What features to look for in a Printer?

I’ve read all the past posts on what printers are better Epson or Canon. What I really want to know is what kind of features do people find necessary. Like min. dpi , ram, how big a difference do 6 or 8 inks make instead of just 4, 2 sided printing…etc. Are the all in one printer/scanners still good for quailty prints.

I’m a student so I would only be printing 8.5x11 or 11x17 stuff for my portfoilo or presentations, and i can’t afford the large format printers anyway.

So what things should I look for and what things should I lookout for?
At this point i’m only considering Epson or a Canon. Are there any models made by these two companies that I should stay away from? Looking to spend between $100 to $300.


I was llooking for 11" X 17" when I bought the HP 1220C. But I would not think you would find a good 11" X 17" printer until you get into the $400-$500 price range. I am sure someone will prove me wrong though :slight_smile:

11 x 17 really isn’t very important…and upon looking at printers all day I didn’t find any that would print that size that were’t large format. So I guess I’m only concerned about 8.5 x 11, but high quality. I need something that I can print my teasers/portfolio on and be confident mailing them out to professionals if needed.

I purchased a Canon S9000 about a year ago (it was a close-out deal for $179 from Onecall.com) and it prints up to 13" x 19" borderless. I think the replacement model is the I9900, (though it looks like it’s $400+). Anyway, I absolutely love this printer and it has done wonderful things for me both for school and freelance printing. I mean on the right paper it will print absolutely flawlessly, with this caveat: I use Quark, which at least through version 4 (probably 6 as well) would only print lower resolution previews without RIP software. Well, that was initially a drag until I dropped $200 on some RIP software from iproofsystems.com, and now my printer sings. It takes six cartridges independently (which probably most do now, but that will save jack when you print a hundred all-yellow flyers and don’t have to replace that monster six color cartridge), and it’s fast. Oh, I also just discovered “Draft” printing, which I never did use before but will print more quickly at lower quality but great for test prints. So, I would heartily recommend a refurbished S9000 but only if you purchase some RIP software for it (or really any printer you get). It not only improves the print quality and color accuracy of your printer, but it manages the print job, which can be a bear for printers if you’re trying to send a 200meg Photoshop file to your little 2-meg printer. Good luck.