printers: better, cheaper, smaller
cyber warfare for citizens
Cheaper, Better Printers to Come
The types of printers for the home market have pretty much stabilized into three areas: Pure black-and-white using toner cartridges, which form the best way to create text papers, inkjet cartridges for color projects and art design, and inkjets using photograph paper for printing out high-quality photographic images. The three printer types are common because their components (the toner, the inkjets, and the photographic paper) all range in price, from cheap and easy to expensive. Printers themselves have come way, way down in price in the past five years, so that the cheapest inkjet printers are generally cheaper than the toner ones. However, toner last longer and is still far cheaper than inkjet replacements. (For those unfamiliar with inkjet cartridges, you need to buy blue, red, green, and black cartridges for your machine, instead of one toner cartridge.)
The Future of Home Printers
Only fifteen years ago it was nearly impossible for a home to have anything but a dot-matrix printer in it at best; the price was simply out of reach. However, today the question is – where do we put all our printers? Combination machines are the most popular approach, and now you can buy a printer that has a scanner, an inkjet machine, a photographic paper printer, and a fax machine – all in one. Inkjet and toner combination machines are also an attractive option. Home printers have nearly put the film processing microlabs out of business; now you just print out your pictures. But the future of print technology can barely be called print. Now, printers that turn Styrofoam and plastic blocks into three-dimensional models are being developed for home use. The 3D printers will be able to craft custom toys right at home. In the near future, ‘printers’ will be making things that really jump right off the page.