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What to keep in mind when shopping for a small-business printer

For those considering a new small-business printer this year, there are a lot of new options. Read this brief rundown on what it all means for more informed buying decisions.

Considering a new small business printer this year? When small and medium-sized businesses (SMBs) outgrow their standard inkjet printers, laser printers can be a great option. With lower operating costs and faster print speeds, laser printers can provide the heavy-duty performance and professional quality your small organization needs to grow.

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SMBs will find a myriad of laser printer options, as a number of manufacturers now tailor their offerings to small business needs. From single-function to all-in-one, these business printers offer different options for speed, power consumption and price. But as our colleagues over on have pointed out, it's possible to zero in on the right printer for your specific needs.

For example, a laser printer can be a good fit for an SMB requiring a higher-caliber printer that doesn't require much money or hands-on-intervention to keep it humming. So what do you get when you go laser?

  • Quick print speeds, especially in black and white. Average small business laser printers typically print 20-50 pages per minute (color may be slower).
  • Higher-quality prints.While black-and-white prints are often high quality, color prints may be a bit problematic. Because each toner color is applied separately, there may be misalignments leading to blurring or fraying.
  • Lower operational costs. Laser printers will generally be pricier up front, but they are less expensive to operate over time. SMBs will spend less per page on laser toners than inkjet printer cartridges.

Multifunction laser printers provide an all-in-one solution for printing, faxing, scanning and copying that is less expensive than buying such devices separately. Plus, many new laser-printer models boast energy-efficient features -- another money-saving consideration to keep in mind when selecting your small-business printer. For example, the Canon imageCLASS MF8050Cn color laser multifunction printer is ideal for a small or medium-sized business because it offers a little bit of everything while using only 3 W in energy-saving mode.

The new XEROX WorkCentre 7120 is also efficient in workflow (with print, scan and copy standard) and has an ecofriendly design. It's easy and inexpensive to maintain and operate, and uses 3.8 W in sleep mode. The WorkCentre 5700 series also has several security features, including the ability to scrub saved information from the disk.

Four additions to the Samsung Electronics America Inc. lineup bring new multifunctional and single-function options to the table (CLP-620ND, CLP-670ND, CLX-6220FX and CLX-6250FX). Each model features Samsung's Instant Fusing technology, which allows for quick printing and lower power consumption.

For those looking for single-function printers, Dell Inc. now has the 5350dn single-function laser printer, with a print resolution of 1200 x 1200 dpi and a printing speed of 50 pages per minute. This printer can quickly create good-quality text and graphics, has a three-year limited hardware warranty and next-day business-day on-site service with remote diagnosis -- a big business selling point.

Was this comparison helpful? Email Kristen Caretta, Site Editor, or follow her on Twitter @kcaretta.

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