If you need to print a lot of pages quickly, nothing beats a laser printer. Perfect for the home, office, or school, these printers use lasers to quickly apply a powdered ink called “toner” to paper very quickly.
Ideal for black and white printing, the initial cost of a laser printer may be more than comparable inkjet printing options, but once you have the printer, you can expect to spend significantly less for each page you print. In this article, we’ll outline what you should look at before you go shopping for a laser printer of your own.
Complete Guide to Buying a Cheap Laser Printer
Laser printers are preferred for their better quality print jobs. You never have to deal with smudges or print at annoyingly low speeds. Not to mention they are good for high-volume printing and low running costs. But you can’t just buy any laser printer—you could waste money, or worse, end up with an expensive paperweight.
Features to Consider in Cheap Laser Printers
Before you start shopping for a laser printer, make sure you know what you need to look for in each of the following areas.
Monochrome vs. Color Laser Printers
It is vital to consider the type of laser printer you want. If your jobs include printing office documents like memos, invoices, reports, etc., there’s no need to buy a color laser printer when you can accomplish your needs with a monochrome printer. But if you love quality black prints and your work also involves printing color documents now and then, a color laser printer will do you more service.
Print Speed and Capacity
Cheap laser printers are ideal for small print capacities like 200 pages in a week. They are the ones you will find in the $200 price range. If your job requires 1000-50,000 pages per week, you are looking at higher-end laser printers to handle more workloads.
When it comes to print speeds, you will want to consider laser printers that produce at least 20 pages per minute for typical workloads. But if you work in a high volume environment, a printer that has 34ppm is more suitable.
Printing is the primary task here, but printers that have functions for copying, scanning, faxing, etc., are more practical in an environment where you need these services. It saves you from buying different equipment, which can be expensive.
Many laser printers have a standard resolution of 600 dpi (dots per inch). This resolution is enough for regular print jobs. It prevents the production of jagged lines on a printed image like when using a 300 dpi printer.
Some laser printers made by HP integrate advanced Resolution Enhancement Technology, which corrects jagged lines in a low-resolution laser printer.
If you will be using different-sized papers, it is vital that your printer handles your paper choices. This includes printers that can print A4 as well as A3 size papers and also have a multipurpose tray where you can print things like envelopes, cards, and transparencies.
Remember to check the total paperweight that it can handle so that you will not have to continually fill the paper tray when you need to print in high volume.
Cost of Ownership
The low price of laser printers is without a doubt a reason to get one. But will the long-run operation costs be too much to bear? This leads to questions like the costs of replacing toner, and what yield does the toner have? Some laser printers are only viable for very light-duty jobs otherwise, you could spend $50 on a laser printer and end up using up to $400 in a month in printing costs. You will want to consider the cost of high-yield toners and balance the costs and your workload.
A printer that offers USB-only connectivity is pretty basic and only ideal for one computer, preferably at home. But at the office, you will want the capability of sharing the printer using an Ethernet connection to a router. Wi-Fi, NFC, and Wi-Fi direct are other remarkable ways of printing from apps such that your printer can communicate with other devices and receive print jobs.
Two-sided printing is an essential feature of any laser printer. It is important in an office where you need to save on paper and time. With an automatic duplexer, you can print on both pages as well as scan and copy on both sides of the paper, which lowers operation costs with time.
Ease of Use
From the installation process to the way you interact with your printer, things have to run smoothly. You will want to choose a printer with a simple installation method, like through a USB flash drive or from a CD. Also, the capability of reaching out to the manufacturer is important as it helps you get answers that you need to know about the printer.
When it comes to navigating the functions of your printer, using a touchscreen is more comfortable. But the advantage of cheap laser printers is that they do not have too many features to confuse the operating process.
Warm-up and First-Paper-Out-Time
The time it takes to print the first page when you send a print job can affect the overall performance of work in an office. This is because the more delays there are, the longer it will take to start printing. A laser printer has to reach the ideal operating temperature to warm the fuser. This time is essential, more so if the printer tends to power off between print jobs.
When you want terrific print results from a laser printer, picking carefully is a must lest you end up with a model that sits on your desktop for nothing. We have compiled the best cheap laser printers that offer exceptional results for the price. You will like working with one of these models as they have been thoughtfully crafted to fulfill your needs.