Identifying the Perfect Printer for a College Student

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When it’s time to prepare to go back to college, there’s probably a host of things to do. You already have a reliable laptop so the next step is finding just the right printer to go along with it. Printers have an important role to play in most colleges. In Madison College alone, an estimated 7,400,000 sheets of paper are printed every year.

You don’t want to spend every last coin on printing your assignments every other week. After all, college days are money saving days. We’ll show you how to choose a printer that lasts at a price you can afford.

Laser versus inkjet printers

Laser printers are designed to use a toner cartridge whereas inkjet printers use an ink cartridge. Laser printers are usually very fast and more economical because the ink doesn’t run out easily. In fact, a laser printer would be an excellent choice if you intend to print lots of text-only assignments. OEM toner cartridges have a defect rate of lower than 3%, which is why they are considered highly durable.

On the other hand, an inkjet printer would do just fine if you normally handle most of your assignments electronically. This is not a printer that you can rely on to print heavily because the ink cartridge will require frequent replacements that can turn out to be too costly. However, new models of inkjet printers are fast and offer quality prints.

Photo printing

Find out if the printer can print high-quality photos too. You may want to print a picture and stick it in your room to remind you of special moments or people you cherish. Whatever the case, make sure the printer doesn’t disappoint you.

Wireless or USB printing

If you can invest in a wireless printer, you should be able to print stuff from your smartphone or IPad. It offers so much convenience. Buy a Wi-Fi capable printer if your dorm is connected to a wireless network. Make sure you check on your school’s policy regarding this type of printer. Some Wi-Fi capable printers also have a USB port which offers an added advantage.

Duplex printing

Choose a printer that can utilize both sides of a paper, which helps us to reduce the number of papers you use for printing. A duplex printer offers professional printing, making sure all sides of the paper are filled without having to remove and turn the papers, which wastes so much time.

What other functionalities does it have?

Most printers come with a copier. A copier is just as important as a printer while in college. Ensure that the copier offers just as much power as the printer. Other devices also come with a scanner. An all-in-one printer is a cost-effective and space saving device. You are likely to use the scanner and copier in ways you can’t anticipate.

Color vs. monochrome printing

It’s nice to find out if the printer can offer color printing too. However, you don’t need a color printer if most of your assignments are in text-only. A black and white printer will do just fine. However, if you enjoy printing graphics, or your course demands it, you’ll need to invest in a color printer.

A color printer can really come in handy when you have presentations or photos in your assignments that you want to come out nicely. However, expect to pay more if you choose a color laser or inkjet printer than the monochrome counterparts.

Consider print quality

Gone are the days when laser printers were only used in offices. Today, there are some really good models of laser printers that can fit a small budget. However, you need to consider the toner costs. One fact is that laser printers are known to produce higher-quality outputs than most inkjet printers. They also print more quickly. If you are really keen on the print quality, opt for the laser printer.

Look for a reliable printer

All these features are only important if the printer actually works. Laser printers are very reliable but once damaged, the repair cost can be very high. Choose a printer that has a service plan/warranty that caters for any maintenance or repairs needed. Read reviews to get an idea of how long the printer is likely to last.


Printers are now available at very reasonable prices. In fact, you can find a good printer for as low as $150 or even less. Remember to calculate the actual cost, which includes the amount you will spend on replacing ink when choosing a printer. Replacement cartridges can cause the cost to escalate so you may want to look for an efficient printer even though it may be more expensive to purchase upfront.

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