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Generally speaking, there are four types of printer formats, dot matrix, inkjet, laser, and color laser. Each serves a specific purpose, so part of the selection process depends on your use. If you only want one printer you’ll probably be best served with an inkjet model. These are great for document as well as photo printing with a host of affordable models and features available depending primarily on your photo reproduction expectations, a subject for another article. The other practical choice is a laser. Color lasers require multiple, expensive toner cartridges and photo reproduction can be somewhat disappointing unless you spend BIG bucks. B & W lasers have become very affordable and available in all price ranges plus use a relatively inexpensive single toner cartridge. All lasers use a drum that typically requires replacement after three toner cartridges have been replaced.
(TIP: Laser printers use toner cartridges, a drum, and a xerographic printing process. They differ from analog photocopiers in that the image is produced by the direct scanning of a laser beam across the printer's photo sensor. An inkjet printer is a type of printer that creates a digital image by propelling droplets of ink onto the surface of the material to be printed. Dot matrix printers use a ribbon much like the obsolete typewriters of days gone by, are rarely used now and would be hard to purchase. )
I tested the compact, tri-platform, Brother 2270DW B & W laser printer. This printer has numerous features that benefit both the home and small business user at a very affordable price point. Its size, 18.5”W-14.2”D-12.6”H, allows it to fit in tight spaces. However, the most impressive feature is its ability to print double-sided documents, a savings in document pages and paper stock. It prints 27 pages per minute with a resolution of 2400 x 600 dpi, has a 250-page capacity, and a 32mb memory buffer. It’s network ready too, providing built-in wireless 802.11b/g, not AirPrint, and Ethernet interfaces. By downloading the free CORTADO WORKPLACE App to your mobile device it may be possible to print directly from mobile devices such as Apple, Android or Blackberry. High volume toner cartridges are available with a yield of +/- 2600 pages compared to the standard cartridge’s 1200.
(TIP: Laser printers offer a very high quality, professional look to your documents. AirPrint is a wireless technology for printing from a tablet or Smartphone. Cortado Workplace software is a third-party app used to interface tablets and smartphones to this printer. As always, certain operating system requirements may apply.)
I found the Brother 2270DW to be an exceptional printer at an unbelievable price point. Brother’s support department that ranks at the top along with its cost saving features and its print quality make it a GADGETEER’S BEST BUY PICK.
(TIP: To print double sided documents the original must be in a group such as stacked PDFs or a multiple page WORD document. Once you’ve selected the print command you will need to select COPIES & PAGES followed by LAYOUT and then turn on TWO-SIDED. This is the way it is done on a MAC, but a PC should be very similar.)
Available on line and at various retailers.
For more information go to: http://bit.ly/N95D9N
GADGETEER’S RATING: *****
Bob Skidmore is a freelance writer, who may be contacted at email@example.com, or followed at twitter.com/bskidmore for the latest gadget industry news. He does not represent, or endorse any of the products he reviews and his opinions are solely his points of view and not those of the manufacturer. The manufacturer generally supplies products at no cost for the articles and no other compensation is received. THE GADGETEER is highly selective as to products he feels worthy of review so as not to waste the reader’s time, thus the reason for many superior ratings.