Learning About Printers

Use a printer for everything from simple office memos to highly technical and colorful presentations and proposals. You can also use it at home to print everything from school reports to family photos. They come in different sizes and with varying sets of features. While some devices are general-purpose machines, others have advanced functions that make them ideal for specific applications.

Types of Printers

The two broad classes of printers are inkjets and lasers. An inkjet printer transfers images and text onto paper by spraying droplets of ink, while a black-and-white or color laser printer uses toner. Laser models are typically faster and better suited for large volumes, while inkjets handle color graphics better. Opt for an inkjet if you regularly print photos and documents with text and graphics. A laser machine is the better option if you only output black-and-white documents.

Besides single-function models, there are also all-in-one units that print, copy, scan, and fax documents. These multifunction devices are more cost effective and take up less space than equipping your office with separate scanner, copier, and fax machines. If you're a professional photographer or you print many pictures, choose a photo printer. This produces high-quality photographs, and can handle different types of photo paper. There are also portable printers that output postcard-sized photos. These mobile printers can create photos from smartphones and tablets.

Wide-Format Printers

Also called large-format printers, this equipment can output on larger-than-normal paper. While regular machines mostly handle letter and legal-sized sheets, wide-format printers accept wide-dimension pages. Those found in busy offices are usually compatible with paper that's 18 to 24 inches in width. Wide-format printing businesses use models that take sheets up to 100 inches wide. These devices are ideal for printing posters, wallpaper, banners, and architectural drawings.

Bluetooth vs. Wireless Printers

A wireless printer has a built-in wireless adapter for connecting to Wi-Fi networks, while a Bluetooth printer connects to a compatible device with Bluetooth. These connections eliminate the clutter and inconvenience of wired machines. Place a wireless unit anywhere in your home or office and have multiple users connect to it without running cables. Models that support mobile output also accept print requests from smartphones and tablets. If you choose an internet-connected unit, you can also send documents to it when you're out of the office or away from home.

Improve your productivity and workflow by picking the right printer for your needs. When selecting a model, consider the number of users and the kinds of documents you regularly create. Check out the extensive selection of inkjet and laser printers and accessories at Image Pro to find the unit with all the features you need.