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The Main Types of Printers

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2024-05-22 13:36:15 • Filed to: Print PDFs • Proven solutions

When you hear the word printer, you may think of laser and ink-jet printers. But there are many more categories. If you are looking to buy a new printer, this list will help you learn the different types and make an educated decision about which type is right for you. Read the article below to learn more.

Introduce to Main Printer Types

1. Inkjet Printers

The first and standard type is the inkjet printer. Although a bit outdated, they are still widely used because they are reasonably priced. Their biggest advantage is that they can blend different colors smoothly. Though laser printers are faster, inkjet printers offer the best photo and image quality.

different type of printers

Another reason to opt for an inkjet printer is versatility. Unlike other types of printers, inkjet can print on a wide variety of media. For example, you can print on a specially designed canvas. Plus, you can print on different formats of paper, from banner-size to everything else.

However, what you get in versatility, you lose in speed. The average output speed is relatively slow compared to laser printers. You also want to pay attention to the number of cartridges and how they work. Avoid tricolor cartridges in one package, as you have to replace all three once one depletes. You'll want separate cartridges for the most efficiency.

2. Laser Printers

For office or business use, you will want speed, and the laser printer delivers just that. It also offers better text quality over inkjet printers, which is essential for office use.

printer type

Laser printers mainly use light, photosensitive drums or photoreceptor belts. The light source emitted from the laser shaft draws the picture onto a rotating drum or photoreceptor belt. The laser will check the page line by line during printing. Four sub-types of laser printers are available including monochrome, strong ink, single coloring, and four coloring. The widely accepted method of writing is black and white lasers, which provide black text content. The users who just print pictures from time to time will use the color laser printer mostly.

Usually, the use of laser printers is for printing in large quantities, so the price per page is cheaper than inkjet printers. Of course, their shortcomings are also obvious. They are restricted in various media, and their warm-up time is quite long. In addition, tone leakage sometimes occurs.

3. LED Printers

Very similar to laser printers, LED printers still use toner and a rotating drum. They are different only in the source of light. They source light from an LED array.

type of printers

This means they work in different ways. With fewer moving parts, some people find the laser printers less reliable than LED printers. Another advantage of LED printers is their size and weight. The small and light features make it more suitable for small offices.

4. Snapshot Printers

With a rise in the use of digital photos and graphics, we've seen a demand for specifically designed printers. That is how the snapshot printer came about. This is the best type of printer for image and photo printing. The Snapshot printer is great for families that have a lot of photos to share, or for companies printing posters.

type of printer

The main advantage of snapshot printers is that they are compact, so you can fit them anywhere. They are two times smaller than inkjet printers, for example. Some even come with battery options, making them as mobile as possible.

Photo printers can function without a PC connection. They have an LCD screen where you can view, preview, and select photos for printing. The screen size varies from model to model, but a good rule of thumb is that the higher the price – the bigger the screen. And the biggest advantage is that you can print a photo in a matter of seconds. There is no need for editing, although the higher end models offer options for drawing on an image, print layouts, and adding captions.

5. Multifunctional Printers

Last but not least, there is the multifunctional printer. This printer can be classified as a subcategory. Inkjet and laser printers can both be multifunctional. But because of recent high demand for these printers, we thought we'd include them as their own category.

types printers

When multifunctional printers first hit the market, they were expensive. But now you can find them for as low as $100, which is great. Of course, the cheaper models are inkjet printers.

Multifunctional lasers are designed for people who need more than just a printer. They can also scan images, eliminating the need for a scanner. Because they offer more functions, they are also bigger in size. You can create digital images of old photos, scan documents for digital signing, and more.

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best type of printer
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Audrey Goodwin

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