Go to any big retailer and it’s easy to get dizzy looking at the wide array of printers available to you. These days most printers look sleek and stylish, print capabilities can quickly blend together across models and brands, and with so many options to choose from it’s easy to gravitate towards the most affordable option, allowing other equally important factors to be left out of your consideration. An affordable printer might seem like it’ll do the job, but does it have the right consumables, page yield and print quality you’re looking for? In this article we’ll break down your options to simplify the decision making process. We’ll explain the types of available business printers along with their features, capabilities, and networking options.
In this 21st century digital world, more and more business processes are going electronic and making paper documentation a thing of the past. But the trusty office printer is far from obsolete. For the time being, printing is here to stay, and it’s a technology that many small business can’t do without. In fact, there’s more choice than ever, and selecting the right printer for your business can seem like a daunting task. There are a number of options to consider, such as whether you want an inkjet, laser, multi-function, LED or solid ink printer. All have advantages and disadvantages, so the key is to find a printer suited to your unique requirements.
First, decide whether you need your printer for functional everyday use, or whether it’s a more selective resource for important documents. Decide whether you need to print in small or large quantities, and consider the speed at which you need the documents printed. Where print volumes are much higher, the speed of the device – referred to as the page per minute speed – is a decisive factor. Laser printers have important benefits: they can handle bigger print jobs, print pages faster than any other, and the printing is sharp and precise. Laser printers have faster engines and paper trays that can hold more paper, therefore requiring fewer trips to the printer to load paper. On the downside, laser printers are usually the most expensive option.
Buying the printer is only the initial cost of owning a printer. Over time, replacing the toner and ink cartridges will cost more than the purchase price of the printer. Therefore, before buying a printer, ensure you budget the cost of toner and ink cartridges and how many pages it will print. High-yield cartridges are often the cheapest if they are available. In addition, a printer with long life components (drum, developer, fuser) can cost considerably less to operate than another printer with a lower initial cost. Also, when it comes to paper use, some printers will only accommodate 250 sheets of paper, making them require more regular attention, while 500 sheet paper cassettes will take a whole ream of paper at a time.
Another important consideration is how many people will need to connect to the printer at any given time. This will affect both the printer’s speed and efficiency. The more people using it, the more memory you will need to keep. The typical memory for a small business printer is between 64MB and 256MB. And that’s not all. As technology evolves, printers need to keep up with the latest trends. You need efficient, easy-to-use tech that you can be confident isn’t going to break down every other month, be obsolete in less than a year, or needs a huge instruction manual to operate. Buying the right printer is about simplifying your business needs, not complicating them; it’s about getting things done speedily and efficiently across your organisation.
Even with dozens of printers to choose from, it’s easy to make a smart purchase once you’ve familiarised yourself with your options and weighed them against your needs. Just keep in mind the needs of your business and ensure the printer you choose has the features and capabilities you require. Then, to keep you within budget, compare the costs of the toner and ink cartridges as well as their estimated lifespan.
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