Printing from home may save students money

Nickels and dimes are beginning to add up for Missouri Southern students familiarizing themselves with the cost of printing.

For those who believe 10 cents per page is a little high, one may one want to look into the costs of owning one’s own printer.

Quality and features vary by model, so it is vital that a printer purchase is made with the owner’s use in mind. In most cases, owning an all-in-one printer, scanner and copier is more economical than three separate machines. However, if the owner only needs to print text or photos, a regular inkjet or laser printer could suffice.

While most college students may not care about the quality of text on an assignment as long as it is in on time, some may want to be sure it is more professional looking than a first grader’s handwriting. Printing speed for those who only remember to print a ten-page essay thirty seconds before walking out the door could give the purchaser another factor to examine.

As film camera use declines, many printer companies highlight the digital photo printing capabilities of various models. While it might be wonderful to have professional quality printing, it might not be worth the per photo cost. If this is a feature one is looking for, it is important to check not only the quality of the photos but the cost per photo print as well.

New technology in the printing world is adding other extras. Wireless networking, or allowing multiple computers to print without cable to one printer, is a cost saving option for those who cannot easily connect a cable to the router and have a multiple computer household. Some printer companies are also getting additional sales because of large LCD screens and built-in fax capabilities.

Once the soon-to-be printer owner has a general idea about the features necessary and some promising reliable reviews in mind, it is time to pick out the specific model that will be taken home. The Consumer Reports September issue featured the top rated printers, which range in price from 50 dollars all the way to 330 dollars. Individual companies and models cause the sticker price to vary.

All aspects of the printer’s model must be examined to determine whether the sticker price is worth the purchasing price. It is important for the consumer to realize that per page costs will be present, whether one is purchasing on campus or at home. Consumer Report’s findings took into account all costs of owning a printer, not just the initial price tag.

Although color costs were not included in the ratings due to various amounts used in a color print job, almost every model ran below the ten cents per page on campus cost for black and white text. However, each potential buyer has to weigh the convenience and cost to determine if and which at home printer is better for his or her needs.