You don’t have to be a power user to care about resolution and speed. When it comes to producing great-looking images, or getting several documents out in a split second, these two attributes matter. 

Print resolution

Print resolution is measured using dots per inch (dpi), which literally measures the number of individual dots of ink or toner printers can apply to a square inch of paper. Higher dpi means there are more dots available to create color gradations and capture fine detail for crisp, colorful print images.

That said, resolution isn’t the final word on print quality. Print alignment, ink quality, paper type, and printer make and model can all affect the look of your prints. Thankfully, most color inkjet printers are calibrated for excellent prints.

During normal printing, you’ll typically have three options for output resolution: normal, high quality and photo quality. Higher resolution prints look better but use more ink.

For photos, we recommend using a photo cartridge. This special light-cyan-light-magenta-black ink cartridge replaces your inkjet’s basic black cartridge.

Print speed

Print speed is measured in pages per minute (ppm). Each printer is rated for a specific ppm. Color printer specifications typically list color and black-and-white speeds separately. Note that ppm is an average measurement, may not be reflected in every print session, and varies depending on the type of document printed.

Print speed is most important to users with high output requirements. Offices typically have to print several documents for multiple users in a short time. A slow ppm could be a drag on daily productivity. Home users, on the other hand, may rarely notice print speed. Of course, if you’re a student putting the final touches on a paper minutes before class begins, a higher ppm could make a real difference.

Note that print speed does not take into account a printer’s warm-up time. Warm-up time for an inkjet printer is often negligible. But laser printers have fuser elements that may take several minutes to heat.