Take the strain out of meeting essay deadlines with your own printer
With your own printer you’ll be able to print whenever you want from the comfort of your own room at uni - check out our guide to buying one
From living away from home for the first time to meeting stacks
of new mates, university is full of exciting, life-changing
Buying a new printer may not be quite as earth-shattering. However, it's still an important part of university life.
You may be asking yourself 'Why do I want a printer when the
library's full of them?'
With your own printer you'll be able to print whenever you want from the comfort of your own room.
No longer are you bound by the opening hours of the uni library, bus timetables and having printing credit on your student card.
The university library may be open 24 hours but if you're
working into the night, the last thing you want is to trudge into
the cold, black night to print it out.
It makes sense to instead print from the comfort of your own bedroom, in your PJs and supping a lovely, restorative brew.
What's more, many printers now allow you to print photos, web
pages and documents from your smartphone or tablet.
If you're looking for a printer to take to university with you, we're here to help fill in the blanks.
Printers come in two main types: inkjet and laser. You can buy
models of these which solely print, or you can opt for ones that
photocopy, scan and boast wireless technology.
We'll tell you a bit about all of this below.
You're going to be doing a lot of typing over the next few years, and an inkjet is more than up to the task of seeing you through these turbulent times. But the main reason they're so popular is they're a good all-round option. They mainly come as all-in-ones these days, adding copy and scanning features. But as well as printing text, they can also produce rich photos and graphics. They work by spattering a stream of tightly regimented droplets of ink onto a page.
If you like to include colourful imagery in your essays and presentation handouts, or enjoy embarrassing mates with pictures of them looking worse for wear on pub crawls, an inkjet printer is the way to go.
If you're going to be living in a tiny halls-of-residence room, then you'll also appreciate the diminutive scale of most inkjets, as well as the fact they're generally cheaper than laser printers to buy.
As we said inkjets are smaller and better for printing photos,
but if you're not planning on printing imagery you may want to take
a look at a laser printer.
Check out our inkjet printers.
Laser printers are great for printing out black and white pages of text quickly.
The technology behind them is pretty old-school; it's been around since the early Eighties. But their mash up of fast printing, sharp output and low cost per page means they're still highly sought after.
Basically they're great for printing text, and not so great at printing photos. But when you think about it, printing text is primarily what your three years at university are all about. Essay writing is the backbone of many courses, and if you plan on using your printer for firing out nothing more than page after goddamn page of crisp black and white text you'll find much satisfaction with a laser model.
They may not print high-quality photos, but they'll fire out
beautiful-looking pages of your latest essay at a speed fast enough
to counter most last-minute deadline dashes. A reviewer at Cnet
said monochrome laser printers deliver "copious crisp, legible text
faster than you can say, 'Wikipedia is not a valid source'".
Check out our laser printers.
All in one printers - laser or inkjet
But you're not likely to be happy with a printer that - shock horror - solely prints. These days we demand our gadgets be as flexible as a yoga teacher, as resourceful as a Swiss Army Knife. From laptops that turn into tablets, to TVs and phones that browse the web.
Add to this list all-in-one printers. Available as either inkjet or laser, one of these will turn your humble student digs into a hipster mini-office.
As well as printing they also photocopy documents and scan too.
Some of them fax as well. Okay, in the days of 4G and Facebook
faxing may seem a bit old hat, but you won't be scoffing at having
a mini-photocopier in your bedroom.
Other cool features include USB and memory card slots so you can print your essay or some pics directly from the printer via its nifty digital display - welcome to the age of laptop-free printing.
Wireless printers - laser or inkjet
Rooms in halls of residence may be dynamite socially, but the upshot of always being able to find a party is a serious lack of personal space.
The last thing you want is wires trailing all over your cherished few square-foot of floor space. Thankfully, we're firmly ensconced in the age of wireless printing. Wireless technology is a feature of both laser and inkjet printers, and works by hooking up to your Wi-Fi system.
Once your printer is hooked up, you can print off your work from
your laptop, whether you're in your room or your mate's. Connecting
to the network can be done in a few simple button presses
Another great feature of wireless printers is mobile printing.
Need to print off some research from the web but can't be bothered to switch on the computer? Send it directly from your tablet. Want to print a picture you took on that night out without the palaver of getting them from your smartphone to your laptop? Do it directly from the smartphone.
If you want to use mobile printing you generally have to download an app from the printer manufacturer to your phone or tablet. Examples of these are Epson's iPrint and Lexmark's LexPrint.
What about if you have an iPad or iPhone? There's a feature called AirPrint, which allows you to print documents from Apple mobile devices to printers from Brother, HP, Canon and Epson.
Although some apps only allow you to print photos or PDFs,
AirPrint lets you print from emails, web pages, office documents
Check out our all-in-one and wireless printers.
Printers may be boring, but they're also pretty damn handy
So there we have it, a fresher's guide to choosing the right printer.
Shopping for one may not be as fun or exciting as buying a new laptop, or giving your wardrobe a hipster refresh to impress your new mates, but when the wind and rain are howling outside, and you've got an essay you need to print and proof, like, yesterday, you'll be glad you persevered.