Searching for a perfect printer for your business or home office but not sure where to start? The process of buying any office equipment requires a lot of research on the quality and durability among other decisions.
While setting out to buy a new printer there are some major factors you should consider. The first thing is to analyse the needs of your business. Running a business can be difficult and one of the last things you want to worry about will be the printer. However, you will be surprised how important this equipment will be in your new office. Some people find it tempting to simply rush out and buy the cheapest printer they can find while others spend hundreds of dollars on the latest, most complicated multifunction printer to cover all their printing needs; but find they don’t end up using half of the features they’ve have paid for.
A hasty decision when buying a printer could cost your new business hundreds or thousands of dollars in the long run. Choosing the right printer up front will benefit you for years to come. Once you have considered this you will be at a better position to find a printer that suits your needs.
Choosing the right printer for your business or home office
A less expensive printer doesn’t have to mean sacrificing quality and here’s a list of things to look out for when selecting your printer.
If you are going to be printing a large amount, and your prints don’t have to be in colour you should probably consider an inexpensive monochrome (black and white) laser printer that uses toner cartridges. Toner is a powder that doesn’t dry out, so if you have a spell of not using the printer your cartridge will work perfectly when you come back to printing.
If you are going to be printing documents with high resolution graphics such as photos then you should consider an inkjet printer. Printer ink can work out a lot more expensive than laser printer cartridges; it may be more economical to use a cheap laser printer for everyday use and save the inkjet printer for any photography prints. However, you should make sure you print at least one page with your inkjet printer every week as these ink cartridges can dry out.
If you are using any significant volume you should be calculating the consumables cost divided by the approximate page yield to estimate your cost per page (cpp).
The page yield is the number of pages expected to be printed, based on 5% usage according to the Australian Standard. This information is available from Tonermarket and is included for each product on our website. (Your actual usage may be more or less than the estimate depending on the average amount of print utilized per page (e.g. with lots of dense heavy print 3000 pages at 5% may produce only 1500 pages at 10% usage per page).
Cost Per Page = $ Cost Per Toner Pages per Toner
If you know approximately how many pages you require annually, you can calculate the cost of printing the consumables for a particular printer (e.g. 0.035cents X 10,000 pages PA = $350). Don’t forget to include other related consumables such as drums.
In the same way, you can also calculate the cost of consumables for other printers and compare their costs over any period of time.
Cost of ink
Do your company’s printers need to keep being refilled? Using a lot of cash on this? This can especially very tricky if the ink is costly. The price and the longevity of the ink or cartridge are very important. One should therefore consider the page yield per ink/cartridge. Laser toner cartridges are quite expensive but have a high page yield. Others like inkjet cartridge hold a low page yield but are a bit cheaper. Tonermarket can provide the best prices and advise on inks, toners and printers.
FeaturesAlthough, it is often difficult to anticipate what your business printing needs will be, there are several obvious decisions on what features you will require. Most printers now come with many great business features and apps included for free. Consider getting a printer with Wi-Fi as this enables you to place your printer anywhere in your new office until you find a permanent place for it and even to print from a mobile phone or tablet. Also decide if you need to fax, copy, print double sided, or use any other features that come with the printer.
If you have a small business or a home office you won’t have to spend a hundreds of dollars on a really expensive printer. You need to keep your business costs down and spending money on a printer that does a lot more than you require is using valuable capital that could be spent elsewhere.
SpaceDon’t buy a printer that is so large it can’t easily be moved or restricts where you can place it in your office. Remember, the first place you put the printer most probably won’t be its final position. The printer will need to be moved or repositioned many times to suit your office needs. Make sure that the printer is small enough to get the job done without being too large.
How fast can it print? If your business printing jobs are large you need to find a printer with a high printing speed. The number of employees using it may also influence your choice for a faster one. Some printers offer high printing speed than others. For instance laser jet printers are generally faster than inkjet.
Quality of print outs
Is your printer producing good quality prints? If not then you need to consider this. The printer’s resolution should be high in order to have the best outputs. Choose one than offers more clarity whether it is in black and white or colour. Other printing jobs like photo printing are reliant on clarity. Some of the most common printers that offer this include HP Photosmart, Epson Stylus office and Xerox. Brother also offers inkjet printers that offer high quality print outs.
You may require your printer for jobs other than basic printing. Many printers are multifunction also known as, all-in-one machines, and are equipped with scanning, faxing, copying, faxing and printing capabilities. Most also have more features such as memory card and USB slots and can even staple completed print jobs. This can increase convenience and productivity when it comes to accomplishing different jobs in your workplace but obviously comes at a cost.
Replacement parts availability and cost
Sometimes our printers break down and we opt to dispose of them because finding spare parts is difficult and often more expensive than buying new ones. So what should you do? While buying a new printer ensure the spare parts are easily available. Some parts like print heads, fuser assemblies, drums and transfer belts have a limited durability. Choose brands that are well established and known for instance HP, Epson and Xerox. This can assure you of quality, durability and availability of spare parts.
Good brands offer warranties and after service in case of faults. Consider manufacturers that offer extended warranty. This may cost you a bit more it is worthwhile since it often covers most damages i.e. physical damage and installation damage. This also goes into maintenance of parts like the transfer belt and drums. Standard warranties are often 1 year, but some brands offer 2 or even 3 years. Also note the difference between “On-Site” and “Back to Base” warranties. An on-site warranty offers a large advantage as you don’t have the inconvenience of waiting weeks for the repaired printer to be returned. Whilst this will generally be offered for higher value printers it is definitely relevant to businesses because down time is expensive.
A printer that connect and integrates seamlessly with your existing network can save you a lot of money and headaches. This is because it can be shared with the entire office. It can serve multiple users at a time, saving on time and money that could have otherwise been put in buying another. Those that offer wireless connection are even better. Brands like HP have HP OfficeJet, Epson has the Epson Workforce while Brother and Xerox also offer these features in some models.
Cost and ease of use
The cost of buying a printer should be carefully considered. You could be working on a budget and probably can’t afford an expensive printer. You could go for one that is cheaper and best suits your needs. However, the cost reflects the quality. So if the cheaper printer will not offer quality and durable service go for that that does no matter the cost. Also consider a printer that is easy to use. Something that offers an intuitive user interface, easy to troubleshoot and requires minimal training requirements.