Computer printer buying tips

Updated: 06/27/2017 by Computer Hope

Purchasing a printer can be a daunting and sometimes confusing task. Below is additional information that can help you with your purchasing decisions.


The first and foremost important consideration to consider when purchasing a printer is the technology the printer utilizes to print. Today, ink jet and laser printers are the two most popular printer technologies.

Inkjet - Inkjet printers are an affordable and effective solution for home users and home businesses.

Laser - Laser printers are a recommended solution for businesses or networks that require speed and efficiency, and high quality resolution.


Resolution on a printer is measured by the amount of dots per inch a printer is capable of printing. When looking at purchasing a printer, it is important to look at the DPI the printer is capable of printing.

It is also important to know that some printer manufacturers may generate their own methods through software for increasing their resolution.


Speed is another important consideration when looking at computer printers. The speed of a printer is rated in PPM, or pages per minute, and rate anywhere between 4 and 10+ PPM, depending on several factors such as if it is black-and-white or color, text-only, or full-page. You should expect a faster PPM from a laser printer printing text than an Inkjet printer.

Ink and toner

Ink or toner is an important factor when purchasing a printer. Look at the below characteristics of the ink and toner used with the printer.

Price - By far the most important factor is price; if the printer becomes a frequently used device you may find that the price of the ink can far surpass the price of the printer. Look how much the ink will cost when it needs to be replaced.

Availability - From where can the ink or toner be purchased? Some printer manufacturers may require that you purchase the ink directly from them; and if purchased from a third-party, cause your printer warranty to become void. Verify that the ink can be purchased from a third-party and if so, from whom.

Type - See what ink or toner used with your printer, and for users considering an inkjet printer, see if the printer accepts separate color cartridges. Some manufacturers may include all the cartridges as one cartridge, causing you to have to purchase all the available colors for one color that may be out. In addition, see if the cartridges are just ink or ink and nozzles. Cartridges with ink and nozzles will cost more than those that have just ink.

Cost per page

Cost Per Page - The measurement of the ongoing price of the printer after its initial purchase. It is important to look at the cost per page and see how much you may be paying for the amount of printing you expect to do. You can expect to pay less for a laser printer than an ink printer when looking at Cost Per Page.

Other considerations

Paper handling - The method of how the printer handles and distributes the paper can be an important consideration when looking at printers. Many inkjet printers well feed paper through a slot on the top of the printer, while laser printers will use a tray method of feeding the paper to the printer. Make sure your printer is capable of handling all your paper needs.

Options - When purchasing a printer, look to see if the printer requires additional add-ons that may be required; this can also factor into the overall cost of the printer. These add-ons can include but are not limited to such things as cables, trays, ink, software, etc.

Price range

Price range - The price range can vary depending upon the quality of the printer and brand of the printer. Below is a price range of what to expect when purchasing a printer.

Inkjet Printer: $100 to $400
Laser Printer: $300 to $2,000

Ready to buy

Once you have reviewed the appropriate information and believe that you are ready to make a purchase of a printer make sure you are buying from a reputable source.

Computer Hope is ready to setup and help you with issues you may encounter during the purchase or installation of your printer, regardless if you purchase through us or another vendor.

To help support Computer Hope you can purchase directly through our well-known associate, Amazon. Click the below browse button to begin browsing through the printer section.