Buy Guide

Tips for choosing and buying a home printer

When buying a home printer, there are several choices to make: ink or laser, multifunction or just a printer, with or without WiFi, with a screen or just buttons, with photographic quality… To help you find the ideal model, We propose the following practical advice

number of inks

If you’re thinking of buy a home printerThe first thing you should do is look at your printing technology. For the domestic sector, the most common is that the method used is the inkjetleaving the laser reserved for professional environments.

However, if we do not need to print in color, there is already monochrome laser printers at very affordable prices, and both the life of the toner and the print quality can compensate us if we are going to print a lot of material.

Focusing on inkjet, it is essential to know how many inks does a team have and in how many cartridges it is distributed. As a general rule, we will have four inks (CMYKor what is the same, cyan, magenta, yellow and black), but in the case of equipment for quality photographic printing, a fifth ink is incorporated that provides extra quality (black with pigmentsto improve brightness, contrast, and saturation levels).

ink cartridges

If we look at how it translates to the number of cartridgesthe best is always that they are independent, that is, one cartridge for black and another three for color (and another if we are talking about five inks). The most affordable equipment usually uses only two cartridges (one for black and another that combines the three primary colors), which in practice has a drawback: if we run out of blue, but not yellow and red, we will have You will have to replace the entire cartridge to avoid distorted results, which will end up wasting ink.

consumables price

at the time of buy a home printer, we must not be blinded only by the price of the equipment. Manufacturers often sell them below the actual cost of manufacture to end up recouping the money with the sale of consumables. For this reason, it is convenient for us to also look at what each cartridge costs and the existence of offers to purchase complete packs.

It is best to visit the website of the manufacturer in question to see what consumables are compatible with our printer and know approximately how much they will cost us.

Likewise, two types of cartridges are usually marketed: normal or long duration. The latter are more expensive a priori, but if we look at their capacity, they end up more than compensating. Of course, if we are not going to print more than from time to time, it is better to resort to the standard capacity, since the ink ends up drying if we do not use it regularly and it becomes necessary to clean the heads when printing again after a long time without doing so (an automatic process that consumes a lot of ink).


Multifunction devices with built-in scanner

Due to the difference in price and, above all, due to the offer, practically all domestic ink printers are already multifunction. Or what is the same: they come with built-in scanner.


In this way, we can easily make photocopies and scan all kinds of documents. The resolution it varies, and the higher it is, the more fidelity we will obtain when digitizing a page, but as a general rule, almost all equipment starts from an acceptable minimum for daily purposes (1,200 dots per inch, or ppi).

If we need to scan documents with maximum precision (for graphic design tasks, for example), we can make the leap to 4,800 ppi.

Connectivity: with or without WiFi?

In general, to connect a printer to the computer we used to do it through USB Cable, something quick and practical. But fortunately, and above all to facilitate compatibility with the ubiquitous smartphones and tablets, many models now come with integrated Wi-Fi.


Thanks to this feature, we can print from anywhere without cables, and we can even queue jobs from the Cloud or remote formor even sending a simple e-mail to a predetermined address.

Other aspects that may be of interest are the presence of card readers or input for usb sticksso you can print photos and documents just by connecting one of these external storage media.

Loading paper

The place through which we will load the paper is usually an aspect that we do not pay attention to… until we place the equipment in our house.

On the one hand, the most advanced printers have a compartment in which we can store paper to avoid having to load it when we want to print (for example, with the capacity to 50 or 100 sheets), and others are capable of admitting the input from the top, back or front.

Paper tray

On the other hand, the most affordable printers usually only allow paper to be loaded by lifting the top cover and inserting it manually (with support for a few sheets, of course), something that can be cumbersome if we are going to place the equipment on a shelf or in a where upper access is limited. Take a good look before deciding on one model or another depending on your needs.

Better with built-in screen

Although the buttons and the software allow us to operate all the functions of the printer, it is much easier to do it if you have your own screen, either monochrome or full color. Therefore, at the time of buy a home printerthe additional outlay will be worth it if we look for a model with such a feature.

screen printer

Some of them are as easy to use as a mobile phone, and may even support installing your own apps for a myriad of tasks.

Double-sided printing and speed

save paper It is recommended both for practical purposes and for respect for the environment. So, Doble-Siding printing is always good advice.

The most basic models will allow us to do it by hand (sometimes, guided by software or with indications on the printer itself to insert the paper in the correct position), while others are capable of doing it on their own.

On the other hand, you can also look at how long it will take to print a job. You usually express yourself in time to get the first page or indicating how many sheets are printed per minute (in draft or normal mode).

size and design

Although we may think that at first glance all printers and multifunction devices are very similar, they come in all types. The more compact it is, the better.although sometimes it is difficult to have all the necessary functions in a small chassis.

And of course, they are sold in many different colors, perfect if we want all our peripherals to be the same color as our computer and monitor.

Another aspect to take into account is whether the power transformer It is integrated into the body of the printer itself or if, on the contrary, it comes separately, since we will have to take into account additional space to place it (especially if they are very bulky). The best thing is that it is only a cable and that’s it.


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