2006-04-04 at 1:32:00 pm #15279
Printers replaced by ‘all-in-one machines’
March 2006 – If you have a home computer the most important thing you can use with it is the printer. If you have a digital camera, your choice of a printer is crucial. Some of these machines can do so many tasks that they’re not merely called “printers” anymore but “all-in-one” machines.
What makes these machines “all-in-one” is that they not only print, but they’re also copiers, scanners and, in many cases, fax machines.
“When you consider the power of these units and then think of four separate devices that you’d have to make room for, or stack on top of each other, they really are quite small for what they do,” said John Wallace, Micro Center Computer Stores.
So the first question you need to ask yourself is: what do I want to do with this thing?
“I want good scan quality, good print quality, easy operation,” said Beverly Webb, shopper.
“I’m looking to take pictures, looking for clarity, I want something really, really clear,” said Colin Wallace, shopper.
Neither Colin nor Beverly say they need a fax machine. So that’s a feature they could live without and it’s the one feature you need to decide upon up-front because some all-in-ones have it and some don’t.
Why pay for something you don’t need? And, if you don’t fax very often – you can buy software for your computer that can accomplish the task.
If you’re buying a printer for photographs, then print quality should be a big issue for you. And this is a case where you get what you pay for.
“If you’re paying $50 for a printer, you’re not getting the best photo quality. if you’re willing to put a bit more money into it, you’ll get better photo quality out of it,” said Kirsten Hemmig, Micro Center Computer Stores.
That doesn’t mean a $50 printer is bad. Some stores are giving away printers when you buy a computer. It’s just that the better photo-quality printers will cost you. At the micro center store, they run between $150 and $300. Generally, the more you pay, the more features you can get. This canon all-in-one allows you to crop and improve your photographs right on the printer, without a computer.
“You can do red eye reduction, increase the sharpness of the photograph,” said Hemmig.
If you’re into photographs, make sure your new all-in-one printer has these memory card slots built-in so you can take the memory card with pictures from your digital camera and put it right in the printer.
You can also hook-up your camera to the printer using a USB cable, but it’s a bit slower and drains your camera battery.
Some printer brands will use up to 6 ink cartridge tanks. Some only have 2. With more cartridges, you only have to replace that one color when it runs out. Regardless of which brand you choose – this may be the most important advice from the salespeople here: use the brand of paper and ink from that same manufacturer.
“It’s absolutely critical: using inks from that manufacturer, using paper from that manufacturer is very important to overall quality. stick with it, you’ll be very pleased with the results,” said Hemmig.
Experts say if you have a home business, where you’re printing a lot of black and white documents, then you’re probably better off buying a laser printer. But if your printing family photographs and you want quality that rivals a photo lab, a good inkjet printer is the way to go.