What do users look for in laser printers? Interested buyers of color laser printers ought to consider the unit TCO (Total Cost of Ownership), the prevailing cost of OEM consumables and if its toner cartridge can be refilled with compatible toner. Now in case the printer unit satisfactorily meets the buyer TCO preferences along with consumable and refill considerations, then a sale will likely proceed.
Total Cost of Ownership (TCO) is foremost in the minds of several laser printer buyers and this is typical to one scouting for a color laser printer. TCO is the sum of the printer acquisition cost and the total cost of consumables required to sustain the printer operation throughout its serviceable life. The effective life of the printer usually covers 3 years and at that point, the unit will only require minimal servicing as its components have not yet reached the maximum design limit and are therefore expected to still run smoothly. Present day laser printers run on similar print engines; therefore, the uptake of print performance across several printer brands is no longer of consequence to discriminating buyers. This puts forth a less brand conscious market that is more TCO-focused.
Printer consumable pricing is next in the buyer agenda. Color laser printing is really expensive and since cartridge replacement frequency is dependent on regular print volume, the cost of the OEM replacement toner cartridge is an important consideration. What should be ascertained is the user operating budget if finances can handle the purchase of bundled CMYK cartridges and the aggregate spending on consumables for the entire lifetime of the printer. The Lexmark C710 color laser printer for example would require the shell out of $1,100 each time the set of 4 cartridges need to be replaced. The monochrome toner cartridge is retailed for around $132 while the color cartridges are retailed at $325 a piece. All cartridges are rated 10,000 pages at 5% page coverage.
Last in the user preference list is the physical make up of the toner cartridge. Getting a printer unit with a cartridge that is so easy to refill makes so much sense since compatible toner will be loaded into the cartridge toner chamber once it runs out of toner supply. The presence of a fill hole will render the refill process smooth and easy. Simple economics dictate this preference as the Lexmark C710 toner refill kit rainbow pack retails for only $120.95 and since compatible toner delivers print quality and yield similar to the OEM toner; this then becomes the most sensible alternative. Moreover, OEM toner cartridges can last 3 to 4 toner refills. As such, cartridge replenishment gives users substantial savings at the end of the cartridge lifecycle.
What factors swing a user preference for a laser printer? There are 3 considerations TCO, consumable pricing and compatible toner refill kits.