Our clients often ask us which printer they should buy to use with their Mac–whether they want a simple laser printer, or a wireless printer, or an all-in-one printer/scanner/fax/copier, and whether they’re using it in a home or office.
Printer models change so fast, so we don’t have a list of manufacturers and models we recommend. Instead we use the following process.
First you need to decide what options you want. Here are the basics.
- Color inkjet, or black and white laser? We generally recommend a black and white laser printer unless you are in a visual field; we find that the color ink tends to dry out very fast and costs a lot more than laser toner.
- Basic printer, or do you want a printer/scanner/fax/copier?
- Size or weight restrictions? Does it need to fit in a specific spot?
- Approximate number of pages you’ll print in a month.
- Does it need to be wireless, or ethernet, or USB? A USB printer is fine if you have only 1 computer; if you have 2 or more computers you definitely want to put the printer on your network. And sometimes ethernet printers can be made wireless by plugging them into a wireless router (if your printer and wireless router will be located next to each other).
Once you have decided what you need, it’s time to do research.
We use Amazon for research. It lets you select by features such as price range, inkjet vs laser, and brand.
The place to start is the basic printers and ink page on Amazon.
Once you’ve narrowed the selection, read all the Amazon user reviews for the printers on your shortlist. Amazon generally has the most reviews for products, and the reviews tend to be extensive, which is why it’s such a great resource.
The printer you finally choose to purchase should have at least 20 reviews, and most of them should be 4-5 stars. Keep an eye out for whether people have specific trouble with that printer model on a Mac.
Is it Mac-friendly?
Last, go to the manufacturer’s website and confirm they specify the printer can be used with a Mac.
The image at top is from Tom T, courtesy of Flickr Creative Commons.
Do black and white laser printers still make sense?