Are Laser Printers the Best Choice for Small Offices?

Most people consider a laser printer to be the best choice for any office that prints frequently (roughly 500 pages a month). If you are printing monochrome (black) only, there is still some truth to that statement. If you are printing color and monochrome, the best new “laser printer” for you may actually be an inkjet printer.

When you are looking to buy a new laser printer, it is important to consider all the facts before making the purchase.

Assuming you have a $500 budget for a new printer, which one is the best value?

The initial cost of the printer is the obvious starting point, but you need to also factor in the replacement supplies and parts that will be used while in operation. Many printers use more than just ink or toner. Printers can use a wide range of parts including print heads, imaging drums, fuser kits, photo- developer and waste toner bottles. These extras can add up over the life span of a printer (average 5 years).

HP Laser printers have long been a favorite in the office setting (large and small), but there is a new printer in town that may change that.

The HP Officejet Pro K550 is getting rave reviews for being one of the most cost-effective printers for offices. The big surprise is that it’s an inkjet printer, not a laser printer.

With a retail price of about $200, HP leaps ahead in terms of cost and value. The printer maintains that lead with low cost monochrome (black) printing at 6.5 cents a page. Color printing costs are less than 8 cents a page, which beats all other laser printers in that price range.

Other than possibly needing a new set of printheads over the course of its 5-year life expectancy, there are no other supplies needed other than ink. HP printers also have a reputation to be rugged performers. Although it is a new improved printer model, the basic inkjet delivery mechanics have been used in previous HP printers with great success.

The good news for ink is that you will get 825 pages of black and 625 pages of color with the standard capacity cartridges. The availability of high capacity cartridges makes it even sweeter because you will get 2,350 pages of black and 1,210 pages of color per cartridge.

Since the print head is built into the printer, the cost of replacement cartridges is low in comparison. Average OEM retail price per cartridge is about $15.00 – $20.00 for standard capacity and $25.00 – $40.00 for High Capacity.

The best news for the office budget is that compatible cartridges (non-hp brand) are now available which will dramatically lower the cost operation. These cartridges perform just as well as OEM supplies but cost much less.

Currently, ASAP Inkjets sells the compatible versions of the high capacity Black for $18.87 and the Color cartridges for $16.87. This is almost half the cost of the OEM cartridges, so you can help make the Friday office pizza party a reality again.

No more calling the print police, employees may print at will.