Buying a multifunction printer for your business can often be a tedious task, especially considering the multitude of specifications, features and functions that are unique to each model.
The following is a multifunction printer buying guide to assist you in choosing the most appropriate all-in-one printer to suit your or your company’s requirements.
It is important to keep in mind your primary motives for purchasing a multifunction printer. Whether it is for a small office or a large corporate, there are a number of makes and models to suit your every printing requirement.
Read this multifunction printer buying guide for key elements to consider before choosing the correct multifunction printer.
Standard versus multifunction printers
Do you require just a printer or an all-in-one printer? In the past, an organisation would require a copier, a fax machine and a computer to copy, fax or email documents. Modern technology has combined these capabilities into an all-purpose multifunction printer (also called all-in-one copiers, photocopier or all-in-one printers). Utilising a multifunction printer, you can print, copy, scan, and even fax.
Black-and-white versus full-colour printers
The next factor to consider is whether you need a colour multifunction printer (MFP) or a Monochrome (black and white) MFP. In recent times the costs of colour copies have been reduced dramatically and as a result colour printers have become a viable option for most businesses.
A new advantage of multifunction printers is that there is software such as Smart Print that offers a print policy that can control who and what can be printed in colour, ensuring cost control.
The need for colour is a business decision you need to consider. It is important that you try forecasting your colour needs over the next couple of years. There can be savings in costs if you move certain colour prints to a central multifunction printer rather than using a desktop laser colour printer.
Another option is to have a high output black and white multifunctional device that will drive your cost down and then have a colour MFP that will only be used
when a document is needed in colour.
It is also important to consider that colour scanning and colour fax options are available with some top-end multifunction printers, but these do have a higher cost.
Looking for printer rentals then read this multifuntion printer rental price guide.
Speed is an important factor to take into consideration when choosing a multifunction printer. Low-speed colour printers typically print at a speed of 10-20 pages per minute, while low-speed greyscale printers print at a rate of 15-20 pages per minute. High-speed colour multifunction printers print 20-30 pages per minute, while high-speed black-and-white devices print 40+ pages per minute. If you print a number of documents on a daily basis it is recommended you look at a high speed multifunction printer.
Related to print speed is print volume. Print volume refers to the total number of pages your device will copy and print over the period of a calendar month. This is important to consider since most contracts or agreements will offer a certain volume of monthly prints at a certain cost, any more and you may have to pay an inflated cost. Similarly, certain MFPs are designed to function optimally at a specific maximum monthly volume, if more prints are done than the recommended amount the device my start to have technical problems and require frequent services.
- So how do you find out your monthly volume output?
If you are using an external party such as a PostNet or a similar company, your monthly bill will give you an accurate idea of what your current usage is. There are also audit devices and software such as Smart Print which can accurately determine the amount of prints, copies, faxes and scans that are done for your business.
You can use the details below as a rough guide on what speed you need from your printer based on monthly volume:
- Up to 2000 per month: - 16-25 pages per minute
- 2000 to 5000 per month: - 35-45 ppm, 55 pages per minute
- 5000 or more per month: - 65-80 pages per minute
- Find out more about printing speed and page per minute(PPM).
Size does matter
It is important that you choose a multifunction printer that is appropriately sized and weighted for your business’s requirements. Printers that operate from a tabletop can weigh between 15 and 35kgs and can measure 91cm wide, 91cm deep and 60 to 70cm high. Large MFPs that occupy floor space can weigh between 90 and 180kgs and measure 120cm long, 90cm deep, and 90 to 120cm high. Choose the appropriate multifunction copier to suit your company requirements.
Inkjet versus laser printing
Both inkjet and laser printers are able to produce high resolutions of 600 to 2 400 dpi (dots per inch). While inkjet printers require cartridges, making them easier and more cost-effective to maintain, laser printers are able to print documents faster and with minimal quality loss, making them ideal for creative organisations or branding agencies. Choosing whether to purchase an inkjet or a laser copier is imperative in your search for the ideal multifunction copier for your business. Most multifunction printers use laser technology as it is make more economical sense for both manufacturer and end user.
After reading this multifunction printer buying guide you will have a better idea of what type of printer and what kind of printing output would be most appropriate for your printing requirements, have a look at our printer rental pricing guide for an cost of renting a printer on a monthly basis.