Choosing the right printer to hire

Some months ago, we looked at a selection of some of the latest, most reliable printers, available on the market today. Printers that we, at Paragon Document Solutions, can supply for you at very competitive prices. This month, we will think about some of the things that you will need to consider before making that all important decision.

Choosing the right printer can be a really daunting task. There are a plethora of printing technologies to choose from, each suited for different needs. Printers come in all shapes and sizes, from huge workhorses to small companions which are ideal for travelling.  Some of these are geared toward photographers, whilst others are real 'multi taskers', doing just about anything you ask of them.   There are also many specifications for resolution and speed which can be misleading.

As a general guide, inkjet printers like are great for vivid, vibrant colours and long-lasting photos, where as the Image Class printer from Cannon and similar laser printers are best at producing text documents very quickly.

So to begin with, you'll need to decide which of the following profiles best fits your user type.

1. Home User

Home users demand a lot from a printer. The printer in question must be able to tackle everything from a newsletter, to book reports and snapshots, all without breaking the bank!  If you come within this category, you need a versatile and affordable printer, such as a small-office colour inkjet.

Alternatively, laser printers may be another option.  These printers will enable you to setup easily and provide you with fast, quality monochrome text and graphics output. You could also consider purchasing a second printer, either a single function photo inkjet or a snapshot printer for light-duty digital photography.

2. Student

If you are writing your thesis for school or university then you'll need a printer that can produce page after page of text in double quick time, for as we all know, students are last minute animals!  For this purpose a monochrome personal laser printer should fulfil your needs. It delivers legible text and copious copies, faster than you could order another pint from the student bar!

Alternatively, multifunction inkjet printers are another viable option for those who can make use of the additional copies, scanning and fax facilities.  Additionally, it allows you to print in colour if you need it.  If you decide to do this and spend a little extra, opt for a model that will be a little faster and won't use so much expensive ink.

3. Digital Photographer

Inkjet printers can certainly reproduce colour photographs, however if you want something that produces results which are akin to professional photofinishing, you'll need a printer that has been designed to reproduce something much better.

If a printer forms a vital aspect of your digital darkroom, you will need to consider the entire scale and characteristics of the ink set, colour management tools, paper path options and the supported papers.

If you are just a serious hobbyist, then a letter-size inkjet printer is probably the best option for you, as it also manages routine printing tasks. Snapshot printers are able to print directly from digital cameras which are compatible, although a high-quality, medium format, desktop model, can be very expensive.

Alternatively, if you are a keen digital photographer, but also run a home office, you may want to consider a multifunction printer. Manufacturers of these all-in-ones have recently been improving photo output and scanning technology, and many now offer multiple ink cartridges, which will ultimately save you money by allowing you to replace each colour as it depletes, rather than  purchasing a brand-new three-colour cartridge every time one of the colours runs out.  Furthermore, many all-in-ones now have memory card slots and LCDs, enabling you to preview prints and do light editing. 

4. Small Business

If you are a small business, you can benefit from a multifunction or all in one printer, which does everything short of making the office coffee!  These are not only great space savers, but also come in both inkjet and laser models, that usually incorporate a copier, scanner and fax machine, along with covering all your printing requirements.

These models though, can be pricey, depending on the extra features you choose.  However there are still many of the lower end models, which will enable you to do basic copying, scanning, and printing.

Alternatively, if you already have a standalone scanner or fax machine, then a basic personal laser printer should be all that you will need to your requirements.

5. Large Corporations

The obvious choice here is the work group laser copiers. These systems are designed to cope with multiple print jobs, at a rate of more than 35 pages per minute.  They also have more memory, along with much faster processors.  These all singing, all dancing machines offer network printing, high capacity toner cartridges, along with larger paper input and output trays.

Alternatively, a business class inkjet may be more than sufficient if your company's printing needs are only modest.  What's more, most of these models still support network printing and wireless connectivity. If you're an employee who needs to do work related travel, many manufacturers still produce special mobile printers that are useful accessories for the road.

  • Paragon Comment

With the extensive range of printers and copiers that we have here at Paragon, there is sure to be something to suit your requirements.  We deal only in the top manufacturers, known for their reliability and good quality.  From the 'Image Class', multifunction printers, from Cannon, to the cost effective Kyocera printers, which will print across a network, we can provide you with the knowledge and information you need to make the selection that is right for you.  What's more, on price we will not be beaten.

We also offer an after sales service that is second to none.  Why not check out our Paragon price promise on our website, along with details of our 4 hour nationwide service to customers.  Also how about leasing or renting your equipment?  This can be a cost effective alternative to buying a printer or photocopier outright, as there are tax allowances for leasing that aren't available on outright purchases. For more information, contact one of our team members.

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