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How to choose a printer

There's never been a wider variety of quality printers available at affordable prices any business can afford. With so many options available, it can be hard to know which printer will work best in your office.

Choosing the right printer depends on a few factors:

What type of documents do you print?
How often do you need to print?
How many people will use the printer?

Inkjet and laser printers are the two most popular office printers. Each is suited to different tasks and environments. This guide shows you which printer technology will work best in your office.

 

Inkjet vs Laser Printers

Inkjet Printers

Inkjet Printers

Best for: photo printing
Ideal for homes and small offices

- low initial investment
- high printing cost-per-page
- slow print speed
- modest printing capabilities: up to 500 sheets per ink cartridges.

Laser Printers

Laser Printers

Best for: black & white documents
Ideal for large & medium offices:

- high initial investment
- low printing costs per-page
- fast print speeds
- heavy printing capabilities: an average of 20,000 pages per toner cartridge.

Color Laser Printers

Color Laser Printer

Best for: color graphics & text
Ideal for large & medium offices:

- high initial investment
- low printing costs per-page
- fast print speeds
- heavy printing capabilities: an average of 20,000 pages per toner cartridge.

Connecting several computers to one printer?

Look for network-ready printers.  Ethernet connections are the most reliable, while wireless printers can be place anywhere in the office.

Produce invoices & marketing materials in house?

Save money and office space with a multifunction printer that prints, copies, scans and faxes.

Other Office Printer Features

Memory: Most printers come with enough memory to handle typical printing tasks.  However, you can increase the installed memory in most machines if your office routinely prints complex, graphic-heavy documents.

Paper Capacity: The higher the paper capacity, the less often you have to reload paper, a great convenience in busy offices and a necessity for printers connected to multiple users.

Automatic Duplex Printing: Prints on both sides of the page automatically to save money and produce more professional looking documents.

Print Speed: Refers to how many pages your machine prints per minute (PPM). The higher the PPM, the faster you documents print.

Print Quality: 600 x 600 dpi is fine for everyday printing.  For crisper finishes, look for resolutions of 1200 x 1200 dpi, or 2400 x 600 dpi for photo quality results.

Compatibility and Emulations: Do you use PCs, Macs or a combo both in your work place? Make sure you choose a compatible printer. In addition, some printers offer multiple emulations, such as PostScript and PCL 6, which may be required for certain applications.

Related articles & buying guides:

How to choose a multi-function copier
How to choose a multi-function copier
How to choose a paper shredder
How to choose a paper shredder
How to choose a fax machine
How to choose a fax machine
Office Paper Buying Guide
Office Paper Buying Guide

 

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