Printers and Scanners
Latest generation of machines is super-sophisticated
Printers and scanners have never been as affordable or as sophisticated as they are today, and while this is great for the consumer, it can lead to a headache when deciding which one to buy.
Before you go rushing out to the store, think about what you actually need your printer or scanner for. Will you be scanning and printing out documents for work, or do you want to print out those fantastic holiday images you snapped? What useful features are you likely to want? Many printers and scanners come with wireless connectivity, memory card slots and more.
How do I choose?
In order to make things easier for you, here’s a quick run down on the different sorts of printers and scanners available to buy.
Inkjet printers – ideal for cost-effective colour printing in the home. These use replaceable cartridges and come in just about every shape and size you can imagine! Extra features include mini LCD displays, memory card slots etc. The printers themselves are usually fairly cheap, but the ink cartridges probably won’t be…
Laser printers – If you want fast output, black and white prints, this is what you need. Laser printers work more like a traditional photocopier and can be relied on to produce very good quality black and white images. Colour laser printers are also available, but while they are okay for printing colour graphics and text, they generally perform poorly when it comes to printing photos.
Mobile printers – if you need a printing capability on the go, then a lunchbox-sized mobile printer is the answer. These can handle A4 paper, but more often than not are only black and white.
Photo printers – These compact new printers are great for making prints out of your digital camera snaps – in fact, that’s exactly what they were designed for! Simply connect your camera directly, or stick the memory card in, and get printing!
Wireless printers – These offer convenience with no cables required, making them perfect for office situations where multiple users may need to access the printer.
Flatbed scanners – Flatbed scanners are by far the most common type and can handle 8.5×11 paper as standard.
Photo scanners – Much like the flatbed scanner, only these are specially designed for scanning photos rather than documents, and as such, the quality is usually much better.
Multifunction printers – Giving you the best of both worlds, with printing and scanning capabilities all in one. And not only that, for most of them can send faxes too. Generally, you have a choice of laser printing or inkjet, though some models come with both.
Cannon have long been seen as master in the art of scanning, and they currently offer a range of good quality scanners to meet all needs and budgets, starting with the Canon CanoScan LiDE 100, a great quality home scanner designed for copying and scanning photos, available at $59.99, all the way up to the super-fast Canon CanoScan LiDE 100, aimed at businesses and costing around $645.
The Epson Perfection V300 Photo, at $99.99, and the Epson WorkForce GT-1500 at $349.99 are also great contenders.
Epson are also one of the best printer manufacturers around too. The Epson WorkForce 840 All-in-One Printer, costing from $129.95 up to $310 is consistently voted as one of the best around, a great all-purpose inkjet.
For laser printing meanwhile, it’s hard to beat the HP LaserJet Pro P1606dn, available at a very reasonable starting price of $149.99
Where to buy printers and scanners?
We found some great prices for both printers and scanners at the Superwarehouse, while BestBuy also had a good range of options and tons of advice to boot.