There are many reasons you may be looking at buying a new printer. Your office could have grown in size, you could be unhappy with your current vendor, maybe you are paying for overpriced ink or toner, or simply your current printer could just be old. No matter the reason you’ll soon find that there are infinite options for printers, it can be hard to determine the factors you should really be considering. We have compiled a list of categories to consider when buying a printer for your office!

#1 Frequency and Types of Printing

Speed & Size

The frequency at which you are printing will play a major role in determining the printer that is best for your office. Look at the typical business day for your employees in each department. Are they printing 50-100 pages or only 5-10? This is a great place to start. The more frequently printing is taking place, especially for larger jobs, the faster printer you will want.  

Now that you’ve determined the print speed of the printer that will be best, it narrows down the sizing options. Don’t get confused that the bigger the printer, the faster it prints, because that isn’t always true. You’ll need to determine the location of your printer(s), will every person get a personal printer on their desk or in their office, or do you have a central location for a large multifunction device?  The answers here can help determine the sizing that will be best for you, of course in conjunction with the desired print speed. 

Media Handling

The paper sizes you are most commonly printing on will also play a role in determining buying a new printer. If your company is in the legal industry you are probably printing on a lot of legal sized paper, you’ll want to make sure your printer can handle that larger size. 

Paper weight and coating is also important to consider. Are you printing out nice pamphlets or invites on glossy paper? Or maybe you want to print photos on thick card stock. These abilities are not available on all printers, so this will influence your printer purchase decision.   

#2 Functions

To understand what you are looking for your printer to be able to do, you must first understand what options there are. Printers can range from basic printing all the way to being an extension of your workforce by performing tasks that help increase workflow operations. 

For more insights on improving workplace operations, check out How to Make Your Office More Efficient With Printers.

Sometimes all you need is a single function printer, other times you need a multifunction printer that scans and faxes as well. Do you need stapling or double-sided printing/scanning abilities? How about the importance of black and white versus color printing functionality? Beyond these functions it is valuable to think about what more your printer can offer, taking us into our next section… 

Check out the Different Types of Office Printers and Their Functions here.

#3 Connectivity

Your printer can do so much more when you start understanding what it is able to connect to. All-in-one printers offer capabilities for mobile print, Google cloud print connectivity, additional secure print features, and connection to software’s your company may use such as Blackboard or Salesforce.

The above and beyond connectivity features play a large role for businesses that have a mobile workforce. Need to print something in the office while you are away? Why email it to someone to print for you when you can print directly to the device yourself? Need a signature from someone across the country? Invest in a printer that can connect to DocuSign. 

By taking into consideration the different connectivity options of a printer you can change the entire way your business currently works. 

#4 Ease of use

This can be one of the most crucial and most overlooked features when printer shopping. While being able to scan to the cloud and print 500 copies in 5 seconds sounds great, is the printer you’re looking at answering the simple questions:

  • Can you load and unload new paper easily?
  • What’s the printer’s control panel look like? Can you navigate without headaches?
  • What’s the process like for replacing ink or toner? How do you fix a paper jam? Is a specialist or the average person able to handle these issues?
  • Can you save custom settings to recall for future jobs?

If your printer isn’t going to be easy to use, it’s most likely going to just cause issues within your workspace. Make sure to find the printer that is right for your employees’ level of use.

#5 Support

When a product you’re using isn’t working properly it can be very frustrating. What’s worse is when there isn’t any support offered or the support that is offered for a product is minimal. Before you buy a new black and white or color printer, you should check what will be included on the support end:

  • Are phone and email support included?
  • How quickly will the support staff respond?
  • Do all parts require an expert technician or are they end-user replaceable?
  • What online videos are available for help?
  • What’s the longest downtime you can expect if, in the worst case, your printer goes completely inoperable? 

Buying a new printer can become more than ordinary. When you consider all of the characteristics that will fit your business best, buying a new printer can be an opportunity to find ways to transform your business workflows! Ready to shop for the best print quality?

To learn more about printers in an office environment, check out the best office building amenities and how to maintain your printer.