- Consumer Electronics & Personal Gadgets
Printers can be upgraded in a number of different ways that include adding some extra memory to allow them to hold a larger amount of information in the printer queue. You can also update the printer driver and firmware, reducing bugs, errors and also adding new features. You can also add optional components including additional paper trays.
A high end laser printer requires a large amount of built-in RAM or memory to temporarily
store all the documents that have been submitted for printing. If the printer has lots of RAM then it is able to hold a larger amount of documents to physically print. This is important as if there isn't enough memory, the printer can sometimes crash or print errors, due to the lack of memory. Although lots of cheap desktop printers don't have the option to upgrade their memory, almost all decent network printers, and good quality name branded printers such as HP will. There is normally an easy to reach expansion slot, which you can just unscrew, and add the memory module, which you can easily buy directly from the manufacturer. One of the good things about adding extra memory to your printer is that you won't void your manufacturer warranty.
As with all hardware that you buy for your pc, you can upgrade the drivers for the printer, so it communicates better with your PC.The manufacturers are always having bugs reported to them, and so they will update the drivers of the printer, and then make them available for free download on their website. You will find this frequently happens on the releases of new operating systems, to support the new software. Its always a good idea to test your new printer drivers as sometimes they can cause errors or problems. Don't make the mistake of just assuming that because the manufacturer says they work, that this is true. This is especially critical in a office, and business critical environment.
The firmware of a printer is the actual software that deals with the input and the out put of the information. This information is stored on the printer bio chip, and can occasional have an update as well. This is like the actual printer driver, instead of the printer driver for the pc. If there are any new feature of the printer released by the manufacturer then they will usually be made available via a firmware update. You will need to follow the manufacturer instructions word for word for firmware updates, as in most cases, if there is a mistake in installing the firmware update, you can damage the printer, and you will need to get it professorially repaired.
Most of the high end printers are network-capable, however even some of the more basic types of laser printers aimed at home users have this capability too. There will usually be a slot beside the main connection or power pint of the printer, and you can open this up, and install the network card for the printer. This will obviously allow you to share the printer better on a network. There is more to than that though, you will actually increase the speed of the printing connection with a network connection, so your prints will come out quicker.
Paper feed trays and finishers.
Several printer manufacturers do not include all types of the paper feed trays or the final finishing assemblies, including the folder, hole puncher, and stapler. These are normally offered as optional upgrades. Usually the manufacturers want to keep the price of the basic product down.