What Is a Multifunction Printer?
The term “multifunction printer” is a catch-all term that can be interchangeably used with other terms like “commercial copiers, all-in-one printer and office copier,” to name a few. As such, a multifunction printer is a piece of office equipment that can handle various functions outside of just printing. Usually, that means it can also scan, copy, print, upload and fax documents as well. Which functions are available on a model depends on its manufacturer, its product line, and whatever add-ons or upgrades have been installed.
How Do You Install a Multifunction Printer?
These days, most multifunction printers are plug-and-play, meaning you plug in the power and however it will connect to your network, either via Ethernet or Wi-Fi, to get started. Manufacturers strive to make their MFPs easy to use, so extensive installation efforts are not only time-consuming but can often lead to high costs if service is needed. Just follow the instructions included with the machine and setup should be simple.
Which is Best: Inkjet or Laser?
When it comes to the question of inkjet or laser, the answer depends on your business’s needs. If you’re looking to copy detailed images or graphics, then inkjet will be best for you. Copiers that use lasers and toner to produce their copies are best reserved for text-based documents.
Inkjet printing capability is better suited for jobs that require color, while laser printers are best for monochromatic projects. Furthermore, inkjet printers are cheaper at the outset, but their replacement ink cartridges don’t last as long as toner cartridges and are more expensive in the long run.
Which is Better: Toner or Ink?
This is an extension of the inkjet or laser question. Inkjet machines use ink cartridges, while laser machines use toner. Inkjet machines are cheaper and smaller than their laser counterparts, but ink cartridges are significantly more expensive and require more frequent replacements than systems that use toner cartridges. Toner-based machines, however, aren’t as good at printing images as printers and copiers that use ink. The decision of whether your business should use toner or ink depends on your company’s needs.
How Can You Save Money on Copier and Printer Costs?
Copier and printer costs are largely derived from the replacement of paper and ink or toner. You can reduce those costs by regulating the number of documents or pages each person can print through the machine.
How Long Should a Copier Last?
Though their home-use counterparts are likely to see less usage, business copiers tend to have a five-year lifespan. That figure can increase or decrease based on how frequently the machine is used. If you keep up with maintenance and users are kept in check, your machine could last more than five years.
How do you get rid of an old copier?
There are a couple of ways you can dispose of a copier. One option is to take it to a government-licensed electronics disposal facility. While some municipalities may accept your old copier, there are other sanctioned companies that can dispose of it in an environmentally friendly manner.
You can also take it to an e-cycling facility. Millions of items get thrown away every day, with electronics posing a significant threat to the environment due to rare metals and potentially toxic materials that are used to manufacture those machines. Like finding a government-sanctioned electronics disposal location, you will need to do a little research to find these other e-cycling locations.
If your machine still works, you may want to donate it to a local nonprofit, school or other group. Multifunction copiers, especially those suited for small businesses, are pricey, and it can make a significant difference to an organization to receive a working machine as a donation.
Finally, you can check with the machine’s manufacturer to see if they have a take-back program. By giving your old machine back to the manufacturer, you can keep the old coper out of a landfill and allow its components to be recycled.
What should you consider when buying a photocopier?
When shopping for a new multifunction copier and printer, there are three factors to consider aside from price: speed, size and resolution.
Speed, which refers to the number of pages the unit can copy and print in a minute, is reliant on the machine’s processing power and memory capacity. As you shop for copiers, besides noting the speed of the unit, look for the copier’s processing power and memory capacity, and determine whether those two configurations will be sufficient for your printing needs.
The size of your new machine should be a consideration too. How much space you have available for a new copier in your office is finite; think about how much area you’re willing to commit to a single piece of equipment. Take measurements of the space in your office where you’re considering placing the unit to ensure it will fit. It’s also important to consider the weight of a machine.
Last, check the machine’s resolution. You don’t want to go through the effort of selecting an affordable machine that can quickly churn out pages without taking up a lot of office real estate that produces blurry or illegible prints.
Additional reporting by Brian Nadel.