Finding A Printer That Is Right For You

Finding a printer that is right for you can seem over whelming with all the printers available on the market today.  This is what I tell people when they ask me, ” which printer should I buy”?

First think about the things you want to be able to do with your printer and ask yourself these questions.  Do I need color?  Do I need to print on anything other than 8.5″ x 11″ paper?  Do I need a printer that does more than print? (Copy, scan, fax)  If so, and if I need a copier or scanner  do I need one that will scan larger than 8.5″ x 11″?  Do I need the printer to be accessible to more than my computer, do I need networking? How much do I plan on printing to this printer each month?  Do I need to be able to print from mobile devices? How much space do I have for a printer and where will I put it? Is there electric near by?  How many paper trays will I need?  Do I need to print envelopes?  Do I want to use re-manufactured toner?  What is the amount I am willing to spend? What computer operating system am I using? Answering these basic questions will allow you to make a much easier decision once you start shopping for your printer.

Next check with several places to see what they recommend and why.  Ask for the specifications sheet to make sure the printer meets all of your requirements.  And remember before you buy check out the cost of the toner and supplies.  Many times I hear from people who have bought a printer based solely on the cost of the printer with out checking into the cost of supplies.  They are then surprised to find out just how much this printer is really costing them.  Figure out your cost per page using all of the supplies.  Most printer manufacturers use a 5% coverage, for their toners yield, which is an industry standard so you can compare costs.  However, some companies like Lexmark use a 3% coverage.  Cost per page pricing can vary widely in printers so beware.  As a rule printing with color will dramatically increase your cost per page over black and white.  So if you need to print color only occasionally you may want to consider two printers, one color and one monochrome.

If you go to the manufacture website, many times, they will have charts to help you figure out which of their printers will fit your needs but most will not tell you about the supplies costs, such as the cost per page. The cost per page is what you need to accurately compare printers to each other concerning the supplies.

One other thing to check is to make sure the printer that you would like to buy has service available in your area. You would hate to buy a printer and find out the nearest place that can do the repair is 150 miles away and they charge $150 an hour plus a trip charge based on miles traveled.  Yes that does happen.

I hope this information helps you find the printer that is right for you. If you have questions please call us at 502-222-1788.

Robin Work

President of Laser Technology