Office printers: introduction to technology and types

by Melanie Stainforth - Date: 2007-01-25 - Word Count: 717 Share This!

With every bit of information transfer and manipulation going digital these days, almost the entire data in any office are centered on its computers. This works as long as you want to work on it or view the data at one’s own desk. But what about keeping a dossier of these electronic data or obtaining the specs of a project to refer at home or while on a business trip? Well, one can take the printouts of the desired records and carry it wherever one wants or goes. The device that helps one take the print is called a printer, our current topic of discussion.

Office printers or simply printers are those devices that could convert the documents stored in electronic form in a computer into permanent human-readable text / graphics on a physical print media such as a paper. Most printers are used as a computer peripheral device, always connected to its document source. Then there are network printers that come with built-in network devices, which can be accessed and used by any PC present in the network.

Further, most modern day printers can interface with other electronic media such as memory cards and sticks, and digital devices like cameras and scanners. Then there are printers that combine the functionalities of a scanner and fax machines as well. In the following paragraphs, we’ll see the different types of common office printers in vogue.

Office printers are generally classified on the basis of the printing technology it employs. Along these lines, office printers - belonging to the modern printing technology - can be classified as tone-based printers, liquid inkjet printers, solid inkjet printers and dye-sublimation printers. It should be kept in mind that each technology has its own applications in terms of text/image quality, speed, and cost, and print media, with certain ones being tailor made to suit some specific print media only.

Tone based printers work in a similar fashion as a typical photocopier, by adhering toner to the print media. The most common type of such a printer is the laser printer that uses a laser beam to meet the toner to the paper. They are known for its high quality prints, speed, and lesser cost per page, and hence are commonly used in general office applications. But due to its comparatively higher costs, it is yet to make a mark at a consumer level. Another tone based printer is the LED printer that uses a series of LEDs to affect toner adhesion.

Liquid inkjet printers reproduce text by spraying small but precise amount of ink on to the print media. This is the common consumer print technology owing to its low cost and reasonable print quality. Its disadvantages being its slow speed and the extra time that must be allowed in order to dry the ink before handling the sheet aggressively.

Solid inkjet printers – also called phase change printers – uses solid sticks of wax, which is melted onto the print medium for printing the characters. They are used in office environments and are suitable for printing on transparencies and other non-porous surface or media. Its disadvantages are higher power consumption and the waxy coat around the text owing to the wax ink used for printing. Xerox is the only manufacturer of solid inkjet printers at present.

Dye-based printing process employs heat to adhere dye on the print media. The printing medium can be plastic, poster paper, or print paper. These devices can produce high quality color applications, but are less suitable for texts.

If you are running an office, the choice of the printer(s) must be based entirely on the requirements at hand. If you need a large amount of high quality prints to be made, then tone-based printers would be the ideal ones to serve the purpose. Liquid inkjet printers are suitable if the numbers of printing documents or photographs are comparatively less. Solid inkjet printers comes handy if the application at hand demands printing on both sides of the print media without any color showing through the paper.

Finally, it is advisable to do a bit of market research, go through the product brochures of various manufacturers, and compare the pros, cons and prices, before making the purchase. You could find different quality and features even in the same type of devices. CCTV Specialty specializes in the supply and distribution of CCTV Cameras. Your Article Search Directory : Find in Articles

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