THE FIND­INGS

Consumer Voice - - Comparative Product Test -

First thing to know be­fore buy­ing is what one’s need is. Do you need an all-in-one ex­pen­sive laser prin­ter or will a sim­ple inkjet do? Which inkjet is re­ally nec­es­sary: a slow yet less ex­pen­sive or the one that prints mul­ti­ple im­ages in min­utes but costs a bit more?

Inkjets ver­sus Laser Print­ers

Inkjets are the choice for print­ing pho­tos. Pho­tos printed on colour laser-print­ers are in­fe­rior to those printed on inkjet print­ers. Lasers are best at print­ing black text. The qual­ity is top-notch and they are fast, and the cost per page is low.

In the tests, pho­tos from colour lasers and inkjets were closer in qual­ity on plain pa­per than on their man­u­fac­tur­ers’ best photo pa­per.

A user sur­vey con­ducted by Con­sumer Union in early 2010 showed that peo­ple printed pho­tos on plain pa­per about as of­ten as on photo pa­per. A

colour laser with a high rat­ing in that mode may be a good choice for peo­ple who plan to print pho­tos only on plain pa­per and also want the speed ad­van­tage of a colour laser in print­ing coloured graph­ics.

All-in-One Inkjets ver­sus Reg­u­lar Inkjet Print­ers

All-in-one inkjets are the best all-pur­pose print­ers for con­sumers who want to print both text and colour pho­tos, and be able to scan and copy. Most have mem­ory card slots and Pic­tBridge. Many can fax doc­u­ments. The re­cent trend is for reg­u­lar inkjet print­ers to be ba­sic print­ers with a few ex­tra fea­tures.

Price

Pay­ing more for a prin­ter does not nec­es­sar­ily mean that you will get bet­ter prints. Do not con­sider the pur­chase price of the prin­ter as a dif­fer­en­tia­tor it­self. Per-print costs can make a cheaper model more ex­pen­sive in the long run than a higher-priced prin­ter with lower con­sum­able costs.

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