Printer Buying Guide: Choosing the right printer for your office & home
Buying a printer might seemed simple, but here are some common mistakes that people make when buying a printer:
- Bought a printer that constantly breaks down or needing to replace new ink when you need to use it
- Printer with high running cost (expensive inks, yikes!)
Printer that lacks important features you need (automatic double-sided printing, mobile printing, wi-fi etc)
FIVE IMPORTANT question to ask when buying a new printer.
Will you be using the printer on a daily basis or only once in a month when you need to print that boarding pass for your holiday?
If you are someone that rarely print, then a home Laser printer might be a better choice for you.
It might be tempting to buy an inkjet printer as the price is lower, but if you don’t print often there is a high chance that the printer head will dry out and lead to clogging or the ink cartridge is empty due to drying out.
While home Laser printers are pricier and the replacement cartridge is more expensive it is way more reliable especially if you don’t print often.
Laser printers uses fine powder for printing, so there is very low risk of the cartridge drying out or print head clogging after long period of non usage.
If you print regularly (at least once a week) then both inkjet and laser printers are suitable.
The next important question will be running cost of the printer. Once you buy a certain model of printer, you will be stuck using its replacement ink cartridge. So counting how much is the cost for replacement cartridge is very important.
To count running cost, we take the price of the cartridge divide by it’s total page yield of the cartridge.
RM100 / 1000 pages = RM0.10 per page (running cost)
If you are someone that print a lot, running cost is something you have to take into clear consideration before buying a printer.
Usually the cheaper the printer is, the higher the running cost will be if all other features and specs of the printer remain the same.
Do you need colour printing?
If you are someone that does not really need colour, then you can consider mono printers. Mono printers are printers that can only print in black and gray-scale.
Mono printers have lower running cost as compare to colour printers as it required only one black cartridges instead of the 2 or 4 cartridge required by most colour printers to function.
However mono printers are usually only available in Laser printers. So it might cost more to buy the printer initially as compared to an inkjet printer, but you will definitely save more on the replacement cartridges in the long run.
If you need colour printing then inkjet printer and laser printer both are suitable. For those that need good graphics, you might also want to look into colour quality between photo printers, home inkjet printers and laser printers.
Another important point to look into would be your print volume. (If you do not know your print volume, a good way is to see how many reams of paper your printer uses a month)
When choosing a printer, it is recommended to “RIGHT SIZE” your printer according to your print volume.
“Right Sizing” means buying the right printer for the right usage and applications by considering the total cost of ownership (TCO).
Printer Price + Cartridge + Maintenance Cost + Electricity Used + Workflow Productivity = Total Cost of Ownership
You don’t want to make a hasty decision of buying a low price home printer to only stuck with a very high running cost or a very slow print speed.
Alternatively you also don’t want to buy a very expensive printers to only print 10 or 20 pages a week.
For people that print in high volume you might want to look into specs such as “Monthly Duty Cycle”, “Print Speed”, “First Page Out”, “Running Cost”, “Warranty & Replacement Parts availability”.
Features & Functions
Lastly, before deciding on any printer. You need to be aware of what features you absolutely need in your printer.
Some common features available from today’s printers are:
- Print, Scan, Copy, & Fax Functions
- Network & Wi-Fi capability
- Automatic Double Sided Printing
- Mobile Printing (Android / iOS)
- Software & operating system compatibility
- Automatic Document Feeder (ADF)
- Printer Security & Encryption
- Stapling & other finisher capability
Once you cover all these 5 important consideration, it’s time to head out and choose your perfect printer.
Extra TIPS: Remember to also place emphasis on after sales service and the availability and ease of purchasing cartridges of your printer.
Many time customer bought a great printer but later on have trouble finding the replacement cartridges or a reliable vendor in supporting them on after sales service....
Luckily at Vision Media, we have dedicated and reliable print consultants that will help you through the whole process from choosing a correct printer, installations and after sales service and support.