Connectors and cable types for Printers
The most popular method of connecting the printer to your PC is USB. Although this is not the only way, some Inkjets still include an older Parallel Port connection which allows you to connect via a separate lead to your Parallel port on your PC.
Ethernet is also the main standard in many printers especially the models aimed for Business use as this allows you to easily connect the printer to your whole network.
Printer software now includes more than just the basic driver. Most include utilities to control the settings of the printer; you can often change the resolution and orientation and choose which tray to print from. Other tasks include indicating the ink level in a graphic form and of course telling you if any errors occur and maintenance tasks to keep the printer in good working order.
The bundled software which comes with the printer is often limited and some what basic but allows you to get a feel for the printer by starting to produce items such as posters and flyers. Some include a Photo suite so you can start manipulating the latest batch of photos before printing or emailing.
Whatever your budget is there is a printer that will fit your needs. As I have mentioned printers can start from as little as £30 and can go through the hundreds to thousands of pounds for a multifunction fast colour laser printer.
Inkjets are the most affordable to the masses and for around £100 you will be able to buy an easy to setup and maintain printer capable of printing quality text and photo images.
Lasers will cost several hundred for a colour model or for around £100 for a mono. They are faster and do provide a better output quality than Inkjets.
Where possible visit a store to view some example prints or view the press for regular roundups. It is very hard to find a printer that does perform badly most criticisms fall to the price for consumables or the lack of additional features as many include readers and screens.