Choose the profile that fits you the best
Home user
Small business
Student

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Do you need an all-in-one printer? Scan, copy, print
Yes
No

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What will you mostly be printing?
Text documents
Photos
Colored graphics

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Do you need a stationary or portable printer?
Stationary
Portable

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What type of connectivity do you prefer?
Wireless, so I can also print from my mobile devices
I prefer wired connectivity

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How to choose a printer

Even though the world gets more and more digital, the need for printed documents or photos will still exist. Take photos for example, sometimes you want to have physical copies of your holiday photos to frame or as safe keeping in case your phone or computer crashes and you lose all your photos.

But what printer should you buy? There are a lot of printers that suit different tasks better than others. Some are portable, some print exceptional quality photos, some can copy and scan, and so on. So let’s delve into the world of printers to find the right printer for your needs.

If you want to skip this read and be shown the best printer for you, head back up to the top of the page and try our printer finder.

All-in-one printers

These types of printers have become increasingly more popular the past years, almost to a point where they are considered the norm. For those who don’t know, these combine printing, scanning and copying all in one machine. Some people might need all those capabilities, others do not. Ask yourself if you really need to scan and copy, or you simply just need to print.

Of course it goes without saying that these machines are bigger than a regular print-only machine. Maybe you have very limited space in your office, especially vertical space which it uses more of.

buy all in one printerBut when it comes to value for money, all-in-one printers are your best purchase.If you’re thinking you might want to scan a document or make copies sometime in the future and you got the space for this kind a printer, go for it. Especially because price difference do no longer play a big part between all-in-one and print-only printers. You can find machines that only print but still is more pricey than an all-in-one.

Inkjet vs laser

You’ve probably heard that laser printers are in a class of their own when it comes to speed. That might still be true, but the gap between laser and inkjet in terms of speed is shrinking rapidly.

Laser printers is still your best bet if you’re in an office setting, because you can buy a monochrome laser printer for pretty cheap, and since you might only need to print documents in black and white, this kind of printer should be sufficient for your needs. Cost per page is also better than color inkjet ones. Color laser is your second choice if you’re running a small business, but you should expect to pay a fair bit more.

Inkjet printers are the king of home printers. They’re the most common and the most affordable. You and you can even find ones for less than $50. These printers can print everything, monochrome documents, pie charts and even high quality photos if the print DPI is high enough, something we will talk about later when we discuss photo printers.

To summarize, the choice between these two printer types comes down to how much you will print. In a home setting an inkjet printer should be more than enough.

Wireless printers and Bluetooth printers

Connectivity is always a topic when it comes to modern home appliances. Most people opting for wireless connectivity over the old fashioned cable. And wireless printers are now all over the market, so should you also get one?

The answer to this is yes, without a doubt. Probably every household has more than one device, such as smartphones and computers. Of course you would like to be able to print something from your phone without having to first send it to your PC because that’s the only device which is connected to the printer.

So how exactly does a wireless printer works? Most of them connect to your wireless home network. Others use something called Wi-Fi direct which directly connects to your device without needing a home Wi-Fi. Please note that your device must also support Wi-Fi direct for this to work.

Once your printer is connected to your wireless network, you can print anything you want from any device that has Wi-Fi connectivity. Some printers might be more difficult to set up than others, so if you’re not that good with computers and electronics, you might want to ask someone to help you setting it up.

Bluetooth is also another connectivity type that you might find in some printers, mostly portable ones. These can also be connected to any device that support Bluetooth connectivity, such as your phone, tablet or in most, but not all cases, laptops. If you have a stationary computer, you should avoid this kind of printer because your PC probably do not have Bluetooth connectivity.

Portable or stationary

We will lightly touch on this subject, as we believe most of you already know which one you need or want.

If you’re looking for a printer for home use of your office, the answer is clear, you go for a stationary printer because that is the one that will give you the best print quality, and it will also give you the option to scan and copy.

buy portable printerPortable printers do not scan and copy. They are purely for printing. However if you’re a person who travel a lot and need to print documents before, let’s say, an important meeting, this is the printer type for you. You can bring it along with your laptop wherever you go. The quality is so-so but for text documents and simple graphical documents, this is enough.

There are also some portable printers meant for printing photos, these obviously has better quality and will give you great looking photos. But do not be confused and think all of them can print documents too. Most of these type of printers only support 2×3 in. photo papers.

Photo printers

As we mentioned above, you can find portable photo printers that in most cases connect via Bluetooth and will give you great looking printed photos. These are a great gift for teenagers who use their smartphone to capture photos, and maybe want to make a collage with them later. Many printers like this use no ink. Instead they use a special kind of paper called Zink.

buy photo printerYou will also find bigger printers that will print amazing looking photos. These are the ones you’re probably will be going for, as they can connect to your computer, and in some cases your digital SLR camera, if it support Wi-Fi connectivity. What you should be looking for is a high print DPI. DPI stands for dots per inch, and this tells you how high resolution the printed photo will have. Minimum DPI for photo printers should be 1200, but preferably you would want a DPI of 2400 for best result.

These bigger photo printers can print in standard A4 size or various other sizes like 4×6 inches, giving you a great range of photo sizes to choose from.

If you rather want to print in 3D, check out our 3D printer finder.