Where to Find the Best Tools for Printer Comparisons

Printer comparisons are a great way to filter through the hundreds of printer models available to find the one that's right for you. The Internet is the best source for printer comparison tools. Many Web sites provide detailed reviews and allow you to create side-by-side comparisons based on cost, type or other criteria.

Printer Comparisons On The Web

  • PC Magazine: For years, PC Magazine (www.pcmag.com/category2/0,2806,10,00.asp) has been the leader in printer reviews and comparison tools. Reviews tend to be well balanced, with plenty of benchmark information for comparison purposes. Their hundreds of printer reviews are well organized into a dozen or so categories, which makes finding a specific kind of printer simple. Generating a comparison is as easy as checking a box next to each printer you're interested in. The site allows you to compare up 10 different printers at once.
  • Consumer Reports: Although reviews are only available for subscribers, Consumer Reports (www.consumerreports.org) does a good job of covering standard printers as well as multifunction models. Consumer Reports also makes a point to review less-expensive printers as well as pricier models. These printer price comparisons will help you set a benchmark for the features available at a given price.
  • CNet.com - Like PC Magazine, CNet.com generates hundreds of up-to-date printer reviews every year. CNet.com provides detailed and thumbnail reviews of each printer as well as benchmark reporting. As an interesting twist, CNet.com also provides user ratings, which provide a bit of a reality check against editor's reviews. You can generate side-by-side printer comparisons by selecting printers from categorized lists.
  • Shutterbug: Shutterbug magazine (www.shutterbug.com) provides printer reviews with a view toward photo printing. This image-oriented point of view is perfect if you're looking to create prints of digital photographs. On the downside, Shutterbug's reviews are buried a few menu levels deep and they don't provide the ability to generate comparison screens.
  • Compare Cartridges: Once you've got a printer, you'll need to do printer cartridge comparisons if you want to find the best deals on replacement ink and toner. Compare Cartridges (www.comparecartridges.com) lists prices for many online sellers. It can also be a useful tool when you're choosing a printer, as it will let you know what you can expect to pay for replacement cartridges, helping you to manage the lifetime cost of ownership.
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