One of the more perplexing decisions, when faced with choosing a new printer, is which print technology will suit you the best. Currently, there are two main printing systems: the laser technology, using toner cartridges and a transfer drum assembly; and inkjet printers using ink tank cartridges and fine-spray nozzles.
The method that will suit you best will depend largely on what you plan to print on your new printer, and cost factors that affect the cost of running it. laser printers may be better for high-volume printing, with a 'per page' costs and lower their better intensity black text than most inkjets. Laser printers tend to have a faster rate of pages but inkjet printers still offer important advantages in affordable color printing.
For home use, you may want to print photos or digital images, which makes the color a must. Traditional differentiation between laser and inkjet printers has been office versus home use; however, they offer vivid color presentation advantages for business use as well. Fortunately, prices for both categories of printers have come down enough to make it practical to purchase both a laser and inkjet if you really need both color and high-quality text.
There are a number of different printer configurations available today, many of them quite specialized in the applications. There are specialized photo printers, direct disc CD printers, Multifunction printers, desktop inkjet printers, and high-speed lasers.
If you want a printer that is designed specifically for printing photos, you will most likely be looking for a color ink-jet system that is a photo printer, which enables very high-quality color output and capable of printing all the way to the edge of the page. The latest releases by major brands now include all-in-one Multifunction devices that include checks and printing capabilities.
Many smaller units that are designed purely as a photo-printer to plug directly into your digital camera are also available. The same thing can be said for CD or DVD printing, with specialist printers available for printing directly onto discs, saving label application.