An inkjet printer is unquestionably best for home use. Not only because it can print in colour, but also because it is far less expensive than a laser printer.
Printer speed is a key component to look at when comparing printers. This is measured in Pages-Per-Minute (ppm).
With the advances made in inkjet technology, it is now possible to produce excellent quality reproductions of your favourite photos, at a fraction of the price charged by high street developers. There are many excellent printers available from recognised, reputable manufacturers – Epson and Hewlett Packard undoubtedly lead the pack, however it is fair to point out the high cost of manufacturers replacement ink cartridges.
Scanners are surprisingly affordable! In fact, you can find a scanner that scans photos and other images with acceptable accuracy and colour representation for less than the price of a printer. Scanners enable the transformation of items from print to electronic version and are especially helpful when incorporating graphics into presentations, web page design and much more.
A modem enables your computer to talk to another computer along telephone lines and to access the Internet This device converts the digital data from the computer into a signal that can be transmitted electronically.
Modems are most often included in new computers, and are more often an internal component of your machine although external modems are available. With the increase in broadband services, more people are now using a USB or LAN connection which allows you to continue to make telephone calls whilst connected to the Internet.
NETWORK CARD / LAN / ETHERNET
Personal computers and workstations on a local area network (LAN) typically contain a network interface card specifically designed for the LAN transmission technology, such as Ethernet.
Network interface cards provide a dedicated, full-time connection to a network.
Some Internet service providers give broadband (high speed) Internet connections, which are connected through your network card and would therefore require you to have a network card installed. Most modern motherboards should have one of these built, nonetheless it is still worth checking.
Mice are now available in many varieties and where previously such a thing as a cordless mouse was a luxury item it is now easily affordable. Alternatively an optical mouse operates without a track ball and can therefore work on most surfaces without a mouse mat. This can be very helpful in a computing environment where food and drink are nearby.
Modern mice can include up to 5 buttons – and a wheel – with options to customise the function of each button.
For a little bit more than a standard keyboard, you can upgrade to a keyboard specially designed for comfort or to aid in browsing the Internet. The latest wireless technology can help to free your work area of untidy cables. New on the market are specially designed ergonomic anti-repetitive-strain-injury (RSI) keyboards. If you are a touch typist spending hours at the keyboard – this option should be considered.
Your PC can provide a channel of communication between your system and other PC’s far exceeding mere telephone calls. Web cameras, digital cameras and other such devices can enable computer users to access pictures and video via their computer.