GCN Lab: USB cable makes big difference in printer speed

GCN Lab: USB cable makes big difference in printer speed

It might be time to cast off that old standby, the parallel printer cable.

For years, desktop printers have come with a parallel cable in the box. Plugging into the LPT port has been the standard method of connecting a printer to a computer. In the GCN Lab's upcoming April 28 review of eight executive printers, we used the same parallel cable to test all the printers so that they were on an equal footing.

But we noticed that most of the eight printers also came standard with a Universal Serial Bus 2.0 port. So, armed with a USB cable and a PC with a USB 2.0 port, we decided to compare those print speeds with the parallel connection.

We expected to see only a few seconds' difference on our 30-page text document and 30-page mixed graphics document. Surprisingly, however, two average performers finished the text document more than a minute faster via USB. They gained almost two minutes on the graphical test.

With USB, the entire test documents loaded faster into printer memory. Just as a car moves faster with tires inflated to just the right pressure, a printer runs more smoothly with a modern connection. The days of the large parallel cable are numbered.

About the Author

John Breeden II is a freelance technology writer for GCN.

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