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How to select a good colour printer

1.    Don’t be swayed by the cheapest colour printer you can find.  Consider the total cost of ownership when buying a printer.  Find out the cost of consumables as this will make the real difference.  The cost of producing a colour printed page on an inkjet and colour laser can vary significantly.

2.    Ask about the print resolution.  To make the best impression and to get the sharpest images, you will need a high print resolution of around 1200 x 1200 dpi or dots per inch.  If quality really matters, find out how accurate the colour reproduction is.  Good printing technology will often produce better results.

3.    Consider whether consumables can be easily purchased from different retailers or ordered online.  You don’t want to be stranded with a printer which needs special supplies that have long re-order periods.

4.    Ask about the First Page Time Out speed.  This is an industry standard speed for determining when the first page will be printed and is often linked to a printer’s memory capacity.

5.    Think about whether you need a printer which can print custom media sizes – for example, to handle thick paper stock, envelopes or special sizes.  Perhaps, you may need a printer that can handle A3 printouts as posters for your shop front.

6.    If you are printing directly from graphic software such as Adobe Photoshop, you may need a printer that handles PostScript or PCL fonts.

7.    Consider the number of users who will need access to the printer.  This would make a difference between buying a desktop model that supports a small workgroup or a larger enterprise printer to support a networked computing environment.  You will need to consider your computing environment and whether the printer will support existing software packages.
8.    Find out what the maximum duty cycle for a printer.  This will tell you about the number of printed pages it can produce within the manufacturer’s quality claims.

9.    Consider the energy efficiency of a printer and look out for devices which have been certified to be more energy efficient.

10.    Think about the environment when you purchase your next printer.  Find out if the manufacturer offers a take-back program at the end of the product’s life cycle.  You can refer to websites such as Recycling Near You http://www.recyclingnearyou.com.au/ to find out how you can put your old equipment or cartridges to rest.

Tom Lewis is the Marketing Manager of Australia and New Zealand for Fuji Xerox Printers. For more information about Fuji Xerox Printers, visit  www.fujixeroxprinters.com.au