When it comes time to purchase a new printer, here are some considerations to keep in mind to save you money and aggravation.
- Work load – how many pages per day or month will the printer be required to produce? I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, don’t buy a pickup truck when you need a tractor trailer. It will serve you best to match the printer to the average volume you are doing instead of trying to fit a budget for the least expensive printer. Making a wrong decision here will certainly cost you more in the long run.
- Engine Speed – This will work hand-in-hand with the workload requirement, usually the “heavier duty” the printer is, and the faster it will print. If you volume is high it only makes sense to pair the engine speed with the workload. Waiting for a printer to finish printing can be equated to watching paint dry.
- Ink vs Toner (dry powder) – This is where you can make the biggest mistake! While purchasing ink jet printers is far more economical, it always carries a much higher supply cost. Knowing the total cost of ownership is paramount. If your volume is light (5-10 pages per day) then a quality ink machine should work just fine. Much more volume than that, you might want to consider a toner printer.
- Color vs Black & White – Simple! Do you need to make color prints? If the answer is no then don’t waste your money by purchasing a color printer. The printers that are capable of producing color prints always carry a higher price tag, not to mention the added cost of the supplies.
- Double Sided Prints – Do you need to make a lot of double sided (duplexed) prints? If so, then consider a machine that has the ability to automatically flip that paper over for you. If you only need this feature sparingly, you could always do this the manual method of flipping the paper over and printing side two.
Keeping these simple considerations in mind before purchasing your next printer will not only save you time, but will also save you money. Making the wrong decision will end up costing you hundreds (if not thousands) of dollars in added supply and service costs. Over buying, while less susceptible to the inherent problems, will end up costing more in hardware and/or equipment costs.
There is a fine balance between making the right decision and spending way too much money. When in doubt, you could always seek the advice of a professional.