A printer is an electronic device used to print digital information on paper. Printer is an external hardware output device that make soft copy from hard copy. We can generate documents, images or a combination of both from hard copy by a printer. It is one of the most computer peripherals and commonly used to print text and photo.

For example, if we make a report for a project or some works, we could print several copies of soft copy by a printer which is helpful for us. We could use this soft copy in a presentation or report submission. So, printers are very important and helpful for us.

Types of printer:

Printer can divided into several categories depending on their usage and technology. Basically, we can divide computer printer into two categories.

1. Impact printers.
2. Non-impact printers.

Impact printer:

An impact printer is a type of printer that operates by hitting a metal or plastic head against an ink ribbon. The ink ribbon is pressed against the paper, the page will be marked with the appropriate character, dot, line or symbol. For example, dot matrix, daisy-wheel printers and ball printers.

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Impact printer produce more sound than ordinary printers. There are some features of impact printers.

· Impact printers are very noisy
· Low cost
· They print most type of paper.

Non-Impact printer:

This printer does not hit the letters on the strips for printing. Non-impact printers don’t physically strike the page like impact printers and it is much more quicker than impact printers. You can easily print graphic with these printers. For example, Laser printers, LED, Inkjet, solid ink, thermal wax transfer etc. are the types of non-impact printers.

Characteristics of Non-impact printer:

· They are quitter and faster than impact printer.
. Have better print quality.
. Colored graphic can also be printed.
. It doesn’t make physical contact between the printer head and the paper.

Different types of printers:

Dot Matrix Printer (DMP):

A dot matrix printer is a type of printer that use pins that affected the ink ribbon for printing. These printers are generally considered obsolete because they can’t produce high quality prints and they are expensive.

They can print multiple copies of text at the same time with the help of carbon copying as they use impact printing. They are mostly used where multiple forms are required.

A dot matrix printer is also known as an impact matrix printer.
credit: DMP

Advantages of Dot Matrix printer:

· It can print multiple copies at the same time.
· Low cost
· Maintenance costs are low
· It is cheap and easy to use

Disadvantages of Dot Matrix Printer:

· Noisy
· Low printing speed
· Limited colour painting
· They can be used for long time
· Requires more servicing

Laser printers:

A laser printer is use a laser and electronic charge model for printing. Laser printers have increased the neatness and sophistication of printing projects with a general resolution of 600 dots per inch or more.

When we send a document to the printer, then a laser beam ‘draws’ the document on a selenium-coated drum by using electrical charger. Once the drum is charged, it is rolled in toner and use dry powder of ink. The toner charged the image on the drum and transferred into piece of paper and used to the paper with heat and pressure. When the document is printed, the electrical charge is removed from the drum.

Advantages of Laser Printers:

· Fast speed.
· They can print paper at lower price.
· The quality of print is good.
· It doesn’t create noises.
· It can print multiple copy without jams and other problems.

Disadvantages of Laser printers:

· Initial cost is high.
· All type of paper can’t be used.
· They are heavy and big in size.
· They can’t handle high quality graphic image.
· It is dangerous for health.

credit: laser printer 

Inkjet printer:

Inkjet printer are the most popular printers for home and small size offices because of their reasonable cost and good quality of printing.

An inkjet printer is a computer peripheral that makes hard copies by spraying ink on paper. This type of printer can produce copies with a resolution of at least 300 dots per inch.

Advantages of Inkjet printers:

· Low cost and easy to use.
· High quality output.
· They can print good quality pictures.
· Suitable for small prints.
· Good for environment.
· Generates less noise.

Disadvantages of Inkjet printer:

· High cost for ink replacement.
· Low speed of printing
· Need high quality paper.

credit: Inkjet 

Daisy Wheel Printer:

Daisy wheel printers only can print letters and symbols but they can’t print graphic. It was popular printer in the 1970s and 1980s but are no longer used today.

They are very slow and noisy. They have a low quality of print when the price of Laser printers and Inkjet printers were decreased, it became obsolete.

Advantages of Daisy Wheel Printer:

· Low cost
· Low maintenance
· They can create carbon copies.
· They have a better print quality than Dot Matrix Printer.

Disadvantages of Daisy Wheel Printer:

· Noisy printing
· They can’t print graphic
· Limited number of characters.
· The ribbon often has to be replaced

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