What features should you look for in a home office printer?

You're going to need different features in your home office printer depending on what line of work you're in and what you need the printer to do. If you need to print a lot of material in a short time, look for a printer with a rapid output speed and an extra-large paper tray, so you won't have to keep refilling it. If you don't need to print in color, get a monochrome printer, which is more economical than a color printer.

Ink-jet printers are made specifically for printing high-quality graphics and photos, producing smooth-looking images and achieving a wide range of colors. Cartridges for ink-jets are pricey, though, and they use up ink very quickly. Laser printers are geared toward printing text, although they're also capable of printing simple graphics and decent photos.

When choosing your printer, keep in mind the size of your home office. If you don't have a lot of space, you're going to need a compact printer. You might want to consider one with a folding paper tray, which will take up less space when not in use.

If you're not tech savvy, you should probably choose a printer that's easy to set up and install, and that doesn't have a record for a great deal of troubleshooting issues. Do you want to be able to print on both sides of the page? In that case, look for an autoduplexer. Is your computer going to be connected to the printer at all times or do you need a printer with wi-fi capability? Do you have a fax machine, a photocopier or a scanner in your home office? If you're going to need these too, you may want to splurge on a multifunction printer (MFP), also known as an all-in-one (AIO). Finally, make sure whatever printer you buy is compatible with the computer and operating system you use.