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Types of Printer


What is a printer?

A printer is an output device that produces text and graphics on paper. 


Major types of printer

Printers can be divided into two main groups, impact printer and non-impact printer.  Impact printer produces text and images when tiny wire pins on print head strike the ink ribbon by physically contacting the paper.  Non-impact printer produces text and graphics on paper without actually striking the paper.

Printers can also be categorized based on the print method or print technology.  The most popular ones are inkjet printer, laser printer, dot-matrix printer and thermal printer.  Among these, only dot-matrix printer is impact printer and the others are non-impact printers.

Some printers are named because they are designed for specific functions, such as photo printers, portable printers and all-in-one / multifunction printers.  Photo printers and portable printers usually use inkjet print method whereas multifunction printers may use inkjet or laser print method.

Inkjet printers and laser printers are the most popular printer types for home and business use.  Dot matrix printer was popular in 70ís and 80ís but has been gradually replaced by inkjet printers for home use.  However, they are still being used to print multi-part forms and carbon copies for some businesses.  The use of thermal printers is limited to ATM, cash registers and point-of-sales terminals.  Some label printers and portable printers also use thermal printing.

Due to the popularity of digital camera, laptop and SoHo office (small office / home office), the demand for photo printers, portable printers and multifunction printers has also increased substantially in recent years.


Popular Printers:

Inkjet printers

Laser printers


Less Popular Printers:

Dot-matrix printers

Thermal printers


Specialty Printers:

Photo printers

Portable printers

Multifunction / all-in-one printers












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