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    Choosing the Best Business Printer

    By: Marco
    August 17, 2022

    Dread the thought of shopping for a new office printer? You’re not alone. It can be a significant investment, and entire Reddit threads are devoted to the “necessary evil” of printing equipment. There can be a lot of pressure to pick the right device that will save you money without frustrating your staff.

    We’ve got you! Marco’s printing experts have gathered the pros and cons of different types of equipment to simplify your search. But first, let’s explore how you can narrow down your options based on your current needs and long-term goals.

    HOW TO CHOOSE A PRINTER 101

    If there is a blog out there that promises to reveal the single best printer for every small business, it’s probably best not to pay it too much attention. Printing experts typically don’t make blanket recommendations because the right printer for your business might be the wrong machine for another. It depends on what you need that printer to do, how much, how fast, and more.

    This is an oversimplification, but between high speed, high-quality images, and a low overall cost, you generally get to pick two.

    HOW TO EVALUATE COST

    If you’re working with a limited budget, there may not be much wiggle room. But cheaper printers will often cost you more in the long run. Their supplies may be more expensive, they may not be energy-efficient, they may require more maintenance than a higher-quality machine, and they may not be built to last.

    If you have the budget for it, consider your long-term expenses in addition to the cost of the equipment. You can get a free Print Cost Calculator here.

    HOW TO EVALUATE TIME

    If you need to produce a high volume of materials, a slower printer might be frustrating for your staff. Unfortunately, there is often a tradeoff between print quality and print speed, so you might have to prioritize one over the other. Keep in mind that if you only occasionally need to print out high-quality graphics, it might be more cost-effective to outsource occasional print jobs.

    Along with printing time, consider maintenance and troubleshooting. If the machine you’re considering is prone to paper jams or other disruptions, it might be a significant drain on your productivity.

    THE IMPORTANCE OF PRINT QUALITY

    Print quality is key if you need to create documents and marketing materials that will contribute to the success of your business. Just know that, as we indicated in the previous section, as print quality goes up, speed may go down.

    DON’T FORGET ABOUT SECURITY

    Like any other networked device, office printers are also vulnerable to cyberattacks. If this issue hasn’t been on your radar yet, it’s definitely something to consider when you invest in printing equipment. If you’re replacing equipment that’s more than seven years old, you’ll get a significant boost in security with almost any new model. However, HP printers are known for their robust cybersecurity features. If your business prints a lot of sensitive documents, printer security should be part of your decision.

    HOW TO CHOOSE A PRINTER FOR A SMALL BUSINESS

    Choosing a printer can be especially stressful for small businesses that often need to put all their eggs in one basket and rely on only one printing device. Small businesses also have additional challenges, like a lack of space. A multi-function device that can print, fax, scan, and make copies can be a great solution. There are certainly a lot of advantages to be had with this type of equipment, but there are also a few things to keep in mind before you buy one.  

    PROS AND CONS OF MULTI-FUNCTION PRINTERS

    One device that performs many duties can save a lot of space and reduce your energy consumption. And if you don’t already have the ability to fax and scan, a multi-function device can reduce the sheer amount of equipment you’ll need.

    Some multi-function devices have additional time-saving features, like the ability to scan something directly to the cloud. And you’ll also save time when ordering supplies because you won’t have to order different toners and inks for multiple devices.

    However, one of the biggest advantages of a multi-function device is also its biggest disadvantage: you’re relying on a single device for everything. If anything goes wrong, depending on which model you have, you could lose multiple capabilities at once. This device could save you time, but it could also cause a more significant disruption when it’s not working.

    PROS AND CONS OF INKJET PRINTERS

    Low quality printers of any type will produce low quality results. However, as long as you invest in decent equipment, it’s hard to beat a standard business inkjet printer at creating high-quality images, and ink is less expensive than toner. You can also choose to refill ink cartridges instead of always buying new ones.

    However, these prints may not be long-lasting, and you’ll spend time cleaning inkjet cartridges, which also wastes ink. Inkjet printers also aren’t the fastest, and if you use low-quality paper or you’re printing in a high-humidity environment, you may end up with smudged, faded or blurry text.

    PROS AND CONS OF LASER PRINTERS

    Laser printers are great for businesses that generate a lot of text documents. They tend to be exceptionally fast and reliable, but they’re not the cheapest, and they won’t produce the best graphics. You’ll probably see more long-term savings in your supply budget, though, as a laser toner cartridge will last much longer than an inkjet cartridge will.

    OTHER OPTIONS

    THERMAL PRINTERS

    Only need to print receipts or shipping labels? You might want to consider a thermal printer. Instead of ink or toner, they use heat and pressure to make a permanent print. Plus, they’re remarkably quiet.

    DOT MATRIX PRINTERS

    Not only are these still around, they’re also still a low-cost way to print. They’re ideal for manufacturing and industrial businesses that need to create carbon copies. They’re as noisy as they ever were, but the good news is they’re pretty low-maintenance.  

    HOW TO FIND THE BEST SMALL BUSINESS PRINTER FOR LESS

    With so many different types of printers, different manufacturers, and different features, it can be difficult to narrow down your search. This questionnaire should only take a few minutes to complete, and it’s a great way of pinpointing the right printer for your organization.

    It may be easier still to just talk to an expert. Our printing experts take pride in getting to know an organization and its printing needs before making a recommendation. It may not be as flashy as declaring a specific printer to be the single best printer for any organization of any size. But considering that a printer is integral to the day-to-day operations of most organizations, it’s definitely worth having an in-depth conversation to make sure you get it right.

    As Marco has strategic partnerships with the top printer manufacturers worldwide, it’s also a great way to get the best deal.

    Talk to a Copier Printer Specialist Request an appointment

    Topics: Copiers & Printers