Progress does not stop at printers either

Modern printers are actually already small computers. With various interfaces, a large main memory and a fast processor, they are powerful devices that can be integrated into various working environments, whether it is the large office, the home office or simply a student's desk. So what do current devices offer?

LAN and W-LAN support

CC BY 2.0/Liz West
CC BY 2.0/Liz West
It was already a considerable relief in everyday office life when the clunky parallel interfaces of the old printers were gradually replaced by practical compact USB ports. Today, however, most people have many different devices, from desktop computers and notebooks to tablets, e-book readers and smartphones. If they offer a way to print and also bring the appropriate drivers, then it is practical to simply use W-LAN to send documents to the printer. Those who shy away from the effort of integrating another device into the W-LAN network can usually simply connect a network printer to the router via Ethernet cable.

Multifunction devices

Especially at home, it makes sense to purchase a device that can take over several tasks at once. This is the reason why there are often multifunctional devices among the new models that have a scan function and thus can be immediately used as a simple copier. Moreover, some of these devices can also be used as Fax can be used. Indeed, most of the times, such multifunctional printers do not accomplish the tasks as well as several specialized single devices would do, but specially if one only wants to scan and copy something a few times a year, one is glad to have such a printer at hand.


Anyone who prints a lot would certainly like to reduce their paper consumption a little for the sake of the environment. High-quality duplex printers print on both sides of a sheet of paper by first printing one side and then feeding the paper back in. This way, for example, sophisticated invitation cards or program booklets for a club party can be produced quickly. For larger print runs, however, it is advisable to use a professional printing service - such as from - to use. After all, ink or toner are still expensive resources even in modern printers for home use.

Most printer enhancements are related to integration into the home network and communication with other devices. It will be interesting to see what standards the manufacturers agree on when it comes to ensuring that mobile phones of all kinds can communicate directly with the printer. It is also possible that the Internet Protocol IPv6 here are new possibilities to send data to your home printer from on the road. However, it is to be hoped that the network capability of printers will remain optional, because not everyone wants their printer to be constantly connected to the network and thus may become the target of hackers.

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