Your company needs to add a new printer; you’ve been assigned to research options and make recommendations. It’s a daunting thought. Where do you start? What is your boss going to want to know and how can you learn what’s required to make a sound choice for your situation? Good questions!

At PDS we work with customers to match the right solutions to their needs. In doing so we help answer some common questions that will help narrow the universe of printer options:

Is a printer the right choice?

Once upon a time, a printer was just a printer. It did one job and did it well. As technology advanced so did the capabilities of printing hardware and we’re now faced with decisions about whether a single-function or multifunction printer suits our needs. The question to answer is whether your new device will be used solely for printing or if your company can benefit from a single device with print, copy, fax and scanning capabilities.

What features matter most?

Once you know if your printer is just a printer or you need something with multiple functions the next question is; how are you going to use this new printer? There are many feature options to choose from. Consider things like duplex printing. If you print in volume and documents can be two-sided, duplex is a great feature for saving money on paper costs. And if duplex printing is a regular occurrence consider an auto-duplexing print engine so that you don’t have to manually flip the input and output pages.

How much is it going to cost?

There are two important costs associated with a new printer: the machine cost and the cost of supplies, which is measured as, “cost-per-copy” or CPC. Most people will lease their printer as opposed to buying it outright for tax reasons, to stay current with the latest technology and because supplies are included in the lease contract. The monthly cost of the lease pays for the printer over time and there is always the option to purchase the printer when the lease expires, usually for a dollar!

Is durability a factor worth considering?

How much of a workhorse is this new printer expected to be? Knowing this can save time and money. Duty cycle is a term we use in the print hardware business to measure how many pages can be printed monthly without risking damage to the printer. The more informed about expected usage and duty cycles, the better able to plan for getting the most out of the printer you choose. Over using a printer consistently or operating regularly at its maximum duty cycle will shorten the life expectancy of the device.

Is memory important?

A printer’s internal memory impacts business. Memory determines how much print data can accumulate while waiting for print jobs to run. Businesses with busy printers, many employees networked to one printer or those with a high number of graphic intensive print jobs need more memory. Before choosing a printer, make sure the maximum upgradeable memory fits the needs of your typical print queue.

Mac or PC?

Is the chosen printer compatible with all the computers that will be sending print jobs? All printers have drivers that work on the PC platform. Not all printers support Macintosh or Linux platforms. If you have a mixture of devices across different operating systems, double check to make sure the printer has drivers for all of them.

Have questions on printers and which one will work best for your situation? We’re here to help!

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