Choosing the best printer as a student

Choosing the best printer as a studentWhen 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.


Budget buys

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.


Mid range

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.


Top end

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.

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Students – how to print on a budget

Students – how to print on a budget

Ah, the INKredible gang remember their student days quite well. Our house looked a little like the one occupied by The Young Ones! We did, however, have a very nice printer, you won't be surprised to hear.

Anyway...

Thing is, printing is likely to be crucial part of your university experience. The educational side of it, at any rate.

As you move through uni your work will take on an increasing importance – so it's only right you've got a proper printing set-up so you can get your assignments and dissertation in on time.

But we all know students aren't wandering around with lots of cash (especially when the new tuition fees kick in, yikes).

So how best to maximise your budget when printing at uni? Here's a few tips.

Buy a cheap but effective printer

While it may be tempting if you're short of cash to buy a mega-cheap printer, remember some cheap printers come with high running costs.

High running costs don't have to a problem if you print rarely but, as a student, you'll be doing a fair bit. The key, then, is to do a little research.

Just work out what you really need – why not go for a capable but basic model, that doesn't have loads of added extras?

One type of printer to really think about if you're on a budget is a laser printer. These can more expensive than inkjets, but tend to offer lower running costs over the long term.

Pool your resources

If you're living in halls or a shared house, think about pooling your resources together with your uni pals. You probably do this already with other stuff – food, for example, maybe energy, the internet. Why not do it with printing?

You could all club together and stick some cash in a pot to buy a printer you can all use. That'll save you plenty of cash. Similarly with ink and toner for the house, why not buy it in bulk and store it somewhere – a supply that should last you a while.

See what's on offer on campus

Most universities (well, all probably) will run dedicated printing suites where you can pop in anytime and print something off. If you're living close to campus, this is a really good idea as it will mean you don't have to buy a printer (just be prepared for a walk each time you need to print).

Universities usually offer printing cards which can be topped-up and often offer some initially free credit – typically a couple of quid. Still, every little helps.

And with the advent of things like Google Cloud Print, you might even be able to send your document to print from the comfort of your bed before strolling along to pick it up.

Use standard sizes and formats, use colour only when you need it

Basic stuff really – only use colour when you need it. If it's a draft document, why not print in draft mode and save yourself some ink?

Oh, and don't forget the power of duplex – both side – printing.

Looking to save a bit of cash on printing while at uni needn't take a lot of effort. You'll find you can easily save some money by doing simple things. That way, you'll have some much-needed cash to do what you want with – stick it in savings or pop for a pint down the uni bar.

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How schools can set up a printer recycling initiative

How schools can set up a printer recycling initiative

Want to set up a recycling initiative at your school but not sure how to get going? Well we've put together a little guide that gives you some pointers.


Why recycle?

Why recycle at all? Simple: it's great for the environment. And it's a particularly good idea for schools to encourage recycling because it instils some green practices in young people from an early age.


Getting started

Get people involved

A project such as a recycling programme requires support from all over the school – from senior management, to chefs, to parents and pupils.

Find out who's passionate about recycling in your school and hold an initial meeting. From there, a good idea is to assemble a core team and assign them specific roles.

A great way to get pupils involved is to appointing recycling 'champions' – say one pupil for each year group who can be the mouthpiece of the project.

Think about involving parents too – you could promote the scheme to them via a newsletter and encourage pupils to tell their mums and dads about it.


What will you recycle?

Decide what you can recycle. Think printers, ink and toner cartridges, other plastics, paper, batteries and clothing.


Get some equipment

Now you need some kit. Recycling bins can be bought quite cheaply and you might even be able to negotiate something with your council or waste management provider.

Some signage and posters would be good too, and you could even consider some branded clothing for your recycling champions?


Roll it out

OK  - you've got your team, you know what you can recycle and you've got the equipment to do it – it's action stations.

Consider either a recycling point in every room or, if resources are a little tight, placed at key parts of your school. There will be places where the number of bits for recycling are high – such as computer and printer room and, of course, classrooms.

Another good idea is to put both rubbish bins and recycling bins together – to encourage people to recycle at the same time they come to throw something away.


Timetable

Ensure you set up a rota so that your recycling bins are emptied on a regular basis. One idea might be to ask your recycling champions to organise a team of recyclers to do this – another great way to get pupils involved.

You could even consider a month-long trial to gauge the success of the project. This way, you'll be able to work out if you need to make an changes – such as more recycling bins or better promotion of the initiative.

Implementing a recycling programme in school requires a bit of initial hard work, but the benefits really pay off. You'll go from a school that throws away most of its rubbish to one that recycles almost everything it can.

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Colour prints 'could boost student learning'

Colour prints 'could boost student learning'

OK, bit of an odd question to kick this one off. 

When you were at school, how many of the print-outs you used as part of your classroom were in colour? 

Told you it was bit of an odd one. 

We can't remember either to be honest – but we're asking because we stumbled across some new research that makes an interesting link between colour printing in schools and the attainment levels of students. 

However the study, commissioned by Xerox, found colour is surprisingly absent in classroom handouts.

 

Which certainly is surprising, given the mass take-up of printers and ink and toner cartridges by educational institutions, businesses and individuals around the world.

The study, undertaken by Harris Interactive for Xerox, found seven in ten pupils in grades three to 12 (it's a US study - we guestimate that it's from early middle school to end of sixth form), found seven in ten pupils said that very few or none of their handouts have pictures or charts or graphs that are produced in colour. 

But schools are missing a trick here – Xerox said that colour has been shown to have an impact on comprehension, something the students polled agreed with.
 

Most (77 per cent) said word or pictures in colour would make schoolwork more interesting, and 70 per cent said it would make their homework more fun to do. 

What's more, the students said they found colour materials especially effective when it comes to learning complex subjects – 58 per cent said they thought they would learn more in science if the accompanying materials were in colour. 

"With shrinking budgets, colour printing does not have to be cost prohibitive," said Leah Quesada, vice president, marketing, enterprise business group, Xerox.

"With the right tools in place, colour can be maximized in the classroom to the benefit of the students."  

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