How to Find the Best WiFi Inkjet Printers for the Money

 

 

canon wifi inkjet printersWifi Inkjet Printers are a relatively new item in today’s market  but luckily the technology involved isn’t, and that means you’ll be able to find a wide selection of wifi inkjet printers to choose from.  While this may be a good thing, it’s also a little bad since it can sometimes be difficult to figure out exactly which is the best for you.  A particular wifi printer may be great for one person but not for you, it’ll depend on what features you need.  In this article I’ll take a look, and explain, some of the features you’ll find on today’s wireless inkjet printers and the I’ll show some examples of the top rated ones out there.

Wifi Inkjet Printers – What do all those terms mean exactly?

When shopping for a new printer you’ll see terms such as ppm, dpi, memory etc..  Some manufacturers love to throw these numbers around to make their particular product seem so much better than their competition.  Let’s take a closer look at what these terms mean.

PPM, this is simply pages per minute.  Now while it’s true that a 12ppm printer is faster than a 6ppm printer the reality is the faster printer will print a page in 5 seconds, while the slower will do it in 10 seconds.  You really have to ask yourself here if saving 5 seconds is really worth paying more for.  For me personally it isn’t since I usually only print one or two pages at a time and waiting a few more seconds doesn’t bother me.  On the other hand if you routinely print dozens or even hundreds of pages at a time this will be a more relevant feature for you.  Weigh this stat appropriately.  I should also point out here that a wifi inkjet printer will have two PPM values listed, the all black (text) speed, and the color (photo/graphics) speed.  The color PPM will be much slower.

Next up is DPI, or dots per inch.  Every think printed by an inkjet printer is actually composed of tiny dots, the more dots per inch there are, the finer the picture will look.  This really doesn’t mean anything when printing text.  Now if you print lots of pictures then this will be a more important feature for you.  I will point out however that if you want to print photo quality then you should really get an inkjet printer that is specifically for photo printing.  I want to point out here that some wifi inkjet printers will list this as resolution, this will work the same as how your computer screen resolution works, the higher the resolution the finer the picture.

Now let’s look at memory.  I’m going to give you a simple explanation of what this is.  Everything you send to a printer to print is called a print job.  The printer will not start printing the until the entire job is loaded into it’s memory.  If the print job is too big the printer will need to stop in the middle of printing wait for the computer to load more into it’s internal memory.  So, if you have a 25 page document full of text this isn’t an issue, if, however, every page has photos on it more than likely the printer will pause many times to complete the job.  Once again you’ll need to weigh what you normally print to decide how much memory you need.  Better wifi inkjet printers can have their memory upgraded, whether by memory chips or expansion cards (this will, of course, add to the overall cost).

Paper Handling, this is a listing of all the different paper types that the inkjet printer can handle.  The common ones usually used at home are 8.5 x 11, 11 x 17 and envelopes/labels.  Just to be sure, you should check the printers paper handling before purchase.  Now, there’s a few wifi inkjet printer models out there touted as ‘space saver’, while it’s nice that they do indeed take up less space the sacrifice is usually that they’ll be able to use less paper, and almost always be unable to print on card stock due to the twists and turns the paper goes thru while printing.

Ink Cartridges.  Every inkjet printer has ink cartridges.  You’ll generally find black, yellow, blue and red.  Different colors are made by combining these colors.  To save money make sure the color cartridges can be replaced individually, it’s such a waste to have to throw away an entire 3 color cartridge because the blue is empty.  On the subject it’s also a good idea to check the price of the inkjet replacement cartridges, some of them can be really expensive.

LCD screen.  This is where you’ll be able to configure the printer, such as network connection properties, paper use etc.  This is pretty much standard today but at least make sure there is one.

One feature I really like is print preview.  With this feature you can see your document or photo on the LCD screen before you print it.  This will save you money on ink for sure.

What are some features that I’ll find on Wifi Inkjet Printers specifically?

lexmark wifi printer

This Lexmark consistently get 5 star reviews

Now that we’ve looked at the features common to all inkjet printers it’s time to focus on the wireless part.  There aren’t many, but they are important.

First off in this day and age make sure the wireless connection uses the 802.11n standard, this is the latest and by far the fastest connection.  You can of course use a slower standard but it will cause print jobs to load to the printer slower.  Once again, weight what you’ll be printing and how much time means to you.

I also like to see an available network wired connection port, such as USB or ethernet.  USB is the more desirable connection type.

What are some other features I should look for on a good wifi inkjet printer?

Let’s look at some of the other things that you may find on some of the better inkjet printers out there.  None of these are absolutely necessary, but they are certainly nice to have.

  • Scanning.  Some printers have the ability to scan documents.  Even though this falls into the realm of the ‘all in one’ printer it is becoming more common.  These are sometimes called ‘All in one, or AIO’ printers.
  • Image optimization.  With this feature the wifi inkjet printer will detect what you’re printing and optimize the print job to make it look better.
  • Good documentation and quick start guide.  Pretty self explanatory, but nice to have.
  • Good warranty, like anything else mechanical a good warranty is essential.
  • Multiple paper tray sizes.  If you’ll be printing different size documents all the time this is essential.

And that’s it, armed with the info above I’ll now show you some fine wifi inkjet printers, after going over the stats you’ll be able to see why they are some of the highest rated wifi inkjet printers available on the market today.
Canon MP620 Wireless All-in-One Photo Printer
Canon PIXMA MP560 Wireless Inkjet All-In-One Photo Printer (3747B002)
Lexmark Intuition S505 Wireless Multifunction Inkjet Printer

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About the Author

Hi there!, My name is Norm. I am a college grad, a veteran, a pet owner and a family man. I started writing articles both to make a little extra money, and to share my knowledge with others. I currently work in the IT department of a major NY hospital.
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