What to Consider When Buying a Laser Printer
Whether you're buying a new laser printer for your office or for your home, you should have an idea of what you want to use the printer for and what features you require. This criteria will make your shopping experience that much easier, and you'll be able to find a printer that does everything that you need.
Multi-functional or not?
The majority of modern laser printers are multi-functional; they can serve as a photocopier, a scanner, and sometimes even a fax machine as well as being able to print. Generally speaking, the more additional functions the printer has, the more expensive it is (although scanner/copiers are common enough that the price has dropped on them significantly). Make sure to figure out which functions are the most important for you, so that you aren't paying extra for something that you don't need.
Color or Monochrome?
Are you going to print different text documents and monochrome papers, or are you going to print color documents and pictures? If you're doing both, consider how often you will need color printing. If it's only once in a while, it's not worth it to get a color laser printer, as they tend to be far more expensive than their monochrome counterparts and they require 3 additional cartridges (yellow, cyan, and magenta). If you are printing color regularly, it may be worth it to look at an inkjet printer, which are typically used for photos.
How much can it print?
Before you make a purchase, look through the specs:
Memory capacity: The larger the memory, the more documents it can fit its print queue - this is particularly important for a busy office printer.
The paper tray: Check how many sheets can fit into the paper tray; the more sheets, the less often it will empty. Nothing is more inconvenient than running out of paper in the middle of a print job!
Duty cycle: The duty cycle is the maximum monthly volume of print jobs that the device can reasonably handle. If you print more than this number, the wear and tear on the machine will undoubtedly cause it to break down.
All offices and some homes will likely need a laser printer with an Ethernet port, which allows you to connecting the device to the local internet. Another more modern way to connect to the network is via WiFi. This will let you print documents wirelessly. If you want to print from mobile devices (like your tablet or smartphone), you'll likely have to download an app to connect to the printer. Consider what kind of connectivity options you'll require for your printer, or even none at all - if you'll be the main person using the printer, you can probably just connect your laptop to it via USB cable.
Ease of use and maintenance costs
A user-friendly interface and a convenient design are the two things you shouldn't underestimate when deciding on a new printer. If you are technologically challenged, you may want to pick up something that is easy to set up and update - no fussing with downloading a dozen drivers! You may also want to check how easy it is to load the paper tray and change the toner cartridge and/or drum unit. It's also important to check the yield of the toner and the cost of a replacement cartridge, so that you can calculate the cost of upkeep. Although toner cartridges are more expensive than ink for inkjet printers, they typically last far longer and they do not dry up if there is a long period of time between uses.
Once you understand how you're going to use your new laser printer, you will know what functions and capabilities to look for. Note that opting for a more expensive model is not always the best decision because it doesn't necessarily mean that the quality of prints will be higher. The extra price tag is usually associated with bells and whistles that you may or may not need.

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