Apart from printers, there are other output devices also like monitor, plotter, speakers, headphones, projectors, and so on. Printers are generally classified into two categories – impact and non-impact. Impact printers print by establishing a direct physical contact with the paper, but non-impact printer’s work otherwise.
The prints can be produced in varied fonts and arbitrary graphics in the form of dots. These dots are produced by tiny metal pins or wires driven back and forth or up and down by the power of a tiny electromagnet or solenoid. The printer head continuously moves and prints only one vertical text line at a time.
- The Dot matrix printers are cheap and easily available in the market.
- They can make carbon copies of the print out unlike non-impact printers.
- The printing costs are the lowest as compared to other printers.
- The printout fades gradually rather than coming to a halt suddenly. You therefore get plenty of time to change the ribbon before crisis emerges.
- They use paper continuously unlike other printers that require frequent change of paper.
- The maintenance cost is low as compared to other printers.
- They tolerate dirty and hot conditions as are found in industrial environments.
- The output is not high resolution. Color printout is limited and the print speed is also lesser as compared to non-impact printers. Therefore, the quality of print out in general is not very good. This affects the scanner readability of the print out.
- The printer creates great deal of noise while the pins strike the ribbon to the paper.
- The pins get bended easily destroying the print head.
- The single sheet of paper has to wound and aligned by hand which is time-consuming and hectic. This also makes it prone to jamming frequently. Although paper jamming can happen with any printer, fixing it here is not an easy task.
- The density of barcodes is low and may fail to match user’s standards.
Given the popularity of buying newer printer models and the novelity 3D printing, there's not much outside help for dot matrix pritner troubleshooting. After a reader left us a question on where the best place to take a Dot Matrix printer for repair, we wrote an article on how fix common Dot Matrix issues at home.
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About the Author: Andrew Yeung is the Marketing Director of ComboInk, a leading online provider of premium printer ink cartridges, including Canon cartridges and HP deskjet cartridges. By purchasing a large volume from factory, ComboInk is able to sell laser toner cartridges at steep discounts, saving small businesses thousands in operating costs each year.