When choosing a printer it is important to consider what you will be using it for most – Word documents, photos or photocopying for example.
It is also really important to consider the cost, particularly as a student, when money is tight.
Firstly, you need to pick whether you need an all-in-one (printer, scanner and copier) or a more simple machine.
Your university course may dictate what type and what quality printer you need. If all you will be printing out is essays and course notes then buying a printer with a touch screen, scanner and more buttons than your remote control may be somewhat unnecessary.
If you want to be able to use your printer to scan text books, email these scans to your university account and create a number of intricate, coloured pictograms and graphs then you should look for a slightly more advanced printer.
Regardless of what type of printer you need, ensure you look for the following attributes:
· A compact printer. Students don't tend to have a lot of space so keep it small. Whilst at university, students tend to have to keep all their possessions in one room so don't buy a printer the size of a small house as you won't have anywhere to put it.
· Wireless printing. Most printers come with wireless printing as standard these days but it is worth checking. Wireless printing will save you time and get rid of the hassle of finding the right cable from your bundle of wires under your desk. Wireless printing will also enable you to print from anywhere in your house so you can print off your lecture notes from the comfort of your living room so you don't miss any of Don't Tell The Bride.
· Double-sided printing. Choose a printer that offers double-sided printing as this will ultimately save you money. Using half the amount of paper when printing will greatly reduce your costs. By buying a printer that sorts all that double-sided stuff out for you will avoid the annoying 'which way up do I put the paper in now' dilemma which inevitably leads to wasting paper and ink.
If you're looking for a really basic printer then check out the Epson Stylus S22 and the even more compact Epson Stylus SX130, both priced at around £20. Both colour printers, these machines are great for students who just need to print out the odd essay.
Budget printers won't have the option to print double-sided and you won't be able to print wirelessly either.
If you are looking to spend a little more to get a slightly better printer, the Epson Stylus SX425W Colour Inkjet all-in-one might suit you.
It costs a little more – around £60 - but has far more print options that the super cheap Epsons. It is WiFi compatible and can print some nice looking photos. You can also put a memory card straight into the printer and print photos instantaneously. Capable of printer around 35 pages per minute, this compact machine is also pretty speedy.
If you plan on using your printer for photos then consider a Canon PIXMA printer. The Canon PIXMA MG5250 is an economical 5 cartridge printer whereas the Canon PIXMA MG6150 is a 6 cartridge printer utilising a Grey cartridge for more accurate mono prints. Both are all-in-ones and are WiFi ready. Both models also offer double-sided duplex printing.
A black ink cartridge will print around 350 pages, making this printer great value for money. Prices start at around £80.