Top 7 Things to Consider When Choosing a Printer
Narrow down the field and find the office printer that’s just right for you with our 7 questions to consider.
Just like the dating scene, choosing a printer can seem complicated and daunting. With so many fish in the sea, how can you be sure you’re landing the right one? To avoid another fishy experience in the wrong relationship simply follow our tips to hook the right office printer for you.
By choosing and using the right printer for your business you’ll save big time on the total cost of ownership. We’ve got your dating profile questionnaire to match you to the right office printer. Answer these 7 questions to find your perfect match:
How much printing do you do?Start by assessing the volume of printing you require. In a small office or if you need a printer for personal use at your desk, your print volume will be relatively low. A desktop inkjet printer will provide a flexible solution. However, if the printer will be used by a workgroup or a larger audience you will need something more robust like a laser printer. Also consider the capacity of the input tray. A good personal printer will only hold about 100-150 pages, while a business model should hold at least 250+ pages. It can also be handy to have a separate tray for letterhead or scrap paper.
Do you need to print in colour?Inkjets used to be the only way to go if you needed to print in colour, but now laser printers can offer exceptional quality colour, providing a better solution for businesses needing to print a lot of professional colour documents. Be warned as cheaper colour laser printers often produce “banding” and other irregularities when printing. If you’re only printing black text-based documents you’ll find a mono laser printer the most economical solution.An inkjet printer works by spraying droplets of ink onto the paper, making their ink cartridges prone to drying out if not used frequently. Laser on the other hand operates by binding a fine powder to the paper via laser, static electricity and heat.
Do you want to do more than print with your printer?Especially in a smaller office it can be better value to bundle your requirements into a multifunction printer as it will save space and money. Multifunction printers allow you to do most or all of the following: print, copy, scan and fax. Unless you need nothing more than to print, choosing a multifunction will give you versatility.
Does size matter?Will you need to print A3 or other wide-format documents or is A4 sufficient?
How fast do you need it?Speed only used to feature in laser models, but you will find print speeds in inkjets are competitive now. A printer’s speed is obviously important when you need to print in volume, so look for something offering at least 20ppm (pages per minute) if you’ll be printing a lot.
What are you printing?Unlike laser printers that can only print to paper, inkjets can print on a variety of surfaces including labels, CD/DVDs and photo paper. If you purely need to print photos you can either choose a specialty photo printer or a good inkjet. Many inkjet printers come ready to handle 4x6 photo paper with tray slider able to adjust to fit. You can also buy specialty label printers if you print a lot of labels. Do you need to produce double-sided documents? You’ll need a machine that offers duplexing. Choose a model that will do this automatically rather than having to manually re-feed the paper to save time and hassle.
How will you connect?Pretty much all printers come with a direct to computer USB connection that is perfectly fine for personal desktop printers. For greater connection flexibility you will need an ethernet for networked computers or Wi-Fi for wireless connection. You can now also print directly from your mobile or tablet devices via apps like Apple AirPrint or Google Cloud Print on compatible models. Your printing freedom has even branched out into portability so you can take your printer with you when you’re on the road or out of the office.
By pinpointing what’s important to you it’s easy to find just the right office printer.