Printers are a staple of the modern office, even domestic offices. They come in various different types suitable for a variety of printing applications. With big brands like Cannon® you'll be sure to find a printer that suits your working needs.

What are printers?

Printers are hardware devices that transfer electronic data to a hard copy. They are commonly used to print both text and photos, making them one of the most popular computer peripherals used.

Why printers?

Sometimes you will need several copies of a document to distribute as a handout to members of staff. If this is the case you will need a printer to transfer the digital text to a paper copy. Some printers like badge printers are more specialised and are used specifically for printing small items like badges and passes.

Types of printers

Desktop - These are the most common types of printer and are the ones you most commonly see in home and office applications. These are either ink jet - that utilises ink cartridges to spray the paper with quick drying ink or laser printers that use a laser to transfer the image onto the paper.

AIO - Stands for All In One. These printers usually feature a scanner, photocopier, fax machine and printer all in one unit. They tend to be found in commercial office environments as the combination of all these items together takes up less room than the individual appliances would.

LED - These operate much like a laser printer but use a light emitting diode instead of a laser. They are considered more efficient and reliable than a laser printer.

Thermal - These types of printers utilise heated pins to burn images onto heat sensitive paper. They are often used in calculators and fax machines but produce low resolution images.

Badge - These are small devices used to print images onto small pieced of card or paper creating a badge or a pass.

Considerations when choosing a printer

Cost - Whilst some types of printer like inkjet printers are relatively cheap to buy, the cost of ink cartridges can soon mount up. Other printers might be more expensive up front but could work out more cost effective in the long run if you have to print a lot over time.

Interfaces - Modern printers can communicate in various way with a computer. If you have a Wifi network for example several computers can connect with a single printer to create print jobs. USB cables are also fairly common but require manual connection which can result in a lot of cabling.

Space - Is there room for several appliances? If you are limited on space and require items like a scanner as well then an AIO printer could fulfill your needs.


What is the best type of printer for a domestic office?

Inkjet printers used to be the most popular choice due to their low initial cost, however replacing ink cartridges frequently can soon mount up. In recent years more and more people have looked at laser printers for their home office needs.

Do I need a computer to use a printer?

With modern technology you don't necessarily need a computer to connect to a printer these days. Wi-fi and smartphones and tablets have made it possible to connect wirelessly (providing your printer has the capability) to send through print jobs.