Choosing a printer

When choosing a printer, you have three main decisions to make:

  • Laser or inkjet? Laser printers (at a reasonable price) only do
    black and white (and grey), but are much cheaper to run (maybe 2p for a typical page) whereas inkjets do colour but are expensive to run (maybe 25p for a typical page). Everyone seems to buy inkjets but, if you don’t need colour I’d always consider a laser.
  • Printer-only or an “all in one” device? An “all-in-one” or
    “multifunction” devices is a printer plus copier plus scanner (and
    sometimes plus fax, but who uses fax any more?) Even a laser will
    scan in colour.
  • Local or network? Local printers attach to a computer’s USB socket, and are only used by that computer. Network printers attach to a router (by wi-fi or sometime by Ethernet c able) and can be used by all computers on the network. Some can also be used by smartphones and tablets.