A bit of research and window shopping is necessary when looking to advance business services by utilizing the right printer for your office. The market has many new printer models with newer ones release every few months. As such, the exterior aesthetics and the price tag can easily sway you to buying without looking at and considering other essential features of the printer. In short, you need to arm yourself with the right information before you start window shopping, and below are some few things you need to know before you head out.
What Is Your Office Type And Size?
Printers are designed to cater to the needs and demands of different office types and spaces. If your workplace has more than 100 people, buying a printer that can service five people will not suffice. What you get should match up with the office size and demands so that it gives the right output without fail.
What Features Do You Need?
Different printer brands and models offer various services ranging from scanning and copy printing to faxing. They have a wide price range based on such features, and thus your purchases should be based on what you need the printer to do.
What Is Your Budget?
Set your budget while accounting for the total cost of operation and not on the cost of purchasing the printer, only. You should consider for other factors such as the cost of replacing or refilling the ink cartridges against the page yield as well as the cost of doing repairs and replacing parts such as the waste bin or the fuser unit. Check out our article on Cost per Page to know more about the basics and costs of the printer cartridges.
Consider The Speed
The print speed is an essential aspect to consider particularly if you are looking for a machine to use in a busy office. Check the PPM (Pages per Minute) to know how fast the printer runs when printing pages; you may also come across IPM (Images per Minute). Get a printer with a high PPM and IPM, more so if the staff have to share a printer so that you avoid backed up queues at the machine.
Factor In Cost Per Page
Keep in mind that with printers, as is with many other devices and machines, no one size fits all when you consider the page yield. You can use an individual cartridge in a particular printer model and get more pages done than when you use the same cartridge on another printer model. So, the overall cost per page can influence your printing budget significantly.
Quick Advice: – The printer you get for the office should have a page yield well worth the company’s dime. Anything short of this will only drown the business in unnecessary printing costs. You can know the cost per page by taking the machine’s page yield and dividing it by the cost of the cartridge or toner.
Always get quality compatible (remanufactured) cartridges for the printer as this will help slash the printing costs further. In most cases, the compatible cartridges will produce the same number of prints as the original, giving the same quality standards and all at a fraction of the price of the original. For instance, you can save around 85% of your printing costs by getting an LD’s Compatible TN880 toner cartridge at $17.99 that yields 12,000 pages. If you use compatible cartridges, you can be saving around .14 cents per page printed.
Know The Monthly Duty Cycle
To know the printer monthly duty cycle, just take note of the number of pages the machine prints in a month without breaking down. The office is less likely to reach the machine’s monthly duty cycle if it only prints every other day, so that should not be a concern when purchasing the printer. You should get a printer with a broad monthly duty cycle, especially if you have a workplace that does high volumes of prints. Overshooting the monthly duty cycle will only overwork the machines eventually wearing it out and slashing its lifespan. So, make sure you know the print volume your office does per month so that you get a printer that meets and goes beyond such a demand.
Factor In Paper Size
Most printers are designed with the business user in mind, and thus they can handle different paper sizes and types, from legal documents and cards to envelopes. However, certain basic compact models have a limited selection of paper sizes so remember to check the paper specs before you make any purchase.
Consider Automatic Duplex Printing
Dual-sided (duplex) printing is a fantastic option worth considering because it can help you save some money in the overall office printing costs. The conventional printers are feed sheets of paper manually when trying to print the other side of the paper. However, with the auto duplex printing function, you only set the machine to the “dual-sided printing,” and the printer automatically prints both sides of the paper.
Monochrome Or Color?
If your office does more of clean and clear prints, then a monochrome printer that does only black and white printing is the ideal choice. However, color printers are what you should consider if the office prints images in most of the documents. You will have to contend with dealing with two or four color cartridges, which is an added cost, but one that is economical compared to the long-term use of most color inkjet printers.
What Printer Size To Get
The size of the printer is a vital factor worth considering, which should be governed by the office size. Take not the machine’s dimensions so be sure that will fit its allocated space in the office. You can work with a good quality compact laser printer, but most of these are not very powerful thus they will not suffice for fast, high volume printing.
Check For Warranty
Most modern printers have a standard warranty lasting around a year, at the very least, from the date of purchase. However, other details governing the use of malfunction of the machine can be part of the warranty; therefore, know the specifics of the warranty to avoid unpleasant surprises. Some warranties may include tech support while others only cover the repair or replacement of defective parts. You can check out the printer’s webpage to know more about the specifications in your machine’s warranty.
Wired Or Wireless Networking?
Most modern printers offer wireless connectivity, and some even come with their printing apps to ease the printing process; therefore, making it possible to also do prints via tablets and smartphones. Nevertheless, it is still okay to work with printers that have a direct connection (USB or Ethernet), just as long as they offer excellent speeds.