Diamondsource guide to buying the right printer
Purchasing the right printer for your office can be confusing with so many choices on the market. The guide below gives you a comprehensive look at some of the options available allowing you to make a more informed decision before buying a new printer.
The different types of printer
Inkjet Printers – The inkjet process involves thousands of ink dots being squirted on to the page and tends to be cheaper than laser, but the ink can smudge. These machines should really only be used for home or low volume use, typically for customers who print fewer than 150 sheets a month as the cartridge cost per page is very expensive.
Laserjet Printers – Designed for professional office printing, the process involves static electricity transferring tone from the cartridge and heating it on to a page, producing high quality results. Laser printers typically offer higher page yields (the amount of pages printed per cartridge) than inkjets, but the cartridges are cheaper per page to use. Laser printers are a good option if you are regularly producing quality plain text, but typically less useful for photos.
All-in-one Multifunction Printer/Photocopiers – Alongside the print option, you can also photocopy and scan documents. All-in-ones tend to have single cartridges for each solid colour, so you need only replace the colour cartridge you are low on. Many machines are also designed to produce lab quality photos, and some have an integrated fax machine that can be useful for office work.
Wide format Plotters/Photo Printers – Specifically designed for producing high quality large photos, posters and drawings, often used by architects and CAD designers, for A0 to A2 print outs.
Important factors to consider
Having looked at the different types of print, let’s now look at the factors that are important in making the right decision when selecting one of these machines.
Key questions to ask yourself:
- What functions do you need the machine to carry out?
- Do you need the machine to scan or copy?
- Does the printer need to be able to do double sided printing?
- Do you need it to Colour or Black and White?
- What size paper do I need to print A3, A4 or maybe larger?
One of the most important factors when choosing should be the cost per print or page, as you should always select a machine that can achieve the print quality and resolution you are after for the lowest cost possible. Another way to lower the consumable cost of printing is to buy a black and white printer, but only if you don’t need colour print outs.
Another important factor to consider is the cost of parts and servicing as some printer manufacturers can be very expensive to maintain. If a printer is used regularly then it will require servicing at least once every 2 years depending on use. Major brands like HP and Brother generally have the best value for money spare parts for their printers and we will always recommend these 2 manufacturers.
Although almost always expressed as PPM (pages per minute) you may also see printing speed notes as CPM (characters per minute) or, if you’re shopping for photo printers, IPM (images per minute). If you’re comparing ink jets with laser printers, you’ll see a vast difference between PPM speeds. Ink jet printers are significantly slower than laser printers and manufacturers try to inflate the low PPM of ink jet printers by putting the draft-pages-per-minute on the box and in the printer specifications so be aware of this, to get a better idea of the rate for high-quality print half the PPM speed.
Duplexing or Double Sided Printing
Duplexing is a fancy word for prints-on-both-sides. Whether you want to save paper or like a thinner stack of print outs, make sure you get a printer that can properly duplex without you having to do the print-out shuffle every time you want two-sided prints.
For more information or help regarding the purchase of a new or refurbished printer please call Diamondsource Printer Repairs today on 0800 677 1012 and speak with one of our experienced members of staff.