How to choose a printer for your Mac [Complete Guide]

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If you are a Mac user, it should be easy for you to pick a printer, right? Just buy whatever printer model the Apple Company tells you to buy for the type of Mac that you have. It is all one company, so the process should be easy.

Many Mac users think this way, but the truth about buying a printer for a Mac computer is a bit more open than that. Most people believe that you have to have a Mac printer to print from a Mac computer.

Maybe that was the reality about 20 years ago, but that is not the reality today. Now, all printers support Mac OS software.

So as long as you have a modern printer made in the last ten years, a Mac user will be able to print from it without installing new software or emailing their document to someone who uses a Windows operating system.

Does Mac manufacture Apple printers?

Many people, including beginning mac users, assume that the Apple company manufactures its own printers. It is easy to see how people would believe this, as Apple creates iPods, iPhones, Mac desktops, and Mac laptops.

So, it is surprising when Mac users realize that Apple does not manufacture its own Apple brand printers. If you were to go to the Apple website and choose the category printers and scanners, you would see a couple of printers and scanners available for purchase.

However, none of these printers or scanners are made by Apple. Instead, the brands that make these printers and scanners are Fujifilm, HP, and any other brand that Apple decided to partner with.

So, Apple does have a section for printers and scanners on its website for customers to buy. It’s just that the printers won’t come with the Apple name.

Does that mean that any printer that is on the Apple Store fits perfectly with your Mac? That may be so, but that doesn’t mean that you can’t search for other printers and scanners somewhere else.

Like we said above, most printers and scanners now support the Mac OS system, so if none of the printers and scanners on the Apple website satisfies your needs, thousands of other options are available on the internet.

Features to consider when purchasing a printer for your Mac

Just like not all printers are made the same, every Mac User will have a different purpose for purchasing a printer, so there is no one-size-fits-all standard.

You will want to buy a computer that fits your needs and your budget, so here are a few questions to consider before you start shopping.

  • What is my budget for a printer? Will my budget cover the type of printer that is best for me?
  • What will be my ink budget? Will I have to buy ink every month or every three months?
  • Should I buy an all-in-one printer that faxes, copies, and scams as well as Prince? Or should I buy a basic printer? Or should I buy a standalone scanner along with the printer? This will ensure that the all-in-one printer does not wash out any color when the document or illustration is scanned.
  • How fast do I need the printer to print? The price of the printer will affect its printing speeds.

Now that you have taken a moment to consider the capabilities of the future printer that you want, it’s time to learn about the two types of printers and their possible capabilities and features. After that, you’ll learn all about buying and handling ink and toner.

Inkjet vs. Laser

For most home and office printers, there are two types of printers that a user can choose from, the inkjet printer and the laser printer. Each printer is built with specific uses in mind, although the premium version of each type of printer can easily handle anything that the user needs it to do.


If you use a Mac computer because you are into graphic design and artwork, then an inkjet printer is the best type of printer for you. If the laser printer is built to do work, the inkjet printer is built to make art. Inkjet printers are meant for higher quality printing, especially in photos. If you want to print amazing photos with your printer, buying an inkjet printer is in your best interest. 

Those who have small businesses that center around art and design will want to look for inkjet printers. 

Since inkjet printers print higher-quality documents, they will take longer to print than Laser Printers. But the more expensive an inkjet printer is, the faster it will print. 


Laser printers are the workhorses of printers. With the right size printer and enough toner, Laser Printers can print thousands of documents a day. Because of their robustness and their relatively low price, most people use Laser Printers to print mostly text documents and small art pieces.

You can also use a laser printer to print out color photos, but only the premium laser printers will give you a beautiful crisp coloration on your photos. Because Laser Printers aren’t meant for heavy artwork or full-on premium photos, they are relatively less expensive.

Ink or Toner

Looking for a printer is nothing compared to dealing with ink and toner. Most people have some issue or another within the first year of having a printer. Most often than not, the issue was not with the printer itself but with its ink/toner. There are so many factors that affect them.

Here are some things you need to know about ink and toner when it comes to printers.

  • Some printers do not allow you to print in black and white if there’s not enough color dye.
  • Some dyes run out and have to be back-ordered, so they may not be available in stores when you need them. You will buy a printer once in 5 to 10 years, but you’ll be buying dyes every three to four times a year. So, make sure you buy a printer whose dye is available all year long.
  • How much are the ink or toner cartridges, and can you afford to buy all of them semi-annually?
  • Would you prefer a printer with user-friendly one-touch software, or are you comfortable reading manuals and checking website forms for answers?

Quick Note!

If you have access to a printer connected to a pc, but you don’t know if you can use it, there is a simple way to learn if it is Mac OS enabled. All a mac user needs to do is see if the printer is Air-enabled. If it is not, the printer can still connect to your Mac if the primer’s drivers are rescanned for Mac OS software.


As you can see, purchasing a printer for your Mac is a bit different than practicing a printer for a windows-based laptop or desktop, but the same basic principles are still present.

You have to buy a printer according to your printing needs while considering the toner’s/ink’s cost and availability and price, and set a budget, so you don’t buy the most expensive printer or the cheapest printer. It will take you a while to find the right printer, but you’ll be so relieved when you do!

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