Inkjet Printer.

By Team Digit Published Date
01 - Dec - 2006
| Last Updated
01 - Dec - 2006
Inkjet Printer.
Most SoHo setups have moved on to laser printers, while home users still prefer inkjet printers due to the lower initial cost. There is a large variety of inkjet printers available in the market, ranging from very basic inkjets for home use to those with network support for professional setups.

Inkjet printers have stiff competition today from inkjet MFDs, which promise convenience, space savings, and more by incorporating other devices. Of course, if you only need to print, as might be the case with many a home user, an MFD makes no sense.

Cost per page is a critical parameter to consider if the printer will be used in a SoHo environment. Laser printers are cheaper when it comes to cost per page, but they have a higher initial cost. For a typical entry-level printer, the cost per page hovers around Rs 2.50; colour printouts will work out still higher. Look for a professional business inkjet printer, defined by very high duty cycles and high cost. Though the initial investment is higher, it will work out in your favour in the long run. The ink cartridges used in entry-level printers can't handle heavy loads.

Myths And Realities

Refilled cartridges have an adverse effect on a printer
There is no solid evidence to prove this. There could be problems with print quality if the cartridge is not refilled properly, though. The ink used to refill the cartridges is the cause of concern here. The refilled ink should match the characteristics of the ink used in the original cartridges. If the characteristics don't match, it can affect the efficiency of the printer in terms of both speed and quality. This is why manufacturers recommend the use of original cartridges-and also to ensure sales, of course! Try getting your cartridges refilled by a reputed company, not just any old shop you find that does it. To be on the entirely safe side, though, use original cartridges-you also won't have any warranty issues.

Laser printers give better print quality than inkjets
Not correct at all. Inkjet printers can have better print quality in terms of resolution. While most laser printers top out at a resolution of 1200 dpi, inkjets can go up to 2400 dpi for black prints.

Only photo printers should be used for photo printing
Not necessarily. All inkjet printers available in the market can print photos at high resolutions. This is not very economical, though, as photo printing consumes a lot of ink.

Future Trends
With most devices going wireless, printers, too, have jumped on the bandwagon. Wireless printers use Bluetooth or Wi-Fi to connect to a computer. This can ease the clutter caused by cables. To enable wireless usage, though, the computer(s) need to have Wi-Fi capability. A typical Wi-Fi card for a computer can set you back by a couple of thousand rupees.

What To Look For

Print speeds
Manufacturers always advertise the maximum printing speed in draft mode. Print speeds take a hit as the quality of the print increases. For example, a printer with a print speed of 15 ppm (pages per minute) at draft quality setting drops down to just 9 to 10 ppm while printing at 'Normal' quality. A typical entry-level printer can deliver 9 ppm at draft quality, whereas mid-range printers can print 15 pages a minute! If you require even faster printing speeds, laser printers are the only option.

Print sizes
While most printers support normal paper sizes like A4 and A5, very few printers allow printing up to A3 size (13 x 19 inches). For most homes and offices, the A4 and legal sizes are adequate. If you require A3 support, ensure you communicate this requirement to the dealer.

Maximum resolution
While low-end printers support a maximum resolution of 1200 dpi for black printing, high-end printers support up to 2400 dpi. For regular printouts, a resolution of 300 dpi should be enough, while for important documents like official correspondence, 1200 dpi is desirable. Photo printing resolutions are identical for all printers, at 4800 x 1200 dpi for a 4 x 6 photograph.

A demo printout
Before you buy an inkjet printer, ask the dealer for a test printout. This facility might not be available with your local dealer, but most printer vendors have product demonstration stores, where you can check out live product performance.

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