5 things to look at before buying the Office Printer

As an information tech consulting company many clients ask us about office printers.  Many of our clients just say get any printer and that they don’t care what kind we get, but an office printer is a crucial tool in your business.  If the wrong printer is bought, it could waste time, money, and productivity.

A lot of our clients will look at a cheap printers.  Sometimes, these printers will say OfficeJet or WorkForce and market to businesses as an office printer, but most businesses don’t do the research it takes to find the best printer for the job.  Our job as an IT company is to do the research.  There are 5 things that needs to be ask before buying an Office Printer:

1.      Does it do what you need it to do?

This sounds like a pretty simple concept, but a lot of business owners do not actually take time to look at what the printer needs to do.  They may say that it needs to print, copy, and scan; what else does it need to do.  Ask a few questions like: does automatic two-sided printing or two-sided scanning, does it have a USB port, do we need wide format, do we need a portable printer.  Also, they should ask those in the office using the same printer what they would need and want.  If a printer is bought that only does half of the things the company needs then it was a waste of time and money. 

2.      What is the Duty-Cycle of the printer?

Duty-Cycle is the amount of pages that a printer can print in one month without it failing.  Of course, the higher the duty cycle, the better. 

3.      What is the quality?

A majority of printers have a 4800 x 1200 DPI (dots per inch) resolution.  Most companies will be fine with that resolution.  If printing photos is a major part of a business, that resolution will not do.  Businesses need to look for a printer that does at least 9600 x 2400 DPI. 

4.      What is the page yield cost?

Page yield cost is how much it costs to print one page.  Most of the time, the calculation is used only for a black and white page.  To calculate this, we take the cost of a black cartridge divided by the amount of pages that cartridge prints.  For example, an HP 950XL cartridge is around $38 and it does an average of 2300 pages.  That means that the page yield cost is 0.017 or 1.7 cents.  Another example is an HP 62XL cartridge costs $36 and it does an average of 600 pages.  So that is 6 cents per page.  If the HP printer using the 62 cartridge is $50 and the HP printer using the 950 cartridge is $199 and you print about 500 papers a month, the 5 year cost of the cheaper printer is $1850 while the 5 year cost of the more expensive one is about $700.  It’s better for someone to buy the more expensive printer.

5.      How can it be set up and how easy is it to set up?

Businesses need to figure out how that want it set up, through Ethernet cable or Wi-Fi on the network, through direct Wi-Fi, or direct through USB to a computer.  Also, how easy and reliable is the connection.  Can you scan to email, or scan to USB?


If a business asks these questions, they can find the right printer for the right job.