Multi-function printers are an excellent choice for corporations, home offices or small businesses. In one compact device rests the ability to copy, scan, print and fax, saving you space, time and money. If you are considering the purchase of a multi-function printer for your office, here are some questions you should be asking:
What are you printing? Consider:
- Charts & Graphs
- Price Lists
What is your monthly printing volume?
Does the speed of the printing job matter?
What percentage of black ink vs. color ink?
Do you want to own or lease the printing machine?
Is energy consumption going to be an issue for you?
These questions are going to help you determine the size, type and speed of the printer you will need in your office. If you are running a business from your home, choosing a multi-function printer should be a pretty simple process, unless you have specific and special needs.
Inkjet vs. Laserjet Printer
Most of the time you can go to your local office supply such as Peter Paul Office Equipment or warehouse discount store, purchase a multi-function inkjet printer and be done with it. Most home based businesses will do that because they end up using the inkjet printer for personal reasons, too. There are home based businesses however, that would benefit more from the use of a laser printer over the use of an inkjet. If you are stuck wondering which one you are, here are the advantages/disadvantages of both:
Inkjet printers work well if you:
- Need to print photo style pictures (shades of color from dark to light or vice versa)
- You print less than 1000 pages per month (cost per printed color page is 50% lower than printing on a laser all in one)
- Need to print on specialized materials such as cotton or textured stationary, fabrics and banner-sized sheets. Some can even print on CDs and DVDs.
- Need something small and generally easy to maintain.
Laserjet printers are best if you:
- Print business graphics such as bar charts or clipart with solid colors
- Need to print mostly text documents
- Need to print 1000 pages or more a month
- Need to print jobs at a higher rate of speed with a high quality output.
As far as disadvantages go:
For the inkjet:
- Speed is sacrificed. Due to its desire for quality color printing the output is slower.
- If paper quality is poor, print quality is diminished.
- Lower capacity paper trays.
- Lower end printers use space saving units where all color inks are contained in one cartridge. Once one color is depleted, you have to replace every ink, regardless of the other ink levels. It can be a waste of money.
The disadvantages of the laser printer include:
- Difficulty printing smooth-looking photographic images.
- Laser printers are bigger and heavier than their inkjet counterparts, thanks to their internal components.
- Monochrome laser printers are easy to manage, while color laser printers have four toner cartridges. The high cost of these toner cartridges can be problematic unless color printing is kept under control.
- Laser printers are more expensive to print from, overall, unless you are using it for thousands of pages per month.
To sum it all up:
Inkjet printers are easy to maintain, are good for printing photos and will work well with a variety of paper types.
Laser printers are faster and will work better for high volume jobs where text and basic graphics are all that are needed.
Both models come in compact, desktop units that perform multi-functional operations that also include scanning, copying and even faxing.
Never sign a lease agreement without taking a careful look at the terms and service agreements they offer. It would not be right to be stuck with a lemon. Nor would it be right to pay exorbitant maintenance fees if the service is not going to be worth it. Do your research.
A multi-function printer is a wonderful tool to have in the office. It can be a great way to save you time and money.