Choosing a printer can be difficult at the best of times, especially if you’re not technologically inclined but don’t fear – in this post you’re going to find a number of things that you need to think about before you make a purchase.
What are you going to be using the printer for?
It seems like a basic question, but it always seems to be forgotten – back when I used to sell printers at an electrical retailer in the UK, the first thing I would ask a customer was “what will you be using it for?”
This did result in a number of silly answers, but it’s important to know because it will ultimately affect whether you get the right printer for the job or whether you get a printer that was just a waste of money.
So ask yourself the question – what will you be doing? Printing, scanning, copying, faxing?
What about the size of what you’re printing on to? Will a standard A4 size printer do the job?
Will it be used heavily or just on the odd occasion? What about business use?
These are all important things that you need to be asking yourself or whoever else will be using the printer in your household or business.
Type of Printer
There’s not just one different type of printer, oh no – that would be too easy! Each type of printer has its own pro’s and con’s below I’ll explain each one to let you know what you need to know about each printer.
Laser printers are usually the first type of printer that business owners consider because in the long term they end up being much cheaper to run. You do have to make a compromise here though because what you make up for in speed of printing, you lose in quality.
Inkjet printers are usually considered more for home use, but if your business relies more on quality than speed of printing then these will usually be your best bet.
Be careful though, they do eat ink quite quick.
All-in-one printers are the Swiss army knives’ of the printing world and you can get inkjet or laser jet versions.
These are perfect if you want to do some printing, scanning, copying maybe some faxing too – the more modern versions tend to come with wireless options too which can be incredibly useful .
When you look at the costs it’s important to weigh up the price of the ink or the toner.
If you’re going for a regular inkjet printer then you need to remember that if you’re not using the printer often there will be times when the ink will dry up, on certain brands this won’t be a problem because the printer heads are built into the ink cartridges, but with other brands these can be built into the printer and once they’re clogged – that’s it, you may as well buy a new one.
Typically laser printers end up being more expensive to buy and the toner is more expensive to buy, although it does last a lot longer and they tend to run a lot faster which makes them perfect for businesses.
A big cost to businesses is document management software, but some printers such as the Workcentre 7800 series has a number of options that help you communicate and share documents.
It’s crucial to consider how you are going to monitor not only costs but also where documents are being archived and how much use the printer is getting. Modern printers can come bundled with software to manage these aspects. The bigger names such as Xerox offer managed print service software solutions with much of their hardware but you’ll need to get professional advice to set it up properly.
There you have it, everything you really need to know about how to choose the perfect printer for your business, of course there is always more to know but aside from knowing how to build a printer, this should do the trick for you.
Do you have any thoughts to add?