Buying a printer is not an easy decision any more. Today, printing technology is very advanced, and there are many different types of printing solutions available. So how do you make a wise investment when buying printers? Here are some factors that you need to consider before making a purchase.

Factor 1: Hardware cost.

Printers are very affordable these days. A 3 in 1 system can save you money as it comes with printing, photocopying and scanning functions. Such solutions are ideal for home (or small) businesses that don’t need to print in bulk. These printers can handle the occasional print reasonably well. You can expect such printers to last for a couple of years or so.

If you require heavy duty printing, it makes more sense to go for laser printers. You can’t photocopy or scan using laser printers but these printers perform much better. They print faster, are more durable, and the quality is much better compared to an ink jet printer. The only downside is that the printer itself may cost 3 to 4 times as much as an inkjet printer.

Factor 2: Ink cartridges and toners.

This factor is even more important than the first factor mentioned above. The ink that you use is a cost. The more you print, the more you pay. Therefore, you have to be aware of the printing yield of the ink cartridges. Do some research and make a quick calculation. How much does an ink cartridge cost? How many sheets can one cartridge print? Divide the price of the cartridge by the number of sheets it can print to obtain the printing yield.

Toners can cost a lot more, but when you sit down and work out the printing yield, you find that you may save more money in the long term. Also, you find that you don’t have to constantly replace the ink (ink cartridges tend to run out faster). Even if you run a small office, a small laser printer may be more economically viable.

Factor 3: Software and networking features.

Today’s businesses demand a lot from the printers. Printers can be shared on a network so that many people can use the same machine at the same time. If need to take into consideration the number of people sharing the printer. If too many print jobs are sent at the same time, you may experience a jam. A long wait is inevitable.

Intelligent computer chips inside the printer communicates with the computers. Advanced software will be able to show you important information such as ink levels and printing yields.

Factor 4: Printing quality and reliability.

Nothing is more frustrating than buying a printer and then discover it to be malfunctioning in just a few short months. Replacing a printer is always a hassle. In addition, if the ink cartridges continue to give you problems, you have little choice but to replace the entire printer. Check out consumer reviews before making a purchase.