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Printers 101

These days, printers have become more than just, well, printers. There are many features and factors to consider in your purchase to make sure the printer you buy is as cost effective as possible. Multi-functionality is one of the most important factors you should consider when buying a printer. With technology moving in leaps and bounds, having a device that just prints out paper won’t cut it anymore. Today’s printers have multiple functions, which make them more versatile. Look for features such as a built in scanner (preferably capable of multiple page scanning), as well as fax and copy options. It’s much more convenient to have everything in a single device, and it saves space too. Another factor to consider is how economical your printer will be to use. One feature that helps reduce costs is called duplex printing, which allows you to print on both sides of the page – saving on paper costs and making your operations much more environment friendly. Make sure that your printer has the option of setting duplex printing as its default mode. Another way to save is by determining which type of printer you need – laser or inkjet. Inkjet printers print slower, but are cheaper to purchase and use. Laser printers print faster and offer better quality output, but are much more expensive to purchase, and the ink cartridges cost a lot more, too. So before buying a printer, it’s essential to determine how you’ll use it first. Also make sure that your printer has the option to print draft and black-only copies for not-so-important documents. When you don’t need professional quality or color prints you should have the option to enable lower quality printing, which will save on ink costs. You should also look into network printing, which lets multiple users print from a single printer. This enables you to monitor ink and paper usage better, and also eliminates the need for multiple printers in the office, saving on purchase, operation, and maintenance costs. An LCD on your printer will also help you diagnose and troubleshoot problems, as well as preview documents that are printing or in the cue. If you are looking for help in buying a new printer for your office, or want to organize your existing printing system to save on costs, please feel free to give us a call so we can discuss options that will meet your particular needs.

Why Ink Refills can Leave You with the Short End of the Stick

Refilled ink cartridges may seem to be a cheaper alternative, but careful analysis will show that it actually costs more. Throughout recent months, we’ve seen more and more outfits offering services such as ink refilling, re-manufactured toners, and the like. The main selling point of such services is the significantly reduced price compared to buying new ink cartridges, and naturally, many businesses are attracted to these services in order to save on operating costs. However, when you look on a deeper level, using refilled ink cartridges, re-manufactured toners, generic printer cartridges, and other similar products actually costs more in the long run. Here’s why: Generic and refilled cartridges produce lower quality prints, and in many businesses mediocre output is unacceptable. Many times you’ll have to reprint pages, wasting both ink and paper (not to mention time). Generic and refilled cartridges frequently cause alignment problems with your printer, and some may even leak. This type of damage to your printer can result in unexpected repair costs or even the need to completely replace the printer. Studies show that 40% of refilled/generic cartridges or toners result in some sort of problem with the printer. Some say that using refilled/generic cartridges is safer for the environment. This is NOT the case. Reprinting costs you wasted energy, productivity, and materials such as paper. On top of that, many brand-name manufacturers have a recycling program, as opposed to generic cartridges which end up in landfills. On the surface, going for these “cheaper” alternatives might seem to be a great idea to cut costs, but over time it’s much more trouble and expense than what it’s worth. So it’s best to stick with using genuine ink cartridges and toners – you’ll enjoy better quality prints and less trouble in the long run.