You know the routine, you need a new printer and the first place you turn to is either the internet or you just go to a big box store, sounds like a simple task right, wrong. Even before you start looking you should have a good idea of what you’re looking for in terms of your printing needs. Without this knowledge you are leaving yourself wide open to making a purchase you will later regret.

Ink & Toner Solutions want’s to help you make the right decision so we will carry a four-part series on the best Lab tested printers in four different price ranges, $150, $300, $500 and $750. Testing and results are from PC World. After being in the business for over 7 years and helping customers choose the right equipment we applaud their choices.

The most important questions you need to ask yourself before looking for a printer is first and foremost, your budget. Next is your printing needs, the best printer has the capacity, features and speed to match what you actually print on a regular basis. What do you print, documents, photos, or something in between? How much do you print, this is to make sure you get enough paper capacity. How many people will be using the machine, you can overload a machine, each printer model is rated for a certain duty cycle per month. Will you require wired or wireless networking capabilities?

Multifunction printers seem to be the wave of the future but they do have some limitations. If your office is very busy, forcing a single machine to juggle everyone’s printing, copying, scanning and faxing demands could overwhelm it. If you have long-term needs to scan hundreds or thousands of pages a month you may want to get a dedicated document scanner that has its own automatic document feeder.

Answer these questions and any others you may think of that pertains to your special needs like space, if you only have enough room in your office to put a printer on your desk the size will be one of the most important considerations, so make sure to check the dimisions of the machine.

I saved the best for the last and the one that almost no one ask and I’ve yet to see a customer rep inform the customer of this, what is the cost of the consumables? This one could be a killer if you’re not careful. I had a long time customer come in one day and was thrilled to tell me he had just bought a new color laser jet on sale at one of the big box stores in our area for $250.00. I let him tell me all about it and then asked him if he had priced out the toner for this machine, of course he had not. Come to find out, each toner was in the $220.00 range!! So to replace the toner when they went empty was going to cost him around $880.00 for the OEM (original equipment manufacture) brand. Even using Ink & Toner Solutions Eco-Friendly remanufactured toners the price tag would be around $$520.00, this for a $250.00 printer. Needless to say, he returned the printer and bought another one that was more in line with what his printing needs were and believe me,  this time he asked how much the cartridges were to replace.

Watch for our up coming recommendations for a printer that will fit your budget requirements.

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