See the Buyer's Guide Table for product features and prices.
If you're looking for a low-volume, low-cost, good-quality printer that can take on brochures, newsletters, reports, proposals and even banners, then check out the newest color inkjet printers. They may only be the size and weight of a small bread box, but the magic that color inkjet printers perform on a blank sheet of paper is often remarkable.
Despite small footprints, in many cases, these printers produce close to photo-quality results. In fact, the latest word on most of the new inkjets is their ability to reproduce lifelike photographs with exceptional detail, especially on high-gloss paper. For example, Compaq's IJ700 model, an upgrade of its entry-level IJ200 (featured in our chart on page 62), has an optional photo cartridge with two additional ink colors that increases color range and enables six-color photo-quality printing that's good enough to frame. And Lexmark's 5700 offers a print resolution of 1,200 x 1,200 dpi, up to 38 per-cent higher than comparable inkjets.
While they haven't quite caught up to the speed, quality and crispness of color laser printers, inkjet manufacturers are building faster products that create vivid, crisp images. Epson's Stylus Color 850 and 850N inkjets, for instance, are 20 percent faster than their predecessors. These new inkjet printers are versatile, too; they handle envelopes, transparencies, labels, fabrics, photos, and various sizes and weights of paper.
Jill Amadio is a writer in Newport Beach, California.