Printers in a POS system are the main output devices and usually have one or two independent cash register ports attached. Such a printer and cash register will share a single port with a PC and leaves other PC ports free for other peripheral devices of the POS system. Traditional electronic cash registers with printers have given way to specialized printers and accessories for point-of-sale functions like labeling and coding products, printing receipts, and printing identity cards. There are many manufacturers in the market who give printers with different features to suit unique needs of vendors.
Printers can be classified according to the printing technology used, their connection compatibility, and the unique features provided by the manufacturers. Dot-matrix, thermal printers, and laser printers are the most common types of printers used in most POS systems. Laser and thermal printers are very quick, but it is the dot-matrix printer that is used by small scale retailers and restaurant owners, due to its low pricing and maintenance costs. For clear printing that is essential for barcodes and labels, the best solution are direct thermal printers and thermal transfer printers with auto cutters. PC and printer compatibility is essential for smooth functioning of the POS system. Computers and printers can be connected directly through a parallel port in both the devices, or they can be connected directly through a serial interface. Some PCs allow printer connection through USB cables or RJ11 adapters as well.
You should be looking at the specific needs of your outlet before choosing a printer with different features like barcode formats, auto cutters, check and credit card receipts, and product labels. Getting the right printer with the right combination of technology, features, and cost-effective system-compatibility will play a part in smooth running of your business.