Individuals looking to invest in printer and ink supplies need to consider a range of factors before making a final decision, it has been stated.

Matt Egan of PC Advisor noted key choices that need to be made include whether to opt for an inkjet or laser machine, as well as a single-function or all-in-one device.

He suggested laser devices typically offer crisp text output and may be ideal for individuals who will only need to print items such as monochrome business documents.

However, he added: "If … you need to print in colour – even if only sometimes – choose an inkjet printer", as these will usually offer better results for photos.

Opting for a multifunctional machine may also be a good idea for some users. Mr Egan said: "If you require a scanner and a photocopier as well as a printer, you'll save money by buying in all-in-one – but if a standalone printer suits your needs, you may be able to spend less."

One model that was highly recommended by PC Advisor recently is the Kodak Hero 7.1, which has been awarded the publication's Best Printer of 2012 accolade.

PC Advisor noted it is an excellent option for photo printing, offering better results than many machines that are designed explicitly for this purpose. It added the built-in scanning and copying functions can help save a user space and money.

The Wi-Fi connectivity offered by all machines in the Hero range is another positive feature, it continued, while the Kodak ink cartridges used by the device were also said to offer exceptionally low running costs.

This may be a vital consideration for many people, as Mr Egan stated the total cost of ownership, including replacement consumables, will be particularly important to users who expect to produce large volumes of printouts.

Runners-up in the PC Advisor Best Printer of 2012 award included the Canon LBP7750Cdn and the Brother HL-2130.