An American laptop and a Spanish Printer - Is there a match?

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An American laptop and a Spanish Printer - Is there a match?


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Old 1st January 2014, 03:13 AM
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Default An American laptop and a Spanish Printer - Is there a match?

As we are preparing for the move to Spain next summer, we want to scan our documents and take them electronically instead of hauling paper across the globe. Our printer/scanner broke so we need a new one. Question is, can a printer bought in the US be used in Spain? Or do we need to buy a printer in Spain? The last time we were there, when I printed something from the hotel, the paper was in different size than those 8x11 used in the US. It would not make good sense to invest in a good printer/scanner in the US if we can't find paper and ink for it in Spain.

We will also be bringing our laptops so that is another question, are our laptops bought in the US compatible with a printer/scanner bought in Spain?

Thanks in advance!

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Old 1st January 2014, 06:40 AM
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Originally Posted by kimuyen View Post
As we are preparing for the move to Spain next summer, we want to scan our documents and take them electronically instead of hauling paper across the globe. Our printer/scanner broke so we need a new one. Question is, can a printer bought in the US be used in Spain? Or do we need to buy a printer in Spain? The last time we were there, when I printed something from the hotel, the paper was in different size than those 8x11 used in the US. It would not make good sense to invest in a good printer/scanner in the US if we can't find paper and ink for it in Spain.

We will also be bringing our laptops so that is another question, are our laptops bought in the US compatible with a printer/scanner bought in Spain?

Thanks in advance!
the laptop would be fine - my late husband's laptop was bought in the US & works just fine with the Spanish bought printer/scanner


you're right though about paper here & throughout Europe being a different size though, & I have no idea if you can buy US size paper

one point - you say you're planning to scan important docs rather than bring them..... if it's anything at all that you'll need here for anything official - the really important stuff - they will only accept original documents

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Old 1st January 2014, 07:42 AM
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As far as I know you cannot buy US size paper here unless there are speciality shops around. Printers in Spain are much the same as anywhere else in the world, ie same manufacturers.

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Old 1st January 2014, 08:37 AM
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one point - you say you're planning to scan important docs rather than bring them..... if it's anything at all that you'll need here for anything official - the really important stuff - they will only accept original documents
Good point! We heard that the Spanish government loves paper so we will make special accommodation for them. We will bring apostiled/legalized documents no older than three months that are important in obtaining a bunch of other papers to make us legal in Spain. Other US papers that are important but do not have much bearing in Spain (e.g., mortgage of US house, letter of pension from old job, etc.) will be in electronic format. Important note to self is to make sure to remember to back up and double back up the files.

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Old 1st January 2014, 08:56 AM
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No worry about paper. I think you'll be hard pressed to find a printer even in North America that can't take A4 paper. Just check the specs or look at the paper tray. It'll adjust.

The issue might be formatting. My bank sends me documents formatted for US letter . A4 is bigger so they print slightly different then the formatting for letter.

OTOH I wouldn't bother buying a printer. Even a high end colour laser isn't that expensive. Getting a 120V model then spending money on transformers doesn't make sense IMHO.

For carrying important documents save them to your smartphone or tablet in electronic form. Then save a copy to something like Google Drive. You don't want one single copy in case something happens.
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Old 1st January 2014, 09:17 AM
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OTOH I wouldn't bother buying a printer. Even a high end colour laser isn't that expensive. Getting a 120V model then spending money on transformers doesn't make sense IMHO.
Agree.

That's the issue really, not the paper size. All printers will print to a variety of different paper sizes, the more important issue is the voltage. If it's not switchable between 110 and 230/240 it would be more cost effective to buy one in Spain.

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Old 2nd January 2014, 03:50 PM
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So I caved and got an al-in-one for 100USD (regular price of $200). For a comparable unit, the cost would be 50% more to buy in Spain (thanks to the declining US dollar). Between my husband and I, I think we have enough adapters to fit the whole house if we were to bring more than just 2 laptops and a printer. If we decide it is not worth it to bring it, it is not a big loss. Keeping us sane and organized is... priceless (yes, we have that much paper to deal with!).

Thanks to all who responded.

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Old 2nd January 2014, 05:38 PM
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So I caved and got an al-in-one for 100USD (regular price of $200). For a comparable unit, the cost would be 50% more to buy in Spain (thanks to the declining US dollar). Between my husband and I, I think we have enough adapters to fit the whole house if we were to bring more than just 2 laptops and a printer. If we decide it is not worth it to bring it, it is not a big loss. Keeping us sane and organized is... priceless (yes, we have that much paper to deal with!).

Thanks to all who responded.
The really BIG point is "Can you get ink cartridges for it?" Paper is easy and fairly universal through Europe and most of the world except the Americas but the cartridges are for individual printers and may not be available outside the Americas.

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Old 2nd January 2014, 06:07 PM
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The really BIG point is "Can you get ink cartridges for it?" .
Funny that you asked :-) My husband asked me the same question. And ink is expensive. I think manufacturers sell printers for cheap on purpose to then make money on ink cartridges. I hope we will be mostly using the machine for scanning function and not much for printing (the last thing I want is more paper). If we do decide to haul this thing to Spain, a spare set of ink cartridges will come along with it. And we will make it a wish list item for Christmas so our family in the States will get one for us.

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Old 2nd January 2014, 07:26 PM
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For what it's worth, I photograph my papers with my cell phone, upload them to Google Drive, and keep them on my phone if I need them. If I need a printed copy, I go to a Internet cafe and print them from Google Drive.

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