When you’re looking to buy a printer for your home, office or home office, you have a multitude of options from which to choose. Your first decision is likely whether to get an inkjet design, which fires droplets of liquid ink onto the paper, or a laser design, which puts toner on the page, then bonds it with a heated fuser. Laser printers are considered to be more effective for printing text, are generally faster and more reliable, and cost less to run, especially in high-volume environments where you need a workhorse printer. A black-and-white laser printer may be a good option for a home or home office if you will only be printing black-and-white and grayscale documents. But if you need to print photos or color graphics, you’ll want a color laser printer. You can also save space and dollars by combining printing, scanning and copying (and with some models, faxing as well) with a color laser printer all-in-one. There are models designed for homes and small businesses, as well as larger and more powerful versions for medium to large businesses.
When you’re searching for the best color laser printer for home, you’ll find there are a number of convenience features you can choose from, including double-sided scanning, an auto document feeder or a touch screen, as well as mobile device printing, which allows you to send data wirelessly from a smartphone or tablet. You can choose a wireless color laser printer if you’d like to have placement flexibility in your home, since you can situate it anywhere it can detect a strong Wi-Fi or Bluetooth signal. Or you can choose a wired color laser printer, usually direct-connected using USB, for plug-and-play installation.
Setting Up Your New Color Laser Printer
Once you’ve selected the best color laser printer for your purposes, you’ll want to turn your attention to setting it up. Connecting a wired printer using printer cables is relatively easy, assuming you select the right length of cable to meet your needs. On the other hand, connecting a wireless printer is not necessarily difficult, but does present more of a challenge, primarily because there is no one-size-fits-all solution. Rather, connection depends on the model of printer you choose, and whether you want to connect it to a network, to one or more individual computers, or to a device like a tablet or smartphone. Easy-to-follow instructions are included with every color laser printer purchase.
It’s also important to consider that a color laser printer uses toner. More specifically, it uses four toner cartridges, one cartridge each for cyan, magenta, yellow and black. You’ll know it’s time to replace your toner cartridges when you get an on-screen alert or see a status indicator light on your printer.