Owning a Printer vs Printing in Shops
Owning a Printer vs Printing in Shops
Do you own a printer at home? How often do you use it? Have you ever faced any situations where your ink dries up halfway because you barely even used it? Or have you faced any situations where you have to make a huge amount of printing and you would rather let the professionals do it for you?
How about a situation where you have to urgently print something but you have to go out of your way to look for a printer outside because you home printer has ran out of ink? Or if you needed to quickly print only one piece of paper, yet you have to make so much effort to get your lazy butt off the chair and print outside?
We shall make some simple comparison to highlight the benefits of owning a printer and printing outside. In terms of pros and cons, it usually depends on a few factors.
Type of Prints
Does the type of print you are printing matter? (Whether it is text based or photo based). Well, as a general rule of thumb, unless you have invested in an inkjet printer specifically for photo printing, you shouldn’t really bother trying to print coloured photos at home. You’ll end up in sheer disappointment because you’ve burnt a hole in your pocket for buying the colour inks to print pictures with such low print quality.
As the name suggests (if you haven’t figured it out yet), a photo inkjet type of printer is specially designed to printing photos at a decent quality and they usually have more than three separated coloured ink cartridges (some have up to six). These cartridges work together to provide you with the best image fabrication, provided you print them on a photo paper (why would anyone do otherwise?).
If you have a hobby of printing quality photos, owning a photo inkjet printers aren’t that expensive to begin with. The photo paper along with the ink refills aren’t that cheap as well, so investing in one just to print quality photos does make sense, unless you print very little (like one or two every few months), then printing at your local store makes more sense.
Cost per page
Well, basically, cost per page is like the cheese in Mac and Cheese for printers. A large factor contributing in the overall cost of printing is the cost per page. One of the most layman ways of knowing how great your printer is depends on the cost per page. Nowadays, most of the printer manufacturers declare their standardized capacity or page yield (amount of prints you can do with one cartridge) for their printers as well. Therefore, theoretically, it is quite simple to work out a cost per page for your prints for comparison purposes taken into account that your first complete batch of prints will have its cost included in the cost of the printer.
However, in actual fact there is a factor to be taken into account. Do take note that printer manufacturers don’t usually state their page yields for photo printings, they usually tell you only on the yield for pages with text along with some graphics. Also, when you compare the cost of printing at home and printing outside at your local printing store, be sure to include the price of papers as well.
You can get most of the information you need in Google to compare it with your local printing store yourself to verify, but clearly owning a printer at home is the cheaper way to go. Or is it?
Quantity of Printing
If you are a university student, printing the thick amounts of lecture notes each that you’ll only read before the exams is kind of your routine for at least a few years. If you are the kind of person who prints the entire e-book of bedtime stories, you may also be a heavy user. The point is, in large quantities, sometimes it is better off printing outside than to own a printer. For one, commercial printers you see at the shops are built to withstand heavy loads of printing continuously. Your residential printers may not be suitable, especially for heavy continuous printing. The cost of printing outside may be higher (though in large quantities, price can be negotiated), but you will have to take note that printing too much at home drastically reduces the lifespan of your printer. If you have to print excessively, consider taking breaks and splitting your print job into a few parts, letting your printer rest for 5-10 minutes before continuing. This prevents printer overheating which may save you some extra maintenance fee.
Hassle and Convenience
Other than talking about the cost, one should always consider on the hassle and convenience of printing at home and printing outside. If your printing job gives you too much of a hassle such as print jobs that has lots of different settings, heavy printings, binding or any form of side works other than printing, you should consider saving some of your time and let the professionals handle it. After all, as cliché as it sounds, saving time is saving money. Besides, if you are a nocturnal being and have a sudden urge to print a picture during midnight, well, there are not many 24 hour printing stores around. Sometimes, printing at home anytime, at your heart’s content feels more satisfying than to take a drive out to the store for printing.
At the end of the day, it all boils down to your type of printing application, the cost of printing at home versus outside, the quantity of your print jobs and not to forget, taking the hassles and conveniences into account. There isn’t really a conclusion on which is better, but these sets of guidelines should be sufficient for you to make your judgment. Always analyze the pros and cons to be a smart consumer. As always, happy printing.