Friday, November 4, 2016

Which Printer? Right Technology, Right Choice

Whether you are responsible for a small home-based business, or a large company with many departments and workgroups, there are continuous choices to be made on the procurement of office equipment.  Not least amongst these, is the selection of the appropriate printer technology for your business needs?  Here in outline are the various technologies and their appropriate environment.

Personal Ink-Jets
Useful for one individual or a workgroup with a minimal color printing needs, a low-cost personal ink-jet will be the best choice.  Personal inkjet printers offer a low initial cost, plus the flexibility to print on a variety of media, such as promotional materials.

Business Ink-Jets
In a bigger business environment, or one where color output is a major requirement, the workload is likely to be too great for a personal inkjet printer.  Thus a unit designed specifically for business will fit the bill, offering a lower cost per page.  Many business inkjets employ ink-saving technology and modular cartridges, which avoid the need to change the color when you change the black and white cartridges, for example.

Laser Printers
Large companies demand more output of all kinds. Perhaps also the demand for color output on standard-size paper may be addressed with a laser printer

Laser printers have invariably offered monochrome output in the past, but more and more color-capable lasers are coming onto the market. For organizations with a heavy black-only output though, they still offer the lowest cost of monochrome printing, as opposed to ink-jets which offer a lower cost for color output.  Even so, the picture is changing, and there are some surprisingly low-cost color lasers available today.

Large or Wide Format Printers
Design work or over-size documents for displays require a special kind of printer - a large format printer capable of printing on very large paper (or other media) sheets.  Factors to consider here are quality of output, color capability, speed, networking capability and additional functions such as scanning and copying.

Photo Printers
A photo printer is essentially a personal color ink-jet with a higher capability for printing on special photo paper.  Naturally useful in the home, such printers have their use in the business environment - for example when there is a need to include quality photos in presentation packs for marketing purposes, or for use in training materials.

Business Color or Full Color?
For businesses requiring mission-critical exact color reproduction (such as in the preparation of color proofs, for example), then it is important to differentiate between machine which offer Black and Business Color as opposed to the higher quality Full Color specification.

Multifunction Printers or MFPs
The Multifunctional, All-in-One device combines print,copier, scanner and fax capability in a single machine. These systems are surprisingly compact and affordable.  Indeed some MFPs start at prices below $300.  However, in this category of printers, some hefty and powerful machines are available for Print for Pay and major corporate use, with a vast array of bolt-on systems for folding, stapling and collating documents.

Impact Printers
Rarer these days, but it is still possible to buy dot-matrix and even daisywheel devices for specialist impact applications, for example for such as multiple-copy form printing.  Such printers tend to be more expensive, robust and bulky than the ink-jets and laser printers in more common use.  Impact printers by definition are also much noisier in use.

Other factors - Stand-alone or Networked?
If you plan to share the printer in a workgroup on your office network, then network-ready functionality must be specified.

Speed of Operation
Businesses with a heavy output, or with a plan to share the printer among several users, a faster printer is important - and one that will avoid forcing staff to wait for printouts to get through the queue.  Any shared printer is also likely to be networked so the network speed in the office is also a factor

Cost Considerations
In additional to the initial purchase cost, there is of course the cost of consumables such as ink cartridges and toner which also require budgeting.  The twin costs of initial purchase (or lease) plus consumables and maintenance are defined as the Total Cost of Ownership, and requires a careful projection of costs over the life-cycle of the equipment.

Support and Supplier Backup
All printers come with a basic warranty or guarantee that entitles the purchaser up to one year return to base servicing and repairs.  It is wise and useful to arrange additional cover and a service plan to suit the capacity and work-expectations of the printer.

Green Credentials
Protecting the environment is a crucial issue these days, and taking advice whilst looking for the most energy-efficient options makes sound business sense.  Doing this should also save money in terms of running costs at least.

Correct-Tek Copier Service
1514 E. Waverly Ct.
Arlington Heights, IL 60004 US
Tel: 847-398-5212
Mobile: 847-398-5212

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