How to Choose a Printer for Your Mac
If you have a Mac device and you do a lot of printing, you’ll want the best printer for it.
There are some questions you should go through like whether you’re going to print in color or just black and white, your estimated printing volume, the size of the paper you need to print, the size of your business, and the kind of features you want.
We'll get into the depth of it and help you reach the best printer for your Mac device.
How to Pick a Printer for Mac?
Picking the suitable printer is particularly important for a Mac user because there are a few printers that perform better with Windows PCs –despite the fact that most printers these days are Mac-compatible.
The whole problem lies in the "driver" software which controls the printer –something that differs from a Mac to a PC.
Inkjet vs Laser Printers
Color inkjet printers are very popular due to their capability to print more or less anything. Glossy photos, essays, pie charts, coupons, you name it.
And more often than not, AOI printers are usually inkjet ones. They’re a lot faster than their rivals as well.
If you’re looking for an office printer and you print mainly in black, then a laser printer will serve you well.
An added benefit is that the majority of monochrome laser printers are highly affordable, have an adequate printing speed, and give you a cost per page that is a lot less than a color inkjet printer.
Color laser printers are available as well, but their cost per page can be a lot more than a color inkjet’s.
The Cost of Consumables
Consumables usually refer to paper and ink or toner.
And since paper consumption depends on the amount of printing you do rather than on the printer, the only factor that affects it is the ability to duplex, as we've mentioned before.
So let’s talk about the ink or toner budget, which is actually where the real cost of a printer lies.
This is why you should research the cost of replacing supplies well before you buy the printer.
This includes how often you have to replace your cartridges and the yield of the cartridge.
You can consider refilling your cartridges instead of buying new ones. However, some companies place ink-tracking chips in the cartridges, making it hard to refill them.
Whether you print in only black and white or in color makes a difference when it comes to costs as well.
If you print in black, a laser printer will be more cost-efficient as it has a lower cost per page.
If you print in color, however, a color inkjet would be a better choice.
You should check to see if the color cartridges are separate or not.
It's better if you get separate ones because otherwise, you'd have to change all the colors when only one color runs out.
The Size of Your Prints
The more sizes a printer can produce, the more versatile it is, and consequently, the better choice it is.
8.5 x 11-inch paper is the standard that any printer will allow you to print, so look for other sizes as well as options for printing indexing cards and envelopes.
The Size of The Paper Tray
You might also consider the size of the paper tray as it will dictate how often you have to refill your printer. A lot of Mac-compatible printers have 250-page paper trays and some even have optional second trays for storing different paper stock.
Usually, the duplex printing (printing on both sides of the page) is available for Windows but not Mac.
This specific feature is important for saving both time and paper. It also spares you the need to manually flip the paper.
Automatic Document Feeder
An all-in-one printer is always a more convenient option so you can print, scan, and fax using only one machine.
If scanning is important to you, make sure you get a machine that’s capable of RADF scanning –the kind of scanning in which the machine scans both sides of the document without your manual interference.
Checking the technical info on the manufacturer's website is always recommended to make sure that it will have the same features for Mac software as it does for Windows.
You should also check if the printer supports Apple’s AirPrint software that enables the user to print from an iPad or an iPhone without having to install other software or apps first.
Getting a wireless printer will make it easier to print as you can do it from anywhere. The trick is to find a Mac-compatible wireless printer with high-quality output.
If your business prints in large volumes, getting a high-speed printer would be the better option to save as much time as possible.
On the other hand, if you want your printer for home use, you can skip on the printing speed.
The resolution of a printer is measured in dots per inch (DPI).
If you are printing text only, this may not be of much importance.
However, if you’re going to be printing photos and images, getting a printer with a higher DPI count would result in better-looking photos and higher-quality output.