Pic­ture per­fect Wi-Fi prin­ters

Ca­ble-free print­ing and scan­ning. But who’s the best at it?

Mac Format - - CONTENTS - Cliff Joseph

Inkjet prin­ters have had a rough ride in the last year or so. Big names such as Ko­dak and Lex­mark have rid­den off into the sun­set, leav­ing the big three of Canon, Ep­son and HP to dom­i­nate the mar­ket, and there’s been con­tin­ued crit­i­cism of the high cost of re­place­ment ink car­tridges.

Even so, a printer is still an es­sen­tial ac­ces­sory for most peo­ple, and man­u­fac­tur­ers con­tinue to im­prove their prod­ucts so they of­fer bet­ter qual­ity and value for money.

You can now get high qual­ity photo prints even from cheaper mod­els cost­ing less than £100. Run­ning costs are start­ing to come down too, thanks to the use of ‘high-yield’ ink car­tridges that pro­vide bet­ter value for your money. Most inkjet prin­ters now on sale are also mul­ti­func­tion de­vices that in­clude scan­ner and copier func­tions, along with Wi-Fi con­nec­tiv­ity for your home net­work. And even though the inkjet mar­ket is dom­i­nated by just three com­pa­nies, there’s still a wider range of prin­ters avail­able than ever be­fore.

Three’s al­lowed

There are three main cat­e­gories of inkjet printer de­signed for home users. The least ex­pen­sive mod­els are de­signed pri­mar­ily for ca­sual use, just print­ing the oc­ca­sional let­ter, school re­port or photo ev­ery now and then. How­ever, the in­creas­ing num­ber of self-em­ployed peo­ple and home work­ers means there’s a grow­ing cat­e­gory of home-of­fice prin­ters de­signed for peo­ple who need a re­li­able work­horse for ev­ery­day use.

Th­ese of­fice prin­ters may also in­clude ad­di­tional fea­tures such as an Eth­er­net in­ter­face for a wired net­work, an au­to­matic doc­u­ment feeder for high-speed scan­ning, and even ye olde fax ma­chine for peo­ple who still use them. And, in the third cat­e­gory, there’s strong de­mand for more spe­cialised prin­ters that pro­vide high-qual­ity photo out­put.

With that in mind, we’ve rounded up a se­lec­tion of the lat­est prin­ters that will meet the needs of oc­ca­sional home users, home work­ers and photo hob­by­ists alike.

You can now get high-qual­ity photo prints even from mod­els cost­ing less than £100

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