New Printer and Old Computer: Will it Work?
It definitely seems easier to buy a new printer when you need one than to buy a whole new computer. Computers are expensive and why replace the one you have when it's working fine? Well, if you want to use a particular printer, you might have to. The printer and computer have to be compatible to work together, and the way technology is ever-changing, this may not be the case. Upgrading or buying new might be your best choice.
Before you decide on a new printer, there are a few things to take into consideration. Is there a way to connect your new printer to your older computer? A lot of new printers have USB ports, which most of the older computers don't have; therefore, there isn't a cord that will connect them. There are still a few printers on the market that have parallel connectivity ports like the older computers. A few examples are the Epson Stylus C88+, Epson LQ590, Brother HL-2040, and the Hewlett Packard Deskjet 9800. This limits your choice of printers, but at least you will know that they are compatible with your computer.
It is also possible to upgrade a computer where it has the ability to connect with a parallel port, but this will not help if the operating systems for each machine are not companionable with each other. Being able to plug them together is one obstacle to overcome, but if your computer's operating system can't handle the updated technology of the printer, they may not be able to communicate with each other, or if they do, the printer may be too fast for the computer. Consequently, the computer might require more memory, an upgraded hard drive, or newer components to operate effectively with the printer.
It is possible to find older printers that have been remanufactured. There are companies that take older models of printers, fax machines, and copiers and refurbish them to almost good as new. They even give limited warranties on their finished products in some cases. Although this is a viable option, it is probably the last thing to try before just breaking down and buying a new computer. Even though the older printer and older computer would be compatible with each other, they will probably not function to your satisfaction. Also, finding ink cartridges that fit might be harder to find, much less remanufactured ones that usually save money.
Whatever decision you make when buying a printer for an older computer, make sure it is going to function the way you want it to. You definitely do not want to waste money on a printer that isn't what you expected it to be and are stuck with it. Do some research and make sure you are getting a machine that does what you need it to do. If this is all a little too hard to decide, just buy a new computer and you won't have to worry about whether your devices like each other or not.