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Ink Cartridges

While a great part of your life and work is now stored, sent, read, managed and more over the Internet and on electronic devices, that doesn't mean that printers have become obsolete. On the contrary, you rely on a printer to do more than ever. Instead of just printing, you want a device that can do it all--print, scan, copy and fax.

All-in-ones (AIOs), or multifunction, printers are appealing for their versatility and their range of features beyond simple printing. Well-known manufacturers such as Brother, Canon, Epson, HP, Xerox and more offer a range of devices to fit all needs. Before choosing just any old AIO, it is important to consider what you need a printer to do for you. Do you need an AIO for your home or for a small/medium/large business? What is the most important feature? Do you need faxing capability? Are you okay with getting fewer overall features so you can have just one device taking up precious office space?

One of the major considerations in buying a printer is the cost to run it. Ink is not an inexpensive item, and some printers run through it faster than others.

What you are printing and the quantity of those items will determine whether you choose an inkjet or laser AIO printer. The biggest difference between the two is that an inkjet printer uses ink and a laser printer uses toner. Inkjet printers are suitable for low volume printing, making them the ideal choice for home use. Inkjet printers have a smaller footprint and are less expensive than laser printers. They are also better at printing photos. Laser printers use toner, which lasts longer and can handle high volume printing. They are used almost exclusively in business office settings where they handle printing a lot of text.

If you are looking for a printer for your home, you will want to choose an inkjet printer. Then comes the question of what type of ink to buy - the name-brand ink made specifically by the printer manufacturer or generic ink that allows you to save more than a few dollars. While you can save up to 50 percent by buying generic ink, you also greatly reduce the quality of your printed documents­--high quality color print jobs and black and white documents alike. Generic ink has a higher rate of ink overspray and blurred lines over more expensive, manufacturer-approved cartridges, making even simple text documents look unprofessional and hard to read.

It often seems like a waste of money to buy printer ink, but if you want to present a professional image to the world, especially if you are using a printer for home business purposes, spend the money and buy the manufacturer-approved cartridges.