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How to Buy a Laser Printer

Is your old printer smoking and spitting toner dust? It may be time to buy a new one.


  • Step 1: Establish a budget Establish a budget; then choose between color or black and white options. Color printers won't produce photo-quality pictures and are more expensive than the black and white alternative.
  • TIP: If you plan on printing pictures, consider an ink jet printer. They offer higher quality color and resolution.
  • Step 2: Consider toner cost Consider toner cartridge cost versus the cost of a printer. A laser printer that's on sale but has the most expensive toner will cost more in the long run.
  • Step 3: Decide connectivity Decide if you want the printer on a network. Networking a printer requires Ethernet and wireless routers.
  • Step 4: Determine memory needs Determine your memory requirements. Unlike inkjet printers, laser printers have onboard memory for large and complex files.
  • Step 5: Choose features Choose between an all-in-one or a single-purpose printer. If you plan on scanning, faxing, and copying documents, the all-in-one printer is the best choice for you.
  • TIP: If you need a high-quality scanner with a tabloid-size flatbed, consider buying a separate scanner instead of a multifunction printer.
  • Step 6: Shop Decide on the printer you want, and then comparison shop for the at electronics and supply stores. Make sure to get the accessories you need to start printing right away.
  • FACT: If you were to fill an Olympic swimming pool with name-brand ink, it would cost an estimated $6.5 billion.

You Will Need

  • A budget
  • Time to shop

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