Printer Answers #01 – Why have a printer at all? A great place to start….
A printer is an essential item for most people who own a computer. You may want to print an email, an airline ticket or a return-parcel label.

But is it necessary at all?

Depending on what you need to print will determine whether you need a printer at all.
With access to services that will print for you, it may be less hassle to go to a print shop and get it printed from your phone or memory card.

Without a printer there are no setting up issues, connection problems, ink levels to worry about or cost of replacement. And you don’t have to find space in a small office or home study.

This would also encourage less use of paper. Whatever happened to the paperless society?

The reason you purchase a printer is to get the ticket, label or photo. The printer is just the means to an end. You want a machine which is the easiest, quickest, cheapest, fastest, or all of the above.

The reason you choose a printer is what it does for you not what clever buttons it has.
A great way to start is to establish what you need your printer to do. Whether it’s photos, presentations, posters, emails or travel documents.

There are various types of technology that will allow you get your ticket, label or photo.
There’s the liquid ink printer and these come in 3 variants. There’s the 1 cartridge system, 2 cartridge system or the individual-coloured ink version, which vary from 4 to 5, 6, 8 or even 12 individual ink tanks.

The 1-cartridge system is for black (mono) printing only and have been available more recently. It is usually for an office or student with higher volume requirement then your regular home user.

The 2-cartridge system is the entry level colour printer, where one cartridge contains black ink and the other contains 3 colour chambers, Cyan (blue), Magenta (red) & Yellow. These have sponges that contain the ink and include the electrics and printhead that do the actual printing. These printers are at the cheaper end of the market but the cartridges cost more as they contain the printhead and you get less ink than the tank versions.

The individual-coloured type printers, with each separate colour, have a printhead that stays in the printer. When you change cartridges, you are just changing the ink tank. The cartridge has no function other than to hold the ink. These are usually better quality printers and have more economical running costs once over 20 pages per month.

The latest variant of this technology comes with bigger volumes of ink and come into the Eco tank category, where topping up ink is done with bottles. This method provides the best value but only above a certain volume of printing.

Other ways to print include the laser or toner (a very fine powder) printers, which will be found described in a separate blog.