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The Ultimate Printer Buying Guide

Posted on Wed, Mar 25, 2015

Printer-buying-guide

Finding the perfect office printer may seem like a simple job. After all, printers have been around for decades, and most offices have had printers since their induction. While this is true, finding a printer in today's landscape is a bit more complicated, as printing choices, needs and the ability of printers have changed significantly as technology has advanced. Before you make a final decision on your company's printing needs, be sure to read this printer buying guide. Here are a couple key things you should consider when shopping for a printer:

Printer Output

Every printer has an output cycle. Simply put, this is the amount of printing the printer can handle in a single cycle without being damaged. Printers can only handle so much work, and different types of printers have different output loads. So, before you purchase a printer you should consider how much your office prints on a regular basis, and attempt to find a printer that far exceeds that output. Because printing can vary in an office week by week and month by month, most experts suggest picking a printer that has an output load of about 3 times your average printing needs. This will help ensure you never print more than the printer can handle, and you won't risk damaging the printer, even if your office's needs change. Every printer buyer guide will tell you to seriously consider your office's output and a printer's limitations before making a purchase.

Speed

Printer buying guide experts also suggest looking at speed. The speed at which the printer you use prints is also an important feature to look at, too, especially for an office printer that will be doing a great deal of output. If you are printing just a short document here and there, the printer speed won't matter that much, however, if you have a high output office you'll want to look at a printer with a higher page per minute rate. Remember, inkjet printers and laser printers will print at exceptionally different speeds. Before you purchase take a look at the specks, the faster the better for an office with a high output.

Color vs. Black and White

Deciding if a color printer or a black and white printer is the best option for your office is another important consideration. Black and white only printers are relatively easy to find for businesses, but in many cases you might not be getting a better deal. If you happen to run a business that prints small batches of advertising handouts you'll probably want to look at a color printer. High quality laser printers, in specific, are great for this purpose and can allow your office to stop relying on print shops. Remember, the smaller the batch you print at a print shop, the more expensive each print seems to be. By doing it in house, you can save money. Color printers are also useful for printing receipts and other important information for clients and customers. If your office regularly takes part in these activities, a color printer is probably the best choice for you.

Multi-function vs. Single UsePrinter-buying-guide

A lot of businesses are in the market of trying to save space, and a multi-function printer can do just that. Multi-function options offer scanning, printing and copying at a minimum and some also include faxing features. There are benefits and downfalls to this model. First off, an MFP allows much of your office's needs to be integrated into a single machine. This can be a great thing for space saving. It can also make your office worker's lives easier, as they can complete a multitude of tasks at a single station.

MFPs, however are traditionally inkjet printers, which offer a lower quality print than laser printers. They are also traditionally slower. If your office is in need of a quick, quality print, than laser printers are probably the best option and an MFP might not be in the cards. You also take the risk of several functions going awry if the MFP breaks down. In the case of a single-use printer, if something goes wrong with the printer, you only lose print capabilities, not the ability to fax, scan or copy things.

Connectivity

Before you go ahead and buy or lease a printer, you'll want to consider how your office will connect with the printer. Wireless options have been popular in the last several years, but many experts agree wireless printing is probably best reserved for home offices and personal use. A printer with Ethernet connectivity is likely the best bet for small and medium-sized businesses. These printers connect to the internet just as wireless printers do, and will allow any computer on the network to access that printer, whether they are wired to the network or wireless. This option of hard wiring the printer to the network helps to reduce offline times.

Specialty Printers

Many printer buyer guide experts fail to mention specialty printers. Aside from traditional printing options, there are specialty printers on the market that a small business may want to consider. For example, HP Designjet large format printers allow users to print large projects that far exceed the size of a traditional printer. These may be used for decals, large advertisements and décor projects. Small offices may be able to do without such a printer, but for a company looking to expand their print advertising; it may be a good investment. Before purchasing such a printer, however, it is important to sit down and weigh the costs against the benefit, including space limitations.

Finding a printer to fit your office's needs is an important decision. The machine, after all, will be a workhorse within the office space, and will be used daily. We are confident you can find the printer your office requires, if you take these issues brought up in this printer buying guide into consideration.

Interested in learning more about the specific printer models? Call Governor Business Solutions today to talk to a printer specialist at 313-441-4600.

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