A printer is a device that prints text, images or other data from a computer, digital camera or smartphone onto paper or other media. It is a common form of communication in businesses and homes. There are several types of printer, with each having its own unique set of features and capabilities.

Printer Types

There are many different kinds of printers, including laser, inkjet, thermal, dot matrix and solid ink printers. The selection of the correct type for your printing needs depends on a number of factors, including price, speed and quality of the documents you need to print.

Dot Matrix

A dot matrix printer is a type of desktop printing machine that uses a moving printhead of wire hammers to form characters and graphics by impacting a ribbon. These printers are most often found in the home or small business office, but they are also available in larger, industrial size.

Line Printers

A line printer is a type of impact printer that uses an oscillating row of print hammers to form characters and graphics by transferring dots of ink onto the paper. This type of printing is very fast, with some machines capable of 1100 lines per minute or faster, making it a very popular choice in large office environments.

Using a dot matrix printer, it is possible to create high-quality full-color, high-resolution documents. Some dot matrix printers, such as the IBM 1403 and the LP27 from Digital Equipment Corporation, can print at a resolution of up to 600 dpi.

Inkjet printers are a popular choice for home use, with the ability to produce quality photographs and documents in an affordable manner. They also offer the option of a variety of paper sizes and coatings.

They are generally considered to be less expensive than laser printers, but are often more difficult to operate and have a shorter lifespan. Because of this, they are less suitable for use with photo paper and speciality finished papers, but may be sufficient for general office needs.

The most important feature to look for in a dot matrix printer is the speed at which it can print. Having an efficient printer that can print pages quickly will save time and money, and is especially useful if you plan to be printing infrequently.

Another consideration is whether you will need to add ink cartridges to your printer. Some dot matrix printers have built-in ink tanks, while others require a separate cartridge system. Ink cartridges are generally more expensive than ink tanks, but they will last longer and are easier to replace.

Other options include printers that can be controlled by software, such as the Adobe Creative Suite or Apple’s Mac OS X. These can be very helpful when preparing large amounts of documents, and some will even automatically re-print pages that are no longer needed. Some can be connected directly to a computer, so they are very portable. Some can be connected to a network, so they can share printer files and printer settings with other computers in the same network.