Important features to look at when you are choosing a printer
Looking for a perfect printer for either daily office and home use or for upgrading could be very mind-demanding as getting a suitable printer requires a lot of research, given the sheer number of options on the market. To make sure you don’t regret your purchase, here are some tips and buying guides plus recommendations for you in buying a printer!
Inkjet printer vs Laser Printer
First things first, to set a direction of buying what kind of printers, you will need to estimate on what and how much you plan on printing.
Laser and inkjet are the most common types of printer on the market.
Inkjet printers use ink cartridges that apply wet ink to paper and rapidly dry on the process of printing. Generally speaking, inkjet printers are lower in initial cost and produce higher quality images since they blend the ink colours more seamlessly then laser printing. Plus, they are small and compact so they could perfectly fit into home office spaces or for people who need access to portable printing everywhere!
Meanwhile, laser printers use static and heated toner, or we can call it ink powder in producing printings. Although the initial price of the laser printers will be higher than an inkjet printer, a laser printer is much more suitable for bulk printing as the cost per page of a laser toner is less expensive than inkjet ink because laser toner could produce more printings than inkjet toner in the long run. Besides, these printers generally provide faster turnaround times and capacity for bulk printing.
Typically measured in pages per minute(PPM), print speed is also one of the most important factors in choosing a printer. The higher the number of PPM, the faster you can get back to other tasks without stucking into printings! Smaller devices that are designed for low-volume printing may print 5-10 PPM, while bigger models such as laser printers or all in one printers may print averaging 70-100 or more! If you aim to print single page documents now and then, you probably won’t mind slower print speed if it is a smaller and more affordable device.
Meanwhile, many printers have different print speeds for colour prints. For most printers, it takes longer to print an accurate, detailed rendering in colour. Colour prints present more complexity ,particularly with images and photos instead of simple black text with unprinted white space.
In these cases, the PPM of every printer will be slowed down by averaging 10-20%! If you produce a lot of colour prints, make sure to check PPM numbers for both monochrome and colour printing for any device you are interested in.
Single or Multifunction
A single-function printer only offers print functionality, which has a few distinctive advantages including lower cost at checkout and over time, faster print speeds and slimmer measurements. They are particularly well-fitted if you outsource your bigger print jobs and the main purpose of your printer is to serve heavy document printings.
Meanwhile, a multifunction printer adds scanning and copying to basic print functions!
That means you can print, scan and copy documents to produce high-quality copies, all from one device. Multifunction printers generally come with photo support features which are designed for scanning photos or documents in high resolution, providing extra accuracy and quality when producing nuanced colour images.
Paper handling and duty cycle
When choosing a printer, always think about the capacity of the paper input tray!
How much paper do you need your printer to store? How many pages can its output trays handle? What types of paper can it handle? If you frequently produce printings in bulk, you might need to consider a more robust printer with additional room for higher capacity standard trays, or even add on trays!
Duty cycle indicates how much print volume a printer can handle at a time. While duty cycle indicates a maximum, stress-tested output level, consider that your monthly print volume should be as close as possible to recommended duty cycle volume. Ensure your printing needs to match below the duty cycle to strengthen the expected life of your printer.
Last but not least and the most important one: overall costs!
When calculating the cost of purchasing and owning a printer, you will want to factor in all the lifetime costs. From initial purchase price, ink or toner costs, maintenance and more!
Well, cutting corners on the purchase price of your printer may cost you more in the future. Don’t save the cost over some important features that you will not use now, but you will definitely use it in the future! Make sure you get a printer that is powerful enough to fit your daily tasks as you will need your newly bought printer to serve you well!
Besides, having a multifunction printer might cost you more up front, but you may save time and outsourcing costs over the long haul!
The features you prioritise will have an impact, too. Make sure you plan for growth and potential routine changes. Proper upkeep and sensitivity to your device’s recommended volume both help keep maintenance costs down.