First off, a huge thank you to Carolina for the great name idea. I am adopting her recommended name, although I did modify it slightly. This new column will focus on new technology ideas and concepts. The Tech Wiz column, however, is more about setup and use not the more esoteric business technical reviews I do at other times. Without further adieu, welcome to the wacky world of the Tech Wiz. Wizard of explanation and overkill. Overkill in that I am going to cover one topic as the Tech Wiz in much greater depth. Today’s Tech Wiz topic is that of printers. What printer does the tech wiz recommend and are there things to consider when getting that printer?
Printers have three distinct types of Thermal, Laser, and Inkjet.
- Thermal printers require specific paper to print on and use heat transfer to print.
- Lasers take a powder and using a laser to burn the powder onto the paper.
- Inkjets like lasers use dots of ink; they don’t use a laser to burn the powder, instead use dots of liquid to form what you are printing.
The first thing to consider is cost. Cost of a printer has two components, how much does the printer cost, and how much do the supplies cost? The cost of supplies, however, is a huge variable. There was a time when in our house we printed between 2000 and 3000 sheets of paper every month. Now e probably print less than 300 in a month. Let’s use that lower number to price a printer.
Laser most expenivoe to buy initially
Therma least flexible (normally only prints specific things like lables)
Inkjet Least expenisve to buy
Let’s, for the sake of argument, say that in your house you print 3000 sheets of paper a year. Based on that let’s cost the print per page cost.
Laser Most laser printers come with a starter toner cartridge that normally printers ~3000 sheets. No additional cost
Thermal, The cost for this one, is the cost of the additional paper
Inkjet Inkjets focus on a cheap printer; cost is the Ink, you would need 4 or more Ink refills beyond the initially included ink.
In this model, it is pretty close to breaking even with Laser and Inkjet printer costs. The thermal is specialized and most likely is more expensive regardless, but if you need the specific outputs, you won’t care. In year two, as long as you don’t burn up the printer (maximum prints is something to research – how many prints before I have to replace the drum of a laser). If you intend to move into the second year and a second 3000 sheet of printing, the laser is cheaper than the Inkjet. You have to pay more upfront for a laser, but over time it becomes cheaper. Unless you are occasionally printing in color then overall the inkjet is cheaper.