With all the hype about the low pricing and eco-friendly features of budget laser printers, it is therefore easy to be persuaded into the purchase of small, compact and multifunction laser printers. The acquisition cost definitely is a major factor in our purchase decisions but more importantly, operation and maintenance expenses should be part of the consideration.
In the entire lifespan of the printer unit, the user will be making repeated purchases of pertinent consumables; particularly the toner cartridge and the drum unit (if designed independent from the toner cartridge in the case of Brother and Dell units) among others. Now if you think fine tuning printer settings while utilizing the device toner saving features is the ONLY effective way of controlling printing costs, then you’ve got it misunderstood!
Operating costs should have been reckoned prior to acquisition; to consequently dictate the laser printer long term viability. Below are some tips to help you close in on a budget printer without compromising the need for manageable consumable and operating expenditure.
Is the print speed reasonable? Don’t be overwhelmed by zippy print speeds. A modest 15 to 20 page per minute speed is reasonable if output is for personal use. If print jobs are limited to typical letter or legal documents, as much as possible don’t get a laser printer that operates at 30 ppm. Speedy laser printers utilize more energy than the slower ones and would have an impact on your power expenditure.
Does the unit come with energy saving features? Get a laser printer that comes programmed with energy saving features, particularly the sleep mode. While it may be prudent to turn the printer off when not in use, that would be inconvenient for networked laser printers. When on sleep mode, the laser printer draws only minimal wattage that makes this the most economical option.
Is the drum unit independent of the toner cartridge? Drum units, when integrated into the toner cartridge, can pump up the cartridge pricing. Thus, getting a laser printer that operates with an independent drum unit and toner cartridge will be more economical as the user only needs to replace an empty toner cartridge or a drum unit that has reached the end of its lifespan.
Are third party consumables available for the printer? Toner is the most expensive component of operating a laser printer unit and surely, using OEM consumable replacements all the time won’t likely appeal to your prudent side. So before buying a laser printer, shop for the availability of third party consumables such as toner refill kits, compatible toner cartridges and drum units as well as reset chips. With cheaper consumables at your disposal, the user will definitely be able to effectively manage laser printing costs and considerably reduce printing expenditure in the long run.