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Choosing your device for University

Introduction to buying a new printer

Leeds Beckett University offers printing on campus but many students chose to buy their own printer. We’re unable to recommend a specific printer but we have provided information to give you a better understanding of things to consider when choosing a printer to use at home.

What do the specifications mean?

There are a variety of specifications listed when looking at printers; these are the key ones to consider:

  • Function - Most modern printers are "all-in-one" devices that print, copy and scan.
  • Connectivity - Most modern printers offer wireless printing so it’s easier to decide where to locate your printer. They may also offer connection to services such as Apple AirPrint and Google Cloud Print to let you print directly from your smart phone.
  • Print resolution - The higher the dpi (dots per inch) the better the quality of image printing. You won't see any noticable change in text printing from a higher dpi. Most modern devices offer 4800 x 1200 dpi which should deliver great results both for text and images.
  • Pages per minute - This is how fast a printer will print. For most people the speed of printing isn't a particular priority and speedier printers are more expensive!
  • Page format - This highlights the sizes of paper a printer will print from - as long as it prints to A4 you should be OK. You can always visit the Library to print A3.
  • Double-sided printing - Printing on both sides of the page saves money and paper and reduces your environmental footprint. However, if you're only going to be printing small amounts the increased cost of a double sided printer probably isn't worth it.

What else do I need to think about?

As well as the printer specifications you might also want to consider:

  • Wireless versus wired connection - Our experience suggests that whilst a wireless printer is convenient for location it isn't perfect. They are quite often very difficult to set-up wirelessly and do lose connection to your device from time-to-time. To save frustrating shopping trips make sure your printing comes with a suitable cable to connect it to your main computer or buy one at the time.
  • Size of the printer - Most printers are different in design and style and your choice will probably come down to personal preference. Try to think about where you are going to put your printer and buy one that fits in the space.
  • Cost of ink  - The make and model of your printer will have a big impact on the actual cost of ink in the future. Canon tend to offer slightly cheaper printing than other manufacturers but Hewlett Packard's Instant Ink subscription offers various subscriptions that may be cost effective, depending on how much printing you expect to do. Make sure you check these costs though, a cheaper printer may be more expensive to run in the long term.

Need further support?

If you need any further help then please use the "Contact Us" buttons on the right to get in touch 24/7 with the Library and Student IT advice team.