Selecting a Printer for Your College Dorm or Apartment

Even in this digital age, the use of paper remains important to the college experience. You’ll most likely be printing your share of term papers, reports and assignments. It’s a tremendous convenience to have immediate access to a personal printer in your dorm or apartment instead of having to travel to a public computer lab or the library just to print your work. Plus, using a personal printer means you can print whatever you want, whenever you want, to help ensure you complete your work on time.

When choosing the best printer for your college dormitory or apartment, you’ll want to consider:

  • What you’ll be printing
  • Initial purchase price
  • Cost to use and maintain the machine
  • How much space it’s going to take
  • How to connect it to your computer

First, ask yourself what you think you’ll be printing. If you’ll be primarily printing papers and assignments that don’t require color, a monochrome laser printer will almost certainly meet your requirements. However, if you’re interested in the ability to print photos or other color materials, you may want to consider a color inkjet printer.

Buying a printer on a limited budget isn’t that difficult. There are many options available with a price tag of less than $50. Typically, the more you spend the more features you’ll find in your machine.

You’ll also want to consider the cost to operate and maintain your printer over the course of the semester. If you’re going to be doing a lot of printing, you may need to replace your ink for an inkjet printer or toner for a laser printer. Investigate the cost of these supplies prior to buying your printer, so you’ll know approximately how much you’ll be spending when it’s time to purchase supplies.

Your personal space is at a premium, so you’ll probably want to search for a printer with a smaller profile and footprint. Fortunately, there are plenty available that won’t monopolize your valuable desk and room space. It’s also worth noting the weight of the printer, as you’ll likely be moving it in the future.

Finally, investigate connection options before making your printer purchase. While some enjoy the convenience of connecting a computer directly to a printer with a USB cable, others would prefer to reduce the amount of cables they need and print over a wireless network. Wireless printing also gives you more flexibility in deciding where to install your printing, and many wireless printers now let you print from your smartphone or tablet.

Choosing a printer doesn’t have to be difficult, but taking the time to consider the factors above will help you find the best printer for your college experience, and reduce the chance of being disappointed with your purchase.

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