April 5, 2012. Samuel Valero
Printers are hardware peripheral devices that produce texts or graphics on different types of media such as plain paper, labels, cardstocks, or transparencies. An American physicist and patent attorney named Chester Floyd Carlson first introduced the basic fundamentals of printers and printer technology in 1938 when he developed a dry printing process called electrophotography.
He offered his invention to companies like General Electric and IBM among others but it wasn’t until more than a decade later in 1949 when Haloid Company of New York decided to fund the research and the dry copying process was seen a potential which would eventually be known today as Xerox.
Printers are used both as local and network plug-in devices. A local printer is usually attached to a computer via parallel, USB cable or wireless connection. A network printer has a built-in interface which is typically Ethernet based or wireless like the wireless portable printer. Printers which include non-printing features such as photocopiers, scanners, or fax machines are sometimes called multi-function printers (MFPs), multi-function devices (MFDs), or all-in-one (AIO) printers and are widely used in large companies and government establishments. Consumer and some small-business printers are designed for low-volume printing but are generally slow devices in terms of pages per minute with relatively high cost per page.
Printers are commonly classified by the printer technology they utilize. These technologies are capable of different levels of image or text quality, printing speed, low cost, noise reduction, print media specifications, and in some cases hardware compatibility. Another important aspect of printer technology is its ability to resist alteration. This is how liquid ink and solid ink or toner become distinct from each other. Liquid ink is absorbed by the paper fibers so it is more difficult to alter as compared to toners which do not penetrate into the paper surface.
The two common types of printers are inkjet and laser printers. Inkjet printers primarily make use of liquid ink while laser printers use toners and produce high quality text and graphics. A monochrome printer is a type of laser printer that produces an image comprising of only one color which is usually black or grey-scale. A color printer produces an image of multiple colors. While a photo printer is a color printer that produces an image which copies the color range and print resolution from that of a photographic film. Common printer brands in the market are Xerox, IBM, Hewlett Packard, Lexmark, Dell, Epson, Canon, Kyocera, and Brothers.
Updated April 5, 2012. Published July 9, 2011. Samuel Valero