the thicker the paper.
NFC stands for near field communication. This is relevant for wireless printers as it’s the technology that lets your files pass from one device to another.
DPI stands for dots per square inch, and this relates to the resolution of a printed document. The higher the DPI, the higher the resolution of the print.
Direct printing is where print jobs are sent straight from your computer to a printer without an intervening print server. This is more relevant for office printing when you have multiple computers hooked up to a single printer.
Most inkjet printers can print out an average of 13 to 15 pages per minute which will work fine for your everyday printing needs. You can also find models that can print 30+ pages per minute if you’re looking for something a little faster.