Are personal printers still relevant?

Written by Bruce Hughes on . Posted in Computer Innovations

There was a time when people could not conceive having a personal computer without investing in a printer as well, but it seems that this time has long gone and that printers are found mostly in offices and copy-shops rather than in homes. In fact, spending several hundreds of dollars on a high-end printer can even be a waste of money, because only a small market segment needs to print documents on a regular basis. Except for teachers, artists and people who have to print piles of papers, most us only need this service every once in a while, for school or work projects. In such cases, it’s better to go to a professional copy shop and pay a small fee instead of buying a device that is only turned on rarely. Printer manufacturers report less clients among personal users, but their sales are increasing in the commercial sector. Companies buy printers and cheap ink cartridges Australia, meaning that most specialized stores are now oriented towards their needs.

This change in customer behavior is linked to the devices that people use nowadays and the transition from physical to digital formats. Printers are best used with desktop computers, which were the most common electronic devices about a decade ago, but, as people switched to laptops, then tablets and phones, the role of printers have become less necessary. Printed data was essential in the past. Now, we are encouraged to avoid using paper as much as possible in order to save natural resources. Whenever possible, digital data is preferable to physical data. Why choose printing when a flash drive or memory card can store terabytes of data? Why print a city map when you can use the GPS on your phone? The personal printer seems more appropriate when you must make a hard copy of a document on short notice and a copy-shop is not within reach.


Printers function best when used regularly. Otherwise, their ink dries or they become a hassle to use. Many printer owners have come to realize that they only used these devices for a few years and then left them abandoned in a corner. Briefly, analysts expect the market for personal printers to disappear in the following years, until people rely only on copy-shops for the occasional printing of hard copies. For business owners, this means more profit and a larger customer base. Online stores now offer significant discounts for those who buy in bulk, whether they need replacements for ink or laser devices.