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Printer technology has evolved over such a short period of time, taking functionality and performance to new levels.
Whether printing high-quality family photographs, school projects, invitations and craft projects or documents for work, we’ll help you upgrade to the newest technology or choose your first printer that is perfect for home or office.
What are the main types of printers?
What are my choices?
- Inkjet printers spray ink from ink cartridges onto the paper. It is an economical option for printing high-quality documents.
- Laser Printers use a powder called toner and a complex laser system to print your information on the paper. It’s designed for printing large quantities quickly.
- 3D Printers take digital files from your computer and transforms them into physical 3D objects using special filaments.
What to consider when buying a printer?
Before buying a printer, you must identify what you will be using the printer for and how often to ensure you purchase one that suits your needs.
- Printers for home are often used sporadically and for simple tasks such as printing birthday invitations, bills, assignments and photos. Integration with a scanner might also be helpful when uploading hard copy documents onto a laptop or computer.
- Printers used in offices will need to handle printing large quantities of black & white and colour documents at regular intervals. Integration with a photocopier will make it easy for employees to share hard copy documents.
- Photographers and freelance creatives will need a high-quality printer to bring out intricate details in their work. The ability to print on specialty photo paper is also a must-have for photographers.
How to Choose the Right Printer to Suit Your Needs
Discover the different types of printers available at Officeworks.
An inkjet printer operates by spraying tiny droplets of ink directly onto paper. The quality of the image is determined by the DPI (dots per inch) that your ink cartridges are capable of. The most commonly used inkjet printer cartridges come in cyan, yellow, red and black, which combine themselves during the printing process to create other shades and colour tones. Multifunction Inkjet Printers also enable you to copy, scan or fax.Shop Now
A laser printer is designed and built to print large volumes quickly and at low costs per page and usually favoured for home office and business usage. Laser printers use static electricity and toner (powder) instead of ink to print onto paper and can come in mono (black only) or colour tones. Multifunction laser printers also enable you to copy, scan or fax.Shop Now
Continuous Ink Printers
A newer inkjet option, continuous ink printers save you time and cost less per print by using high-capacity ink cartridges so you can print more without refilling. You'll also find options that use low-cost refillable ink tanks and some models can print for two years without needing more inkShop Now
3D Printer Filaments
3D printer filaments are what you use to produce models using a 3D printer, much like toner for laser printers and ink for inkjet printers. They are usually made of either ABS or PLA plastic, which your 3D printer morphs into your design.Shop Now
Wide Format Printers
Much like 3D printers, wide format printers have a specific use. They are designed to print large flyers, blueprints, maps or posters, as they’re able to print documents between 18 and 60 inches in size (depending on the model). Wide-format printers often use inkjet technology and are best suited to an office environment as they are a lot larger than a standard printer.Shop Now
Business Printers & Copiers
Printers for the office or small business are designed for frequent use with faster print speeds, higher sheet capacities and better printing economy. These printers deliver higher volume output and improve productivity for heavier workloads, while still maintaining great print quality. For more info and tips on your business needs, check out your Business Hub here.Shop Now
Ink is required for printers that run on inkjet technology and is what the printer uses to produce images on paper. They come in different coloured cartridges that you can slide into most printers, but with continuous ink models, they come in a bottle that you use to manually fill the device. Check the ink cartridge brand to ensure it is compatible with your printer.Shop Now
Toner is a powder-like substance that sits in laser printer cartridges and drums and creates the image on the page. Much like ink, different toners are compatible with different machines, so it's important to check the packaging of the toner you will be purchasing.Shop Now
What features to consider when choosing a printer
Print speed is measured by IPM, which stands for impressions per minute. It’s determined by the International Organization for Standards (ISO) so that each printer is held to the same accord and can be compared for consumers.
The print resolution is important for every type of user, as it determines the quality of your text or image on the page. Print resolution is measured by dots per inch (DPI), which dictates the amount of ink or toner dots that make up the image. The more DPI, the more clarity in your printing.
The average inkjet printer today usually has a 1200 x 1440 DPI, while the average resolution of a laser printer is 1200 x 1220. Wide-format and A3 printers will usually have higher DPIs to match the larger printing sizes.
While sheet capacity doesn’t affect your printing as much as speed or resolution, it can make for a more streamlined, convenient experience. The sheet capacity refers to the number of paper sheets that can be stored in the printer, ready to print. A large sheet capacity can be helpful in instances of large printing quantities, so you don’t have to refill the printer during the process. This makes them great for offices and small business work.
WiFi Direct capabilities streamline the setup of a printer, allowing you to begin using the printer almost immediately. Printers with WiFi Direct connect directly to your WiFi connection, meaning you don’t need to plug it into the router. This is a great, convenient option for home users.
Near Field Communication, also known as NFC, allows you to print directly from your smartphone or tablet. Simply touch your device on the printer for it to transmit the data wirelessly.
Automatic Document Feeder
An automatic document feeder allows you to scan and copy documents, feeding the pages through automatically, saving you time and effort.
Mobile Printing is like NFC printing but doesn’t require you to touch your device on the side of the printer. It uses capabilities like AirPrint on your iPhone or Google Cloud Print on your Android device to wirelessly connect to your printer using an internet connection. It’s great for those looking to print in multiple locations, as it doesn’t require a lengthy setup for you to be able to use the printer from your phone, you can usually just download an app.