In the purchase of business laser printers, the features of a printer model should be carefully assessed based on pertinent print requirements. But many small businesses owners and home office entrepreneurs don’t really put much thought into the choice of a printer unit. More often than not, the printing device was acquired out of a whim; or perhaps, the salesperson has sweet talked the buyer into settling for a particular brand and model. Getting the best printer for small business or home office requirements would require the following considerations:
Single Function or Multifunction?
Multifunction (MFC) business laser printers will probably work best with modern offices. Also know as all in ones, multifunction laser printers, conveniently integrate a fax machine, scanner and copier with the unit. Acquiring the devices separately would likely put a strain on the office budget and also add clutter to a limited office space. However, some offices would still prefer single function laser printers over all in ones as the other bundled devices might not be of use to them. Also note that single function laser printers operate much faster than most MFCs.
Monochrome or Color?
Do print jobs require color laser prints? This question should be foremost in the minds of buyers because color printers are expensive and so are the consumables that need to be replaced periodically.
So if print jobs are limited to regular documents and spreadsheets, then monochrome laser printers would be the best printer for small business entities with corresponding print requirements. Now for full color marketing materials that are intermittently required, the neighborhood print shop would probably be a more cost effective option.
What is the regular office printing volume?
Pick a laser printer that can handle pertinent print workloads. For a daily print volume of say 1,000 pages, business laser printers rated with a monthly duty cycle of at least 30,000 pages can do the job. A smaller duty cycle rating would put too much strain on the device and shorten its serviceable life.
Is superior print quality a priority?
What type of print jobs is typically turned out? If the need borders on excellent text and graphics, a minimum resolution of 1,200 dots per inch or dpi would be necessary. Remember that high resolution laser printers fetch a higher price tag compared to units set with a maximum resolution of 300 dpi only. Besides, high resolution laser printers consume a lot of toner that makes maintenance really restrictive.
What is the print speed?
If the printing is intermittent, check the first print out time. A first print out time of less than 10 seconds will be ideal for modal print jobs consisting only of 3 to 4 pages. However, if print jobs come at hundreds or thousands of pages at a time, then a real speedy printer is necessary. The best printer for small business printing of this magnitude would come with a print speed of 50 pages per minute or PPM.
Will the laser printer serve a network of PC users?
This would likely not be of consequence to a buyer if the laser printer is intended as a stand alone unit and assigned to a single user as well. However if the laser printer is to be shared by a workgroup, wireless capabilities become an important consideration in the choice of business laser printers in order to avoid meters upon meters of wire clutter.
Finally, how much can the office afford?2
Before making the final plunge, check the laser printer’s Total Cost of Ownership or TCO. TCO covers the acquisition cost of the printer plus the total cost of printer supplies required, particularly the toner cartridges, to operate the printer in a 3-year warranty period.
Now having satisfied all possible scenarios, go ahead splurge and bring home the best printer for small business and home office entities.
Photo by Keerati