Choosing a printer for occasional use is not exactly an easy task. Basically because there are different types of printers on the market, some aimed at a category of users who need to make numerous prints on a daily basis , while there are few printers that can be fully suitable or at least recommended for occasional use .
Although this point actually needs a little clarification: in the various online e-commerce it is possible to buy all-in-one ink-jet printers for less than 50 dollars . And we’re not talking about unknown brands or brands with reduced functionality.
Best Printers for Occasional Use | 2022
I hope your ideas for choosing which printer to buy are a little clearer at this point than before. Before leaving you, however, I would like to offer you a series of printers suitable for all scenarios of use, both inkjet and laser. Who knows, you might also find the one that’s right for you!
Best Printers for Occasional Use | 2022 Comparsion Table
Best Printers for Occasional Use | 2022 Reviews
Best Printers for Occasional Use | 2022 Guide
Printing in Color or Black and White for infrequent use?
Another aspect to consider before buying a printer for occasional use is if you need a color printer or we can settle for normal black and white printing .
This choice will affect the cost of purchasing the printer, the cost per print and the replacement cartridges, so you must also ask yourself this question before buying one. I remember that there are also very small printers for small printing
You have finally said goodbye to your old printer, you are ready to buy a new one but you still don’t know which one to take: is a classic inkjet better or is it better to switch to a laser printer? Is a “pure” printer preferable or a multifunctional printer? These are all legitimate questions and, if you want, I can help you find the answers you are looking for. Let’s start by clarifying a fundamental concept compatible with many types of products: the perfect printer does not exist, it all depends on the needs you have and the type of use you intend to make of the device.
It is clear that the characteristics that a photo printer must have are different than those for a model designed for printing documents, however, knowing a couple of notions it will be a breeze to guide you in buying the best printer for your very personal needs. If for you terms such as DPI, toner, print resolution are part of an unknown language, do not worry, because on this page I will guide you in the purchase of your next printer by explaining step by step everything you need to know.
To find out which printer to buy, you must first consider your needs and then evaluate the technical characteristics and prices of each product. Before pointing out the best printer models available in stores today, I will explain the meaning of the different features and components that you will find in the various printers on the market, and I will try to make sure that when you click the button to complete the purchase you will no longer have the even the slightest doubt, making your own the model that best suits your tastes.
Simple Printer or Multifunction?
Choosing a multifunction printer (with scanner included) is another parameter to consider. If you have school age children or do not have an office sometimes you need to make photocopies or scans of documents, a multifunction printer is also recommended in the home, on a par with a document shredder now mandatory . Incidentally, it is also a very popular feature for portable printers to carry with you in your bag.
The inkjet printer is the most classic, the cheapest and the most versatile. But when we buy something besides the economic aspect it is also necessary to address the durability aspect.
Most inkjet printers have two separate color cartridges: one for black and one for the primary colors cyan , magenta , and yellow .
The price of a black cartridge for a cheap inkjet printer can be around dollar 15 , while a color cartridge can cost around dollar 25 .
A new inkjet printer comes with two test cartridges in the box ( ie fully functional but not completely filled with ink ) so it is always worth buying a couple of replacement cartridges along with the new printer.
Considering that a cheap inkjet printer can cost less than dollar 50 and that a couple of replacement cartridges can cost around dollar 40, it goes without saying that the total price is very low .
However, another fundamental aspect must be considered, the number of prints , which with the cartridges for the aforementioned printer is very low (about 120 pages, but always depends on the type and quality of printing ). In addition, inkjet printers, if not used frequently, tend to have printing problems . The residual ink from the print head can dry out when not in use, and even if you start head cleaning, the problem may not go away. In this case, if the printer is used little, you need to buy a new print cartridge.
Pros and cons:
- Very economical;
- Inexpensive replacement cartridges.
- If left unused for a long time, you risk having to replace the print cartridges;
- low number of prints per cartridge;
- High printing cost;
- Slow print speed.
A color laser printer, on the other hand, is initially more expensive , in fact it is necessary to spend at least dollar 150 if you want to buy a good quality product , moreover with the cartridge included in the price you can print about 700 pages . In addition to costing much more, it uses print toners (cartridges) that are more expensive than normal inkjet cartridges but are capable of printing much more than inkjet cartridges. A replacement color toner that can print around 1000 pages costs around dollar 150.
A point in favor for the Laser Printer is when we talk about printing efficiency . With a laser printer we can print much more, so the cost per print is much lower than with an inkjet printer. Furthermore, laser printing, being “cleaner”, does not incur malfunctions and deteriorations as happens with inkjet print cartridges. Therefore ideal if you are looking for a printer for infrequent use, to be used occasionally.
What other technical features must be taken into consideration before buying a printer? The speed and resolution of printing, the availability of features such as automatic duplexing and more. Let’s try to analyze the various aspects one at a time.
Weight and size
The first features that I recommend you to consider, weight and dimensions , are not purely technical, but can help you avoid big problems during the first phases of introducing your new printer into the environment. The inkjet models are almost all compact, while among the laser printers there are very bulky devices. Before completing a purchase (especially if you do it online) carefully check that the dimensions and weight of the printer (for example if you have to place it on a desk that is not too sturdy) are not excessive for the space you have available.
Print speed and resolution
Let’s start with the technicalities. I’ll be quick and I hope you won’t get bored: a printer’s speed is expressed in pages per minute (ppm) or images per minute (ipm) and often has a different value for pages printed in black and white and pages printed in color. The print resolution is expressed in DPI(dots per inch) and often has two different values: one that represents the basic resolution of the prints and one that is “increased” that the printer is able to obtain thanks to algorithms for image enhancement. RAM, which in laser printers is almost always expandable, is one of the components that help determine the print speed of a printer, take that into consideration.
In multifunction printers, it is important to know the resolution (therefore the quality) of the scanned images. Also in this case the values to be taken into consideration are two: one which represents the basic resolution of the scans, the optical resolution, and one “increased” that the scanner is able to generate thanks to the image interpolation technologies.
Almost all printers are able to print on classic A4 format sheets , but support for other sheet formats (eg A3) is not always guaranteed. If you have specific needs in this regard, check the characteristics of the printer you are about to buy considering the size of the sheets you want to use for your prints.
There are a few things you need to know about paper handling , such as automatic duplexing. This function allows the printer to print on two sides of a sheet without the user having to reposition the paper in the sheet tray, and is very useful especially in the professional environment. The ADF, on the other hand, is a component that allows the scanner of multifunction printers to automatically load sheets. If you are interested in these two features, make sure they are present in the printer you are about to purchase.
Each printer has a tray for loading paper , which can hold a different number of sheets based on its configuration (manufacturers report how many sheets can be fed at the same time). The paper can also be characterized by its weight , or rather its “consistency”.
Another definition you need to know is that relating to the press or job cycle . This is a value that printer manufacturers (especially laser printers) use to indicate the number of pages that the device can guarantee within a given period of time (eg 1 month). If you plan to take full advantage of your printer, make sure its monthly workload is compatible with your needs.
Maintenance, consumption, noise
In addition to the theoretical issues, there are also some practical issues in buying a printer. One of these is the price of replacement cartridges or toner : many do not think about it but before buying a printer it would be advisable to inquire about the prices of toner or replacement cartridges. In fact, cheaper printers often turn out to be a missed deal because their replacement cartridges or toners cost almost as much as the printer itself!
If you plan to use your next printer for several hours a day, buy one with low energy consumption , otherwise your next electricity bill could be higher than expected. There are no big differences in this particular area between models of the same market range, however, before avoiding unpleasant inconveniences, I recommend that you always take a look at this feature as well.
Another apparently trivial detail that many people do not think about is the noise level of a printer when printing documents. If you intend to use your next printer for several hours a day and do not want to “destroy” your eardrums (or destroy them for those around you), before proceeding with the purchase inform yourself about the degree of noise of the device by consulting reviews and comments online