Buying an office printer seems like such an easy task. But, with the variety of features, options, and connectivity, it is not as easy as it used to be. Just like with any other purchase, you should make sure to have your requirements before you start shopping around.
Color Versus Black & White?
One of the first things that can help you narrow your search is to decide if you need to be able to print color documents. Color laser printers are more expensive than black & white. If your business only requires occasional color printouts, you can probably use a local printing service and save money on a printer.
How you wish to connect to your printer is very important. For small, home offices, you may just need to connect directly into your printer. This can be done with a simple USB connection.
For larger offices, you probably need to provide wireless access so your employees can print from anywhere in the office. To support wireless, you don't actually need the printer to have a wireless connection. As long as the printer can connect to an Ethernet hub or router and you have wireless set up for the entire office, your employees can print to the printer via a wireless connection.
The next big question: do you need your printer just to print, or do you need other functions? Some of the most common printer functions include:
- Printing documents
For larger print requirements, you should consider a printer that can handle copying multiple pages at one time; this is called an automatic document feeder.
In addition to the previously mentioned functions, you may also need to confirm user identities. Enterprise-level printers can provide the ability to integrate with security badges or allow you to set access codes to type in prior to using the printer.
For large-scale printer support, the job can be tied to the user; in other words, the user logs into the printer that he or she wishes to print the document to retrieve the print job, but it remains queued until the user logs in to actually retrieve the printout.
Finally, you should determine how many pages you expect to print per month. Manufacturers list a maximum workload on their printers. To be safe, you should purchase a printer that exceeds your expected, maximum workload to allow for growth and one-time usage spikes.
Buying an office printer can be a significant investment, so it pays to do your homework up front. Determine what you need and then find a printer within your budget that accomplishes those needs. Contact a company like Office Products Services to learn more about printer options.