Buyers Guides & Videos - Printers and Faxes
Finding the best printer for your business doesn’t have to be difficult. All of the available technologies work extremely well, so it's more important to focus on the features and capabilities you need. After identifying a printer – or several – that seem suitable, check our unbeatable ink or toner pricing to get an overview of what the ongoing running costs may be.
Our impressive range includes inkjet printers, laser printers and dot matrix printers from brands such as Canon, HP, Brother, Epson and Lexmark, all of which include single and multifunction models printing in vibrant colour or black and white (monochrome).
How much do you print? A few sheets a day? Dozens? Hundreds? Are you the only person who'll be printing, or will the whole office use the same machine? To avoid getting stuck with too much printer or too little, it’s best to figure out which features are relevant to your office requirements before making a purchase.
Most home and small office printer copiers are Inkjet printers that use a series of nozzles to shoot miniscule droplets of ink onto the printer paper to form words and images. Inkjet are the most common type of printer and are initially inexpensive, easy to use and compatible with most computers.
Choose a smaller Inkjet printer if you'll be its only user and you plan to not print more than a few dozen pages a day but still require photo quality. Larger and more expensive models will be more versatile and are able to compete with laser printers in some areas.
Laser printers are designed mainly for businesses, as they can handle larger volumes in shorter spaces of time. Laser printing works by using an electrostatic charge on a rotating drum. The toner inside the printer is then attracted to this electrostatic charge and deposited on the paper being run through the machine to duplicate the document. These machines are great for high volume and speed and while they are initially more expensive they can in fact be cheaper to run. Black and white laser printers (mono laser printers) are the most efficient and least costly for heavy office use.
Dot Matrix printers print each character individually as the printing head moves over the page. They print by hitting an ink soaked cloth ribbon against the paper. The letters are drawn out of a dot matrix so a variety of fonts and graphics can be printed. These robust printers are ideal for handling continuous, multi-copy stationery.
Large Format Printers
Large format printers are for printing large graphics, photos, technical and CAD drawings and quality complex colour images that need to be bigger than A3, up to 44 inches wide. We have models available by HP and Epson, ideal for photographic and design studios as well as busy drawing offices.
Specifications to look out for:
For printers that multiple people will use the efficient linking of machines is essential. Ethernet networking is helpful for easy sharing, and Wireless connectivity can be useful for smaller workgroups.
- Single or Multifunction
If all you do is print documents, you might not need an all in one – sometimes referred to as a multifunction printer (MFP). But if you want to digitize or copy paper-based files as well as share documents, you can use an MFP to fax, make photocopies, create electronic images, and store or send files via email.
A printer with a print output speed of less than 20 pages per minute (ppm) will be fine for personal use; a range of 20 ppm to 40 ppm is adequate for most offices; and a speed greater than 40 ppm is perfect for higher volume use.
The number and size of expected jobs will dictate how much memory your printer should have. A typical amount for a business printer can be anywhere from 64MB to 256MB. Higher-end models have room for expansion.
Resolution is measured in dpi (dots per inch) and will determine the quality of your printouts. The higher the resolution, the better the quality will be. However, nowadays even the cheapest Inkjet printers are able to print in 1200 x 4800 dpi, which produces high quality documents and near lab quality photos.
- Media Capability
Most machines handle standard A4 paper, but we also have a great range of printers that are able to take the larger A3 size. Some models are also capable of duplex printing (both sides) to save paper, as well as printing envelopes, labels, index cards, CDs and OHP transparencies; all stock is available from Euroffice at great prices.
- Ink and Toner Costs
Over time, you’ll exceed the price of your printer in replacement ink or toner supplies. To ensure that your costs are in line with your budget check our fantastic prices for consumables.
- Monthly Duty Cycle
It is helpful to check the printer's specified monthly duty cycle and keep your volume below this, rather than what the printer can handle comfortably. This number represents a maximum stress-test level.
What type of Fax Machine do I need?
Fax machines are commonplace in most offices and offer a quick way of sending documents to people without the need for email and separate printing. Fax machines still have advantages over modern, digital or internet-based alternatives. When a communication is fed through a fax machine it is encoded and sent through the telephone line to the recipient where it is decoded and printed out, this is particularly useful when sending sensitive material such as signed legal papers, where unencrypted emailed documents may be vulnerable to interception. Euroffice can supply models from Brother and Philips.
Types of Fax Machine:
Ideal for small businesses and home offices, these often include a telephone handset as standard. Inkjet Fax Machines are ideal for light use and small volumes.
Best suited to busy office environments where higher quality and production of larger volumes of documents are required, delivering lower running costs.
Thermal fax machines
There are two kinds of thermal fax machines, and they both use fairly simple methods. One stores the necessary "ink" in special paper rolls, while the other uses a process of melting down special ribbon against a sheet of plain paper. They are inexpensive and have fewer moving parts, and can include a handset and answering machine, forming a basic, compact, all-in-one communications solution for small office/home environment.
Fax machines can also be used as basic copiers, but be sure to check Euroffice Printer Buying Guide as many MFPs or all in one printers have a fax and scanning facility. You can use the function filter on our website to select the functions that you require, narrowing your search down for the perfect fax machine.
Specifications to look out for:
- Document Feed
Users can automatically load documents into the fax machine or load documents by hand where necessary. This will state the Document Feeder Capacity, or the amount of sheets the machine can process.
- Paper Tray Capacity
This is how many sheets of paper can be stored in the fax machine for printing received faxes.
- Built-in Handset
Many modern fax machines now come with a standard telephone handset attached for making and receiving calls.
- Answering Machine
Some fax machines have an answering machine to record important messages when you are unable to answer calls.
Speed for fax machines is measured in ppm - pages per minute. This is how many sheets the fax machine can process in a minute. The quality of the document determines the time it will take to copy. Print speed is the rate at which received faxes can be printed out, Copying speed is the rate at which faxes being sent can be handled.
Resolution is measured in dpi - dots per inch - and will determine the quality of your faxes. The higher the resolution, the better the quality will be.
- Transmission Speed
This is the speed at which a fax will be sent. It is measure in Kbps - Kilobytes per second.
- Compression Method
A method of compressing the electronic size of the document being sent, allowing them to be sent and received quicker.
- Media Size and Type
The size and type of paper that the fax machine uses. This will usually be standard A4 plain printer/copier paper or rolls of thermal paper, all available from Euroffice at great online prices.