A Guide to Buying a Home Printer that Works with All Your Devices

guide buying home printer device printer compatibility

Do you need a home printer? Isn't it a hassle to get home from school or work only to realize you need to print something?

Fortunately, buying a home printer isn't too complicated. There are a few things you have to keep in mind but we're here to clear it for you. Read our guide below to know exactly what you need and what kind of printers can meet your demands:


Type of Printer

Buying a printer for home use can get a little complicated. Unlike at an office, printing at home can vary. You might focus on printing documents but your children or siblings might need to print photos and stickers. 

Pick the type of home printer according to home usage.

If you prioritize text documents and you want something that can print quickly, consider getting a laser printer. These use ink toners, like this product, and binds the powder ink to the paper after running the image or text through an interior drum.

Do you often print photos and use all sorts of paper types? An inkjet printer is the better choice. They're slower when it comes to printing documents but the photo quality you'll get is second to none.

The oldest type of home printer you can still find is the dot matrix, which produces low-quality output. There's no logical reason to get one of these. They can get noisy and are too slow to print even basic text documents.


Resolution

Figured out which type of printer to get? Don't buy the first one you see, even if it's in the right category. The next step is to determine the optimal printing resolution.

Nowadays, the lowest resolution output you'll find is around 600dpi (dots per inch). This means there are 600 dots of ink filling one square inch. For that resolution, you'll get great-looking documents and decent photos.

Some printers print photos at a solid 300dpi. This was once the industry standard but that's quickly changing. One of the rising trends nowadays is to print photos at 600dpi to 900dpi. 

However, you'll need something better if you plan to print stickers for a home business or if you need high-quality images for work and school. For consistent photo printing, make sure to look for a printer that can produce up to 1,200dpi.

Some printers can go above 1,200dpi but you won't notice the difference unless you print on large-scale materials. For a home printer that only prints on standard A4 and similarly-sized pages, you can stick with 1,200dpi.

Again, consider the size of the images you'll print and the capabilities of the printer you want. Laser printers often can't print at high resolutions but inkjets can.


Printing Speed

Let's get one thing out of the way: laser printers are lightning-fast. The best ones can print up to 25 pages of text documents in a minute. Keep in mind that this rate refers to printing at the lowest settings.

In comparison, an inkjet printing text documents at the same settings normally produces 8 to 12 pages per minute. If you're printing photos, you might only get to print one page per minute, depending on the colors and quality of the image.

To get a standard measurement and to guarantee you're looking at a credited print speed, make sure the printer you have features an ISO certification. The International Organization of Standardization provides a guideline all manufacturers must meet when testing for printing speed.

Keep in mind the volume of documents you intend to print. If you need to get more done in less time, a laser printer is an optimal choice. Otherwise, inkjets are better despite their slower pace due to the printing quality they provide.

Make sure you also consider printing speed when looking at portable printers too. These might not be your ideal home printer but if you need to print on the go, you don't want to get hung up due to their printing speed.


Connectivity

Learning how to buy a printer also involves proper connectivity issues.

In general, most printers offer a standard USB 2.0 connection. This should allow the majority of printers to connect to any laptop or desktop computer nowadays. If you use an OTG adapter then you could also connect them to your mobile device as well.

However, some printers that feature higher-end capabilities might offer a USB 3.0 connection. These allow for faster connections. 

Keep in mind that a USB 3.0 port can still read a USB 2.0 cable. 

Other home printers feature wireless connectivity. They might feature Wi-Fi or Bluetooth capabilities. This allows you to print without all the cables.

Why get a printer with wireless connections? It allows you to keep your printer in one spot and you can still connect to print, even if you're using a laptop in another room. It also means multiple devices can connect and you don't have to struggle with only one cable.

Some wireless printers can also synchronize with mobile devices. This works great for people who work at home and need to print files off their phone or tablet.


System Compatibility

While this might not be a big issue for some, it's still a good habit to make sure the printer you like works with your operating system. For most people, printers available in stores should work well with Windows 10, Mac, and Linux. 

However, you could still find a printer that only works with Windows 10 or requires additional device drivers if you want to connect them to Linux.

Always check before buying a printer to avoid headaches at home. If you want a printer that isn't compatible with your system right out of the box, ask a store assistant to help you figure out how to get it running.


Get the Best Home Printer!

Buying the best home printer is simple as long as you know what to look for. The good news is there are fewer complications nowadays compared to the list of compatibility issues from the 1990s. 

That said, buying and completing your home office or workspace doesn't stop with the right printer. 

You'll need more equipment to get tasks done. Feel free to read more of our guides here to discover how to get the best equipment in the market!

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