Printers have come a long way from being simple devices that churned out black-and-white documents. Today, the printer market offers a vast array of options, catering to various needs and preferences. Whether you’re a student looking to print assignments, a professional needing high-quality prints, or a family in search of an all-in-one printer for both work and play, Laser Ink’s printer buying guide will help you navigate the complex world of printing technology.

1. Determine Your Printing Needs

The first step in choosing the right printer is to understand your specific requirements. Consider the following factors:

A. Printing Purpose

Text Documents: If you primarily print text documents, a monochrome laser printer or a basic inkjet printer should suffice. These are cost-effective and provide sharp text.

Photos: For photo printing, you’ll want an inkjet printer with high-resolution capabilities and colour accuracy. Some specialized photo printers even use multiple ink tanks for precise colour reproduction.

Graphics and Design: If you work with graphics or design, consider a high-end colour laser printer or an inkjet printer with advanced colour options.

Scanning and Copying: If you need scanning and copying capabilities, an all-in-one (AIO) printer with scanning and copying features is ideal.

B. Volume of Printing

Determine how much you’ll be printing on a regular basis:

  • Low Volume: Occasional printing tasks can be handled by budget-friendly printers with smaller paper trays.
  • Medium Volume: For moderate use, consider printers with larger paper capacities and faster printing speeds.
  • High Volume: If you print frequently or in large volumes, invest in a printer designed for heavy-duty use, such as a business-class laser printer or a workgroup printer.
C. Connectivity Needs

Consider your connectivity requirements:

  • Wired: If you prefer a stable and direct connection, choose a printer with USB or Ethernet ports.
  • Wireless: For the convenience of printing from various devices, including smartphones and tablets, opt for a printer with Wi-Fi or Bluetooth capabilities.
  • Cloud Printing: Some printers are compatible with cloud printing services like Google Cloud Print or Apple AirPrint.
2. Printer Types

Once you’ve identified your needs, it’s time to explore the various types of printers available:

A. Inkjet Printers

Inkjet printers are versatile and suitable for most home users. They can produce high-quality colour prints, making them ideal for photos and graphics. Some inkjets also offer all-in-one functionality.


  • Excellent colour printing.
  • Compact and affordable options.
  • Suitable for occasional use.


  • Ink can be expensive over time.
  • Slower printing speeds compared to lasers.
B. Laser Printers

Laser printers are known for their speed and cost efficiency, making them popular in office environments. They’re excellent for high-volume printing of text documents.


  • Fast printing speeds.
  • Cost-effective in the long run.
  • Ideal for text-heavy documents.


  • Limited colour printing quality.
  • Initial cost can be higher than inkjets.
C. All-in-One Printers (AIO)

AIO printers combine printing, scanning, copying, and sometimes faxing functions into a single device. They are versatile and suitable for home offices and small businesses.


  • Space-saving and multifunctional.
  • Convenient for home use.
  • Often offer wireless connectivity.


  • May lack advanced features found in dedicated printers.
  • Higher upfront cost.
D. Photo Printers

Designed for photo enthusiasts, these printers produce high-quality photo prints with exceptional colour accuracy. They’re often used by photographers and artists.


  • Superior photo quality.
  • Specialised colour and detail options.
  • Dedicated to producing professional-grade photos.


  • Limited versatility (not ideal for text documents).
  • Higher cost per print.
3. Additional Features

Consider the following features that can enhance your printing experience:

A. Duplex Printing

Duplex printing allows automatic double-sided printing, saving paper costs and reducing environmental impact.

B. Paper Handling

Check the printer’s paper capacity and whether it supports various paper sizes and types.

C. Mobile Printing

If you need to print from your smartphone or tablet, ensure the printer is compatible with mobile printing apps and services.

D. Energy Efficiency

Look for Energy Star-certified printers to save on energy costs and reduce your carbon footprint.

E. Warranty and Support

Check the warranty period and available customer support options before making a purchase.

4. Budget Considerations

Set a realistic budget based on your needs. While it’s tempting to opt for the cheapest printer, consider the long-term costs, such as ink or toner replacements, which can significantly impact your total expenditure.

5. Read Reviews and Compare Models

Finally, before making your decision, read reviews from reputable sources and compare models based on your criteria. Websites, forums, and user reviews can provide valuable insights into real-world performance and reliability.

In conclusion, selecting the right printer requires careful consideration of your printing needs, budget, and the features that matter most to you. By following our printer buying guide, you’ll be better equipped to make an informed decision and choose a printer that meets your requirements and provides years of reliable service.