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What to know when buying a large format printer

Posted on Mon, Jun 5, 2017

Owning a large format printer is a great way to product poster sized documents in house. This saves money over going down to the local print shop to produce the larger sized material. Most large format printers share many of the same features as a standard desktop printer, only the large format design allows for a greater array of production size. However, not all large format printers are the same or created equal. Before buying a large format printer, here are a few bits of information you need to keep in mind. 

wide_format_printer_bannerColor vs. Black and White

Probably the most important initial question you need to answer when buying a large format printer is if you want a color printer or you're fine with black and white. Black and white large format printers typically are faster in production (although not always), cost less to purchase and don't require as much toner, so are cheaper to maintain. If you plan on only using the printer inside the office, a black and white option may be perfect. If you want to at least have the potential of printing in color though, a color printer is the only way to go. 


Overall Costs

The cost of your large format printer is more than just the upfront price. You need to consider the cost of toner for the particular device. Large format printers use ink faster than other printers, so ink costs will become more of a factor here. Look into not only how much it costs to replace the toner but also how many sheets on average the ink can print. Some printers will have ink saving modes when you want to reduce the amount of ink used, but the cost of toner should be considered by looking into large format printers

Beyond the cost of toner though there is the cost to run and maintain the printer. Electrical costs can add up over the lifetime of a printer. Whenever buying a large format printer, always look for an Energy Star rated device. You may end up saving hundreds of dollars in energy consumption while owning the device. 


Image Quality

Most consumers and business owners consider buying a large format printer because they want to produce large sized posters, enlarged photographs and other documents. If this is something you are considering image quality is important. Look at the DPI of the printer to determine the pixel quality. Image quality is only important if you plan on outputting images or large scale posters for customer viewing. If you plan on focusing on text based documents, image quality likely isn't as much of an issue. 



The performance and output speed of your large format printer can vary drastically based on the size of the document you produce. If you are a small business and only need one or two prints per job the speed likely isn't an issue. However, if you plan on regularly using your printer for large format jobs and need dozens, if not hundreds of prints at once, the speed is something to consider. Most print speeds will be listed in the standard 8.5 x 11 sheet size, but it can still give you a good comparison from one printer to another.


Floor Space Used

The size of large format printers can vary widely. Some are nothing more than an elongated desk printer. Others can take up a large portion of the room. The right large format printer may be the one that fits best into the amount of space you have. It's often overlooked, but keep this feature in mind. 


Wide format printersFor additional information on Large Format Printers, or advice on which model is best for your company, you can contact Governor Business Solutions for complimentary help. Our staff is well trained to answer all of your Large Format Printer questions. 

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