A3 Colour Printers: Which one should I buy?

It has come the time when the current office printer needs replacing, or a new one is being demanded, but what do you need to think about when it comes to an all in one, multifunctional printer?

Firstly, you need to think about when buying a printer/copier/scanner, is what do you need it to do? Printers nowadays come with a range of capabilities but it can be tricky knowing what you need from it, when you don’t even know what all-in-ones are, let alone what they can do.

All-in-ones’ are your basic photocopiers, printers, scanners and faxes. They are also known as ‘multifunctional printers’ or ‘multifunctional devices’. These are your office business printers.

What do I need from an all in one printer, copier, scanner?

Firstly, there’s not a lot of point in buying a new printer if it won’t do what you need it to do. So what do you need the multifunctional printer to do? What are your requirements?

What is your print volume and what do you print?
How many pages do I print in a day, in a week, or in a month? A3, A4, invoices, envelopes…?

What are your current every day running costs?
Toner costs, cartridges costs?

Do you know what your machine configuration will need to be?
Do you need to fax or scan? What are the options available? What machines have an optional fax? Different types of faxing and scanning? Or do you need anything extra; Booklet finisher? Stapling? Folding? Hole punching?

What is your budget?
How much do I have available to spend? Leasing options? Thought about a refurbished machine?

#1 Assess your volume of printing and what you print

Finding out how much you print is crucial. Machines have different capabilities; some only print 20 copies per minute, other can do 45 copies per minute, some can do even more… How much do you print, and is there a time scale in doing so? Start with how many pages you print a day, a week or a month, or look at the machine you have currently sitting in the office, and ask yourself, ‘is this machine’s specification (e.g. Pages per minute) fulfilling my current needs, or do I need something with a bigger specification?’

What do you even print? Do you need to reprint on letter headed paper? Do you print invoices or on envelopes? Do you need extra paper drawers? Do you even print on A3? Or do you print on just A4…? You need to work out what you demand from your printer copier scanner, otherwise you may not get the machine which is quite what you need. But does it even need to be printed at all? Ever thought about document archiving?

#2 Need to know what your current running costs are? How much does it cost you to print?

It’s easy to find out how much your running costs are by first of all finding out how many toners or cartridges you get through. Do you know how many you use in a month, a year? How much does each other cost? Once you know this, you could find a machine which has cheaper running costs, and it’ll save you money on your overall printing bill.

#3 Get to know what your machine configuration will need to be

Need to fax? Do you know the options? If you don’t then faxing can be done on all-in-one office printers, but there are different options available. The first is the traditional way, using the machine, the second is using something known as PC faxing via printer. PC faxing via a printer saves paper.

Do you know what the options are with scanning? Like with faxing there are two options to scanning too. The first is scan to email. Scan to email is a quick way to exchange documents without the costs of photocopying or reproducing the document. The second option is to scan to folder. Scanning to folder means that you can have documents ready to send to someone, or just kept safe in one place for people on the network to access and use as and when needed.

All-in-one printer copiers and scanners, also come with optional extra to suit your additional needs. So whether you need to create booklets or stapler documents, you’ll need to know what different colour machines can do, and what suits your needs.

#4 Your budget will decide what you can buy

Budgeting is something everyone has to do at some point, and printers aren’t an exception. Whether you are buying the colour printer outright, or looking for a lease (a form of finance), you need to know what you can 1afford and what it’ll cost you.

#5 How about a refurbished printers?

Refurbished printers are machines that have come out of a three-year contract. They have been stripped back down to basics and refurbished with new parts and then they are resold back into the market as an alternative to brand new machines. The print quality remains unaltered and the optional extras can be used with them too. Anyone up for using recycled refurbished machines to help the environment?