Why we still need a printer in the online world

Whether you’re busy running a home-based business or just have the traditional PC in the study for family use, a printer has always been one of the peripherals that you just can’t do without. But today, we supposedly live in a paper-free environment. Utilities send us paper-free billing, the banks provide our statements online or via mobile apps and advances in electronic signatures mean that we can even sign letters and send them without a pen or paper in sight. Is the paper-free era really here? A printer takes up space, and supplies can become expensive, particularly if you get them from high street outlets.

However, it is not until your printer suddenly breaks down, or you try to manage without one that you realise how much you still need it. The good news is that today, you can buy an inkjet printer from a big name manufacturer for pocket change, and if you look online, you can get branded supplies such as Canon ink cartridges at heavily discounted rates. Here’s why we still need a printer, even in the virtual world.

Printing off that important project

How many panicky Mums have found themselves ringing round friends asking to borrow a printer for that school project that is due tomorrow and needs to be printed out? It doesn’t help that nine times out of ten, your beloved child has had about two months to get it done.

Online shopping? You’ll need a label

Ecommerce is big, and it’s getting bigger. While the high streets might be struggling, there are some industries that are thriving in the ecommerce environment. Courier firms, for example, have never had it so good, and chances are you see two, three or four different vans pulling up on your street every day. Of course, when you’re shopping online for clothes, you can’t try them on, but no problem, if they don’t fit or the style just isn’t you, all you need to do is repackage them and print off that return label. As long as you’ve got a printer, of course.

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Boarding passes and tickets

If you’re taking a flight, you’ll almost certainly be able to check in online and print your boarding pass from home. At some airports, you can simply use your smartphone as a boarding pass, but this is fraught with risk – you’ll have to make sure it’s fully charged, and if they need to see the boarding pass again on the plane or at your destination, that means digging out your phone and switching it on again. A paper boarding pass is one less worry.


Photo technology has advanced in leaps and bounds in the smartphone age. We all take far more pictures than we used to, and while sharing them online is great, you still can’t beat having real photos around the house. Today, there’s no need to get film developed, and with a modern printer, you can print the image direct from your smartphone in perfect professional quality. Now all you need is a nice frame!

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