How to Buy the Best Personal Laser Printer

The Brother Personal Laser Printer, a real nice one!

The Brother Personal Laser Printer, a real nice one!

Once of the most useful and important items in the home office is the personal laser printer.  As you probably know, page for page, nothing comes close to the cost savings a personal laser printer supplies.  There are many different types of personal laser printer available from many manufacturers and that can make what should be an easy decision a bit of a hassle.  Read on to learn what you should consider, and what you should ignore when it comes to buying a great personal laser printer.

Many personal laser printer manufacturers like to tout the PPM of their printers, PPM is the pages per minute speed.  Now, to be honest this is just about the most useless stat when it comes to a personal laser printer.  Why?  Well, if you’re just printing one or two pages does it really matter if it takes 5 seconds or 8 seconds?  Don’t waste your money on getting the fastest printer you can find, it really won’t make much of a difference.

These days many personal laser printers are made with space savings in mind, which is a great thing.  There is a cost however, not a monetary one, but a features one.  You see, a compact personal laser printer probably doesn’t have the capability to use many different paper sizes.  Make sure you read the features of any personal laser printer you may be considering and make sure it can handle whatever you need it to do, especially envelopes.

Paper handling varies among common personal laser printers. Check the specifications carefully especially if you need to print 11×17 (for spreadsheets for example) and envelopes. Some laser printers, such as HP, have paper tray upgrades available but keep in mind you may lose the space saving benefit of your personal laser printer if you have to go this route.

A personal laser printer will be rated in terms of resolution too.  If you only print text or the occasional graph than this isn’t really important to you.  If you’ll print pictures, especially photos than you need to pay close attention to this stat.

Another nice personal laser printer, this one is an HP

Another nice personal laser printer, this one is an HP

Before you make the final purchase decision an often overlooked detail is the price of replacement toner cartridges.  A personal laser printer might look like a perfect fit for you but it really isn’t if the replacement cartridges cost $85 each.  In addition, calculate the cost per page, a great printer may be an inefficient one, so be aware of this.

Believe it or not printers need to be connected to a computer.  There are two ways to do this; through a usb cable, or wireless network.  Most people don’t realize that a printer usb cable can run them an additional $20.  Hint, if you’re already running a wireless network at home, then get a personal laser printer with built in wireless networking.  You’ll also have the added advantage of being able to use your personal laser printer from any computer in the home, even a laptop.

When you’re ready to go out and buy a personal laser printer I suggest reading laser printer reviews on sites like Consumer Search and Consumer Reports, even Amazon has consumer reviews.  These laser printer reviews are written by consumers just like yourself and can really help you find the best personal laser printer for your needs.

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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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