Choosing the right printer for a business can be challenging with the different alternatives available. Printers come with many different features, and while some will be valuable for your business, others won’t. The starting point is to consider your business needs and choose accordingly. Another crucial factor is to evaluate the acquisition and maintenance costs of the unit.
The main features of a business printer are its printing technology, connection type, speed, and security. In this article, you’ll discover everything you need to know when choosing a business printer.
Types of Printers
Laser and inkjet are the two main types of printers typically used in business. Both are good alternatives for small and medium-sized businesses but have different features, pros, and cons.
Laser printers are ideal for heavy printing volumes, as they’re faster and more reliable than the alternative. While the upfront cost of a laser printer is higher than that of an inkjet, the long-term price is lower due to the toner cartridges, which allow you to print more copies.
On the downside, you’ll not only have to consider the upfront cost, but whether the printer uses more expensive paper. Furthermore, laser printers aren’t the best alternative for printing photographs. While they can print graphics nicely, photographs won’t be of the best quality.
Inkjet printers are perfect for printing documents that include full-color photographs. Another benefit is the initial and long-term cost. Inkjet printers and toner cartridges are more affordable than laser printers and cartridges. To lower the expenses even more, cartridges can be refilled.
Generally speaking, Inkjet printers are the best option for a business printer. However, this kind of printer has its cons. While you can use any paper with them, the printed text can be blurry if you use thin paper. As these printers work with dye-based ink, printed documents will be susceptible to fading and smudging. Inkjet printers aren’t the best alternative if your business requires a high printing volume.
Multifunction vs. Single Function Printers
The printer’s functionality may also differ depending on the kind you choose. A single-function printer will be limited to only printing documents, either black and white or full color. On the other hand, a multifunction printer will also allow you to scan documents and make copies.
If you’re looking for a printer with more functionality, you can choose an all-in-one printer that will allow you to print, copy, and scan documents and send faxes.
Connectivity and Security
Most printers have a USB port to connect the printer to the computer. However, some newer models allow you to connect to your printer wirelessly via Wi-Fi. The main benefit of this type of connectivity is that it will enable you to place the printer in a convenient location for many employees to access easily. The latest printer models connect to portable devices like smartphones and tablets. Wireless connectivity is an excellent feature when choosing a business printer. It will enable all employees to be connected and do last-minute prints without needing access to a computer.
Wireless printers can be the weakest point of a business in case of a security breach. Printers are the preferred device hackers use to access confidential information. For this reason, many modern printers come with encryption data and user identification. For models that don’t bring this kind of security to the table, you can request the installation of security software from a specialized company.
Other Factors to Consider
When choosing the best business printer, there are other factors to consider. These are not only related to the printer’s functionality but also to the associated costs.
Black and White or Full-Color Prints
This is one of the first things you must decide when purchasing a printer for your business. If you don’t require color prints at any point, you can choose a black-and-white printer. They have the same connectivity and security features as full-color models, but are much more affordable.
If you have a business that requires color printing, ink cost will be an essential factor in your decision. In this case, the best alternative is to choose a business printer with a low ink cost, even if the printer requires a higher investment. The best printers for photographs are inkjets, as laser printers don’t have good printing quality when it comes to photographs.
The duty cycle of a printer is the number of pages the model is designed to print safely. When you print more pages than recommended, it may cause a significant reduction in the printer’s lifespan or lead to a malfunction or performance issues.
PPM (prints per minute) considerations are essential if several employees use the same printer. Naturally, you’ll have to choose a unit with a high PPM in a business with a heavy printing volume. Although new technologies are closing the speed gap between laser and inkjet printers, laser printers are the fastest.
Replacement Parts and Maintenance
Any printer you choose for your business will require maintenance and may malfunction over time. Occasionally, replacing a part, such as the drums or print heads, may cost as much as a new unit. It’s good practice to research maintenance and replacement parts before making a decision.
Choose the Best Equipment for your Business
Choosing the right business printer is of paramount importance to any organization. A critical part of the process is analyzing your printing needs to select the best unit. Another factor is the costs, both initial and long-term. Some printers are cheaper to buy, but the ink cost is higher. Replacement parts for some printer models can also be prohibitive. In case of a malfunction or damage caused by wear and tear, you’ll face repair costs that can be as high as a new unit.
If you’re starting a business in New York, Totowa, Pennsauken, Edison, or Ft. Washington, and need further information on the best printer for your business, contact Docutrend today!