5 Things To Keep In Mind When Buying a Printer For Your Office

5 Things To Keep In Mind When Buying a Printer For Your Office

Printers are integral to the modern-day office set up. When you step into the market to buy one, you are confronted by a staggering variety of models, each with its own specifications and configurations. With so many choices laid out in front of you, it can be quite overwhelming selecting the right printer for your office needs.

Even within the same office, you might want two completely different kinds of printers. For example, the printer that sits in your conference room will be poles apart from the one that sits in the copy-room, both in terms of size and functionality.

However, regardless of your needs or the kind of printer you’re looking for, there’s a set of core principles that you can follow to arrive at the right decision. These core principles will help you avoid the most crucial things that could go wrong when choosing a printer!

Color

The first questions you need to ask yourself is this: Do you need a colour printer or will a black-and-white printer cover your needs?

Most often, you’ll find that a black-and-white printer is more than enough to take care of your printing needs. It handles everyday office document printing requirements, such as research, emails, invoices, etc.

Unless your office needs to print documents that are color dependent — pie charts or density maps, for example — you really don’t need a color printer. Understanding the specific requirements of your company when selecting a printer will help you avoid extra expenditure.

Network

Do you remember those days when all employees would queue up to that one desktop PC which was connected to the printer? What a waste of time it used to be, not to mention a hassle and a pain getting the simplest of printouts for work.

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These days, most printers are equipped with wifi connectivity. They can be hooked-up to the office network, and anyone can print a document from anywhere in the building.

A network printer is the best solution for offices where multiple people are giving out multiple prints. It saves time and effort by simultaneously connecting all the computers in the office to the printer. A network enabled printer, therefore, helps you avoid loss of productivity.

Laser vs Inkjet

Inkjet printers are cheap upfront, but they have high operational costs because the ink is costly, especially if you’ve opted for a color printer. Laser printers, on the other hand, cost more while setting up, but turn out to be economical in the long run. That’s mostly because the ‘toner’ used in them is very cheap.

There’s also a matter of volume. Laser printers often turn out to be cheaper per page/print. Inkjet printers, on the other hand, deliver better quality, especially if you’re taking color prints.

Basically, you can install a small inkjet printer in individual offices/cabins, and for common areas with high volume printing, you can use laser printers. Thus, by choosing a specific kind of printer, you can avoid unnecessary operational costs.

Multifunction

Multifunction printers are capable of handling a wide array of jobs other than printing. They can perform tasks like faxing, copying, scanning, and of course, printing!

These printers are highly specialized in their functions. Therefore, you should only buy these from manufacturers who have expertise producing them. Ricoh, for example, offers a wide range of multifunction printers. These come in both color and black-and-white options, among a host of other features that you can choose from.

In their own words:

“These standalone and network capable systems offer a wide range of features and performance levels tailored to meet the needs of the small office, centralized reproduction department or print-for-pay environments.”

Such printers, while expensive upfront, tend to even out in terms of cost over the long run as they can handle the work of multiple devices. Thus, when you buy a multifunctional printer, you avoid the hassle of managing multiple devices.

Accessories and Maintenance

Printers, like all other devices are prone to wear-and-tear. Mechanical parts such as rollers, paper loaders, etc, are most likely to fail. Then, you have to factor in user-induced spoilage, such as broken buttons or cracked screens, or even spilled coffee! All of these are largely unavoidable in any office set up.

That’s why it’s essential to pick a supplier who has spare parts and accessories always ready. You should also look for manufacturers who offer annual maintenance contracts. That way, you know that the parts being replaced are all genuine and whenever the internals are fixed, they are always calibrated for optimal settings.

Thus, by picking a supplier that offers good maintenance, you avoid the bother of hunting for original spare-parts!

By carefully considering the pointers we’ve mentioned above and after factoring in the requirements of your office, you should be able to narrow down your search to the most ideal printer in the market. Now, the rest depends on what your budget is and how well you’re able to negotiate a good deal for yourself.

Remember to look at the overall picture when buying a printer, because it’s an investment that’s going to last you for several years. And you’d like it to be a faithful companion to all your office needs. So, take your time and make a decision that does justice on all fronts, not just the financial outlay needed to buy the machine.

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