- Generalities and definitions

- Printers GDI or Win-Printers

- Types of printers
  - Of impact (matriciales)
  - Of ink
  - Laser printers

- Other types of printers
  - Plotters
  - For photos
  - Of big format
  - For groups

- Adequacy to the use

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What is... a printer?


Ink printers

Of course, the printers matriciales use ink, but when we refer to ink printer we usually refer to those in which the ink is in more or less liquid form, without impregnating a tape as in the matriciales.

A printer of very common ink, the DeskJet 692 of HP

The ink is usually impelled towards the role by a few mechanisms that are named injectors, by means of the application of an electrical load that makes jump a minuscule ink drop for every injector, without need for impact. Anyway, the last mesenteries of this process change of one to another mark of printers (for example, Canon uses exclusive what it names "injection for bubble") and they are not really significant at the time of acquiring one or another printer.

Cartridges of ink of color and of black of a printer Epson

These printers stand out for the simple use of the color. Formerly (and in some models of very low scale or in portable printers), to write any thing in color it was still necessary to replace the cartridge of black ink with other with inks of the basic colors (generally magenta, cyan and yellow). This method had the disadvantage of which the black text was made mixing three basic colors, what was slower, more expensive in ink and a black was stopping with a certain greenish tone. At present, the practical totality of these printers they incorporate support for the simultaneous use of the cartridges of black and of color.

The resolution of these printers is theoretically quite high, even of 1.440 ppp, but in fact the laying of the points of ink on the role turns out to be quite deficient, therefore finding is not strange that the result of a laser printer of 300 ppp is much better than of one of ink of the resolution double. On the other hand, there usually exist special roles, much more expensive than the classic stationery sheets of paper, to reach ideal results to the maximum resolution or the most living and realistic scale of colors.

The principal recipient of this type of printers is the domestic user, in addition to the clerk who needs to work neither with continuous role nor with multiple copies but yes occasionally with color (logotypes, graphs, small images...) with an acceptable quality. Manufacturers exist tens, from the contending outstanding figures Epson and Hewlett-Packard (hp) up to others of a lot of minor volume of sales but that not desmerecen not at all, how there are a Canon, Tektronik, Lexmark, Oki...

A note on the ink cartridges: they are relatively expensive, because generally not only they contain the ink, but part or the totality of the compress of impression; this system makes sure that the compress is always in good condition, but the price gets dearer. There exist tens systems of reload of cartridges to refill the cartridge making use of the compress, but in 99 % of the cases there are a nuisance and it becomes quite lost of ink; I do not recommend them to him for anything for proper experience, but there you...


Laser printers

They are those of major quality of the market, if we understand for quality the resolution on normal role that it is possible to obtain, approximately 600 ppp real. In them the impression one achieves by means of a laser that it is drawing the image electrostáticamente in an element called drum that is turning until very thin called tóner is impregnated with a dust (like that of copiers) that him adheres due to the electrical load. Finally, the drum keeps on turning and meets the sheet, on which it prints the tóner that will form the definitive image.

A typical laser printer, of the mark NEC

The peculiar characteristics of these printers force to which they have their own memory to store an electronic copy of the image that they must print. To major size and quality of impression we will need major quantity of memory, which will be I half-close to 1 ó 2 MB; if the document, to print out very long and complex, for example with several photos or to a very high resolution, can produce an error to itself for overflow (lacking in memory), what can be avoided by means of the technology GDI commented previously (that is to say, using memory of the proper PC) or preferably installing more memory to the printer.

The only problem of importance of the laser printers is that only they print black and white. In fact, yes there exist laser printers of color, which give a few quite good results, but his price is absolutely exhorbitant, about half a million pesetas.

The laser they are very resistant, much more rapid and much more silent than the printers matriciales or of ink, and although the initial investment in one laser is major that in one of others, the tóner goes out cheaper in the long run that the ink cartridges, therefore in the long run the investment recovers. For all this, them laser they are suitable for office environments with an intense activity of impression, where there are more important the speed, the quality and the scarce cost of maintenance that the color or the initial investment.


Other types of printers

We are going to treat now about other printers of much less common use, but that cover certain concrete needs for the market, as there can be the big formats or the photographic quality.


Plotters of HP in sizes A1 and A0

It is a question of a few devices destined for the impression of planes for projects of architecture or engineering, therefore they work with enormous formats, DIN-A1 (59,4x84 cm) or Superiors.

Formerly they were consisting of a series of mobile nibs of different grosores and colors that were moving for the sheet reproducing the plane in question, what was quite uncomfortable for the maintenance of the nibs and could be vague on having drawn such elements like big circles. At present almost they all have mechanisms of injection of ink, facilitating very much the maintenance, which diminishes to changing the cartridges; there are authentic ink printers, only that the role is much more wide and usually comes in rolls of tens meters.


Printers for photos

There constitute a category of recent appearance; they use methods advanced like the sublimation or the waxes or solid inks, which guarantee a purity of exceptional color, although with a cost relatively raised as for consumable and a low speed.

The quality of these printers is usually such, that often the result is indistinguishable of a traditional photographic copy, even using relatively low resolutions as 200 ppp. Nevertheless, they are rather expensive and the record formats usually do not exceed the outstanding figure 10x15 cm, since when the prices do it they rise vertiginously and we are before printers more adapted for tests of printing and desktop publishing.


Printers of big format

It turns out to be an epithet as good as any other to define to the printers, almost exclusively of ink, which they print on formats up to the A2 (42x59,4 cm). There are printers that unite the advantages of the printers of ink as for acceptable speed, color and resolution along with a quite exact price, less than 150.000 pts, what is a small fraction of the price of a plotter.

They are used to realize cartels or posters, small planes or tests of big planes, as well as any task for which there is adapted a printer of ink of minor format: letters, reports, graphs... Till not long ago only a pair of models existed, now they are of Epson, Canon, HP...


Printers for groups

There are printers of big capacity, prepared to work in a network even without depending on a computer of the same one. There are usually laser printers, sometimes with support for color, with salvers for 500 more sheets or 500 more more, of 12 ppm (real!!) and memory over 6 MB. Lately it has a tendency to that they have functions of copier or aptitude to realize small throws without need to use a copier, and they even classify and bind.


Adequacy to the use

Really any saying is already in the previous paragraphs; nevertheless, we are going to sum it up here to clarify a little the things:


Printer to be used


Texts, multiple copies, lists, invoices


Sales, under maintenance, few resolution

Texts and black and white graphs and color

Of ink

Cheap, consumable slightly expensive, acceptable resolution

Laser color

Very expensive, very rapid, high resolution; for big work charges

Texts and black and white graphs

White and black laser

Major initial investment, minor maintenance, high resolution

Big formats, posters, cartels, planes

Of ink big format

Sales, formats a little reduced for planes (A3, A2)


Expensive, specific for planes, formats A1 or A0


Sublimation, solid waxes or similar

Faces in consumable, limited format, slightly slow, big quality, very expensive in big formats

Big work charges

Laser color or white and black laser of high scale

Faces, under maintenance, high speed and resolution


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