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From the Trenches: Printing in Today?s Homes and Home Offices
March 17, 2016
At Castle Ink, we have had a lot of success in using HARO to solicit sources for our various stories. While the many experts we interview as part of our Expert Interviews series provide great insights and information as to what is going on in printing from their perspective, it is only one half of the equation. Thus, back to HARO it was for us to get a report on how people are actually using printers in their homes, home offices, and small businesses. In this second of the series, we look specifically at the use of bloggers and how they are printing in their homes and home offices.
The three people participating in this segment are as follows:
Heather Ferguson (HF):
Janet M. Perry (JP):
Sam McIntire (SM): Sam McIntire, owner and founder of DeskBright, a tutorial sight that provides free tips and tricks on business and technology skills
Below are their responses to our questions which were administered via email
1) How many pages on average would you say you print in a given week? How many pages in a month?
SM: I print 5-10 pages on average per week (20-40 per month)
2) When was the last time you bought a printer? What kind did you purchase?
JP: Last spring.
SM: About a year ago, I purchased an HP 1510 Deskjet for use in my home office.
3) What, for you, are some of the most important things that you consider(ed) when choosing a printer?
JP: At the time we thought we would be doing printing of products for sale, so we wanted high-quality for our productions expectations of 100-200 pages per month.
SM: My most important considerations were price an functionality. I wanted a printer that was relatively inexpensive, but that could also serve as a scanner for my home office.
4) How do you decide what you actually print versus what you opt to read on a screen?
JP: I read most things on screen and print only if it will be needed elsewhere.
SM: I usually only use the printer when I need to sign documents and send them off to my clients—or when I am filing government forms. I very rarely print documents for the sole purpose of reading them.
5) What types of wireless connectivity (if any) do you take advantage of with your printer? How many people have access to the printer(s) that you use?
JP: Only I have access. I don't use wireless connections with it.
SM: I don't use wireless connectivity at all with my printer; hooking my computer up via USB works just fine for me!
6) Do you own a wireless device (smartphone or tablet) that makes it easy for you to print? What kind of apps do you use?
SM: I do own a wireless device, but almost never use it to print. Almost all of my printing is done from my laptop computer!
7) How about consumables? How many cartridges does your printer take (e.g. one black and one tri-color vs. four or more individual ones) Do you use OEM (same-branded as the printer) cartridges? Do you use just the standard capacity cartridges, or high capacity ones (assuming your printer is compatible with these)?
JP: I buy same branded ones because my experience with refills has not been good. There is no location in my area that sells OEM cartridges. If there was, that's what I would buy. I only buy high-capacity black cartridges because 95% of my printing in B&W.
SM: My printer takes two cartridges: one black and one tri-color. I generally use standard-capacity cartridges, and buy name brand from HP; my hope is that this will increase the life of my printer.
8) When it comes to ink, what drives your decisions: cost or overall value?
SM: Overall value drives my ink purchase decisions. I usually go with name-brand cartridges that I know are designed to work with my printer. I'm hopeful that in the long run, this will lower the cost of my printer by extending its life.
9) What other factors play into your decision making when it comes to printers and printing?
Given that two in the house are in school and I write articles/books for work a printer is essential to have. We rely on it a lot.
JP: I don't much like HP printers because their ink runs if it gets wet. I would have preferred an Epson because their color reproduction is better & their ink is waterproof. But Epson printers in this range are not very good.
SM: Dependability and functionality are the most important factors in my printing decisions. I want something low-cost that will get the job done, and don't need any extra frills like wireless connectivity; I'm more than happy to use a cheaper printer if all its basic functions work.
As you can see from the variety of responses, at least among those that use printers on more of an individual basis, the how, why, and what of printing is far from standard. And, in a way, that is the real beauty of technology because it gives consumers the power to determine how it best works for them. Please check back with us for more Printing From The Trenches segments in the future.