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Home printer buying guide: How to choose the best printer

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Photo printers

If you’re more interested in preserving family photos on paper than printing off homework assignments and pie charts, consider a dedicated (single function) photo printer. Though they lack the flexibility of multitaskers, the quality of prints is typically better, and often rivals or exceeds the quality of what you would receive from a kiosk or mail-order service like Shutterfly. The price you’ll pay for this kind of convenience comes out in the print cost, however. Many of the printers sold only for dedicated photo or graphic use are small-size units capable of printing photos up to 4 x 6 inches in size, or wide format models designed to print media up to 24-inches wide. Supplies for these specialty printers are also generally more expensive than those for the typical multifunction printer. Both Canon and Epson have models which print 8.5 x 11 inches and use five or six colors of ink to produce photos with greater color accuracy. And many all-in-one devices are capable of turning out photos up to 8.5 x 11 inches in size when you use the right paper.

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