Product reviews and ratings are a wonderful way to assess the worth of something before you pay your hard earned money for it. Consumer reports, Amazon testimonials and other outlets of information can be both a blessing and a curse for curious consumers. Too often these resources are corrupted by promotional interests and competitive agendas, leaving you to discern between the two.
If you want to research different printers, for example, you will probably do a simple Internet search and read the first few links presented to you. Some of those links will take you directly to company websites, where you will be given all the great talking points about a machine, and told nothing of the drawbacks. If you read a negative review, on the other hand, it may have a hidden agenda.
The best way to get impartial information about a printer, or any product, is to read as much information as possible without going overboard or spending too much time analyzing every conflicting report that you read. Word of mouth is the oldest form of product referral, so asking anyone you know who has the item you are interested in for a first hand account is always useful.
Similarly, going and looking at a printer in person is a great way to toy around with it and see it in action. Any bigger electronics store will have an array of printers adorning their shelves, with eager sales associates who work on commission willing to do practically anything to sell you the device. Open printers up, watching them spit out documents, and take it from there as you think best.