I am fairly new to PDS Xerox, and by fairly new, I mean that as of last week I stopped wearing my, “Hello, my name is…” sticker. Before I started working here, when I thought of a home office printer supplier, I would think Best Buy or Office Depot; a mistake I now realize many people are making. Sure, my old 80-dollar printer does everything I need it to do, and my kids have nice looking reports to show their teacher until the toner runs out and I am hit with another 80-dollar bill. I should have just scrapped the printer and bought this year’s newest, and at this point disposable printer.

For my home office, buying a copier means being affordable, reliable, cost effective to own and one that lasts. There are many factors to buying a home office printer, just like every technology purchase; here are my top seven considerations to eventually providing teachers with nice looking reports:

Color or Black and White?
Owning a color printer seemed like a great idea and I imagined all of the eye-catching reports with pie charts, graphs and images I could produce. However, cost was a factor and the per-page cost of color far exceeds that of black and white. I decided that if I needed a color copy, I could proof everything at home and then hit the local library for a final run.

Printer or Scanner/Copier?
I knew I was going to be scanning documents and photos to the computer to share through email, so scanning was a factor in my decision. With a little research, I learned that most black and white copiers could scan in color and making the occasional copy, even if it was in black and white, was a bonus; copier it is.

Wi-Fi or Wired?
Wired printers were cheaper, however as silly as it sounds, I did not want the printer sitting on my desk taking up valuable real estate. I also did not want to complicate sending an email to the printer from my iPad. This is the era of mobility, and my new printer had better be onboard with the times if it was going to last! I already have, as most of us do, a wireless home network and going wired was going backwards.

A Few or Many?
We go shopping every week for groceries and I do not see a ream of paper in the cart very often; my first clue that we do not print much at home. We try to be green and limit printing if there is an electronic alternative. In the back of my mind, I know we print something nightly. The printer was for a home office and not a large workgroup, so I set my volume target low.

Everything looks better off a printer: letters, envelopes and even recipe cards. Finding a printer that could handle a variety of paper types and weights from normal copier paper to some decent cardstock had its appeal.

Since I was going black and white, I did not see the need for seeking out a high-resolution printer. The other side of that coin is that I did not want the readers of my documents checking for perforation marks and wondering if I still owned a 24-pin printer. 600-DPI seemed like a good resolution as long as the scan resolution was high for photos.

Cost of Supplies?
The real cost of supplies is actually the cost of printing one page. Over a longer term of ownership, if I can get a good low cost for my page yield then the more efficient, better printer can actually end up costing less than a printer that costs as much as its supplies.

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Armed with all this information, I was buying a copier machine; a brand-new system with built-in Wi-Fi and Apple Airprint, 600×600 resolution printing, scanning at 4800 DPI color, black and white print. As an added bonus, I can print double-sided which should lower my paper costs, and if I ever need service, I know a person!

PS: You can check out and buy the same machine here: Xerox WorkCentre 3225