Home printers have become just as essential as high-speed internet or that first cup of coffee in the morning, especially as South Africa’s workforce adjusts to working remotely for the long term.

By Frank Oliveira, consumer sales manager at Epson South Africa

However, with so many home printers on the market, most of us don’t know where to begin or what to look out for when buying one.

Below are some considerations to keep in mind and to help you make an informed decision when buying a printer for remote working.

Affordable ink

One of the costs to consider when buying a home printer is the cost of ink, especially when deciding between a printer that uses ink cartridges or ink tanks. Whether a printer uses an ink tank or an ink cartridge will usually be displayed on the printer’s box.

While cartridge-based printers are slightly cheaper than ink tank printers upfront, they become considerably more expensive over the long term, as the cost of each cartridge is much higher than the cost of replacement ink for an ink tank system.

Next-generation ink tank-based printers like the Epson L3150, L5190, and L6170 can be refilled instead of replaced, saving you up to 90% on the cost of ink, eliminating the complexity of replacing cartridges, and saving valuable time.

Printer performance

Purchasing a new printer is an investment, so the printer’s performance and reliability must be worth the money. Print speed, print quality, and print consistency are all characteristics to consider when choosing a printer.

Buying a printer that uses PrecisionCore technology, which uses a revolutionary high-density print chip that can produce up to 40 million precise dots per second, will offer you consistently accurate prints and high-quality output at fast speeds.

Energy efficiency

When you buy a printer, it’s easy to forget that you’ll be paying the electricity bill for your printer’s energy needs, so you should choose an economical one for your home printing.

Purchasing a home printer that uses Heat-Free technology will save you money and energy. The technology requires no heat to warm up, which means you can start printing immediately. Best of all, it’s 50% faster to start up than laser printers and uses up to 83% less energy.

Multifunction capabilities with home office integration

Purchasing a multifunction printer (MFP) eliminates the need for separate devices for different tasks. Instead, this all-in-one solution provides the capabilities of multiple machines in a single unit, including printing, scanning, and copying.

If you work across a range of devices, like a PC, tablet, and smartphone, then you’ll want to buy an MFP that supports mobile printing, cloud integration, and wireless connectivity. Some printer manufacturers bundle their printers with software like Epson Connect, allowing you to print and scan from anywhere and any device using Wi-Fi, Wi-Fi Direct or ethernet connectivity.

Ease of use

Lastly, the best printers are the ones that save you time by simplifying the printing process. While some printers can be overly complicated, others, like EcoTank printers, focus on user experience and easy-to-navigate menus without compromising print quality.