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Jim Rossman: Consider your needs when choosing a new printer

Tribune News Service logo Tribune News Service 8/10/2022 Jim Rossman, Tribune News Service
Laser printers can go months between prints and still turn out beautiful pages. © Jim Rossman/TNS/TNS Laser printers can go months between prints and still turn out beautiful pages.

My mom needs a new printer.

This isn’t earth-shattering news, but she’s serious about it.

My mom’s computer evolution has been an interesting one.

A decade ago, I talked her into getting rid of an old Dell Windows PC in favor of an Apple Mac Mini. She and dad kept it for three or four years until they decided they didn’t like being tied to a desk to check their emails.

Mom was the first to move to an iPad, which she loved.

Dad was a holdout, but once Mom saw him picking up her iPad to watch YouTube videos, she told him to get his own, which he gladly did.

The last printer they had with their Mac was an all-in-one inkjet , which worked fine until it didn’t.

Inkjet printers produce pretty pages, but they have their issues. Mom and Dad didn’t print very much, which is very bad for an inkjet printer.

The biggest downsides of inkjet printing are the expense of replacing ink cartridges and print nozzles clogging.

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Mom’s been through three inkjet printers of various brands and all of them failed when the ink in the print nozzles clogged and the output looked terrible.

Mom had finally had enough and asked me to remove the last printer and she vowed not to replace it.

Her printing needs are pretty simple – maybe one or two print jobs per month.

My sister lives a mile away and if she needs a document printed, she’ll send it to my sister, who will print it out and drive it over to mom’s house. That worked for a while, but sometimes mom’s free printout delivery service runs too slow.

Last month mom mentioned she might be ready for another printer.

Since she only prints from an iPad, wireless printing is a required feature.

Because of her history with inkjet printing, I recommended a small black-and-white laser printer.

Laser printers can go months between prints and still turn out beautiful pages.

I consulted my usual gadget recommendation sites (my favorite is and settled on a small Brother laser printer.

The laser printer costs about twice as much as a cheap inkjet, but in the end, I think mom will be much happier.

If you find yourself in the same boat as my mom, do some research and I think you’ll come to the same conclusion.

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