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The Best Printers for a Windows-Based Computer

If you are in the market for a new printer for a windows-based computer, then it may seem as if you are going to have to wade through hundreds of options and hours of research before you have any hope of finding a printer  that will actually meet both your budget and your needs. There are many more printers and cartridges on the market today than ever before, it can feel like an overwhelming task to shop for the right products for your computer. You are not alone.  If you feel like this, there are some simple steps you can take to make your job much easier.

Choose the Right Type of Printer

Your first step will be to determine the right type of printer for the jobs you most commonly perform. A Windows-based PC is still a much more common sight in offices and home offices today than Macintosh computers. There are a wider range of options for printers and ink cartridges that are compatible with Windows-based systems. So if you are in the market for a Windows-based printer system, this is good news for you.

First, you will need to answer some basic questions before you are ready to go shopping for your new printer. You will need to determine whether your new printer should be able to print in both color and black and white, or if just black and white printing will meet your needs. Next, you should determine what level of capacity you need from your printer.  Laser printers are both more precise and often produce output much faster. However, inkjet printers are typically less expensive and perfectly adequate for home use.

Select the Type of Functionality You Need

The task that comes next will be to choose the type of functionality you need. For instance, some printers do only printing, although this is a less common occurrence in today’s multi-functional society. Many printers are also able to double as copiers, scanners or even fax machines. Keep in mind that the more different tasks your printer is responsible for, the more different things are liable to one day break down. If you are relying on a single machine for all of your home office or office needs and it breaks down, what will you do?

Answering these questions can direct you to the best choice regarding how many different tasks your new printer will be expected to perform. While it can often be less expensive to buy a multi-functional printer, it may turn out to be more expensive in the long run should your new printer require repairs. You also have the option today of selecting a wireless printer that you can use without the need for cables, and as long as you don’t foresee any internet outages, this can be a great solution if you move about with your computer during the day.

Research the Brand and Manufacturer Recommendations

Your next step will be to research the top three to five brands you are interested in, along with any specific manufacturer recommendations. If your brand of computer also makes printers, it can be a wise choice to go with that same brand. This can minimize any potential incompatibility issues as well as simplify registration and customer service issues, software updates and other important tasks that can extend the life of all your electronic equipment. As you research each brand, you also may discover that some brands have better performance in areas that are of high value and priority to you. But don’t overwhelm yourself with researching 20 brands. Just pick the top few and research them as best you can within your budget, paying special attention to customer reviews as these are less likely to be biased, and then pick a printer using your best judgment.

Try Before You Buy!

If at all possible, picking the best printers for a Windows-based PC is most easily accomplished if you can try before you buy. Most often this is accomplished after the fact, when you purchase a printer and have a certain window of time during which you can return it. If you buy a warranty, this process can be extended as well, if problems should crop up later.