The two main technologies of printers are laser and inkjet. Although there are other technologies like the Dot matrix and thermal, these are specialist and rare, and we haven’t overlapped into the realm of 3D printing
. So, we will focus here on the factors you need to consider when making your buying decision between an inkjet and laser printer.
A laser printer functions with a toner cartridge which is less expensive than ink. They are generally fast and produce high-quality, near-perfect text. Although they are expensive to purchase upfront when compared to the inkjet printers, ongoing costs are relatively inexpensive compared to all other methods of printing. The laser printer is great for printing volumes and so saves you money. It’s important to note, however, that the laser printer, due to the heat technology it uses, cannot print on any paper
that is sensitive to heat. Monochrome laser printers are cheap and super-fast compared to the colored laser printers.
The inkjet printer on the other hand works by using a lot of tiny guns to squirt ink at the paper; every character it creates is built from tiny dots. It’s best for ink-heavy printing like graphics and colored photographs. The inkjet printer is effective in creating high quality graphic documents and pictures as it mixes just the right amount of colors known as CMYK to produce great results. Although they do not print at as fast as the laser printer, the initial cost of purchasing an inkjet printer is way lower than the laser printer; the ongoing cost however can be on the high side.
Whether you’re buying an inkjet or laser printer, a few things should be considered. One is the output quality; this is mostly determined by the resolution of the printer. The higher the resolution, the better the quality you get. Resolution is measured in Dots Per Inch (DPI) which is literally how many dots of ink are crammed into a single inch of printing. Whether it’s a text document or a photograph, you want to be sure it is clear and looks great.
Overall cost of ownership is a factor to be considered. Will you be okay with spending more at the initial stage of purchasing the printer and then spending less in the course of usage or will the other way around serve you better?
The printer specialization matters a lot when choosing an office printer. The all-in-one multifunction printer, as expected, has more than just printing capabilities. It includes faxing, scanning and photocopying components. This saves you the cost of having to buy a separate fax machine
. The portable printer is small enough to be fit into a bag as a notebook but of course, printing speed and quality cannot be compared with non-portable printers. The photo printer is specialized for creating great looking images rather than regular texts. It should be noted that they often will require the use of special kinds of paper.
Other things to consider will include networking features as printers with in-built Ethernet networking allow you connect multiple computers and although they cost more, they are truly convenient for a number of users especially in an office setting. Printers with duplex printing features allow you to print on the two sides of the sheet thereby saving you paper cost. Printers that allow you to do this are usually more expensive.
This size of the printer is important and this depends largely on where you will be housing it. The printer’s memory should also be considered. Ideally, the memory space of office printers should be between 64 and 256 megabytes.
You can purchase a basic home printer for less than $100 but the quality and features cannot be compared to other office printers that have multiple functions and features, for those, the price ranges from $150 to over $10,000.
A whole lot of factors affect the pricing of office printers. First and probably the most important factor to consider is the initial cost of acquiring the printer and the recurrent cost of using it. In the course of our research, we discovered some rather cheap office printers, but decided to go for the ones that fit our spec in terms of quality and durability.
For a laser printer, initial cost of purchase is somewhat high compared to the inkjet printer because the former uses toner, so the ongoing cost of usage is not as much as the latter. The inkjet printer on the other hand is cheaper when purchased upfront but can be expensive when in use because inks are expensive. Colored office printers are also usually more expensive than monochrome printers because they need multiple color cartridges.
Another factor that affects the price of office printers is the size. A portable printer is likely to cost less than a standard sized printer. Finally, a printer that does not support mobile devices out of the box is way cheaper than one that does.
The features of office printers differ in so many ways. You need to determine what features are most important to you based on your need, printing requirements and budget. If you need a printer for basic home use, then speed shouldn’t be so important to you since you probably have it to yourself all day. Also, since you are most likely to have just one computer connected to it, there will be no need for a printer that allows multiple connections.
On the other hand, if you are acquiring a printer for an office or small business, you want to consider speed, quality and networking, all these affect the user’s productivity. Whether you’re purchasing a printer for home or office use, some factors ought to be considered to ensure you get the best output possible.
- Print speed
- Size of document
Construction and Design
There are some common parts that any printer ought to have in order to make for smooth operations. A paper feed is a tray where you store your papers. A basic office printer should hold a minimum of 100 sheets. Depending on the technology of printer you get, you have either an ink or toner and, at some point, you’ll run out. It’s important that you know where and how to replenish them. Most printers have a place where you can insert a memory card or a drive to scan, photocopy or print. Any good printer should have a paper output tray where the printed document comes out.
For a laser printer, the laser component is crucial to its operation. The imaging unit, mostly called the drum, is an aluminum cylinder coated with a light sensitive film. It captures the image to be printed on the page and also attracts the toner to be placed on the paper. Be sure you keep the drum away from light when changing it; this will make sure it lasts longer.
A technical factor like resolution is important in choosing an office printer. This is measured in dots per inch (dpi) and should be high enough to deliver a clear and decent output. If your printing will include a lot of graphics, photos or colored documents, make sure the dpi is high enough to create an excellent looking document. High models mostly have high dpi but check to make sure it is over 1200 for ink printers, and 600+ for laser.
An all-in-one printer is versatile and often costs more than regular printers because it performs multiple functions; scanning, printing, photocopying, faxing. A lot of printers don’t support post-script fonts, so be sure to check that the one you are purchasing is compatible with this if you think you will need it.
Consider the sizes of document and the types of media you’ll be printing onto. Inkjet printers are often more versatile, able to print on card stock, plastic sheets, and envelopes more easily than laser printers.
Network enablement: be sure to check that your office printer is network-enabled, whether you’ll be connecting it to your home or workplace network.
Performance and Ease of Use
In deciding what printer to get, you should consider how easy they are to set up, use and maintain. Setting up a printer is as simple as plugging your printer’s power cable to a socket and connecting it to your computer. Your printer should at least support a USB, flash drives and memory cards. If you are using a wired printer, the USB cable included would be connected to your computer. When using the wireless printer; you should go through an included manual that shows a step-by-step guide on connecting a wireless printer to your network.
Another factor to look out for is the printer’s paper holding capacity and its printing speed. A good printer should be able to hold over 100 sheets of paper. How fast can the printer churn out your documents? The number of printouts also known as prints per minute or pages per minute (ppm) should be considered, assuming you will be doing a large volume of monochrome print outs. If this is the case, then you will need a printer that works fast. A typical office printer’s speed should be somewhere between 20 ppm and 40 ppm. A higher ppm will be great for higher volumes of work.
It’s important you carry out regular maintenance on your laser printer. Constant inspection and replacement of worn out parts will ensure you can use your printer for a longer period of time. Make sure you check that everything is in place and whenever you notice a defect, consult a specialist to take care of the problem. Printers that are properly maintained can last for years.
If you wouldn’t mind paying an additional fee, and it is advisable that you do, a lot of manufacturers and retailers include maintenance and servicing fee mostly paid yearly or based on the print volume. This way, you’re covered for your printer’s maintenance and even replacement of faulty parts, such as the toner and drum that would otherwise have cost you more.
Things to look out for in the best office printer will typically include printing speed, quality of images and text, and initial and ongoing costs. These reviews of five great choices will hopefully include one that’s ideal for your needs. We have selected the best brands from which you can make your decision.
It was great to have you read through our review in detail. We are sure you now have the necessary information needed to get the printer that best fits your business or personal use. Go right ahead and place that order.