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How to choose a new printer?

How to choose a new printer? 22 March 2017

It is possible to spend from £50 – £1000 on a printer, there are a myriad of options – inkjet or laser, full colour or mono print, auto feed, MFP, duplex, auto duplex, networked, wireless, e-print capability, multiple tray, auto stapling and much, much more……

As in most cases, you get what you pay for, so when you purchase a printer through BOSS we’ll do our best to ensure it meets all your must-have requirements, and have a few of your wish-list features at the same time, whilst staying within your budget.


Inkjet Printers

Most home and small office printers are inkjet.
The liquid ink is sprayed onto the paper as it is fed through the printer. The paper can come out damp if there’s a lot of coverage, and some printers allow a small amount of drying time when producing image-rich printouts.

This is a cost-effective print method if you do not print great volume, the quality is usually average to good and you can produce better quality results changing the settings & using glossy or photo paper. Cost per page will be quite high, but the printers can be purchased quite cheaply (£50 – £200) and consumables reasonable (£10 – £30) so this is the ideal option for a small or home business.

Consumables may be £10-30 each, however some printers take single colour cartridges, so you could be replacing up to 4 cartridges at once. Some will not print at all if one colour is empty! It’s always worth keeping a spare full set of cartridges available to replace any that run out.

Entry level printers with two ink cartridges (one black and one tri-colour) are available, which can be more cost effective, if your colour usage is fairly low, but if you use a lot of one colour these machines will not be cost effective because if one colour runs out then so does the whole cartridge.

Recently advances in technology have improved the efficiency of inkjet cartridges. HP brought out an inkjet machine a year or so ago which had a reasonably priced black ink cartridge which offered 9200 page yield @5% coverage for around £90 and colours 6600 @5% coverage for around £90 too. We consider this a gamechanger for small office use as it make it much more economical that laser machines 3 times it’s price and its quicker too with an output of over 50 sheets per minute black and colour. Epson and Brother have both followed suit and Laser machines or at least their consumables will have to respond to this challenge.


Laser Printers

Laser printers use toner, rather than ink. Toner is a fine powder and available in black, cyan, magenta & yellow. The printer uses laser beams & electronically charged particles (sounds like something out of a science fiction epic adventure!) to print your pages. It’s then fused onto the page and your pages come out of the printer warm.

This tends to lead to laser printers being a little bit more expensive. (Prices start at £150+) The consumables tend to cost a bit more too (£50 – £300), however this doesn’t necessarily mean they are more expensive to run. Cost per page is usually lower for laser than inkjet, so if you are happy to pay a little more upfront, you could save money in the long term.

Laser printers may have drum units, fuser units and waste toner units to replace too, although the frequency and cost of these products varies from brand to brand. Some manufacturers sell toners with the drum unit built in, some sell them separately. We will advise when you ask for a quote, what the consumables are, their approximate cost and if possible how frequently they will be replaced – although this will depend on use.


Printers with extra capabilities

these are called Multifunction Printers.

If you need your printer to be able to do extra things, such as scan, copy or send faxes as well as printing, then you need a multifunction machine.
These don’t have to be expensive, in fact the majority of inkjet printers these days can do additional things like scan and copy.

however large multifunction laser machines designed to be used by an office of 20 users can cost more than your first car probably did! Probably the best thing to do, is work out your exact needs and give us a call.

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