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Selecting A Printer

Computer printers come in all types, sizes and prices, but finding the right one for your needs here at TigerDirect.com shouldn’t be difficult as long as you know how you’ll be using it. Do you need just a printer, or would a multifunction “All-In-One” printer (print/copy/scan/fax) be more useful? Do you need color printing, or will black and white suffice? Where will the printer be placed, and how much room do you have? Is cost a concern? Once you’ve answered these basic questions, then you can start considering your options.

There are two types of printers commonly used for home and office: laser and inkjet. Inkjet printers use liquid ink sprayed through microscopic nozzles, while laser printers use a toner cartridge (filled with fine powder) and a heated fuser to transfer words or images onto the paper. Laser printers used to be more expensive, but now you can get a basic laser printer for roughly the same price as a basic inkjet printer. Budget laser printers can only print black and white, however, so if you need color printing you’ll either need to buy a more expensive color laser printer or go with an inkjet printer.

Another consideration is the cost of ink and toner. A laser printer’s toner cartridge typically lasts far longer than the smaller cartridges that come with inkjet printers, but you may end up spending more on replacement parts over time. The printing cost-per-page is typically lower for laser printers but if you’re only printing black and white, then an inkjet’s cost-per-page isn’t much higher. Inkjet cartridges are small and don’t last as long as a laser toner cartridge, so the cost of replacement cartridges can add up over the life of your printer.

If your printer is serving multiple users, you may want to consider a network printer, which has a built-in network interface (typically wireless or Ethernet). And wireless printers are increasingly common, making it easy for other users in the same home or office to share a single printer without running cables everywhere.

Another advantage of today’s generation of printers is that many of them now have slots for external media such as memory sticks or memory cards, making it easy to print photos from your digital camera or to transfer them directly to your computer.

TigerDirect offers a wide variety of printers, ink and accessories from leading manufacturers such as Brother, Canon, Dell, Epson, HP, Lexmark, Ricoh, Samsung, Xerox and others. Use the convenient navigation panel at left to shop by type, brand, price, features, best sellers and more.