Let’s take a look at some of the top features you should be considering when in the market for buying a printer.
Do you need just a printer or do you need additional functionality such as the ability to scan documents, make copies, or send/receive faxes? Do you need to be able to print in color? It’s also worth considering if there’s more advanced functionality you need such as automatic finishing capabilities (like stapling, hole-punching, or booklet-making), wireless connectivity, the ability to install and use printer apps (like touchless access), or features that can be utilized by mobile or remote workers in hybrid workplaces.
Printer Speed and Size
Printers and copiers come in all different speed bans. Is it important to you that your printer or copier be able to make prints, copies, or scans faster than 30, 40, or 50 pages per minute? Printing speed can very much impact the productivity of your business and if you’re constantly printing or scanning documents in high-volumes, you’ll probably want a faster printer.
Additionally, you’ll want to think about what size prints your printer needs to be capable of producing. The most common paper size is 8.5” x 11” (also known as A4) and if your office doesn’t need to print anything larger than this, you probably don’t need a larger copier. However, if you have the need to produce larger prints such as 11” x 17” (also known as A3) then you’ll need to make sure the printers you’re considering have this capability.
Are you a company that needs to print high-quality documents that will be shared with customers, or will your printer be used primarily for internal documents? Depending on your target market, your image quality requirements may differ, which will impact which type of printer you should be looking at.
What type of paper are you using? Do you have the need to print on any kind of specialty media such as cardstock, envelopes, or labels? You’ll want to make sure any printer your considering can handle your media requirements.
In today’s world of data breaches and cyber-attacks, you’ll want to make sure your printer has at the very least benchmark security features such as intrusion prevention, device detection, and document and data protection. However, if the nature of your business includes dealing with PII (Personally Identifiable Information) data, you many want to consider looking at printers with more advanced security features and even adding print management software onto your device.
If your print goes down completely, how will that impact your business? Usually, a very much overlooked but important feature of buying a printer is the support and service that comes with it. While it may be a little bit cheaper to purchase a printer from Staples, Office Depot, or directly from a manufacturer, what happens to you if your printer begins to have issues?
The level of personalized, customer service you experience with a local printer dealer cannot be beat. Small, local businesses that are partnered with different manufacturers have lean teams that can really afford to personalize your experience, ensure that your needs are addressed, and respond quickly when you need to troubleshoot a printer issue or need a printer repair.
Of course, cost is a factor that should be considered in every purchase. You’ll want to consider how much the printer itself costs upfront, but weigh the costs of other printer-related operating costs such as supplies, parts, and service. Typically, printers that are less expensive to purchase are actually more expensive to run and maintain. In fact, for lower-end printers, it could actually more expensive to repair the printer than it would be to just replace it.
While a printer from a major retailer like Staples can be cheaper, the prices they charge for toner cartridges can sometimes be as much as five times more expensive than local dealers. You can also talk to local dealers about managed print services contracts they offer, which can help you save significantly on supplies and service costs of your printer.
You’ll also want to think of the long-term investment of your purchase. For example, Printer A costs $200 and Printer B costs $800. Printer B will last you at least 5 years, and has no service issues. Printer A, on the other hand, is constantly jamming and breaks after a year. If you have to buy a new $200 printer every year, that’s now more expensive than just having bought the $800 printer.