Buying a printer for your business: What functionality do you need?

Cost isn't the only thing to consider when buying a printer

As well as how cost effective a printer is to run, you’ll also need to consider a whole host of other issues when deciding which printer is best for your business.

These include:

  • Printing speed
  • Connectivity
  • Print quality

Printing Speed

Printing speeds vary depending on what you are printing and, again, there is no independent standard for determining print speeds. You can get some indication of the print speed based on manufacturers’ estimates in pages per minute based on ideal conditions.

At the bottom end of the range, expect a quoted print speed of 15-20 pages per minute.

Speed is not normally a big issue for inkjet printers since you buy them for occasional use. Expect around 5 pages per minute.

Printing connectivity

The common connection method is USB. We suggest you avoid any printer that works only with a parallel printer port because these ports are disappearing from laptops and so printers that use parallel ports will not work with these laptops.

You should also consider printers that support a network connection. These printers will allow all your employees to print to them when connected to a network.

Printing Quality

In practice, for business purposes, you can expect any laser printer from an established supplier to produce acceptable quality printing for letter and document printing. Expect a minimum quoted print quality of 600 x 600 dots per inch. Quality becomes more of an issue if you expect to print colour diagrams, especially if you’re printing them for clients or customers. Remember that the quality of the paper you use can have a significant bearing on the quality of the result. If colour print quality is important to you, we suggest you look for independent reviews in one of the business PC magazines. We suggest you avoid devices that headline their use for printing photographs. These are likely to provide features you do not need in business (unless, of course you print photographs in the course of your business) and by tuning the printing capability to photographs, you might find that you use up your toner and ink cartridges much faster.

Source: Printing documents

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