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Shopping guide for printers

A Guide When Shopping Printers 1

6 Things To Look Out For When Shopping For Printers:

In this 5-step shopping guide for printers, we provide you with the information you need when deciding to buy a printer in Kenya. So, whether it’s for office or home use, we got you covered! Smartbuy is an authorized dealer based in Nairobi, Kenya for major brands of printers that range from: HP, Canon, Lenovo and Kyocera.

Major Brands of Printers:

epson printers    kyocera printerscanon printers hp printers

1. Quality Of Print and Scan Outputs:

a guide when shopping printers

When it comes to quality, one should consider what output he/she expects from it. This can be broken down into:

  • Print Resolution: For the best print outputs, we recommended choosing a printer that produces a minimum resolution of 1200dpi (dots per inch). This is a key consideration, especially if you are a photographer or someone who is keen on quality and sharpness. Printers like this deskjet 3-in-1 printer can offer such quality at an affordable price.
  • Scan Resolution quality: If you are looking to scan photos and documents with your printer, 300dpi is usually the recommended minimum, depending on what you intend to use the document for. There are three main types of scanners that are: Flatbed CIS scanners, handheld scanners and Sheet-fed Scanners. At Smartbuy most of our printers come with flatbed and sheet-fed attributes.
  • Copy quality: A good quality copy output should measure a minimum 0f 300 PPI (pixels per inch), depending on the quality of your document and the paper type.

2. Print Speed:

a guide when shopping printers

The second factor you should look at is the print speed. A printer with a higher speed saves on time and will benefit busy work environments like banks. The speed of a printer is measured in PPM (pages-per-minute). Some of the variables that affect the print speed include:

  • Type of document: For example, a PDF file might take longer compared to a normal text file same for photos and graphic documents
  • Year of manufacture: An older printer will definitely also be slower to print, the printers we stock here at Smartbuy are modern and offer the best in speeds depending on the brand
  • Print output (Monochrome/ Coloured): Printing in black and white (monochrome) is faster compared to colour, a characteristic of most laser printers.

Some of the printers that offer the best in speed:

Therefore, when deciding on the speed, higher end models offer the best speeds while lower-midrange printers like this 2320 deskjet from HP are a-bit slower and are not suitable for office use but rather for home usage.

3. Compatibility:

a guide when shopping printers

The compatibility of the printer is also a very important aspect when shopping for printers. Whether you are using a Mac, Windows or any other operating system, it is critical to check whether your desktop or PC can work with it. Most printers are compatible with Windows based operating PC’s and Apple macOS computers. After buying your printer, check the manual/user guide (usually in a pamphlet form) on how to download drivers for that particular model. If you find any difficulty when trying to install these drivers or setting up your printer, feel free to reach to us on TEL: 0725440303 and we’ll gladly help

4. Ink type, costs and availability:

a guide when shopping printers

We all know that terrible experience when your printer has run out of ink and its replacement is hard to find or is too costly. Depending on your workload, the amount of ink your printer uses will vary. Many printers like this Pixma From Canon offer the best in page yield, meaning you can print more using less ink. Each printer has a different type of cartridge, as described below:

  • Toner cartridge: This type of cartridge is found mostly on laser printers from Hewlett-Packard, like this monochrome hp PrinterHere, the ink in powder format is electronically heated and applied to the material being printed via a rotating drum. Printers with this type of toner offer the fastest and efficient printing jobs.
  • Ink-based cartridges: You will mostly see this type of ink on Inkjet printers, for example this best-selling EcoTank L3110 Printer, which spray’s the ink on the document using a complex blend of pigments. Printers using this type of ink are best for printing image documents.

When it comes to availability, ink-based cartridges are easier to find than toner-based cartridges. In terms of costs, ink based printers are cheaper to replace compared to toner based printers.

5. Functionality:

A printer has only one job and that is to print only, however things have changed over the years. Printers now offer more extended functions such as scanning, copying and faxing. These types of printers known as 3-in-1’s/ All-In-One are the best choice for someone looking for versatility and an all-rounder. Most All-In-One Printers come with Wi-Fi too! This means that you can print remotely via Wi-Fi or Bluetooth from even your Mobile Phone. 

6. Usage:

Most consumers don’t know which printer is good for home or office use. You need to think of what you intend to do with the printer, your office needs (capacity) and the long-term aspects (i.e.: toner replacement). If you are a busy company, shop for a printer capable of high volume. A high capacity printer, for example this Kyocera Multifunctional 4-in-1 Printer, will benefit any busy environment. It will be able to meet the demand, saving you on time.


This guide when shopping for printers should be able to help you choose the right printer and as always here at Smartbuy feel free to talk to us, we are more willing to help you make the best decision. Order a brand-new office/home printer from us and have it delivered right to your doorstep !.  Happy shopping

One Comment

  1. Hello,l need a printer that can be used in a school that has around 800 students and where we at times print 6 rims in a day,it should be all in one printer…. printing, photocopy and scanning.
    Ink cost be cheaper and available….kindly advise,lam in mombasa

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