Time for an office upgrade? Your printer can make or break your productivity, so it's essential to choose the right one. Printers are the vertebrae in the backbone of your business, so a bit of research does go a long way. You may think, "Aren't all printers the same?" But the answer is a resounding no! Depending on your business' needs, you'll want to consider the type of printer, its features, connectivity, and other factors.
When it comes to choosing an inkjet printer for your office, here are a few factors to keep in mind:
- Color vs. Black and White
- Quality of Prints
- Printer Trays
- Duplex Printing
- Cost Per Page
- Standalone or Multifunction
- Cost of Ink
- Security Features
These various factors will help you zero in on the perfect printer for your business. Depending on your business' needs, you may prioritize some factors over others. For example, if you need to print large quantities of documents quickly, speed and paper size capabilities may be more significant to you than cost per page. Security features may be your top priority if you handle sensitive documents.
No matter your business' needs, there's an inkjet printer out there that's perfect for you. By taking the time to do your research, you can find the perfect match for your office.
Color Printers Vs. Black and White
It may seem obvious to get a color printer in 2022, but if your office is spinning primarily black-and-white documents, you might want to consider a black-and-white printer. The reason is that color printers are more expensive than black-and-white printers, both in terms of the initial purchase price and the cost of consumables (ink or toner). So, if you don't need to print in color very often, you can save some money by sticking with a black-and-white printer.
On the other hand, if you do need to print in color regularly, then a color printer is probably the way to go. Even if it costs a bit more upfront, you'll likely save money in the long run by not having to purchase a printer that uses color.
Most printers nowadays are color, but we recommend checking the specs before you buy to be sure. The vast majority of laser and LED printers are color, but some black-and-white-only models are still available.
When it comes to inkjet printers, most models now offer color printing, but there are still a few holdouts that only do black and white. However, these tend to be lower-end models, so if you're looking for an inkjet printer, it's probably best to assume that it will be able to print in color either way.
Quality of Prints
One of the most important deciding factors when picking out a new printer is the quality of the prints it can produce. This can be difficult to evaluate, especially if you're unfamiliar with the terminology used to describe print quality. Here are some key terms and what they mean:
Resolution: This is the number of dots per inch (dpi) that the printer can print. The higher the resolution, the higher the quality of the print.
Color depth: This is the number of colors that the printer can print. The higher the color depth, the higher the quality of the print.
Print speed: This is the number of prints that the printer can produce in a given period of time. The higher the print speed, the faster you'll be able to get your prints.
Now that you know the basics, here are a few things to keep in mind when evaluating the print quality of a printer:
Check the printer's specifications to see the resolutions and color depths. They should be listed in dpi (dots per inch) and bits.
A resolution of 1200 dpi and a color depth of 24 bits should be sufficient for most needs. The lowest resolution you should consider is 600 dpi. This will give you decent quality prints, but they won't be as sharp as higher resolutions. If you're looking for the highest quality, which results in the sharpest prints, you'll want to look for a printer with the capability to print at resolutions up to 2400 dpi.
Inkjet printers tend to have better print quality than laser printers but are also more expensive. If you're looking for the best of both worlds, you might want to consider a printer that uses both inkjet and laser technology. These printers are called "dual-purpose" printers.
Color depth is another crucial factor to consider. The higher the color depth, the more colors the printer can print. The most common color depths are 24-bit and 48-bit. A 24-bit color depth means that the printer can print 16.7 million colors. A 48-bit color depth means that the printer can print 281.5 trillion colors. Really! Did you know there are that many colors? Well, now you do.
Print speed is the last factor to consider. This is the number of prints the printer can produce in a given period. The higher the print speed, the faster you'll be able to get your prints. Print speeds are typically measured in pages per minute (ppm). The average print speed is about 15 ppm. If you need your prints faster, you'll want to look for a printer with a higher print speed.
Now that you know the basics, you should be able to evaluate the print quality of any printer you're considering. Just remember to keep an eye on the resolutions, color depths, and print speeds. With this information, you'll be able to find a printer that can give you the quality prints you need.
Ever heard jokes about how printers just never seem to work? Much of that has to do with the compatibility between your computer and the printer. Older and newer tend to be harder to connect with each other (though wireless printing has made a world of difference).
Connectivity is a big part of whether a piece of technology will work. In the past, serial and parallel ports were a huge part of the way computers talked to each other and to external devices. Today, we use a lot of USB ports and Bluetooth connections.
As you can imagine, the more connectivity options something has, the more likely it is to be compatible with other devices. And if a device is compatible with other devices, it can do more things.
So how do you know if your printer connects to your devices easily? The best way is to check the connectivity specifications that come with the printer and compare them to the specifications of your devices. If you're using a printer with wireless capabilities, you'll also want to make sure that it has the right wireless standard for your devices.
Be on the lookout for these connectivity options:
- Ethernet: This is a wired connection that is commonly used for printers that are shared on a network. It's used by connecting an Ethernet cable from the printer to a router or network switch.
- Wi-Fi: This is a wireless connection that allows the printer to connect to a network without the need for a physical cable.
- Bluetooth: This wireless connection allows the printer to connect to a Bluetooth-enabled device.
- USB: This wired connection allows the printer to connect to a computer using a USB cable.
Most modern printers will have some combination of these connectivity options, giving you the best chance of being able to connect to your devices.
Printer Trays and Feeders
The trays and feeders on a printer are where the paper goes. Some printers have multiple trays and feeders, which can be helpful if you need to print on different types of paper or if you need to be able to switch between printing and copying quickly.
The paper capacity is the most important thing to look for in a printer tray or feeder. This is the maximum amount of paper the tray or feeder can hold. If you frequently need to print large documents, you'll want to ensure that your chosen printer has a high paper capacity.
You'll also want to ensure that the trays and feeders can handle the type of paper you need to print on. For example, if you need to print on card stock, you'll want to ensure that the printer has a tray or feeder that can accommodate it.
Duplex printing is a feature that allows you to print on both sides of the paper. This can be useful if you want to save paper or if you need to print double-sided documents.
Most printers nowadays have duplex printing capabilities, but it's still something to keep in mind when shopping for a printer. The ability to duplex print can be a valuable time-saver, especially if you frequently need to print double-sided documents.
Cost Per Page
If you're getting a printer you plan on using frequently; you'll want to pay close attention to the cost per page. This is the amount of money you'll spend on ink or toner for each page you print.
The cost per page can vary significantly from one printer to the next. In general, laser printers tend to have a lower cost per page than inkjet printers. However, this isn't always the case, so it's important to compare the cost per page of different printers before making a purchase.
Some printers offer subscription-based ink or toner delivery services. These services can help you save money on ink or toner in the long run, but they typically require a higher upfront cost.
Standalone or Multifunction
A printer can be either standalone or multifunction. A standalone printer is a dedicated printing device that does nothing but print. A multifunction printer (MFP) is a device that also includes scanning, copying, and sometimes faxing capabilities.
A standalone printer will be all you need if you only need to print. However, if you need to do more than just print, an MFP will be a better choice. MFPs tend to be more expensive than standalone printers, but they can be a more cost-effective solution if you require multiple functions.
Some MFPs include additional features, such as printing on both sides of a page (duplex printing) or directly from a USB flash drive. These features can be useful, but they're not essential.
Cost of Ink
Ink is one of the essential consumables for a printer. It's also one of the most expensive. Before you buy a printer, you'll want to find out how much the ink costs.
You can usually find this information on the printer manufacturer's website. Alternatively, if it's not listed, you can do the research yourself by looking up the prices of the printer's ink cartridges on an online retailer such as Amazon.
Once you know how much the ink costs, you can compare it to other printers to see which is the most cost-effective. Keep in mind that the printer's initial cost is not the only factor to consider. You'll also want to factor in the cost of replacement ink cartridges and the cost of paper.
When choosing a printer, you'll want to ensure that it has the security features you need. This is especially important if you're going to be sharing the printer with others or if you're going to be printing sensitive documents.
One of the most critical security features to look for is password protection. This will ensure that only authorized users can access the printer.
You should also look for a printer that has encryption capabilities. This will ensure that your documents are safe from prying eyes.
If you require watermarks or other security features on your documents, you'll want to ensure that the printer you decide has those capabilities. Those features can be beneficial in deterring document theft or tampering.
The Bottom Line
No two businesses are alike, so there is no one-size-fits-all answer when it comes to choosing an inkjet printer for your office. However, by taking into account the factors listed above, you should be able to narrow down your options and find the best printer for your needs.