Why We Still Need Printers

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Seeing how MEGATechNews is a site where we talk a lot about gadgets and technology, you would think that we are all proponents of the paperless office and going digital with everything. And, in general, we are those kinds of people. I’m far more likely to jot down a quick note in a smartphone app than I am to take out a pad of paper. I’m far more likely to use online banking and online payments than I am to use paper statements or actually make a physical trek to the bank to pay a bill. This is true.

That being said, even though we are moving toward an increasingly digital environment, there still exists an inherent need for paper-based products. And we still need printers, so we can print things onto those pieces of paper.

Let’s start with the context of shopping. While there are some places, like the Apple Store, that will gladly email you a receipt of the transaction, that’s not the case with the vast majority of retailers. This is particularly true when it comes to cash-based transactions where you still want a record of what cost how much, who you paid, when you paid and so on. We have to remember that while many of us have Internet-connected smartphones, many other people do not.

But even if in our own homes, in our own offices and in our own worlds, inkjet and laser printers are still useful and still relevant. If you have a series of shoeboxes containing a variety of knick-knacks, you probably want to have some way of knowing what each one contains without having to open it up. Printing on some high quality inkjet labels is certainly more attractive than whipping out a permanent marker and writing these labels by hand… particularly when it comes to kind of chicken scratch that I produce.

Likewise, while you may keep digital records of your financials and other pertinent information, it’s usually a good idea to keep a hard copy of the most important documents too. The thing with relying on the Internet, relying on the cloud or even relying on your home computer is that these may not always be available to you. Your ISP may be down. The cloud service may be on the funk. There might be a power outage on your block. At the end of the day, printed paper does not need power or Internet access. You just read it and that’s that.

Yes, the multifunction printer will continue to evolve with new and exciting features. We’ll see different designs and we’ll see more Internet connectivity, but the core idea of sending a file to the printer so that it can put that information onto a piece of paper will persist for at least the foreseeable future.

About

Michael Kwan is a freelance writer, button masher, published author, and professional gadget geek. Fueled by caffeine and Wi-Fi, he personifies the digital lifestyle. Follow Michael on Twitter (@michaelkwan) and Instagram (@beyondtherhetoric).

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