Buying a printer for your office – 5 things to consider

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  • Author Ian Wilson
  • Published January 9, 2016
  • Word count 578

One of the most important office decisions you will make is which type of printer is suitable for your needs. It is an investment that you will be using every working day. But choosing the right printer can be difficult, there are a lot of different printers with many variations in features and functions, and every printer comes with a combination of any of these available features. So we’ve put together a few points for you to consider, helping you make the right decision when purchasing your office printer.

  • Minimum Requirements

Most offices need to be able to scan and copy as well as print; therefore at the bare minimum you will need a MFP (Multi Function Printer). But the choices don’t stop there. Will you need to be able to send documents via fax? Will you need a network printer to connect to more than one machine? Will you be printing in colour or will black and white printing be sufficient for your needs? Do you want a laser printer or inkjet printer? With the reduction in cost of laser printers, they have now become very affordable and come with the same multifunction features as inkjets. To make choosing your office printer easier, you need to sit down and decide exactly what your minimum requirements will be.

  • Running Costs

When purchasing a printer you will also need to consider the costs involved in keeping the machine running after the initial outlay for the hardware. The price of the printer may be low but consumables costs may make it a non-viable option. Look into the cost of the printer cartridges, at first printer ink might seem the cheaper short term option, but toner cartridges could yield the bigger savings in the long run.

  • Support

If your printer is out of action for any period of time it can bring your office to a standstill and cost you money. During the lifespan of the machine it will have to be maintained and repaired if something goes wrong. Printer vendors offer different support options and it is strongly recommended that you consider investing in a maintenance program to keep your machine in top condition and performing at its best. At the very least you should only purchase a printer covered by a manufacturer’s warranty, but even these can differ, make sure you read the fine print.

  • Reviews

At face value, printer manufacturers websites will make their printers look like they are the greatest machines ever to be made, but don’t take their word for it. The manufacturer’s information will only give you the pros and not the cons that you need to make a decision. Search online for information on review sites produced by third parties. However, be aware that some of these are commissioned by the printer manufacturers and will always be excellent reviews. The best sites to find unbiased information are sites that publish test results for the printer; these sites are independent and are more likely to be honest.

  • Speed

Lastly, there is no point in buying a printing that has a slow print speed. In a busy office you cannot afford to waste time waiting for your printer to churn out your documents, after all, you are buying a printer to improve office efficiency. If a printer is too slow it will affect the everyday running of your office. Look for a machine with a very high page-per-minute (PPM) print rate.

Ian Wilson has been writing articles about printing, photography and related subjects for many years. He is also the social media marketing manager for Sprint-Ink – The online store for printer ink cartridges and toner cartridges

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