Printer Friendly

Focus on keeping print costs down.

Byline: Joanne Lezemore

Choosing a printer that will produce super snaps and dazzling documents can seem like a tough task, so here's a quick run-down to how to make your decision.

There are two main types of printer - inkjet and laser. Laser printers are bigger and generally more expensive than inkjets.

They print documents quickly, though most laser models can't print photos on glossy paper.

Inkjet printers are more versatile machines that can print text, graphics and photos on a range of papers. Before buying any printer, ask yourself what you really need it for.

If you only want to print text, then you can save as much as pounds 100 buying a standard inkjet printer. If you like to print photos, then look for a model that has PictBridge, which will enable you to print photos directly from a compatible camera, or memory card slots that will take the memory card straight from your camera or phone.

Ink cartridges can be really expensive, and Which? has been criticising the high cost of printing for years.

A new set could easily cost you as much as a new printer, but you can ease the strain on your wallet by choosing a model with the features, quality and running costs that suit your needs and the sorts of documents you print.

Just as some printers are better suited to printing text than photos, a printer that produces low cost text prints may not be the cheapest when printing photos.

Prices for the same type of cartridge can more than triple depending on where you buy, so shop around to get a good price on new cartridges. There are a number of online retailers stocking branded ink, and you can even get your old cartridges refilled.

When you buy your printer, pick up a set of ink cartridges at the same time - you might even be able to negotiate a discount on them.

Sometimes the cartridges that come with the printer are small, trial-size ones, which will run out quickly.

To get a free copy of the 'Which? easy use PC guide', call 0800 389 8855 and quote code PC64F.
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Publication:Birmingham Mail (England)
Date:Jun 6, 2011
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