Buying office equipment is never fun or glamorous. But, it’s an investment that needs careful consideration nonetheless. While electronic documents and email have greatly reduced the need for physical printers, they are still a necessary piece of hardware for most office environments. There are many options available in the laser printer category and you need to ensure that you find the right machine for your particular needs. Here are some tips to consider before laying out cash for your next laser printer.
- Monochrome or Color. Does your business regularly need to print in color? Then you’d be wise to get the color option. However, if you rarely print color, you’re better off going to the local print shop to do so in lieu of buying a color printer. The color printer has four times the toner cartridges, which means four times the toner cost and print head maintenance.
- Paper handling. What kind of printing do you do? Are you using A4 sized paper exclusively or will you need legal sheet size as an option? Do you regularly print envelopes or on both sides of a document (known as duplexing)? Are you printing standard weight paper or card stock? Different printers will offer different handling options.
Also, if you print large volumes, is your paper tray capacity large enough? Is there room to expand to a second or third tray if needed? If your paper use is high, you need to look at the “duty cycle” of the printer you’re considering to tell you its expected monthly capacity. Make a list of what your paper needs are and use them to guide your purchase decision.
- Connectivity. How does your office need to access the printer? Most offices require an ethernet enabled printer so all connected PCs can access it. There are also wifi and bluetooth enabled printers that allow you to print from laptops and smartphones. If your office only uses iphones or a certain brand, be sure your printer is compatible. Also, if you’ll be printing from flashdrives, check that the printer has USB ports for that purpose.
- Functions. There are a wide range of functions available for printers, including copy, scan, fax, and print cabailities. Some have LCD touchscreens for easy operation at the physical machine which can be a real time saver. If you’re an aco-conscious company, look for energy star ratings and power saving options as well.
- Toner cost. Some laser printers seem like a steal because the hardware cost is so low. But, always be wary of these. They have likely built their profit structure into the toner costs.
When shopping for a laser printer, be sure to consider the big picture: the Total Cost of Ownership. 80% of the TCO of a printer comes after the initial purchase in the form of toner, paper, and maintenance. Keep in mind that more bells and whistles create more opportunities for equipment failures. If you want to control your print expenses, consider hiring a Managed Print Provider.
Managed Print services examine your document reproduction needs, streamline your work flow, and minimize your print costs by optimizing your print processes, helping you get the most out of this critical business function. Great Lakes Computer is a trusted Managed Print Provider. We can help you save up to 30% on your total print expenses. We reduce downtime and time wasted on printer-related issues with 24/7 monitoring. We also keep your printers in peak condition with preventative maintenance. We can help you find the right printer for your needs and make it last.