|Low: $30-$100||Medium: $100-$500||High: $500-$3,000+|
Single-use, general-purpose inkjet printers print text, graphics and photos (ranging in size from 3.5x5 to 8.5x11 inches in most cases) on a variety of paper sizes in both black-and-white and color, at speeds measured in pages per minute (ppm). Photo inkjet printers are increasingly popular and have features dedicated to printing pictures rather than just text, while wide-format inkjet printers can handle larger paper sizes, making them more suitable to small or home office needs. Frequent, high volume document printing is better suited to laser printers (see: How Much Does a Laser Printer Cost for more information).
What should be included:
- Budget home inkjet printers range in price from $30 to $100. These inkjet printers are designed to handle low volume print jobs, so they offer low-capacity paper trays and generally print at black-and-white speeds of 15-25 ppm at the highest quality setting. The Epson Artisan 50 costs about $100, holds up to 120 sheets and prints laser-quality color text at 5 ppm and photos in about 11 seconds.
- Photo inkjet printers are aimed at home use for printing digital photos from computers or directly from digital cameras or memory cards. Look for a maximum print resolution of 4800x1200 dpi (dots per inch) to 9600x2400 dpi and expect to pay $50 to $250. Canon PIXMA iP4700 costs about $85, prints directly from camera phones and other devices, and offers a maximum color print resolution of 9600x2400 dpi. It prints a borderless 4x6-inch photo in approximately 20 seconds and can print photos up to 8.5x11 inches in size.
- Mid-level inkjet printers for a small or home office tend to offer greater paper capacity and higher print resolution. Look for Ethernet connectivity to accommodate multiple users. Expect to pay $100 to $500. Canon PIXMA iX7000 costs about $305, prints at a maximum color resolution of 4800x1200 dpi and holds up to 250 pages.
- High-end inkjet printers are good for small or home offices as they offer higher volume duty cycles and can usually accommodate larger paper sizes. These inkjet printers cost from about $500 to $1,300 (or $3,000 or more for super large format, specialist printers). The Canon PIXMA Pro9500 Mark II costs about $780 and prints up to 13x19 inch poster-sized photos at a resolution of 4800x2400 dpi.
- Mobile inkjet printers fold into a compact, portable size for on-the-go printing from devices such as PCs, PDAs, digital cameras and memory cards. Expect to pay $200 to $450. The HP Officejet H470b mobile printer weighs just 5 pounds, prints at a speed of 22 ppm in black and white, 18 ppm in color and features a lithium-ion battery that will print up to 480 pages on one charge. This mobile printer costs about $300 and offers an optional bluetooth adapter for wireless printing at a cost of about $80.
- Additional features such as scanning, copying and faxing are found on multifunction inkjet printers, which cost $50 to $600. For more details, see How Much Does a Multifunction Inkjet printer Cost.
- Power cord.
- At least one color print cartridge and one black cartridge.
- Printer driver software.
- Most inkjet printers also include a USB cable.
- Replacement ink cartridges cost $10-$35. A replacement black cartridge will yield approximately 750 sheets, while a color cartridge will yield 400 sheets. (Generic brand or refurbished replacement ink cartridges can be found at a discount).
- Refill kits from providers such as Inkjet Cartridges offer an alternative to buying replacement ink cartridges and are capable of refilling a cartridge multiple times for a cost of about $15 to $40.
- Photo paper costs $20 to $40 for 50 to 150 sheets. Brochure and presentation paper costs $10 to $30 depending on size and finish.
- Print finishing lacquers cost $5 to $20 for a spray can.
- A USB cable to connect the printer to the computer is about $10. A wireless print adapter costs $50 to $100. Duplex units are available for some models for two-sided/duplex printing; prices start at about $30.
- Vendors that offer a wide variety of inkjet printer supplies include 123Inkjets and Amazon .
Shopping for an inkjet printer:
- Sales and specials are common at electronics discount stores. One-generation-old models may be sold at a substantial discount compared to the latest model printers.
- Manufacturers such as Epson offer refurbished inkjet printers at a discount.
- PCMag offers a buying guide for inkjet printers.
- Cnet provides a guide to the best reviewed photo inkjet printers.
- Compare online prices from sites such as Amazon or JR.com with those from national retails chains such as Best Buy .
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