Common Printers and Printing Terms Revealed

High quality printer

When you’re looking to invest in a new printer, there is a wide range of components that you will need to consider. Each printer differs from the next, and there will likely be a few different models that fit your needs perfectly.

Doing your research when it comes to printers is important, since there is such a long list of trusted printer brands, and each offers a wide range of printer models to meet the needs of the individual or group of users.

While some printers work well with high-volume word documents, others will excel at printing high-quality images. Similarly, some printers will offer more than just printing options, some will have wireless capabilities, while others will be built for large, industrial spaces. All of these things need to be considered when you’re investing in a printer, so understanding the terms used to describe each printer can be helpful.

To help you grasp a more firm understanding of printers and their differences, consider the common printers described below, and look here to reveal common printing terms.

HP Printers

 The Hewlett-Packard Company printers

HP is one of the most popular brand names when it comes to printers. HP stands for Hewlett-Packard, and it was one of the first companies to produce laser printers for computers. Many software programs include drivers that are HP-compatible, and these drivers control the HP printers through printer control language (PCL).

While many other printer companies attempt to make their printers “HP compatible,” not all of these products will perform 100% like an HP printer. Some may only understand a subset of commands, and some may only support certain models of HP ink cartridges and may not be compatible.

HP Envy

The HP Envy line was launched in 2009, and today there is a wide range of Envy all-in-one printer models available. They are wireless models with mobile printing capabilities, but they are all compatible with a range of Windows systems and OS X systems.

The range of models each has varying capabilities when it comes to maximum copies, copy speed, and other specs, so it’s important to be specific about your printing needs when choosing a model. The HP Envy line is designed to use less power and save on natural resources without compromising the quality. The models have an energy star rating which means they are part of a growing movement to develop energy-efficient products.
For those who are going to be printing photos, the HP Envy 4520 has been named one of the best printers for photo printing based on budget.

HP Photosmart

There are more than 10 models representing the HP Photosmart line. They work exclusively with Windows operating systems and Macintosh system requirements. For those who are looking for a fast-printing model, the Photosmart series has an average print speed of up to 30 pages per minute, with a resolution of 1200×1200 dots per inch. There is a wide range of accepted paper tray capacities and paper sizes, making this model ideal for those who are printing a wide range of projects with different requirements.

As with its name, these models are ideal for image printing, and the printers come with image editors to use at your convenience.

Canon Printers

inside of Cologne Exhibition Centre during Photokina exhibition 

Canon is a Japanese multi-national corporation, specializing in many technological items, including printers, cameras, laptops, and photocopiers. It was the first company to introduce inkjet printers using bubble jet technology. It has been a trusted brand in the business for decades and is an ideal choice for those looking for a long-lasting, quality printer.

Canon Pixma

Similar to the HP Envy, there is a good selection when it comes to the Canon Pixma line. With over 20 models to choose from, these models offer all-in-one capability and a variety of features users can benefit from.

Some of the perks of a Canon Pixma include space-saving designs for at-home or office use, and these printers are capable of all kinds of printing projects, including images, documents, colored labels, and more. They’re extremely versatile and are easily hooked up with Wi-Fi, AirPrint, USBs, the Cloud, and even Google Cloud Print.

For those who need something compatible with their iPhone or iPad, take note that most Canon printers are easily connected with these devices so you can print from wherever you are.

Brother Printers

 Many types of Brother inkjet printers

Brother was established in 1908 and offers a wide range of products, including printers, typewriters, fax machines, sewing machines, and more. Printing options include black and white laser printers, as well as color laser/digital printers.

Those who are looking for more affordable options may want to consider a brand such as Brother, and those who are looking for larger, more industrial-sized printers will also fare quite well with this brand. The designs are simpler and more straightforward with Brother, yet they still include wireless capabilities as well as high-impact business printing up to 32 printed pages per minute.


There are a lot of things to consider when it comes to choosing a new printer. Before you make your decision, be sure to make a list of “must-haves” for your printer, such as printing speed, wireless capabilities, image quality, etc. Having a list of specs to look for will help to narrow your search and find you the best printer for your needs. You may also want to refer to the common printing terms linked above to familiarize yourself with some of the popular expressions before you start shopping.