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Choosing Printers

Choosing Printers
There are so many printers out there - so how do you know which one to choose?
There are so many printers out there – so how do you know which one to choose?

There’s also a lot more to consider than just the cost of the printer alone, such as the cost of consumables for the printer. Here’s some guidance on what to look for when choosing a print device.

Inkjet Printer

Inkjet printers are ideal if you only print small numbers of documents out. They’re generally small and compact and have the advantage of being quiet as well as printing to a high quality. They require no time to warm up meaning you can be printing documents in under a minute. The disadvantages are they can often be expensive to replace consumables and slow compared to higher end printers.

For a small printer, depending on the print quality and if you want it to print to the edges of the page, you’re looking at between £40-100. The consumables are generally between £30-50.

Laser Printer

For people who find they print out lots of documents, such as direct mail outs or information leaflets, a high capacity Laser printer is a more ideal investment for printing. 
With prices ranging from £150-£600 (and upwards for bigger models), they are more expensive than inkjets but do a great job printing large of documents, and often the quality of the print is better. While the consumables can be quite expensive it does cost you less per print than a InkJet in the long run.

Printing Costs

Here’s a breakdown of the costs associated with both InkJet and Laser printers.

Average Colour Pages Per Minute
Average Total Overall Pages
Average Cost of Consumables
Average Cost per Page
InkJet* 18 400 £30 0.075p
Laser** 20 3000 £160 0.053p

*Based on Midrange InkJet Printer HP DeskJet D4260 printing colour only
**Based on Midrange Laser Printer Oki C3200 printing colour only

Multifunction All-In-One

Finally, there’s one other type of printer to consider. They come as either an InkJet or a Laser. Do you find that your office is cluttered by fax machines, scanners, printers and photocopiers? They can take up a lot of space as well as expensive and time consuming to maintain. This is where multifunction devices come into play.

There’s also the advantage of only having to purchase consumables for, and maintain, one device. A good multifunction printer will also have the hardware built in for networking. This makes it easy to setup your printer across a small network. For small capacity printing these devices are ideal. They print invoices and various documents off at a decent quality. 

Generally for a decent multifunction device you’re looking at £200-300, which isn’t bank breaking when you take into account the cost of all the separate devices.

What printer do I need?

Well – as with anything in IT – the big question is “what will you use it for?”

When it comes to considering a printer it depends on the amount you print, and if what you print it is black and white (also known as mono) or colour. This will affect the type of printer that you need - while high end Laser printer consumables may seem to cost more, it will cost you less per page than a smaller printer with cheap consumables as you will get more prints.

Put simply – if you only print mono, then buy a mono laser, if you need to print colour occasionally or need to print high-quality photos then buy a colour inkjet, and if you need to print in colour and you need the best quality, or you print lots of documents then buy a colour laser.

If you need to scan, fax or copy then you should also consider a combined printer / scanner / fax copier – also known as a “multi function device”

Hopefully this guide will help you when it comes to the decision of choosing a printer. As always, if you need any help or advice please feel free to give us a call on 0845 8990099.

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