Guide to Buying A Cheap Computer Printer

There are basically 2 types of printers to concider when looking to buy a cheap computer printer; a laser printer or an ink jet printer.

Ink Jet Printers

Ink Jet Printers are the most common printer you will find. They are highly versatile printers and are capable of printing anything in black and white or color. You can also use an ink jet printer to print your photos on photo quality paper. The Pages Per Minute(PPM) on an ink jet printer may be lower than that of a laser printer but the cheaper price and versatility of the ink jet printer more than make up for this.

HP Deskjet 5550 Color InkJet Printer
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Looking for a different printer? Click here to check out a huge list of ink jet printers for your printing needs!

Laser Printers

Laser printers are fast, high quality printers that come in black and white or color. Black and white laser printers are best suited for the office, where many documents need to be printed daily with consitantly high quality. Color laser printers, while expensive, allow you to print very high quality pictures that won't run.

Brother HL-5040 Personal Laser Printer
Brother HL-5040 Personal Laser Printer
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Your printer image quality is governed by two factors, Dots Per Inch (DPI) and the paper.

Dots Per Inch (DPI)

DPI refers to how many dots your printer will print per square inch of paper, therefore a printer with a higher DPI can print higher quality documents and photos than a printer with a lower DPI. I recommend getting a printer with 600 dpi, this should cover all your basic needs from school and work papers to photos takes with your digital camera.


Paper can be a major factor in the quality of your printing, a high quality glossy paper can make your pictures look much much better than a regular sheet of printer paper. I definatly recommend picking up some photo quality paper if you are thinking of printing off some pictures.

Connecting your printer to your cheap computer is another option you should look at. USB and parallel are the two biggest options to chose from.


This is quickly becoming the most popular way to connect your printer to your cheap computer. It allows for a faster transfer of data and therefore faster printing.


This is the standard fo connecting your printer to your cheap computer. It should be available on all printers and is connectable to any cheap computer.