Archive for February, 2012

The Truth Behind Solid Ink

ink sticksSolid ink printers from Xerox are beginning to appear in more and more office environments, as buyers start to see the benefits of this new technology. This method of printing has been shown to deliver quality that rivals laser and inkjet technologies.  It has also been rated one of the more environmentally friendly methods of printing, as it uses no cartridge, and over 300,000 cartridges occupy landfills around the United States.

Despite the advantages, many buyers have some false impressions about solid ink printing, and this is often caused by misinformation and even myths about this technology. Here are a few of the most common myths surrounding solid ink printing. Continue reading “The Truth Behind Solid Ink” »

Using the Toner Save Mode

Regardless if you use a printer for occasional home use or every day high-volume printing needs, the expense of purchasing replacement toner is always lingering.  The price of replacements is contingent upon the model of the printer and the maximum capacity of the cartridge, but some laser printers have another way to save on toner costs that many owners may not be aware of, the Toner Save mode.

While not included with every model, most modern laser printers include a Toner Save mode. When enabled, the printer will lower the amount of toner used per page. This generally reduces the output quality, but also reduces printing costs. It is best used for in-house memos and other everyday printing, where quality may be less important. This mode sometimes goes by other names, such as EconoMode or EconoFast, but they are all similar in purpose.

Depending on the printer model, there may be a number of different ways to enable the Toner Save mode on your laser printer.

Toner Save ButtonOn the Control Panel

Many printer manufacturers tout the Toner Save mode as a major feature, and therefore, they make it very easy to enable. Some models have a dedicated Toner Save button right on the control panel, while others put the feature within the menu of the control panel. If your printer does not have a dedicated button, look in the Options menu on the control panel, or in the Quality menu for the feature and enable it. Most models with a button include an indicator light, which tells users when the mode is enabled at a glance. Continue reading “Using the Toner Save Mode” »

Automatic Document Feeders Explained

Automatic Document FeederIn most offices, small or large, it is common to find an all-in-one or multifunction machine.  Not only do they take up less space, they also increase productivity by performing a variety of tasks.  Some are limited to printing and copying, while others include a scanning and fax function.  While there are many benefits of flatbed scanners, they can be tedious, as they require the user to load each page individually when scanning, copying, or faxing. Models with an automatic document feeder , however, are much more efficient. Continue reading “Automatic Document Feeders Explained” »

Checklist for Laser Printer Quality Issues


Poor Print Quality

Regardless of a quality of a printer, eventually the wear and tear of frequent printing will begin to rear its ugly head. When problems with print quality start to appear, it can be useful to try a quick checklist of the most common fixes.

Overall Quality Issues

  • Take out the toner cartridge, and shake it, redistributing the toner powder evenly.
  • Clean the inside of the printer with a slightly damp towel.
  • Make sure the paper is appropriate for your printer. (i.e. Laser paper for a laser printer)
  • Replace the cartridge with a new one.

There are a few specific reoccurring quality issues that can be extremely frustrating, but might be a quick fix.  Here are some of the most common: Continue reading “Checklist for Laser Printer Quality Issues” »

Printing Digital Photos

It is safe to say that a large percentage of people in the world have a digital camera, or at least know someone who does.  Digital cameras allow photographers and amateurs alike to take crisp and vivid pictures of important events and scenic views.  With the growing demand for photo printers, there are a number of ways to pull the images from the digital camera and load them onto the computer or printer.

There are two standard ways to transfer photos from the camera to a computer and two ways to load photos directly from the camera to the printer:

USB Connection to Computer

A USB cable will come with a brand new digital camera.  It will have one end that is smaller and fits into the camera and one end that is a standard, rectangular USB jack.Photo Print Via USB

  1. Turn the camera off then plug the cable into both devices.
  2. Turn the camera on.
  3. When the camera is recognized, a window will pop up that allows you to import the images.
  4. Once they are uploaded, drag them to a computer file such a My Pictures.
  5. From here, you can select what pictures are printed and edit each one. Continue reading “Printing Digital Photos” »

Cost Savings of Energy Star Products

When consumers are looking for a new printer for the home or office, there are often hundreds of facts included in the specification sheet.  While the most important factors such as speed and print resolution are frequently highlighted, there are some that can go unnoticed, such as a printer’s Energy Star certification. This is important, because it can represent a significant cost savings for a home user or an office, which can really add up over time.

Energy StarIn the early 90’s, the United States implemented the Energy Star qualification system.  Through a series of tests, machines are given this certification by offering reduced energy consumption and limited greenhouse gas emissions.  Devices that pass the series of environmental tests are estimated to use 20-30% less energy than the “Federal standard”. For more information about the Energy Star program, read What is Energy Star Rating for Printers? Continue reading “Cost Savings of Energy Star Products” »

Prolonging the Life of Your Inkjet Printer

Inkjet printers are built to be durable, regardless if you are using a small office printer or a base model personal photo printer.  These machines can last for many years if they are maintained properly.  There are simple steps a user can take to increase the lifespan of a printer and minimize the need for a technician.

Almost every inkjet printer has a software program for cleaning and testing.  If you start to notice a slight decrease in print quality, run the nozzle check from the computer, which can be accessed through the Start Menu in the Properties section of the Printers and Faxes category.  If the check indicates clogging of the inkjet nozzles, run the printer Head Cleaning option located on the same menu.  This should loosen any ink particles that are blocking the nozzles.Nozzle Cleaning Continue reading “Prolonging the Life of Your Inkjet Printer” »

Explaining Printheads

Print HeadAll inkjet printers require printheads, but not all printheads are the same.  Printheads are the hubs that take the ink from the cartridge and push it through the nozzles to be applied intricately and precisely to the paper.  There are three different types of printheads and two different elements within the printheads that separate one technology from the other. Continue reading “Explaining Printheads” »