Inkjet printers are well known because they dominate the consumer market and have attracted an increasingly larger portion of the small and medium sized business (SMB) and small office/home office (SOHO) market due to a low initial cost and ease of use.
The inkjet technology involves spraying various sized liquid ink droplets through print head nozzles onto the print medium (paper, etc.). The print head can be fixed or disposable although most printers as of this writing have fixed printer heads. A fixed print head often has a more precise spray and is built to last during the printer's lifetime, which saves consumers money because the ink is often cheaper to replace. However, if something goes wrong with your print head, you will typically have to purchase a new printer.
Usually, the biggest choice for most consumers looking at inkjet printers will be between a single function machine or an All-in-One (AIO) printer. All-in-One printers are widely available and range from budget-friendly models with only the basic scan, copy and print capabilities to high end models with print, scan, copy, fax, photo, Web-connected apps, email, etc.
Inkjet printers will always have the edge over laser, LED or solid ink printers in the photo realm because of the dye based “wet” ink used in combination with glossy photo paper. However, those same inks are also the biggest negative when it comes to inkjet printers. In most cases, it can cost as much or more to replace one set of ink cartridge as it does to purchase the printer.
For advice on choosing the perfect inkjet, check out All the Right Moves: Tips for Choosing the Perfect Inkjet Printer, a part of our Rethink Ink Series.
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