What do you look for prior to buying a home printer? Well some of the things you may consider are the cost of the printer and its replacement toner cartridges, printer size so it fits in the corner of the house, and catering your printer purchase to the scope of your at-home printer usage. You should also consider less immediately obvious attributes. For instance, a home printer may rank through the roof for quality of image, size and the price of replacement ink and toner, but if it requires a doctorate in engineering to perform assembly and maintenance, your level of tech-savvy becomes a major consideration. For comparable home office buying advice, there are many number of great articles available on the web, like this one.
If you’re in the market for a business printer, the functional characteristics are going to be roughly similar, but certainly not identical. A good example is size consideration- economy of size will be a huge bonus at home but in an office, generally a larger space, size is always going to be secondary to functionality. Here are a few other considerations to keep in mind while on the hunt for that perfect office printer.
1. Page-Printing Speed
Every office printer should be able to print at a much greater speed than a personal printer. The type of business the printer is being purchased for will dictate exactly how much greater that speed needs to be, as will the number of employees expected to be using the printer regularly. The urgency with which any given business may need a particular number of high-quality print-outs is obviously something else to keep in mind. Though presumably every business’s personnel has deadlines to meet and overseers to impress, sometimes at a moment’s notice. Ensure your printer can churn out content to satisfy those last-minute deadlines in an instant.
2. Quality of the Print
While print speed is important, it becomes far less important if quality is being sacrificed for speed. Poorly printed memos and other documents scream unofficial. However professional and legitimate a business may be, low quality documents will mark them as amateurs. That means printing with vibrant and clean text which stands out and easy to read. That doesn’t necessarily mean that every sheet printed has to be the glossier and slicker than the last, of course. Each job is unique and has unique requirements, including document-type requirements. Excessively high quality prints are often unnecessary and very costly.
3. Cost Per Page
As business owners well know, those little expenses can stack up quickly. The cost per page of most office printers ranges from $.05-.15 per page. Imagine you have 30 employees, printing off 10 pages per day per employee. That’s 72,000 pages per year. At $.05 per page that cost is $3,600 per year. At $0.15 per print, that cost triples to $10,800. These high printing cost has forced businesses to find ways to cut their printing cost. Of course with cheaper prints per page you run the risk of poorer quality prints. And, as briefly mentioned, printer ink is literally perhaps the most expensive liquid on the planet, ounce per ounce. Consider getting your ink through an online source that specializes in it, a place like 24/7 Ink Toner, etc.
[Read also: All Sizes of Toner Cartridges Can Be Recycled]
4. Wired or Wireless?
Some find wireless printers to be an enormous benefit to the office environment. No awkward rugs to place over a pile of electrical cords and the luxury of being able to locate the printer anywhere in the office without necessitating central placement. To others it isn’t a big deal, but it is something to consider.
5. Frequency of Maintenance
You’ve seen office space, right? Coming from someone who worked in an office of the devil himself, the Lexmark X73, you don’t want a printer that requires weekly routine maintenance. It disrupts work activity, forces countless numbers of wasted copies because of reprints and backed up memory, and simply irritates everyone.
When thinking of buying a printer for the office, keep three things in mind: reliability, cost, and expected print job. Considering these three areas before swiping that company credit card.
[Suggested reading: Tips for Clearing A Stubborn Inkjet Printer Clog]
[Image credit: Josh, Flickr]