Category Archives: How To Guides

How do I check ink levels on my HP printer?

One of the things our customers most frequently ask us about is how they check the ink levels on their HP printer. Monitoring ink levels is an essential part of owning a printer, as it allows you to keep on top of your spending and also ensure that your machine is sufficiently stocked up at all times, particularly when processing larger print jobs. In this blog post, I’m going to outline how you can check ink levels on your HP printer quickly and easily. So, let’s get to it…

First things first

The way in which you will be required to check the ink levels on your printer will vary depending on the model you own. With that said, as a rule of thumb, you should be able to print a supplies report from the device itself, using the menu on the device (providing it has this function). If the machine does not have a display, then you may be able to generate a report by pressing a combination of buttons on the machine. The necessary combination in which to perform this task should be detailed in the machine user guide.

Checking ink levels from your device driver

You can also usually check the ink status of your machine through the device driver found in the printers/devices section of your PC/Mac. If your machine is connected on the network, you can also log into the web interface using its assigned IP address by inputting it into a web browser. The web interface should also display the supplies status, too.


If you enjoyed this blog post, please feel free to share it with your friends, family and work colleagues on Facebook and/or Twitter now. Alternatively, if you’d like to share your thoughts on this post, please do not hesitate to drop a comment in the box below – we love to hear your feedback!

Happy printing!

The Printerbase Team

How does a dot matrix printer work?

Dot matrix printers don’t just sound extremely techy and confusing, they look extremely techy and confusing, too! For this reason, lots of people find themselves being intimidated by these machines, and immediately apprehensive about using them. But there’s no need to worry – once you understand how these machines work, you’ll be fine! In this blog post, I’m going to teach you everything you need to know about dot matrix printers, from how they work, to what they’re used for. So, without further ado…

The basics

Dot matrix printers are a lot like inkjet printers in that they work by implementing a moving head that prints in a line by line motion. However, contrastingly to inkjets, dot matrix printers employ an impact ‘head and ribbon’ method of printing. This method is very similar to that of a traditional typewriter, punching tiny holes through the ribbon and into the page, leaving a mark.

What do the numbers on dot matrix printers stand for? How do I know which to pick?

Dot matrix printers each bestow a matrix of pins, which are used to produce the characters on the page. When it comes to variation in this regard, you can choose from either 9 pins or 24 pins – 9 pin is usually the fastest option, meanwhile 24 pin boasts the highest resolution.

What are the benefits and uses of a dot matrix printer?

Although dot matrix machines are often perceived as archaic in some ways, these durable devices are perfect for invoicing and warehouse packing/picking slips where multiple copies are required. Dot matrix printers can print multiple sheets at once, printing directly onto the white front sheet, and then following on to the coloured carbon copies behind.  In general, dot matrix printers are more reliable than laser or inkjet machines, especially when used in dirty environments such as warehouses or car garages.

Can I buy a dot matrix printer from Printerbase?

Of course, you can! You can view our full range of dot matrix printers now by clicking here.


If you enjoyed this news post, feel free to share it with your friends, family and work colleagues on Facebook and/or Twitter now. Alternatively, please feel free to leave a comment in the box below – we love to hear your thoughts and feedback!

Happy printing!
The Printerbase Team

Who has the cheapest printer ink cartridges?

One of the questions our customers most frequently ask us is ‘which manufacturer retails the cheapest ink cartridges?’ It’s only natural that people want to cut costs where possible, which is why we’ve decided to put together a news post to better educate you all in what to look for when buying ink and toner cartridges.

There’s a lot of confusion when it comes to buying ink cartridges and saving money, and that’s because the face value of cartridges isn’t always the strongest indicator as to which cartridge is the cheapest option in the long run. To simplify this, some ink and toner cartridges are cheap on actual outlay (entry level and low-end inkjets such as Canon MX925), but the yields for these cartridges are small, meaning that they are incredibly costly to run.

One of the best ways to calculate this properly is to take note of the cost per print.  In this case machines belonging to the Epson WorkForce Pro range, for example, would be considerably cheaper in the long-term. The inks for such machines are more expensive per unit – perhaps £30.00 or so per ink – but the yield is much higher, meaning that in the long-run, there is a lot of money to be saved.

As a general rule, we tend to advise that low end machines may boast low ink costs, but the pricey cost per print tends to eradicate the benefit of buying cheap at face value. On that same note, higher end machines generally have a higher cost per ink, but a much better cost per print.

So, what should I buy?

There’s no right or wrong answer to this question – at the end of the day, what works better for one customer may prove a lot less beneficial to another. However, generally, we would advise that if you rely heavily on your printer and you require a continuous, high volume of output, a more expensive machine with pricier inks will probably work a lot better for you. High end machines come complete with lots of handy features and settings designed to aid fast-paced businesses, and the low cost per print that the cartridges boast promises to minimise your spending in the long term.

If on the other hand, you require your machine for infrequent/low volume use in the home, a simple, low cost inkjet is probably much better suited to your needs. As your output will be low, investing in a larger, more expensive machine wouldn’t have the same benefits as it would if you were a large, high-output business. For users with a minimal volume of output and less reliance on their printer, the lower upfront cost of the machine itself and the ink and toner cartridges needed for that machine will probably help keep your costs down.

We really hope that you found this news post useful! If you enjoyed it, why not share it with your friends, family and work colleagues on Facebook and/or Twitter now?

Happy printing!

The Printerbase Team

Why won’t my printer print photos?

With so many fantastic photo printers now available exclusively for home and small office use, many people are now opting to invest in their own machine and consumables as opposed to going into photo stores and counters to get their images processed.

Photo printing is becoming a lot less expensive, and as improvements and developments continue to be made, high quality photo printers are becoming increasingly inexpensive to buy and run. However, what some people don’t realise is that some machines aren’t designed to print photographs, and so the quality of output they are attaining is disappointing.

At Printerbase, our customers ask us a lot of questions about printing, and one of the most frequently asked questions is: ‘why won’t my printer print photos?’ Whilst there is no clear-cut answer to this question, there are several reasons as to why your printer won’t print photos, and we are going to share those reasons with you in this blog post.

Connectivity issues

One of the main reasons why a printer may not be printing the photos you have asked it to is because the machine is not connected up properly. This may sound simple, but a lot of the time, when we speak to customers and trouble-shoot such issues, the most common reason for the problem they are facing is to do with the machine and whether or not it is properly connected. In order to ensure that you don’t experience any difficulty or issues in this regard, always make sure that everything is wired up correctly as per the instruction manual that came with your machine. otherwise, you may find yourself making the classic error of clicking ‘print’ twenty times or more. Avoiding a lot of waste and a lot of frustration by triple-checking anything before you hit that button!

Your machine is not suitable for photo printing

I did touch on this earlier, but one of the most common issues when it comes to home photo printing is that the machine in which you are using has not been designed to print photos, and is therefore unsuitable for such print jobs. If you are interested in printing photos from the comfort of your own home, please ensure that the machine you are buying has been designed to perform such tasks. Many customers wonder why their standard home office laser printer won’t print their family holiday snaps, and the simple reason for this is that the machine hasn’t been designed to do so. At Printerbase, we have a selection of highly affordable, great quality photo printers perfect for your home. You can view these now by clicking here.

Program or software issues

And finally, your printer may not be printing all those beautiful photos because there’s an issue with the program or software that you’re using. If you are concerned about the program or software you are using, try clicking into any ‘help’ or ‘troubleshoot’ options available to you. Alternatively, give your software provider a call to query the issue with them.

Get in touch and share!

We hope that you found this blog post useful. If you are trying to print photos from your home and are still experiencing issues, please do not hesitate to give us a call on 0800 170 7234 – our friendly customer service advisors are always happy to help.

Alternatively, if you enjoyed this news post, please feel free to share it with your friends, family and work colleagues on Facebook and/or Twitter now!

Happy photo printing,

The Printerbase Team

Photo Printing on the Go

Our newsletter often extols the virtues of professional photo printers and they remain the best option for anyone looking to produce display quality photos and artwork. But what If you don’t want the inconvenience of busting out your A2 photo printer and firing up photoshop to print that 6×4 photo you just took? The answer could well be compact photo printers that help you with photo printing on the go.

Compact Photo Printers

Unlike standard desktop photo printers, Compact photo printers are devices that can print photo’s without the need to connect them to a PC (although you can still do this on most models). Unlike a standard inkjet machine, these devices use a different printing method and print only onto predefined paper sizes (6×4, postcard, 2×3 depending on the model).

Devices such as the Canon Selphy range of machines use a Dye-sub printing method that involves ink being vaporised from a film roll onto the sheet of paper. The resultant print shares a similarity to the type of prints you would expect when you used to have a film developed at a photo lab before the digital camera revolution.

The key benefit of a compact photo printer is in its ease of use. You can print from a computer directly, straight from a memory card or even using use the Wi-Fi to print directly from your Apple or Android smartphone – making it simple to snap a photo and have a hard copy within seconds.

Another key addition to the compact range of machines is HP’s Sprocket printer, which is essentially a polaroid camera for the selfie age. Capable of printing onto 2×3 card sized photo papers, the sprocket is designed to fit in your pocket so you can take it anywhere. It can be linked up to a variety of mobile devices and using the HP app, allow you to instantly print photos onto card-sized photo stickers. See the video here.

HP Sprocket

Sprocket uses ZINK technology (Zero Ink), a completely new printing method where the paper itself contains the ink required to produce the photo. Much like dye-sub printing, the resulting output is excellent quality, durable and water resistant.

Whether you are looking to compliment your professional photo printer or are looking for a hassle-free way to quickly print snaps, compact photo printers are definitely worth a look.