Purchasing a printer can be a real challenge. There are so many office printer options available on the market today that no one would blame you for getting confused by the sheer number of them. Manufacturers are all trying to outdo each other by adding a wealth of features and accessories to their units that you can start to feel somewhat overwhelmed.
After all, you just need a good printer for your office. But while finding the right one may seem pretty easy to accomplish, you need to take a few factors into consideration before you finally make your purchase. Comparison shopping is key, taking price, features, and various capabilities into account, as well as the specific needs of your business.
Putting all of those things together, you’re bound to find the right printer amidst the myriad of choices that are staring back at you. But we can make it even easier, just have a look at these additional factors you must keep in mind as you look for your office printer.
Laser vs. Inkjet
When it comes to buying a printer, your choices can be boiled down to one of two categories: Laser or inkjet. There is a multitude of options within each but regardless of the make or model you ultimately select, that printer is going to operate via inkjet or laser mechanism.
Which of these is best suited for your needs comes down to what you plan on printing with it. Do you need a machine that prints text more often or will you be relying on your printer to produce photos and images with more regularity? Sure, you can do both with just about any printer out there but choosing between the two should be done to support the kind of printing you’ll be doing on a routine basis.
A laser printer uses toner to print the pages you need. Toner is a powdered type of ink that the printer heats up and applies to the blank page as it prints. The biggest advantage of toner is that it won’t smudge when the page is spit out into the tray. That’s because it’s not wet, but dry. Many consumers who choose laser printers like the fact that they use toner to print and the powdered ink won’t get messed up when you touch the page too early.
The biggest disadvantage, however, is that a laser printer is somewhat limited as to the available color palette that it can produce. Although these restrictions may not be all that discernible to the untrained eye, you might notice when you try to print an image and the resulting product doesn’t quite match the photo you were expecting.
As you may have now guessed, laser printers are better suited for those of you who are planning to print text more often than photographs and images. But what you may have not yet surmised is that, office environments with high print volumes and multiple employees working from the same unit are better off going with a laser printer as well.
An inkjet printer works just like it sounds. The machine does not use a powdered ink but actual, standard ink to produce the pages you need printed. That ink is applied to the page via spraying mechanism that prints the text or image on the page with precision.
The biggest complaint that most people have with inkjet printers is the ink taking too long to dry and the page getting smudged when they try to take it out of the hopper. Most of those folks are just being impatient and grabbing at their printed page a little too quickly. They can’t wait the extra few seconds it might take for the ink to dry completely.
But if you wish to ignore those impatient types who just need to touch their printed pages too early you can also benefit from a much wider color palette than a laser printer. This, of course, means that if you are planning to print more images than text, inkjet is definitely the way to go. Text will also look great but you will be using a lot of ink to print each page, more so than you would if you were printing these docs on a laser printer.
That also makes inkjet the better choice for offices that see lower print volumes and fewer users relying on the unit for steady output. If your office is small and there are just a couple of people who need to print anything, inkjet is probably your best option.