Multifunction printers. All in one devices. Multifunction copiers. Multifunction devices. These are all the different names that these devices are known for. Multifunction printers are different from normal printers. As the name suggests, they differ because they have multiple functions while normal printers have only one.
Multifunction printers can not only print but also copy, fax, and scan. This makes them ideal for the office setup, whether home offices, medium scale offices, or larger offices. Multifunction printers help businesses and entrepreneurs save tons of money, office space, and even needless headache.
However, the thing with multifunction printers is that their functions exceed way beyond basic printing, scanning, faxing, or copying. So, the big question is how do you know which multifunction printer is the right one for you? Here are some aspects you should be considering before making up your mind.
Figure Out Your Requirements and Expectations from the Multifunction Printer
Every office and business has unique requirements. When it comes to choosing the right multifunction printer, it would be impossible for you unless until you understand your own requirements and expectation from your printer in clear terms.
While considering multiple multifunction printers, you’ll have to make key decisions at every juncture.
For instance, the very first decision you’ll have to make is whether you should be spending on a colour multifunction printer or a monochrome one. This decision will be connected to your decision of whether you should get an inkjet multifunction printer or a laser one.
These two decisions are interconnected because inkjet printers perform better with colour prints than laser printers but laser printers are more than sufficient if you only require monochrome printing.
Another decision you’ll have to make is related to space. Multifunction printers come in all sizes. However, even the smallest of these printers can seem to be cumbersome. Since every office doesn’t have a lot of space, all multifunction printers aren’t suited for all offices. You’ll have to consider how much space you can spare for a multifunction printer in your office and which model fits that space in terms of dimensions.
In addition, you’ll also have to consider how easy it is to use the printer in the first police. If your employees will have to open the manual or call the techies every time they face a problem, then all the benefits of having a printer will be null and void.
At the same time, you’ll have to take into account the number of employees you have and the number of employees you are going to have. While doing this, you’ll have to factor in the speed of the multifunction printer. The more people you have, the more speed you’ll need because nothing wastes more time than people having to wait for their documents to be printed because the printer is too slow.
There are a number of additional features that most modern multifunction printers boast of today. You’ll have to carefully assess whether you need any of these additional features. For instance, will your office ever have a need of an automatic document feeder? If you print in bulk, then the answer may be yes. Similarly, how important will automatic duplexing be for you because it can end up saving you money in the long run?
Calculate the Total Cost of Ownership
Features are one thing while picking a multifunction printer and the financial constraints are quite another. There are various ways through which you can look at the financial ramifications of buying a printer. Most people simply focus on the initial acquisition price of their printer.
This is a limited view of the financial consequences and often restrictive. The reason for this is that the financial fallout of printers needs to be assessed not only in terms of the initial cost but in terms of the running costs. This adds up to the total cost of ownership.
The running costs account for the cartridges you’ll be using, the paper you’ll be buying, and the maintenance work you’ll be requiring. There are many multifunction printers out there that will seem very cheap and attractive at first glance. However, when you analyse the cost of running these printers, the end result will be horrifyingly expensive.
This is why it’s important to look at the total cost of ownership of a multifunction printer as opposed to its initial cost. Typically, laser multifunction printers are known to have a lower total cost of ownership than inkjet multifunction printers. You should also know that inkjet multifunction printers have a tendency to have lower initial acquisition costs.
Consider Reviews and Analyses from Third Parties
What most people don’t realise is that they’re relying on the specifications provided by manufacturers of the device itself.
Sometimes, these specifications may be exaggerated or written in a way to make them look better than they are.
What this means is that while they are a good marker for finding out the capabilities of the multifunction printer, they shouldn’t be trusted blindly.
The trick is to verify the information that the OEMs have provided. In earlier times, this wasn’t very easy. However, in the age of the internet, everything is within a click of a button. You can find countless expert reviews, user reviews, critiques, and comments from actual users regarding any particular multifunction printer model.
These fill in the blanks that OEMs leave when they explain what their products can do. These will tell you what you need to know as a potential user of the multifunction printer model.
It is very important to check these reviews, critiques, and comments because, more than anything else, they should define your opinion of any particular multifunction printer model.
Check the Usability of the Multifunction Printer
Most offices and businesses have a system that they rely upon day in day out. This system is at the core of everything that they do. It defines how efficient they are, how productive they are, what their turnover is, and how much profit they make.
So, when it comes to buying a device that will be crucial to the inner workings of the business, it’s vital to check whether the device will be a good fit within the system or not. The factors that should be considered vary greatly from one device to another.
In the case of the multifunction printer, the most important factor to consider is how compatible the multifunction printer is to the system that the business relies. Take for example, the area of connectivity.
What kind of connectivity options does the printer have? Some printers can be connected to a Local Area Network with an Ethernet wire; others can simply get connected via Wi-Fi. Then, there are multifunction printers that come with Air Print or can be accessed remotely via their OEM apps.
A business where mobility is critical will definitely need remote access in its multifunction printer. A business that mainly uses Apple devices will need Air Print. On the other hand, a business where travelling employees are rare will not need any kind of elaborate connectivity features.
When evaluating multiple multifunction printer models, you need to find out how suitable they will be to your business’s existing system.