Which Printer Makes the Perfect Gift This Season?

Friday November 30, 2018


We all have those few people on our holiday gift list who seem to have absolutely everything they could ever need. But, there is one unexpected thing just about everyone could use – a new printer.

The average printer lasts four to six years, and with constant upgrades making printing more energy-efficient and hassle-free, there’s always a newer, better model that could be the perfect gift for the person who has everything – including a current printer.

Still, with hundreds of different manufacturers and models, it can be tough to choose the right gift for your loved one. Here are a few different questions to ask yourself to find the perfect printer for anyone:


What Will They Be Using It For?


If you’re buying a printer as a gift, it’s probably for home use. For the occasional, low-volume printing that most people do at home, many experts would advise you get an inkjet printer – though inkjets are not for everyone.

Inkjet printers are perfect for photos and the occasional text document, but they have higher operating costs than laser printers – meaning they aren’t an economical choice for someone who frequently prints all-text documents.

Another common complaint with inkjet printers is that the ink dries up easily if it isn’t used often. So, if your loved one doesn’t print frequently, they might prefer a laser printer.

Laser printers have traditionally been used in office settings, but because they’re faster and cheaper to operate than inkjets, they’re increasingly becoming more popular in home settings. They’re also generally quieter than inkjet printers, so they’re a good option for people who do a lot of their work late at night. Color laser printers can also print medium-quality colored images that don’t require color depth or tonal range, so they’re still capable of printing adequate images.

Long story short, if you’re buying a printer for a professional or hobbyist photographer who will appreciate regularly printing gallery-quality photos, inkjets are your best bet. But, for those who just need a printer for last-minute work or school projects (that don’t require high-quality photos), you’ll probably want to go with a laser or color laser printer.


Which Features Would Be Most Important?


The features your loved one will appreciate in a printer go hand in hand with what they’re using it for, but laser and inkjet printers each have different advantages that appeal to different people.

Although they tend to have higher operating costs, inkjet printers tend to use less energy than laser printers. So, for someone who values an environmentally-friendly printer, inkjets can be a better option.

Inkjets are also typically smaller in size, making them ideal for someone with a cluttered home office or diminishing desk space. Since inkjets can print on many types of media – from craft paper to T-shirts – they’re also the go-to printer for crafters and DIY-ers.

Laser printers, on the other hand, can turn out pages much more quickly than inkjet printers can. For procrastinators who need their projects printed as fast as possible, laser printers are a better option.

Laser printers are also the best option for the highest-quality text documents. No inkjet printer will ever turn out black text and line graphics as crisply as a laser printer does. Copywriters, students, bloggers, journalists and writers of all types, appreciate the fast, quiet and high-quality text documents they can produce with a laser printer.


What Is the Total Cost of Ownership?


When most people buy a printer, they immediately opt for the one with the lowest price tag – but this could cost them hundreds of dollars in operating costs later on. In fact, a printer’s purchase price only makes up for a small fraction of a printer’s total cost of ownership, when you factor in the toner, paper and energy usage.

Accounting for a printer’s total cost of ownership becomes much more important when you’re buying it as a gift for someone else. You don’t want to err on the side of cheapness, only to have your loved one continuously spend hundreds of dollars in consumables.

Inkjets typically have a lower sticker price but higher operating costs. Still, some inkjets are more efficient than others when it comes to ongoing expenses. Inkjet printers with slightly higher price tags generally have lower operating costs, so as a gift giver, you’ll probably want to go with a mid-range or higher-priced inkjet.

On the other end of the spectrum, you have laser printers, which typically cost more at the onset but have significantly lower operating costs. An inkjet’s cost per page can be twice to three times as much as the typical laser printer’s page cost. And, if your recipient overpays for toner, it can quickly become an even bigger discrepancy.

Deciding on an inkjet or laser printer ultimately comes down to what and how much your loved one prints – and how much money you want to save them in the long run. Inkjet printers are best suited for small, image-heavy documents, like photos and other visual projects. But, if you’re looking for a printer that can handle heavy volumes of text-based documents, laser printers are the more efficient and economical choice.

No matter which printer you decide to buy for your loved one, you can help them realize significant cost savings by receiving ink and toner for 30 percent less at Cartridge World.

Regardless of your print provider, however, our local experts are more than happy to help you pick out the perfect printer for your loved one. Well-versed in all the pros and cons of each printer, we can help guide you toward the right purchase for your needs. Find a Cartridge World near you today!