Anyone who has ever struggled with a printer understands how incredibly frustrating it can be. After painstakingly typing a paper or putting the final touches on a photo project, you might wait for that paper to spool—only to be left staring at confusing sub menus and a non-functional device. Fortunately, printer manufacturers have resolved some of the more frustrating aspects of home printing, so that you don't have to run to that copy store in the middle of the night or spend more than you need to on supplies. Here are two new printer features you might appreciate:
1: Quick Stop Button
If it seems like you spend a lot of money on printer ink, it isn't your imagination. Believe it or not, plain black printer ink is one of the most expensive liquids in the world, costing around $2,700 per gallon. Unfortunately, that precious black gold might go to waste if you accidentally hit print a little early. As you watch your printer spool through your entire document and pump out pages that you know you are going to have to toss, you might feel your wallet getting a little lighter.
However, some new printers contain an easily accessible quick stop button situated right on the device, so that you can halt printing in an instant. Instead of having to navigate through complicated printer driver menus or operating software settings, all you need to do is hit "stop," and your printer will immediately stop printing—saving expensive paper and ink.
Quick stop buttons can also save you a lot of time. When you can stop printing the second you detect a problem, you might be able to correct errors and produce a corrected version in no time.
2: Internet Connectivity
These days, it might seem like all of your home appliances want access to your WIFI password for one reason or another. However, when it comes to home printing, Internet connectivity just makes sense. Here are a few reasons you should look for a printer that can connect to your home network:
- Wireless Printing: Unless you have a dedicated computer workstation, it might not always be convenient to hit "print." If you have a laptop, you might find yourself saving documents to a flash drive or trying to find a cable so that you can print that paper. However, since wireless printers are accessible via the web, you might be able to print whatever you need to from any device with an Internet connection.
- Cloud Access: Believe it or not, wireless printers can do a lot more than print documents without relying on unsightly cables. Some versions even contain easy-to-use touch screen panels that you can use to gain access to cloud drives. If you have documents or data stored online, printing out a copy might be as easy as hitting a few buttons on your printer.
- Easier for Guests: A printer with Internet capabilities might also make it easier for guests to do work at your house. Instead of having to worry about transmitting computer viruses via a thumb drive or figure out how to add your network on their personal computer, guests can simply spool to your printer over the web.
If Internet connectivity sounds like a printer feature that would help you, don't forget to check the size of the on-board memory. While lower RAM amounts might be fine for occasionally printing, you might need a system that can handle up to 1 GB of memory if you print large files or complex graphics regularly.
The next time you shop for a home printer, take the time to evaluate the features that are important to you. By finding a device that tackles your complaints, you might be able to spend less time rummaging through manuals.