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Inkjet printers have become the standard for home-computer use. They can turn out color photos nearly indistinguishable from lab-processed photos, along with banners, stickers, transparencies, T-shirt transfers, and greeting cards. Many produce excellent black-and-white text. With some very good models selling for less than $200, it's no surprise that inkjets account for the vast majority of printers sold for home use.
Laser printers still have their place in home offices. If you print reams of black-and-white text documents, you probably need the quality, speed, and low per-copy cost of a laser printer. Printers use a computer's microprocessor and memory to process data. The latest inkjets and lasers are so fast partly because computers have become more powerful and contain much more memory than before.
The printer market is dominated by a handful of well-established brands. Hewlett-Packard is the market leader. Other major brands include Brother, Canon, Dell, Epson, Kodak and Lexmark. Printers designed for printing 4x6-inch snapshots are also sold by Olympus, Samsung, and Sony.
The type of computer a printer can serve depends on its ports. All printers have a Universal Serial Bus (USB) port that lets a printer connect to Windows or Macintosh computers. Some have FireWire ports, and many printers also have optional Bluetooth, Wi-Fi, or …