Things to Consider When Buying a Printer for Community College

by A Guest Author

While literally every college will have printers for the students to use it can still be a good idea still a good to get one for your residence. Especially if you’re living off campus, which community college students often do. College printers get A LOT of use. Nothing is more frustrating and stressful than scrambling to print off a term paper only to find that all of the printers are out of ink, paper, or just worn out from hundreds of other students printing out their own papers. Of course, there are a number of things to consider when shopping around for a printer to serve you through college and I’ve broken down some of the main points below.

Size Matters

Regular bedrooms are not known for their spacious floor plans, so buying a clunker of a printer is certainly not your best bet. Personally, I was lucky enough to win a HP Deskjet F4235 All-In-One. I installed the software driver on my laptop so I could keep the printer in my closet and just take it out, plug it in, and print something off when I needed to.

What Will You Be Doing With It?

A basic printer is great if you only need to print off papers every now and then, but depending on your line of study you might want some extra features. A scanner is great for organizing class syllabuses, and it is invaluable if you are focusing on an art or design major. If you know you’ll be printing pictures then a color inkjet printer is what you’ll want to go with. If you’re like more traditional students who will mainly be printing documents then you’ll want a faster laser printer. Laser Printers use toner rather than ink cartridges and produce much crisper texts and print much faster than an inkjet printer. This is perfect for printing off large term papers or rough drafts to review (nothing beats editing a paper, on paper).

Mo Money Doesn’t Always Mean Mo Problems

Obviously cost is one of the most important factors when buying a printer. Basic printers can cost as low as $50, but you shouldn’t base the cost of a printer on the initial cost alone. Toner or ink cartridge cost, along with paper, cost is often more important than the overall cost of the printer. If you find a great deal on an inkjet printer but know you don’t need to print photos, consider passing for a laser printer. Toner cartridges, while having a higher cost, are much cheaper in the long run. A toner cartridge can cost as low as 2 cents a page while ink cartridges cost an average of 5-6 cents a page, and they don’t last as long as toner.

If you aren’t convinced you need a printer, no problem. Every school is different and it’s good to wait a semester to see if a printer is needed. If the cost is deterring you, maybe you could split the cost with your roommate, or consider charging a small fee for other people to print off of your printer to help cover ink and paper costs. I only know that having the ability to print in my room instead of driving to you community college campus late at night in the middle of winter was well worth it. Be sure to shop around as many deals on last year’s models can be found.

About The Author

Carla Eaton has a B.A. in Mass Media and writes on the topics of business, technology, and design. She currently blogs for, who specializes in Dell printer ink.

This post was written by A Guest Author

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