As of 2015, some printers still use ribbons, such as dot matrix printers. However, printers that use ribbons are uncommon, and most printers use liquid ink cartridges instead.

The dot matrix printer is almost obsolete. The more common inkjets and deskjets are seen in most homes and offices instead. Printer ribbons are not expensive, so printing costs for the dot matrix printer are actually lower than inkjets and deskjets. However, print quality is jeopardized when using a dot matrix printer, so it is best to use it only for documents in which quality is not a big concern, like drafts. In most areas of quality aside from cost, the dot matrix printer is still inferior to contemporary printers.

The dot matrix printer has tiny dots on its printer's head. These dots strike the paper through an ink soaked cloth and print by impact.