If you think computer printers are not useful in your home, think again. Whether you are a student producing homework or an adult catching up on work from home, a printer is a must. Printers are not costly, and you can find computer printers for sale online from many e-commerce sites.

You can also find computer printers for sale in local retail stores. And these days, low prices don't mean that you are compromising on quality. To make sure you get the most from your printer, match it with quality parts such as your computer printer ink cartridge.

This guide will help you with those considerations.

Before you buy any printer, take stock of the functions, purpose, and frequency of its use for you and your family. Get an idea of how many prints you plan to make, how fast you’ll need them produced, and whether or not you’ll need color ink. Will you need a wired or wireless connection? Would you be interested in having a model that also works as a photocopier? Your shopping experience will be faster and more satisfying if you take these items into account first. Get the best deals on computer printers from ecommerce marketplaces for sellers and find everything you'll need to improve your home office setup.

Should you choose an inkjet or laser printer?

Inkjet printers are popular as they can print almost anything in color or black-and-white: Photos, text, graphics, and charts, etc.

Laser printers are good for office use where most of the printing is done in monochrome, as they can print black-and-white pages relatively fast. In addition to better printing speed, they tend to be more affordable than their inkjet counterparts.

There are color laser printers on the market, but they are considerably more expensive and usually used in commercial offices, not in homes.

Both types of printers require separate toner cartridges (ink) to operate.

What about photo printers?

If you own a photo studio, or if photography is your hobby, or if you are an avid scrapbooker, then a photo printer may be for you. It isn’t as flexible because it won’t offer the multitasking features of a standard home-office printer, but it will accept specialty photo papers, and the quality of the printed photo is generally much higher than with a standard laser printer.

Weigh the cost of printer supplies

In the printer market, manufacturers follow the rule called “give away the razor, sell the blades.” If you’re not familiar with this principle, it means giving away or selling at a low price the durable part, which consumers will not buy frequently, and focus on selling the part that is more frequently needed. This is the business model used with printers, and that’s why you’ll find great deals on printers. However, you’ll have to purchase a computer printer ink cartridge frequently.

So, it’s wise to understand the cost of these items before buying a printer. How many copies can you expect per cartridge? Do you have the option of refilling the cartridge yourself, or is it disposable, requiring replacement every time? The price of ink cartridges varies by the model of the printer, so check out the replacement cartridge price before you buy your new printer.

This way, you’ll preserve your home office budget so you’ll have enough money available to buy other things, such as a computer project screen or a larger computer monitor.

Printers with Duplexing

These days, printers are technologically advanced and can perform complicated tricks, such as printing on both sides of the paper. This feature is called automatic duplexing, and it means the printing (and sometimes the scanning) of the page is done by the printer without human interference. The flip-flop of the printing page is done by the device itself. For you, this means no more waiting for one side of the page to be printed, pulling the copies out, then feeding them back into the printer for the second side. All of these things are now automated if you choose the right home printer.

Duplexing raises the price of the printer a little, and if you print frequently, it can save you effort and paper. However, if your needs are simple, it’s a feature you may not need.

Networking your computer printers

Almost everything is integrated with Bluetooth, the internet, or voice commands these days, and printers are no different. These smart-printer features make the process easier and faster. With these connections, one printer can connect with multiple devices, such as a desktop computer in the home office, a laptop in the kitchen, and a child’s homework computer in a bedroom.

Of course, one can also use a USB cable (the traditional method) to connect a printer to a computer system, too.

With a printer that uses Wi-Fi, you can print from any connected device, such as your smartphone, tablet, or digital camera, etc.

Paper handling

Previously, printers used to handle only letter-sized (8.5” x 11”) paper. But now, some printers offer dedicated slots or adjustable feeders so that you can print on paper of different sizes, such as invitations, index cards, and envelopes. If you have specialized uses or crafting activities in your home, these extra features could be worthwhile.

Speed, resolution, and color

One more thing that matters while printing any page is the speed of the printing, the resolution of images, and the quality of the colors.

As we noted before, black-and-white laser jets generally print faster than color inkjets, and their resolution for things like type is excellent quality – crisp and clear. If you’re a typical business user, this often fits the bill.

Inkjets, on the other hand, can produce hundreds of colors by mixing magenta, cyan, yellow, and black toner inks, just as commercial printing machines do, to achieve a range of colors. These are good for things like graphics, signs, maps, and flyers. But their resolution isn’t as high as a photo printer. So, if photographic-level quality is important to you, a photo printer might be a better choice.

These are the basic considerations before purchasing a printer for home use. There are so many varieties on the market at attractive price-points that it’s not difficult to find one that will do an excellent job of meeting your needs.