Choose a Printer to Work with CS5 - dummies

By Jennifer Smith, Christopher Smith, Fred Gerantabee

Printers for your Creative Suite projects can differ greatly in the areas of quality, cost of maintenance, and the speed at which the printer can print. Some inkjet printers excel at printing full-color photos but don’t print text well; a low-end or medium-end laser printer may print black-and-white documents at good speed and quality but can’t print in color.

When it comes to printers, you encounter hundreds of options at a variety of prices.

Consumer printers

The most common type of consumer (home) printer is now an inkjet printer, which works by spraying ink stored in cartridges onto a sheet of paper while it passes through the printer. This type of printer is common in households because it’s the least expensive type of color printer.

It’s also versatile. You can walk into virtually any computer store and buy a color inkjet printer (which can print résumés, photos, and brochures) for a low price.

The lone drawback of inkjets is that they can be expensive to maintain in the long run. Depending on how much you print, you may need to replace the black or color cartridges often, which can get costly and quickly exceed the cost of the printer itself.

Professional printers

Professional printers typically have a more rounded feature set compared to consumer printers. Professional printers can either be inkjet or laser printers and can even perform multiple functions within the office.

Not surprisingly, printers that have several roles within the office are often referred to as multifunction or all-in-one printers and typically also include scanning, photocopying, or faxing capabilities in addition to printing. These all-in-one units are useful in small offices and home offices because they save the consumer some money while providing access to a variety of useful tools.

Laser printers have several benefits: They typically produce a higher quality printout and print pages faster than inkjet printers, as well as produce a clean, professional-looking document. You can also print more pages per ink cartridge, saving you money in consumable items.