Buying printers for offices can be somewhat of a headache. There are so many options from which to choose, the prices can vary greatly, they all seem to have different features and capabilities, and it’s all just one big hassle at the end of the day.
Well fear no more, we’re here to make it all simple to understand so you can select the unit that’s right for you and your business.
But before we start, we need to clear up a few things first. It’s important to understand that there are two basic categories of printers – laser and inkjet. We’ll get to that in a minute, but now you need to decide on what you need your printer to do for you. How often do you plan to use the machine? How many employees in the office will have direct access to the printer?
These are not tough questions, but will play a factor in the decision-making process towards selecting your office printer. Knowing this information will be helpful in delineating between units and all of their capabilities and special features.
Some printers may be “too much” printer for your particular office environment. Other units may not have enough to offer and you can quickly cross them off the list instead. It’s all a matter of personal preference when it comes to buying a printer.
With all of that being said, let’s take review the important factors to consider when looking for an office printer and you can narrow down your list of choices to the best unit of the bunch:
Inkjet or Laser
As we’ve mentioned, your printer will either have laser or inkjet capabilities and the biggest difference between these options is the process by which the unit actually does the printing of your page. However, the type of page you wish to print will help you choose one over the other.
The most important distinguishing characteristic is whether you need to print text or images and photos with your unit. One type of printer is going to excel over the other when it comes to each of those forms of printing.
There are some high-end units that offer the ability to do both with the utmost quality but if your office generates more text documents than images and photos, you may not need to spend all of that money to purchase a unit that does both things exceptionally well. You just simply need a printer that can produce the highest quality documents.
You might assume there are other advantages of selecting one over the the other and you would be right. Let’s take a look at what makes a laser printer more beneficial to your office than an inkjet printer…or vice versa:
A laser printer works without the use of ink but utilizes toner, a powdered form of ink that is heated and applied directly to the page in order to print your text and images. What’s advantageous about using toner is that you don’t get any smudges as you might with the use of ink, something that an inkjet printer relies upon instead.
However, laser printers have a limited number of colors that it can reproduce. There are fewer shades and hues in the laser printer’s color palette and this makes it a problematic choice for the printing of photos and images. The finished product may not look exactly like the original image you are attempting to print.
But on the plus side, toner blends together much more cleanly reducing any visible pixelization that you might find with inkjet printers. This is usually most visible in your cheaper models while the more expensive versions typically display little to no pixelization.
Laser printers are also better suited for offices that have high print volumes and access by multiple employees throughout the day. Busy offices are better off going with laser as an option, especially those which are printing mainly text documents.
The name says it all, these printers use standard ink. The unit sprays the page with tiny dots of the ink to reproduce your material on the printed page. Although the ink usually dries rather quickly, you may still experience a slight smudge or smear if you grab the page too soon.
There is also the possibility of pixelization as we discussed previously. This comes about from the placement of all those multiple ink dots sprayed onto the paper and while they are supposed to blend together fully, this does not always occur completely.
What’s best about an inkjet printer is the fact that it has a far wider color palette capacity than its laser counterpart. So it does better printing images. They’re also better suited for lower print volumes.