Printers & Scanners

Not all printers can provide all the functions you may want depending on your expectations, which is why it’s important to weigh the pros and cons of each before you decide.

With so many options available, you’ll want to make sure you’re choosing the right type and model while paying the right price. Read this article to help you decide on which printer to purchase for your home or business.

Inkjet Printers

Inkjet printers works by propelling variably-sized droplets of liquid or molten material (ink) onto almost any medium. They are the most common type of printer for the general consumer due to their low cost, high quality of output, capability of printing in glowing color, and easy to use and handle.

Most of the today’s Inkjet printers are inexpensive, although constantly replacing ink cartridges can end up costing more if your printer is not well-designed. There are a few types of inkjets that are commonly purchased as home printers but also for small business use. Affordable printing now comes in compact ink tank system printers with lots of variants and features in all brands. Wide range of Inkjet printers are available at present for every kind of work require.

 

Laser Printers

Laser Printer is a type of printer that utilizes a laser beam to produce an image on a drum. The light of the laser alters the electrical charge on the drum wherever it hits. The drum is then rolled through a reservoir of toner, which is picked up by the charged portions of the drum. Finally, the toner is transferred to the paper through a combination of heat and pressure.

Laser printers are better for printing documents. If you want to keep the cost per page as low as possible, laser printers are cheaper. Laser printers are often used for corporate, school, and other environments that require print jobs to be completed quickly and in large quantities.

The main advantage of Laser printer is its speed & efficiency at which it prints high-quality quality graphics & text.

Laser printers produce high-quality output as compared to other printers.

Laser printers are quite and does not produce disturbing sounds.

They are also capable to produce color prints.

 

Dot Matrix Printers

The dot-matrix printer uses print heads containing from 9 to 24 pins. These pins produce patterns of dots on the paper to form the individual characters. The 24 pin dot-matrix printer produces more dots that a 9 pin dot-matrix printer, which results in much better quality and clearer characters. The general rule is: the more pins, the clearer the letters on the paper.

The 24-pin Dot Matrix Printers have a legendary reputation for heavy duty multi-part printing of invoices, sales orders etc. They all feature automatic paper parking & loading, auto tear off, and bar code printing capability.

Passbook featured Dot Matrix series printers are not only the ideal choice for passbook printing, their versatility also accommodates a wide variety of printing needs. One of the key advantages is the ability to print on a variety of media that is used in financial institutions and government departments. These include passbook of up to 2.6mm thick, banking slips, visas, forms, receipts, tickets and a variety of other official documents. Additionally, a myriad of options are readily available to suit a variety of business needs, including continuous paper feeding, cut-sheets and label printing. The printers also make multi-copy printing simple, with 1+6 copies of carbon printing for data archiving and duplicates.

 

Thermal Printers

Direct thermal printers are most commonly used to print items such as receipts and shipping labels. Thermal transfer printers use a thermal print head to transfer a solid ink from a ribbon onto a label supply (usually made from vinyl, polyester, nylon, or other thicker materials) to produce a permanent print.

Direct thermal printing uses chemically treated, heat-sensitive media that blackens when it passes under the thermal print head, while thermal transfer printing uses a heated ribbon to produce durable, long-lasting images on a wide variety of materials.Thermal printers are faster still and require no ink; however, thermal paper costs slightly more than regular paper.

Thermal printing uses heat to transfer colored ink onto a page or to change the color of the paper itself. Your business may have several thermal printers as part of standard office equipment.

 

Types

Thermal printers come in two main varieties: one produces monochrome output, and the other prints in color. The first type draws specially treated paper across a row of tiny electric heating elements. If the element is hot as the paper moves over it, the paper turns black at that point; otherwise it stays white. As the process uses no ink, the mechanism is simple and durable — maintenance simply involves changing the paper. The dye sublimation thermal printer uses a ribbon containing three colored ink panels, each in a series, plus a fourth clear panel. Each panel is the same size as the printed page. Heat causes the solid ink to sublimate, or turn to gas without first becoming liquid. The ink bonds to a specially coated paper. The final clear panel seals the colors in place, producing a dry, durable full-color image of photographic quality.

Office Equipment

Many cash registers, printing calculators and label machines have built-in monochrome thermal printers. Credit-card readers likewise use a thermal receipt printer. The thermal technology is an improvement over earlier inked ribbons in office equipment; the ribbons occasionally jammed and were messy to change. Some of the original fax machines also had thermal printers, although many have since switched to inkjet or laser technology for higher print resolution.

Color Photos

Some desktop photo printers use dye sublimation technology, producing quality prints in a few seconds. Although some photo printers are inkjet models, the finished product needs to dry before you can handle it; however, the dye sublimation process turns out dry prints that don’t smear.

Other Uses

Novelty shops create various gift items like coffee mugs, T-shirts and other items with a custom photo or graphic design. These items have a special coating that accepts colored ink from a dye-sublimation thermal printer. The basic process is the same as for photo printing, although the print mechanism is adapted to handle the novelties.

Thermal printers are widely used at toll booths, tickets, retail outlets, grocery stores, kiosks, card swipe machines, labels & barcode printing, etc.

SCANNERS

A scanner is a device that captures images from photographic prints, posters, magazine pages, and similar sources for computer editing and display. The four common scanner types are: Flatbed, Sheet-fed, Handheld, and Drum scanners. Flatbed scanners are some of the most commonly used scanners as it has both home and office functions.

Commonly used in offices are variations of the desktop flatbed scanner where the document is placed on a glass window for scanning. Hand-held scanners, where the device is moved by hand, have evolved from text scanning “wands” to 3D scanners used for industrial design, reverse engineering, test and measurement, orthotics, gaming and other applications. Mechanically driven scanners that move the document are typically used for large-format documents, where a flatbed design would be impractical.

Modern scanners typically use a charge-coupled device (CCD) or a contact image sensor (CIS) as the image sensor, whereas drum scanners, developed earlier and still used for the highest possible image quality, use a photomultiplier tube (PMT) as the image sensor. A rotary scanner, used for high-speed document scanning, is a type of drum scanner that uses a CCD array instead of a photomultiplier. Non-contact planetary scanners essentially photograph delicate books and documents. All these scanners produce two-dimensional images of subjects that are usually flat, but sometimes solid; 3D scanners produce information on the three-dimensional structure of solid objects.

Barcode scanners are handheld devices that are used to read the data in a barcode. These devices help in capturing and translating the barcode into numbers and letters. Barcode scanners are wired to a computer to read the data clearly and precisely.

Another category of document scanner is the document camera. Capturing images on document cameras differs from that of flatbed and Automatic document feeder (ADF) scanners in that there are no moving parts required to scan the object.  Document cameras capture the whole document or object in one step, usually instantly. Typically, documents are placed on a flat surface, usually the office desk, underneath the capture area of the document camera. The process of whole-surface-at-once capturing has the benefit of increasing reaction time for the work flow of scanning. After being captured, the images are usually processed through software which may enhance the image and perform such tasks like automatically rotating, cropping and straightening them.

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