The subject of printing has the potential to be super boring. But it's fun to break technologies down and explore how they work. If you're a true techie, you'll dig the tests we're performing to get the best quality out of our inks and printer paper.
Isn't it odd that in a world where everything seems to be stored in digital form, we still wind up printing so much content to paper? Computers get all of the glory, but everyone still owns a printer.
And yet, you probably don't put much thought into the printer you use or the settings you choose beyond picking between color or greyscale right before you click the Print button.
Of course, that all changes when you're standing in the printer supply isle, cursing the prices of paper and ink, right?
Even if you only occasionally print photos, invoices, and emails, you can easily spend $200 a year on inkjet printing supplies. That's enough to buy an entirely new printer, which is why you should carefully pick those components.
Cost isn't the only factor at play here, either. Your purchasing decisions have a real impact on the quality of your print, and that fact isn't just limited to photos. Ink and paper can change the quality of essays, stories, and articles comprised purely of text.
Whether you're just curious about printing technology, just want more for bang your buck, or were particularly entertained by Tom's Hardware Benchmarks Inkjet Printer Paper!, we're covering the basics of what you need to know to get the most out of your printing tasks.
Consider Paper And Ink
Producing high-quality prints requires the right paper and the right ink. You can't get by with just one or the other.
When you look at something on a computer monitor, light is passing directly from the screen to your eyes. Whether the lights are on or off, you still see what's being displayed.
The same can't be said for a reading a paper in the dark. Unless you have night vision, reading in the dark is almost impossible. If you use an alternate light source to illuminate your content, however, you change the way that paper looks. This is why your printer uses cyan, magenta, yellow, and black (CMYK; the K stands for key), whereas computer monitors employ red, green, and blue (RGB) subpixels.