At one time, there was some concern over the indoor pollution laser printing equipment caused. While that concern has largely faded, there are still numerous factors to consider when choosing the right printer for you.
When it comes to consumer-oriented laser printing equipment, be mindful that manufacturers often sell printers low with the expectation they’ll make that money back and then some on toner. Note how much toner costs for that particular machine and how often you’ll need it. Be wary of choosing a machine that limits you to proprietary toner cartridges. Also, note that there are money-saving options available, such as refillable and recycled toner cartridges.
If you print just once in a while or a few sheets at a time, then memory isn’t a huge concern. However, if you’ll be printing large jobs or even small jobs in large quantities, then be aware that on-board memory will usually be the bottleneck.
Determine what paper size you need, and ensure that the printer you choose supports it. Paper that’s properly sized should work fine, but note the printer fine print about paper requirements.
Most home machines are quite compact but may still be too large for a spot on your desk. Determine where you’ll place your printer before you buy. Measure that space, and then, buy accordingly.
All in One
You have the option of a standalone printer or a printer that possibly copies, scans, faxes and so forth. There are pros and cons to all-in-one printers, and you need to determine if the advantages outweigh the disadvantages for you.
How will you connect your laser printing equipment? This will determine where it can or has to go, how much space you have available and what equipment you may need. Traditionally, we connected printers to a single PC using a parallel or USB port. Today, networked printers are much more common and let us connect to them wirelessly from any PC or other device on that same network.
Warranties for laser printing equipment can be like the warranties for cars in that they cover a certain number of years or a certain number of cycles, whichever comes first. Equipment marketed for home use will generally just cover one, two or three years of use. Standard warranties often include “return to base” coverage, which means you have to send the equipment in for repair. A warranty that gives you “on site” coverage means that they’ll fix it at your home or somewhere locally at least.
Many home machines are inexpensive enough that users will choose to discard them rather them repair them. Repair costs out of coverage are can often be higher than the initial cost. For business machines, maintenance costs should be figured in the total cost of ownership.