Purchase or rent A3 laser printer guide 2017
Take a look at our best recommendations, or read the guide section to see how to choose the best A3 laser printer for your business.
This article will give you information on everything that you need to know to make an informed decision when purchasing an A3 laser printer for your business. It will look into the suitability of this device for your business, the costs, and other aspects of the buying process to consider, to ensure that you have all of the information you need.
For a free price quote from several trusted suppliers, feel free to complete the form at the top of the page.
On this page, you will find information on the following:
|Business type||Requirements||Recommended printer|
|Marketing agency||Varied: good quality, fast, connectivity||Lexmark X925DE|
|Design agency||High quality, range of media||Xerox Phaser 7800DN SRA3 (PagePack)|
|Law firms, schools||Lots of mono printing||Kyocera FS-9130DN|
|Varied||Multifunction printer – good at all aspects||HP laserjet Enterprise Flow M88OZ+|
A marketing agency will likely require a printer that is a bit of a jack-of-all-trades. Decent printing speeds, good connectivity, a useful range of features and a good printing quality – to print all things from documents, to presentation slides, to advertising proofs.
Lexmark’s X925DE can do everything that you are likely to need, well. With the ability to print, scan and copy, USB and network connectivity, a fast printing speed and good quality printing, it will handle everything you throw at it with ease.
A large memory capacity, as well as duplex printing, and with Eco-Mode to help your reduce your paper and toner usage, the X925DE is a simple and easy-to-use printer with low running costs and a wide range of features that will suit your needs.
- Colour/mono? – Colour and mono
- Print speed – Up to 30 ppm for both colour and mono
- Print resolution – 600 x 600 dpi
- Connectivity – USB and network
- Warm up to first page – Black – 9 seconds, colour – 11 seconds
- Capacity – 150+ 250 + 50 sheet input trays
- Monthly duty cycle – 200,000
- Size in cm (W x H x L) – 672mm (W) x 668mm (D) x 771mm (H)
- Weight 79.3kg
Producing high quality, bright and colourful prints will be crucial for a design company. A varied range of paper weights and printing sizes will also be beneficial, so a flexible printer is necessary.
Xerox Phaser 7800DN SRA3 (PagePack)
Another entrant from Xerox’s excellent Phaser range, the 7800DN this time has designers in mind, printing excellent quality images made possible with Xerox’s new HiQ LED print head technology, allowing the printer to produce printing resolutions of 2400 x 1200 dpi.
Printing on 75-350gsm media, and up to 300gsm double sided, as well as the ability to print posters, banners, booklets, brochures and business cards, makes this printer a great choice for any design company. The printer also comes with 2GB of onboard memory and a 160GB hard drive, meaning you will not be limited by your printer’s memory capacity.
- Colour/mono? – Colour and mono
- Print speed – 45 ppm mono/colour
- Print resolution – 1200 x 2400 x 1dpi
- Connectivity – USB and network
- Warm up to first page – 9 seconds
- Capacity – 100 + 520 sheet input trays
- Monthly duty cycle – 225,000
- Size – 641mm (W) x 699mm (D) x 578mm (H)
- Weight – 81kg
Law firms, schools: businesses that require a large volume of mono printing
Not all businesses will require colour printing – often those that deliver large amounts of mono printing instead. These can be law and insurance firms printing large documents and contracts, for example – although these prints must still be fast, and of a high quality. Dealing with lots of queued jobs will likely be a requirement, as well as duplex printing and booklet support.
The Kyocera FS-9130DN allows for a large paper capacity and fast printing speeds, alongside duplex printing to ensure your business’s printing needs are easily met.
The printer comes with eMPS job management functionality and Kyocera’s long-life ECOSYS technology – meaning low cost for consumables, maintenance and administration.
- Colour/mono? – Mono
- Print speed – A4 mono – 40ppm, A3 mono – 23ppm
- Print resolution – 1800 x 600 dpi
- Connectivity – USB, parallel and network
- Warm up to first page – 3.5 seconds
- Capacity – 500 + 500 + 200 page input trays
- Monthly duty cycle – 200,000
- Size – 599mm (W) x 646mm (D) x 615mm (H)
- Weight – 68kg
Best multifunction printer
Whilst many may think that faxing is an out-of-date form of communication, many other businesses still rely on it, and some simply prefer it. Doctors, in fact, are bound by law to send sensitive patient documents via fax, as this means the information will not be susceptible to email hackers.
Multifunction printers incorporate various features and attempt to cover as many tasks and requirements as a business will ever possibly need. They will have excellent connectivity, speeds and printing quality, as well as many additional features that will make them stand out.
HP laserjet Enterprise Flow M88OZ+
A massively efficient MFD (multifunction device), HP’s Enterprise Flow has excellent printing speeds and plenty of efficiency features including duplex printing and a document feeder. It offers high-quality printing, coupled with HP EveryPage that detects any potential errors or pages that have been missed, to ensure the highest quality output as possible.
The printer offers print, copy, scan and fax functionality, and 20.3cm colour LCD touchscreen display, a huge paper capacity and more – a true office workhorse that will suit your every need.
- Colour/mono? – Colour and mono
- Print speed – A4 colour/mono – 46ppm, A3 colour/mono – 22 ppm
- Print resolution – 1200 x 1200 dpi
- Connectivity – USB, ethernet, NFC, network, wireless
- Warm up to first page – 11 seconds
- Capacity – Up to 2100 sheets
- Monthly duty cycle – 200,000
- Size – 704mm (W) x 635mm (D) x 1199mm (H)
- Weight – 150.6kg
Cheap A3 laser printers – are they worth it?
As mentioned earlier, printers at the lower end – and lower price range – will not automatically be of a worse quality.
Instead, they will be good in certain areas, rather than most areas, and may lack certain aspects of functionality that you would expect from a higher end printer.
This is not to say they will not be equally as useful as a more expensive printer, however. Put it this way – a printer that can scan, copy and fax, print in colour and comes with a 20cm touchscreen interface, will most likely not be necessary for the vast majority of businesses.
Some businesses may not need super high quality printing resolutions, or high printing speeds, for example, and may only require a printer that can make booklets well, for example in a classroom.
If you would like to save money for your business, then ensure that you look for a printer that does what you need it to do, without spending extra on a printer with added functionalities that you may not need.
What standards can you expect from our suppliers?
We work alongside some of the UK’s top suppliers to give you the best options for your small business. This will also come with excellent service, too – when you purchase (or rent/lease) a printer from one of our partners, you can expect:
- A high standard of professionalism when delivering and installing your new printer
- Fast and efficient delivery – meaning you can get to work sooner
- Set up and training available
- Various other supplier-specific benefits that you will be able to find out about when you contact the suppliers using the form at the top of the page
We pride ourselves on the high standards that our suppliers set, for example Pitney Bowes, ranked as the number 1 international ecommerce and fulfillment technology provider in the 2018 IR1000 Vendor Report published by Internet Retailer.
This is just one example of the quality that we aim for when selecting the right suppliers for your business. If you would like to find this out for yourself, simply fill in the form at the top of the page to get a personalised quote for your needs.
What is an A3 laser printer?
As a business owner, you probably already know what an A3 laser printer is – but for those who are not business owners, or simply do not know, here is a quick recap.
A3 printers an extremely intelligent method of printing an electronic device. Contrary to what many would expect, they do not print using wet ink, but toner, instead. The toner consists of super fine ink particles that are rolled onto a piece of paper and melted onto the page, fusing with the fibres – hence why pages are always warm when they have been printed.
An ‘office workhorse’, A3 laser printers are a very quick and versatile solution for most business needs, able to handle a wide range of office tasks and complicated printing.
Various steps forward in technology have made laser printers more and more effective and widely-used, as they decrease in size, but increase in productivity.
A laser printer is an excellent choice for the following reasons:
- Cost effectiveness: Laser printers will often have a higher initial cost than inkjet printers, but importantly, they will cost you a significantly less amount in the long run. In addition, it will mean that you can bring your outsourced printing runs in-house
- Sharp edges: When printing large amounts of text, such as documents, laser printers are the standout performer, as the toner lies on top of the page – meaning no smudging and crisp, sharp documents which will look professional and clean
- Speed: By operating digitally, laser printers are consistently quick, no matter what you print
There are a large number of A3 laser printers on offer, and it can of course be a tough decision to make a large investment as a small business owner, when your focus may likely be on preserving cash flow and keeping costs down.
As a result, this article is here to help you make that decision, and to take you through the different aspects that you should be looking for in a printer.
Why should you buy an A3 laser printer?
There are a 3 key reasons as to why you should buy an A3 laser printer:
The benefits of the printer itself
- Having a printer that can also print A3 means a greater level of capability in your office/workspace, as well as home environments, if needs be. Usually, A3 printers will have more powerful hardware, meaning faster printing of A4 documents.
- Additionally, they will take much larger toner cartridges, and can handle more work, meaning less maintenance.
- The ability to print double sided, as well as other new features, has made the laser printer the greater option between it and inkjet printers.
- An A3 laser printer will aid any creative roles in capturing all kinds of images on paper, whether it be an architect’s design or a blueprint for customers, as well as other roles and needs such as photographs and presentations.
- Laser printers are excellent at handling heavy workloads, especially when printing lots of black text documents – although they can also produce professional-looking business graphics, too.
- It can do this, all while remaining a better investment in the long run, too. The printer itself will be more expensive than most inkjet printers, however it will print a lot more pages from one toner cartridge. This means that the cost-per-page – arguably the most important metric in printing – for laser printers will be much lower.
There will, of course, be a huge range of situations in which you will need an A3 printer. Some will not be as relevant to your business needs, however this is more of a comprehensive list. Feel free to consider whether you have needs that are missing from this list, too.
|Larger work processes||
There will, of course, be different needs for different business types, too, that have not been mentioned.
Different business needs
An example would be a school, who will have huge printing requirements, for documents such as exams, letters, worksheets and more. Equally, businesses dealing with contracts on a daily basis, such as law firms, will have similarly large printing requirements.
As a business owner, or a person in a position to be considering a new printer, you will understand what you and/or your business needs, and whether you will benefit from an efficient, reliable and high quality laser printer.
Should this be appropriate for you, feel free to read on, where we will go into much greater detail about the buying process, including features, costs and more.
If you have already decided, though, that you do require a laser printer, fill in the form at the top of this page. It will take a very short amount of time and you will be put in touch with several trusted suppliers who will be able to suit your needs and give you a fantastic quote.
Features to consider when choosing a printer
With such a large amount of printers on offer, it is important that you consider what your business needs and make sure this is a priority when you choose your product.
It may be that you do not need your printer to print colour, or perhaps you do not have much room in your office, so you need your new printer to be small enough to fit.
Some of the main considerations are:
With an increased capacity and printing capability comes a larger device, and this is something that is absolutely imperative you make sure you are aware of.
You should know the exact dimensions of your chosen device – and indeed the place you will be putting it – to ensure there are no issues with the installation of your new printer, as this will waste time and money.
The larger devices will tend to be floor-standing printers, while the lower-volume machines can probably fit on your desktop, if this is something that you will benefit from.
A3 printers will obviously be able to print in A3, and most likely A4, but it is important to make sure you know exactly what size printing you will need.
Misusing your device to print page sizes that it does not support could result in you damaging the printer, which will cost you in repair costs.
Main takeaway: make sure you know both what you want from your printer, and what your printer is capable of – especially if your business requires more non-standard printing sizes, aside from A4/A3 and so on. A2 printers do exist, so if this is something you may need, it is worth doing some research to ensure that your needs are met.
Toner usage and costs
Manufacturers do not make their money on the printers themselves, for the most part. Their profits come from the sales of toner and other accessories, so it is absolutely crucial to know that you are not just paying for a printer, but it’s lifetime requirements, too.
Do not be put off by this – as a rule of thumb, the more expensive a printer is, the cheaper it will be to run, but just make sure you are aware of the costs of toner, staples and paper, as well as any other requirements your printer may have.
Luckily, laser printers are very efficient, especially when compared to inkjet printers. Inkjet printers self-clean themselves using toner that is therefore not used to print – laserjet printers do not do this, meaning they are more toner efficient, and print more pages per cartridge.
With mono printing (black toner), aim for around 1 to 3 pence per page, and around 3 to 6 pence for colour.
This will likely not be listed on most product websites, but some printers can be especially noisy, and this can lead to be distracting if the printer is near enough to where you will be working.
Getting recommendations from other purchasers, asking suppliers and even trying to look at the printer in person are all good ways to avoid this. Do bear in mind that a large printer is likely to be relatively loud regardless, however – but do not let this put you off: the noise of printing usually becomes white noise very quickly, often useful for productivity.
Delivery and installation
Make sure you know how you will actually be transporting your new printer to your office/premises. If you do not have the facility to do so yourself, then you will need to ensure that your supplier provides a delivery service.
Similarly, if you are not able to install the machine yourself – which most will not be able to – then make sure that your supplier also provides an installation service
In many cases, these services can potentially be free of charge, however, it is definitely worth making sure you are aware of these potential costs to ensure that you are prepared for them.
Monthly duty cycle
Usually, printers will have a monthly duty cycle that states the model’s recommended maximum prints per month without damaging the printer. This is usually part of the small print and is definitely something that most people miss.
To avoid coming into any problems with this, try and generate as accurate a guess as possible as to how many prints you will be doing per month. Obviously, the phrase ‘how long is a piece of string’ comes to mind, so perhaps try to consider your printing needs in a day or week and extrapolate this over a month.
Make sure that this estimate is much less than your new printer’s maximum monthly duty cycle – otherwise, expect repair costs heading your way.
As a general rule of thumb, the higher a printer’s monthly duty cycle, the better the build quality.
This is the technical term for printing on both sides of a sheet. This will be useful to save paper and reduce your carbon footprint, but it will also be useful from a design perspective, should you need to print double sided leaflets or brochures. Duplex printing is not necessarily automatic – beware of ‘manual duplex’, where you will need to turn over the paper and feed it back into the machine yourself.
Single function or multi-function?
At this point you should consider what else you will need from your printer, besides the actual printing. You may require it to scan documents, work as a photocopier, and even a fax machine – in which case you should look for a 4-in-1 multifunction device.
You may not need to send faxes, in which case you should look for a 3-in-1 printer, or perhaps just a simple copier-scanner. Obviously, these will be cheaper, but may limit your options in the future.
There are of course plenty more features that you may want to consider – be sure to also put some time into researching the following:
- Do you want a display on your printer? Simple or full LCD?
- How much internal memory will you need?
- Multipurpose tray or manual feed slot?
- Input/output trays
As you will be able to see, there is a lot to think about when deciding on which A3 laser printer is right for you. If you feel like you have enough information by this point, and you are ready to receive several trusted quotes from our suppliers, fill in the form at the top of this page.
Many of you, however, will still be looking for more information, so read on to find out about the difference between a high and low cost printer (and the argument for both), the costs involved with purchasing and maintaining an A3 laser printer, and ways that you can deal with these costs.
Additional costs when purchasing an A3 laser printer
When calculating the cost of your new printer, it is very important that you bear in mind that the upfront price will not be the only cost involved. This may seem obvious, but it can be easy to forget that maintenance and supplies for your printer can often cost more than the printer itself quite quickly.
This is one of the reasons that it is often more worthwhile to invest in a higher end printer that will likely be more cost-effective and use less toner when printing, as well as require less maintenance and last longer.
The two main costs that should be kept in mind are maintenance costs and supplies for you printer.
The main components of a laser printer that will need maintaining are:
- Fuser assembly – including damaged paper sensors, electrical failure and power supply, cleaning toner build up, torn fixing film sleeves, worn feed and transfer rollers, damaged gears and the heating element’s Quartz bulb failing. Often, vertical lines on your printing will often be a sign of scratches on the rollers caused by a build up of dust/dirt.
- Rollers and assemblies – Rollers that have become worn should be replaced. The paper versions can be cleaned with chemicals and a damp (lint free) cloth.
- Adding RAM – while this may seem odd, upgrading your printer’s RAM – assuming it has the capacity to do so – will ensure your printer can handle high resolution images with much greater speed.
It is advised that if your printer needs maintenance, seek advice first, as any mistakes may void your warranty, or worse.
Paper and toner will be a constant cost for your business, and it is important to bear this in mind when planning your finances, as well as during your initial purchase of a printer.
Buying paper for your laser printer can actually be more complicated than you would expect. Because of the heat used in fusing the toner to the page, laser printing paper must be able to stand a high heat. It must also not have too much of a coating, like inkjet paper (to help absorb the ink), as it may melt and damage your printer.
Paper will also come in different weights – the most common is probably around 90 gsm, but make sure you know what your printer can handle, as incorrect paper can cause jams and further damage.
Plain office paper will usually suffice in a laser printer, as they can usually provide excellent printing quality on general purpose paper – but it will not be the best if you are looking for the utmost quality.
Toner can be very expensive, although toner cartridges tend to have a much higher yield than inkjet cartridges and will therefore last much longer, making laser printers cheaper to run in the long term.
Managing the costs
The upfront costs of a new printer can be daunting for some businesses, and perhaps unmanageable. Fortunately, paying for a printer up front is not the only option for businesses – often, renting or leasing a printer can be a more cost effective solution.
By spreading the cost over a certain period of time, rather than paying for everything up front, your business can often actually save money – notably because these contracts will often provide service, maintenance and supplies. Read on for some further benefits of renting/leasing:
Rental agreements run from one month to the next, with no long term requirements. At the end of the 30 day period, both parties can change the terms of the rental agreement. This includes dates of pay, rental price and so on.
If you would like some information about renting a photocopier, read our guide on photocopier rental leasing.
By only paying a small monthly fee, companies can afford to rent higher end printers that would otherwise be out of their normal price range when paying in full up front.
Rentals in particular can be done on a rolling monthly contract, meaning your business will not be locked into a long term contract – and usually, these contracts are easily cancelled.
In addition to this, you will be able to change your printer whenever you need to, meaning you can find a better match for your business, whether this be a long term solution, or short term during busier or quieter periods.
Usually, your rental contract will include all maintenance and supplies, meaning you will avoid unexpected costs and get expert assistance as and when you need it.
Can upgrade whenever you like
If new hardware comes onto the market and your supplier has it in stock, you can upgrade quickly and stay on top of any new features and trends.
Can avoid large upfront costs
The main reason you would probably consider renting is simple: your business may not be able to afford the large upfront cost of a printer – so by renting you can reduce this to a small monthly sum.
Beware of low printer rental contracts
Be very wary of low cost rental contracts, which are – like many things – usually too good to be true. Pay close attention to the smallprint, which will often reveal a large deposit requirement.
You may also be forced to make additional payments throughout your contract to ensure that your low rental cost stays the same.
Rental maintenance charges
Maintenance charges will always come separate from your rental agreement, as rental agreements are usually paid on a ‘cost per copy’ basis.
Minimum billing amount
Be sure to check whether your agreement has a minimum billing amount that you will need to pay despite whether you make an copies a month or not.
More expensive than leasing
Monthly rental fees will usually be more expensive than leasing fees due to the nature of their shorter, more flexible contracts.
Renting will eventually be more expensive
Eventually, renting a printer will likely become more expensive than if you bought it outright.
These have all been summarised in the table below.
|Better equipment||Beware of low rental costs|
|Flexibility||More expensive than leasing|
|Can upgrade easily||Minimum billing amount|
|No large cost upfront by renting||Eventually more expensive than purchase|
A lease agreement will have a set term – for example 1 year/12 months – in which both parties must adhere to the agreement throughout. Neither can change any aspect of the agreement without breaking the lease.
Low upfront cost
Gives businesses with less capital a chance to get a high end printer for their business without a large up front payment, by spreading the cost over several years.
100% tax deductible
Leasing payment schemes help your business manage cash flow by being 100% tax deductible.
As per the terms of leasing, the monthly price your business will pay cannot change during your agreement.
Option to purchase at end of agreement
When your agreement comes to an end, you will be given the option to purchase the printer at its current Fair Market Value (FMV).
Leasing contracts can tend to be very long, often three years at a minimum, which could present an issue for businesses for several reasons. Your business could quickly grow out of the product you are leasing – or not require it anymore. It can be hard to predict what your business will need in 3 years time.
Early exit fees
There will be fees involved if you want to end your lease agreement early, change the terms, or upgrade/downgrade your printer.
Bound to the agreement, no matter your circumstances
You are legally obliged to complete all payments according to lease agreement, even if your company fails, or you do not want the printer anymore.
These have all been summarised in the table below.
|Low upfront cost||Long commitment|
|100% tax deductible||Early exit fees|
|Stable pricing||Maintenance charges|
|Option to purchase at end||Legally binding contract|
Photocopiers for small businesses
If you are looking for more information on photocopiers, visit our page on photocopier rentals – and if you are looking for our picks for the best office photocopiers, read about our top 5 office photocopiers.
Hopefully this guide has presented you with enough information to help you decide on whether you want to purchase/rent an A3 laser printer for your business.
If you would like to receive several tailored quotes from some of our trusted suppliers to help you find a printer that is right for you, then fill out our form.