By Ilan Nass, Fueled

Wouldn’t it be great if you could have a paperless office?

Sadly though, there are still occasions when you need to print documents, such as things required by law, of you like the feel of a piece of paper in your hand. For many small businesses, printers look all the same to them. But choosing your printer can be a decision that leads to frustration, unneeded expenses, and hampered productivity if you don’t consider it carefully.

We at Fueled, make it easy for you by highlighting the 10 features of a printer that you’ll want to think about before making a purchase.

1. Inkjet or laser

Although there isn’t much of a price difference these days, think about what kind of ink you want to use. Toners and ink cartridges can vary in budgets, so choose one that suits you the best.

2. How many functions do you want?

Some companies are happy with a printer and photocopier, while some might want an all-in-one printer where you can scan, fax, print and photocopy.  Go through to see what your office uses often, and what kind of existing equipment you have to decide. For example, if you already have a scanner, then you probably don’t need a printer/scanner.

3. Image quality

Think about what your needs are when printing images. Are you a design company that needs to print high quality to show their clients drafts of work, or are you a writing company that just needs to print text? It would be a shame to need high quality images but you bought a lesser quality printer.

4. Print speed

Think about the volume of paper you want to print. The more you need, the chances are you’ll probably want a faster printer.

5. Connectivity

Are you obsessed with wireless connections, or couldn’t care less? Do you want to print from your mobile device, or will a regular computer connection do?

6. Paper handling

Depending on what kind of paper you want to use, you will have to purchase specific printers for the job. Obviously someone who wants to print mainly on cardstock and photo paper will need a different printer than someone who wants to print on regular blank paper. Don’t forget about sizes of paper you want. If you need to print on larger pieces of paper, then don’t purchase a printer that is obviously too small for the job.

7. Office size

If your office is pretty much you on the go with a laptop, you might want to consider a portable printer. Otherwise, if you have some extra room and depending on print quality, you can easily afford a bigger one.

8.  Other running costs

Other than ink cartridges, think about the brand of cartridges you want to use. If you get refillable cartridges, you might save some money, but if you let the ink run out completely, it might damage your printer. Also think about how much it would cost if your printer breaks down, or even how much energy it’ll use.

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  • SuperDave

    The first factor I would have listed for consideration is: Color or B&W? Color printers may have a low acquisition cost, but they are generally slower and more expensive to operate than their black-and-white counterparts. If you only need color occasionally but use B&W for your everyday printing, you may be better off with 2 printers, a laser monochrome and an inexpensive color inkjet.