Printers: A Review

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Every office must have some form of printer. There is no way around it.

As attractive as the concept of paperless offices may be, the fact is paper is still the medium of choice. People like to hold a piece of paper in their hand, read and thumb through each page. It would seem comfort comes from the physical contact of a piece of paper.

What printer is best for you? There are considerations besides the cost.

How much space do you have? A shelf with a 2 foot clearance above and a shelf width of about 2 feet will proved most all-in-one and single printers plenty of room. This works in any small office space. Even if the shelf does not have a clearance measuring the suggested 2 feet, you can still manage with less space. The issue is being able to top load documents, opening the lid to replace cartridges and clear paper jams.

The information provided by printer manufacturers include ppm: pages per minute; dpi: dots per inch; size of printer: depth, height, length or width; and cost. This information is only the basics of what you should know about the printer you purchase.

When you bring your printer home to set it up is a bit late to learn that the printer requires print heads and cartridges, four or five cartridges at that. The cost of each cartridge is nearly as much as the printer, and the only cartridges you can use during the warranty are the manufacturers. Generic, re-manufactured cartridges will void your warranty.

Do your homework, visit the website of the printer manufacturer. Price is a strong persuasion, but it should not be the only consideration. How much are the cartridges and print heads? How long does the ink last? How often should I print to keep the machine in top operating condition?

A visit to the HP document page of my printer instructed me that to keep the print heads healthy and use minimal ink printing should occur frequently, at the least once a week. When left to sit longer the ink evaporates, it takes more ink to prime the print heads, and clean them, than it would if I printed a page every other day or so.

Discover and get to know the printer of your choice. The information available at time of purchase is limited. To learn about the care and keeping of your printer, the cartridges, warranty, and more, go to the website. Canon, Kodak, Hewlett Packard, Dell, Epson, Polaroid, each one has more information about your particular printer of interest at the respective websites.

I did not know the cost of the cartridges or that this machine required two print heads and cartridges. Imagine my embarrassment when I accidentally discovered the cartridge door. I grasped both sides of the printer to move it forward and my left hand slipped, opening a small panel where four cartridges sit. When I called tech I kept asking where the cartridges went, not one person I spoke to got it.

Another important point, before you agree to buy if you are at the store,  check for documentation, even if you have to open the box to check. Also check the cartridges, print heads, are they installed or will you have to do it, because they should not be installed. Look the box over for tampering. In my case the tape job was good and I did not notice it had been opened, used and returned. No documentation, no information, and the cartridges were already installed, used, and dried up.

Remember do not purchase by price alone. I listen to more complaints about not knowing how to operate the printer or in my case finding out after the fact, the need to print more often.

Need someone to do the research? I am for rent.