December 8, 2017

Purchasing a Printer

Purchasing a Printer
Hardware: $170-$690
Consulting: $60

There are two major printing technologies, InkJet or Laser.

Print Technologies


Better for printing photographs or documents with a lot of pictures
Cheaper for initial purchase costs


Better for office-type documents, great for printing small details and fonts
Fastest printing speeds
Generally, cheaper to operate

Printer Features

Once you know what type of printer technology you require, you must select the additional features that you require. Some of these features are listed below.


An MFP (or Multi-Function Printer) provides other functions than just printing. These usually include scanning, faxing and copying. Some printers extend on these features to include scanning to an email address, scanning to a USB stick, printing from a USB stick and more.


A duplex printer can print on both sides of the page. Some scanners can also scan both sides of the page at once, effectively doubling the scan speed.

Network / Wireless

A network printer can be connected to your home or office network. This will allow all other devices on that network (even wireless devices) to print to that printer. A wireless printer can connect to a wireless network instead of being wired in. Generally, for devices that do not frequently move, like a printer, it’s best to use a wired connection if one is available. When a printer is setup in this way, you can usually print to it from your smartphone, tablets, laptops or other computers.


Optical Character Recognition is a process whereby the scanner (or software installed on the computer) recognizes the text in a scanned image. This allows you to more easily edit a scanned document. Modern OCR technologies are very good at recognizing the text on a page.

Large / Small paper

If you have a specific size of paper you wish to use (such as legal size or larger, or smaller than letter size), make sure that the printer you have selected can print on that size paper.

Printer Brand

We generally supply HP printers. They are well-known for their reliability and ease of use.

The HP model names make it easy to select a printer. Their InkJet printers are the ENVY (photo printer), DeskJet (basic home printer) and OfficeJet (full featured / office printer). Their Laser printers are the LaserJet Pro (home, small or mid-sized business) and LaserJet Enterprise (mid-sized or large business).

For the laser printers, multi-function printers (MFP) all usually have MFP in the model name. The model number generally indicates the class of printer. Typically, we do not recommend the model numbers that begin with 1. Printers that begin with 2, 3 and 4 are generally good for home or small businesses, with the higher numbers offering more features and higher speeds. After the model number are letters that indicate other features of the printer. These letters indicate the following:

f – fax
d – duplex
n – network
w – wireless
x – the printer has all of the above and usually also an extra paper tray

Printer Recommendations

InkJet Photo – HP ENVY Photo 7155 – $170
InkJet General Purpose – HP OfficeJet Pro 8720 – $320
Laser General Purpose / Small Business – HP Color LaserJet Pro MFP M281fdw – $520
Laser Mid-size Business – HP Color LaserJet MFP M477fdw – $690

Consulting Costs

We can assist you with choosing a printer to meet the needs of your home or business and then set it up for you, including installing drivers on your various devices and computers.

All costs are approximate as of the publishing of this project and are subject to change. Please contact us if you require updated pricing, alternative solutions or have any questions!