Find the right printer for you

Failing to plan ahead when purchasing a printer can cost you in the long run, as some models can easily break or require ink that’s worth a king’s ransom.

To get started you should consider how much you will use your new printer. If, for example, you print items less than once a month, buying a printer might not be the best option. You might find it more cost effective to simply make use of the printers at Officeworks, or a local printing company.

This will allow you to save money on the initial cost of buying a printer, and will allow you to get photos printed at a higher quality than you could print them with your own printer. This option, however, will cost you more money per page printed.

For a rough idea of the costs involved with this option, getting an A4 page printed at Officeworks will cost you $0.10 a page for black and white (B&W), or $0.88 for colour. Printing from your own printer will generally cost you between $0.04 to $0.20 per page depending on the mix of monochrome and colour.

If you decide to purchase your own printer, the next step is to consider:

Inkjet or Laser.

Both printer types are suitable for different types of use, so this table should help you which will be right for you.

Inkjet

Laser

Price of printer

Can be purchased for as low as $20, models with more functions will start at $100.

B&W models start at around $50.
Colour models start at $150.

Price of ink per page

Varies from model to model, to find this out you can divide the amount of pages per cartridge (found on the box of ink, or the website you purchase from) by the price of the ink cartridge.

Speed

Between 6-10 pages per minute.

20+ pages per minute.

Quality

Unfortunately sometimes you do get what you pay for, and the more expensive printers will typically print better images. However, Inkjet printers will generally produce a better print and are less likely to distort images, but when printing small B&W text, lasers will be more accurate.

Ink

Ink is generally going to be the key factor in deciding which printer you’ll want.

One thing to keep in mind is that very cheap printers may come with ink tanks which aren’t entirely full, So if you were planning on buying a new $20 printer every time you run out of ink, this might not be the best plan.

Salesmen will often tell you that using a brand of ink that isn’t your printer manufacturers’ will void your warranty. Not only is this untrue, it is actually illegal in Australia under consumer law. So don’t be afraid to shop around for cheap ink, websites such as InkStation offer fully compatible ink cartridges for up to 50 per cent less than companies such as Canon or HP.

From here it’s up to you. Using the tips above you’ll be able to generate an accurate idea of what a printer will cost you to run and which type will fulfill your needs. The next step is the purchase. Officeworks have a large selection of printers both in store and online, and they offer free next day delivery for purchases over $55.

Written by ryanbo



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