Before you purchase your next inkjet printer take a quick look at our list of printer terms and acronyms so that you will know just what you are looking at as you read what each printer has to offer. Good luck!
Inkjet Printer Lingo
Aren’t acronyms fun? LOL (laugh out loud). However, they sure can be confusing when selecting printers and inkjet inks. Most sites are good about defining the acronyms they use at least once, but finding that ‘once’ is not always as easy as it looks! Knowing how to speak ‘inkjet’ will help you choose both the printer and the inkjet ink you need to get the kind of results you want! Here are a few inkjet acronyms and other terms to help with your searches for inkjet printers and related products:
AIO (all in one) and MFP (Multifunction Printer) — AIO and MFP are often used interchangeably and stand for printers that include a copier, a scanner, and frequently have fax capabilities as well. Relatively new in the marketplace, All-in-Ones are an affordable way to set up a comprehensively equipped home office.
CMYK– Inkjet colors: C=cyan, M=magenta, Y=yellow, and K=black. The first inkjet printers were three-color printers (CMY) that mixed colors to produce black. Today’s printers generally have the capability to simultaneously use both black and colored inks on the same page.
DPI– Dots per inch. Measures the resolution of images produced by printers, scanners, etc. Typically, more dots per inch means that the image will display with more detail.
OEM– Another way to say brand name (or name brand). Actually means Original Equipment Manufacturer
PPM (pages per minute) and CPM (copies per minute)– How many sheets your printer will spew out per minute. PPM usually means printing directly from the printer and CPM denotes copies from a scanned item.
Aside from acronyms, other inkjet terms frequently appear when searching for inkjet printers, medias, and inks:
Bulk ink– Sold either as compatible printer ink or universal printer ink (see below). The difference between bulk ink and refill kits is that bulk ink does not come with either tools or instructions. Unless you are experienced in refilling inkjet cartridges and have the necessary tools on hand, a better money-saving refill solution is a compatible inkjet refill kit.
Compatible cartridge– Either a brand new inkjet cartridge or a remanufactured cartridge, which contains ink that is specially formulated to work with a particular model of printer.
Ink Refill Kit– Inks, tools, and instructions to refill your empty ink cartridge. Refill kits are generally less expensive than either new or remanufactured inkjet cartridges and are sold separately to refill black inkjet cartridges. Color refill kits typically come with one or more sets of CMY ink.
Remanufactured cartridge– Remanufactured cartridges are recycled cartridges that have been cleaned, factory inspected, and refilled with new compatible inkjet ink.
Universal ink– Several vendors advertise ink that is compatible with ANY printer. If that were true, then any ink would work in any printer. The truth is, they will not. Different ink viscosities (see below) and different sized print heads vary between both printer brands and printer models. If you do not have the option of choosing ink that is formulated especially for your printer, do not buy it.
Viscosity– Viscosity is how sticky the ink is. The higher the viscosity, the stickier the ink. Viscosity is a word that you will rarely see mentioned on ink cartridge sites, still it is a very important word when it comes to purchasing the appropriate ink for your inkjet printer.
Now go get that new inkjet printer with you newly gained printer knowledge and print some awsome pictures or neat documents.