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3 Steps to Choose the Right Printer


Patrick Flesch
Author: Patrick Flesch Date: 06/16/2020

What is more annoying than spending hours working on a project, formatting and tweaking it to perfection, only to have your printer disappoint? Whether you work from home or share an office printer, incorrect colors, bad alignment, or paper jams should not ruin your day.

GFC has sold hundreds of thousands of printers since we were founded in 1956. But we understand that choosing a printer is not always easy. There is a dizzying array available, all with different features and specifications. We are not going to tell you exactly what printer to buy, but we will share the knowledge you need to make the right decision.

1. What’s Your Function?

The most important question is what you are planning to do with your printer. If you are printing handouts for your team, emails, or the occasional letter, you’ll probably want an inkjet printer. Inkjets are generally lighter and inexpensive compared to a laser printer, but one downside of the inkjet is that the ink cartridges can be expensive and run dry quickly. If you are printing full-color, graphic-heavy documents, consider a full-featured, color inkjet with the highest resolution.

Are you planning to print large numbers of copies? If you need to print a lot of pages for your work, or you are working on a project like writing a book, the number of pages can quickly add up. In this case, we would recommend getting a laser printer, which works more like a photocopier. The initial cost is higher than for an inkjet, but you will save a lot of money in ink costs as the toner cartridges have to be replaced far less frequently.

Figure out how much room you have and how much you want to spend. Are you strapped for space or cash? You might want to get an all-in-one printer. This combines a scanner and photocopier (plus sometimes a fax machine) with an ordinary inkjet or laser printer. If you want to put your printer in another room entirely or will be sharing it with others, consider a wireless printer.  

2. Features You Need (And Some You Don’t)

We get it- all the acronyms and printer jargon can be confusing. But not all printers are created equal, and you need to make sure the machine you buy fits your needs. Some of the obvious considerations are whether you need a color versus black and white machine. But also consider the work you do. Are you scanning lots of documents? Do you need to be able to share documents online? Will you need to make redactions or protect personally identifiable information?

Consider the following specifications for two of the printers we offer through our imageCARE Home series. As you can see, the first machine is ideal for a home office worker who needs to primarily print and review documents. The second device is a multifunction device that prints, scans and produced color documents. However, one thing they both share is wireless connectivity and integration with online services that help teams collaborate.  

 

Lexmark MS421 DW

Lexmark CX522 ADE

Color Enabled

N/A

X

Wireless Network

X

Optional

USB Connectivity

X

X

Apple AirPrint

X

X

Google Cloud Print

X

X

Color Scanning

N/A

X

Integrated Cloud Scanning

N/A

X

Color Pantone Matching

N/A

X

Energy Star Rated

X

X

3. Can You Secure Your New Printer?

Studies have shown that there is a real printer security risk, because of data exposure through network-connected printing equipment. These printer security risks are present in environments where the printer is directly connected to the network, regardless of how many devices connect and print through the printer.

Invest in a printer or multifunction device that offers device management and control options which you can access via an internet browser. Most management portals allow you to monitor toner/ink levels, start the document scanning process, view the device log for past activity, and more. You should also be able to encrypt access to the device through enabling password-protected authorization. Securing access to the printer’s management and control provides an important line of defense, denying hackers the ability to alter print controls.

Unfortunately, many people still find buying a printer complicated or confusing. If you’d like help navigating the world of printers and multifunction devices, reach out to the Gordon Flesch Company for a free, no-obligation assessment. We’re here to help, whether you have a home office or need to manage a fleet of high-end office printers.

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Written by Patrick Flesch

Patrick joined the Gordon Flesch Company in 2006 as Territory Account Executive and worked his way to become VP of the Sales for the company’s Western Region. Today, Patrick is President of the Gordon Flesch Company.

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