Even though desktop computing was touted to be the path forward to a paperless office, even today, many decades after computers became ubiquitous at office and home, we still continue to print heavily. Yes, of course, during this time, printing technology has changed quite a lot from the noisy dot matrix printers that used ribbons like typewriters to laser and inkjet printers that produce crisp text and graphics completely noiselessly. However, users keep complaining about the relatively high cost of desktop printing, and indeed, it can be a big drain on precious resources for businesses large or small, and even home users. Some useful tips that will save you a lot of money, but do think about what will best suit you:
Buy a Printer with Low Per-Page Cost
Most often people look at only the sticker price when buying printers. Many printers with very low prices often have consumables that are priced exorbitantly, while a number of high-end laser printers actually are very economical. It is understandable that your budget may not permit you to stray significantly, but it is well worth investigating a selection of printers in the same price range to see what the variation in the operating costs is. Also, you need to be aware that when printer manufacturers quote a per-page cost, there is a lot of fine print involved. Usually, the ink coverage per page is very low, and the cost is only for the ink, without the power and paper costs.
Usually, to get the most economical performance out of a printer, you will need to buy the really large ink cartridges that can be quite expensive upfront. If you don’t print substantially, it is best that you stick with the normal size cartridges. While no printer manufacturer will ever admit it, you can get the cartridges refilled at third party outlets and save a bomb. However, take care to buy refills only from the more reputed vendors as you don’t want your print quality to suffer.
Easy Printer Savings
Before starting to print, decide whether you need to print at all or just need a small portion of the document. When printing emails, make sure that you only print the mail you want and not the entire conversation along with large footers on the importance of saving the environment. A print preview is the best way of figuring out how many pages are going to be printed, and then you can select to print only the pages you want. Some printers have a draft or economy mode and a high-quality mode. Ensure that the default mode is the draft mode so that you save on costly ink every time you print.
Do High-Quality Print Jobs In-House
If your business or organization requires a lot of high-quality printing such as newsletters and brochures, you can buy a good quality laser printer that can do the job in-house sparing you the cost and trouble of sending the job to a professional print house. Doing this will pay for your initial investment many times over during the life of the printer as well as give you the flexibility of 24×7 on-demand printing.
Save On Paper with Duplex Printing
Even though paper may seem cheap, over time it can add up to a substantial amount. You can make use of both the sides of the paper by buying a printer that has an automatic duplex-er that will flip over the sheet once one side has been printed, and print the other side. When you print in a duplex mode, you not only save 50% of the paper cost but play an important part in ecological conservation. However, keep in mind that the process of both side printing is slower so if you are considering high volume jobs you will need to buy a really fast printer.
Author bio: Derek Wells is an IT infrastructure consultant who advises several small businesses on ways of setting up the most economical-computer and networking systems. Easy printer operation is his pet subject.