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Everyone needs to print from time to time. Even if you're not a professional photographer or a contract lawyer, there will still be the occasional errand that cannot be completed without some assistance from a printer.

 

When such errands arise, it's nice to have a printer of your own to rely on. The alternative is going to the library and paying for each sheet...or using the office printer while your boss isn't looking...or just hoping that one of your friends will let you use theirs.

 

You might think that paying for a printer (and, subsequently, the ink or toner necessary to keep it running) is a waste of money, but it's actually a very sound investment in the long run. Here are three reasons to take the plunge and get your very own printer:

 

Tickets and Boarding Passes

If you've travelled by air in the last couple of years, you'll know about all the bits of paper that you have to print out just to board the darn plane. It’s not just air travel, either; between the e-tickets for that concert on Friday and the proof of purchase that you need to present when you pick up your goods at a shop, there’s always something that needs printing, and having your own printer makes life much easier.

 

You'll Instantly Become More Popular

You know how we mentioned the friends that you rely on for printing purposes at present? Once you’ve got a printer of your own, you’ll become that friend. True, you may get tired of everybody making demands on your poor little printer, but think of all the favours that they’ll owe you!

 

Printers Aren't Just Printers Anymore

Multi-function printers (MFPs) are an increasingly large part of the market, and there are very few people nowadays who just want a printer. By investing in an MFP, you’ll also be getting a scanner, a photocopier, and goodness knows what else.

 

Convinced? Click here to see our printer bundles - these printers come with CISS systems, which means that you'll save money on ink right off the bat!

4200DTNS

 

 

For some reason, printer manufacturers have never put a lot of effort into naming their machines. It would be refreshing to see someone like Brother or HP roll out a new model called 'The Inkredible' or 'Colourama', but no - it's always DCP this and 3800DN that. How boring.

 

But have you ever wondered what those names might mean? A quick browse through our toner cartridge range will throw up a mind-boggling variety of acronyms and suffixes, but unless you're already a printing expert, it's probably all greek to you. What, for example, is the difference between an HP LaserJet 3500 and an HP LaserJet 3500n

 

In today's blog, we're going to explain what some of those letters stand for. Note that different manufacturers use different nomenclature, so this information will vary between brands; still, most of these are reasonably universal:

 

  • D is for Duplexing: This printer is capable of double-sided printing.

  • L is...a tricky one. It can denote a low-speed printer (although this is more commonly written as LS); bizarrely, HP have also been known to use it to denote a stapler function (see S).

  • M means that this printer has PostScript capabilities. Not to be confused with...

  • MFP is for Multi-Fucntion Printer: This printer also functions as a scanner, photocopier, etc.

  • is for Network: This printer is network-ready, meaning that multiple printers can connect to it at once. Non-network printers must be plugged into the computer you're printing from.

  • is for Stapler or Stacker: This printer has a built-in stapling function...or a paper stacker for large jobs. Not to be confused with...

  • SE is for Special Edition: This printer was marketed as a 'special' version of a previous model. Note that this doesn't refer to any specific features or functions.

  • Si is used by Hewlett-Packard to denote high-volume printers.

  • T is for Tray: This printer has an additional paper tray.

  • is for Wireless: Printer can connect to the network wirelessly (as opposed to printers, which have to be physically connected to the network).

  • X is used to denote that this printer has several different features - it looks a bit cleaner than DTNSL, after all!

Did we miss any? If you're still not sure what that model name means, why not get in touch?

Y U No Print

 

If you thought that printing was kind of a boring topic, think again. We at City Ink Express have been in this business for a long time, and we've learned that printing - and printers in particular - can inspire a wider range of emotions than all the world's poetry and music and art put together. Emotions like...

 

Cynicism!

 

Fry on printers

 

 

More frustration!


Cancel print meme


 

 

 

Bafflement!

 

Out of magenta

 

 

Yet more frustration!


Cat printing meme

 

 

And finally - if, by some black magic, you actually manage to print your document - overwhelming pride!

 

Got printer to print meme

 

More of this sort of thing on our Printing Memes board.

There are many, many printer companies in the market – Wikipedia lists more than 100 – and so you might think that providing a truly comprehensive range of ink and toner solutions would be a near-impossible task.

 

But while staying on top of the ever-expanding range of available models is certainly a challenge, we have found that certain brands are mentioned far more frequently than others. There may be 100+ manufacturers in Wikipedia’s list, but the five or six biggest names on that list account for the vast majority of our sales.

 

With that in mind, here’s our countdown of the 5 Biggest Printer Companies in the World:

 

Samsung logo

5. Samsung

Founded: 1938

Home Country: South Korea


 Samsung is a huge name across dozens of different industries – aside from printers, they also manufacture smartphones, televisions, cameras, kitchen appliances, and goodness knows what else. Why are they only #5? Because, unlike most of the other companies on this list, printers aren’t really Samsung’s main export; they’re just a single string in the company’s bow!

 

Browse Samsung toner cartridges >

 


Epson logo

4. Epson

Founded: 1942

Home Country: Japan


Epson is part of the Seiko Group, but while the Seiko brand is synonymous with watches and clocks, Epson have carved out a huge name for themselves in the printing game. As of Autumn 2012, their market share was more than 15%, and they’ve continued to flourish in spite of controversies regarding their ink cartridges.

 

Purchase toner for Epson laser printers >

 


Canon logo

3. Canon

Founded: 1937

Home Country: Japan


 One might argue that Canon are better known for their cameras than for their printers, but let’s not split hairs – printing and photography go hand-in-hand anyway, and Canon are international leaders in both markets. They’re also the only company on this list without a blue-and-white logo, so more power to them for bucking the trend!

 

Buy Canon toner >

 

 

Brother logo

2. Brother

Founded: 1908

Home Country: Japan


Brother are by far the oldest company on this list (they were founded almost three decades before Canon, although admittedly they were called the Yasui Sewing Machine Company throughout a large chunk of their early history).  While companies like Canon and Samsung have complemented their printing products with successful forays into other markets, Brother have mainly been all about the printers for some time now. And it’s paid off – their machines are some of the very best available.

 

Buy Brother toner cartridges >

 


HP logo

1. Hewlett-Packard

Founded: 1939

Home Country: USA


You thought Japan were going to run away with this list, didn't you? 'Fraid not - America, as usual, are at the top of the tree, and even though printers are only a part of HP's massive hardware and software range, Hewlett-Packard printers still appear to be the most popular worldwide.

 

Buy toner for HP printers >

Pricing is everything when it comes to running a business, and that obviously stretches to printing costs too. Trying to cipher which is the most economical laser printer will help you keep your costs down by allowing you the most efficient form of printing.

 

To help you find the most economical laser printer, we have scoured the internet and found 3 of the most efficient machines money can buy today! And here they are:

 

Samsung Printer Xpress c410w


This awesome colour laser printer will allow you to print 7,000 pages before you need to change your toner cartridges – this massive allowance will allow you to save money to put into other areas of your business. As well as being the most economical laser printer around, this Samsung device is extremely compact, has a massive 32MB of memory, and has an impressive colour resolution of 2,400 dpi.

 

HP Color LaserJet Enterprise CP4525dn


The HP LaserJet Enterprise is the other most economical laser printer you can buy today with an astronomical toner yield of up to 8,500 pages – this figure really dwarves the rest of the field, and should help you make some important savings. On top of being insanely economical with its toner, this HP model produces super-speedy prints in as quick as 9.5 seconds, and is compatible with just about any operating system going.

 

OKI Data C C531dn


Our last offering of economical laser printers brings us to this OKI device – the OKI Data C C531dn. With a toner yield of 5,000 pages this printer is still one of the most efficient and economical machines you can buy today! What you’ll also like about this model is it actually uses LEDs rather than lasers for increased print-efficiency, and it only takes 7.5 seconds to warm-up – which is ideal for those looking to print in a jiffy.

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