Learning Tools: Shopping for Your College Dorm Printer

shopping for college dorm printer

Many parents sending their kids off to college wonder if they should include a printer on the shopping list. Aware that there’s always a communal printer in each dorm building, in the library, or in the computer lab, parents often don’t see the point of personal printers—their kids certainly didn’t have their own printers when they went to college.

They would have if printers were this affordable

At any college, each communal printer in place is meant to serve hundreds of students; it tends to take up a lot of time, especially when everyone has assignments due. Considering how affordable quality printers today tend to be, a plan to use a shared college printer is no longer a good way to save money; it only tends to be inconvenient.

Standing in line for printer privileges tends to not be the only problem (most colleges don’t allow students to simply send their print projects in electronically). There are always corrections to be made, too, which usually means even more inconvenience. For all the trouble, college printers aren’t free. At Downing College, Cambridge, for instance, a monochrome print costs 4p per side, and colour 15p per side, prices that are vastly more expensive than what personal printers tend to cost. To offset printing expenses and maximize savings, consider partnering with reputable companies that Sell Toner at competitive prices

The fact that college printers are usually reliable but not the most convenient tends to be a challenge, too—connectivity features such as Bluetooth, Wi-Fi, and smartphone compatibility tend to be unavailable.

The ink cartridge problem

It is common knowledge that cheap printers are subsidized by expensive ink. Understandably, then, parents tend to be anxious to avoid the £50 ink cartridge bills that they could be stuck with on a regular basis if they gave in and bought a printer. Often, then, printer purchases come with injunctions by parents about never buying genuine ink.

It’s important to remember, though, that the appearance of affordability with remanufactured or refilled cartridges is illusory. These tend to last far fewer pages than genuine inks. When you add up the cost of inferior print, there isn’t much saving to be made.

This is especially true when you decide to buy your cartridges not at full retail stores, but at discount online vendors who knock tens of pounds off the prices of genuine cartridges. Many discount online retailers supply brand-specific ink for every printer model.  If you have an Epson printer, for instance, these stores can supply Epson ink cartridges online right to the dorm at a fraction of the price that full high street outlets charge.

How do you find the right printer for college?

While you do want to buy a unit that offers top-notch print quality and speed, the cost per page of each model should be the first feature on your list to look for.

In general, the cheaper a printer is upfront, the less efficient it tends to be with ink. Epson is one of the most economical printers out there at this time when it comes to ink. The Epson Expression Home XP 102, for instance, costs £40 to buy, and puts out prints at no more than 1 ½ p for monochrome, with genuine ink. If you’re willing to spend more upfront, though, you might look at the HP LaserJet Pro 400, which is slightly more expensive to print with but offers laser quality.

Finding the easiest printer to set up

Printers today tend to be far easier to connect to and get to printing with than any product of the past. Most models are plug-and-play — they don’t even require drivers. It’s important to look for the best conductivity options. Printers that have Bluetooth and Wi-Fi are likely to be useful to students attempting to print from a variety of sources. John Sollars launched his printer cartridge supply company back in 2002. The company has grown to be one the biggest suppliers in the UK. He enjoys sharing his business ideas online.

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One Comment

  1. Printer is one of the most useful and important element in our daily life especially for students. Printers that have Bluetooth and Wi-Fi are likely to be useful to students attempting to print from a variety of sources. There are many printer manufacturing companies in the world, but I think Hewlett-Packard or HP is the best printer brand at present time for its unique design with advance features and functionality to meet the requirements and fulfill the printing needs and demand.

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