What are Printers and their Types?
Printers are an integral part of offices and are in great demand despite the growing digitalization of workspaces. There is a wide range of printers in the market, and finding the right one can be a tedious job. No worries. This article is going to help you solve this puzzle.
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What are Printers:
Printers are peripheral devices that convert electronic data from computers into physical one or hard copies. They display their outputs in the form of texts or graphics on paper, in case 2D printers, or in the form of objects, in case 3D printers. They can be connected via a cable to computers directly or indirectly via the network.
In this age of paperless business atmosphere, some think that printers are no longer required because they occupy space, and use a lot of resources even at the cost of the environment. But on the ground situation is different. There are very convincing reasons that offices should be both hard and soft copies. Some of them have been discussed below.
Why Should Offices Need Printers in This Digital-First Business Atmosphere?
Despite rapid technological advancement and constantly-evolving mechanisms for file sharing and other communications like cloud technology and others, printers are still in the businesses whether they are brick-and-mortar or online workspace. Printers are required because:
Printing Marketing is Still an Effective Tool:
- Printed communication is still an effective channel of marketing, particularly if you are targeting millennials and older demographic segments of the population. The printed marketing material can be read and re-read at the convenience of the targeted audience and can last long. But other digital marketing content available on social media or other online plateforms requires the audience to click on the links. In addition, flyers or other printed marketing tools can be shared with friends, read by many unintentionally, and can cause lasting impacts. In sum, online advertisement though has gained traction to a considerable extent, but traditional marketing tools like billboards, posters, flyers, brochures, handouts, and product reports are still more impactful for some industries or businesses.
Saving Important Documents in Hard Copies Is a Good Idea:
- The disaster recovery plan should also include saving important documents in printed forms. Though it would be unnecessary to keep all information in printed form, printing important data like accounting documents, employee information, company policies, yearly sales goals, and marketing plans should be carried out preferably. Though cloud-based storage & backup has greatly eliminated the need to have printed material as a backup solution, the smaller companies still deploy this option as one pillar of an overall effective recovery plan.
Printed Material Is More Engaging:
- Overall productivity of the workspace can be increased manifold if you give your employees hard copies printed from your office printers. For instance, audience engagement during PowerPoint presentations is often a big issue. But if you provide printed copies of the main points of your project during the presentation, it would help your audience highlight the points, make notes, and remain focused on the subject matter under discussion.
Papers Are Easier to Read
- It is far easier and more convenient to grasp a paper, read text, highlight important points and underline mistakes. Particularly, if you are going to read an important document like a contract agreement or your shipment/return policy, any error in the text can cost you massively. So it is very important to read such content in printed forms because we tend to skim online documents which can lead to unintentional skipping a mistake.
Hybrid Workspace is Often Required
- There arises a situation in the workplace where you have to send signed documents digitally and immediately. In such a scenario, both printers and scanners come in handy. You can print the document, put your signature on it, and use a scanner to scan it and send this signed document digitally. Hence, having a printer in your office can greatly improve the flexibility of the work and can help you streamline processors and enhance the productivity of the work.
Types of Printers:
Printers like other IT hardware are available in the market in different models and types and possess various specifications. Printers are available in two types: impact printers (mostly dot-and-matrix) and non-impact printers. We will restrict our discussion to non-impact printers. there are available in three kinds: Ink-Jet, Laser, and Thermal. But we will restrict our debate to Ink-jet and Laser printers.
Ink-jet printers are used by the majority of the offices. They are affordable and are available in the market from inexpensive small consumers to expensive professional ones. They print documents by dropping spots of ink onto paper. The printed documents generally have an image quality of 300dpi (dots per inch) but some expensive models print documents having as high as 600 dpi image quality. But they have some drawbacks as well along with distinct advantages which are listed below:
Advantages of Ink-jet Printers:
- They are relatively inexpensive in comparison with laser printers. Their ink cartridges are also less expensive than the toner cartridges of laser printers. hence, their start-up cost is affordable for many businesses.
- Ink-jet printers use ink cartridges that are highly pigmented. Therefore, they provide finer and smoother details for both texts and images. Therefore, Ink-jet printers are preferred for high-resolution image printing and image-heavy documents.
- They are faster and quick. Unlike laser printers, ink-jet printers don’t need warming up. All you need is to switch on the printers.
- They are smaller in size. Even the latest models don’t occupy as much space as laser jets. So they are lighter and easier to operate and maintain. If you are workspace is running short of space, go for ink-jet printers. They are very portable. They are plug-and-play equipment, therefore don’t require special installation carried out by skilled human resources.
- Ink-jet printers can print on a wide variety of papers including textured stationery, photo papers, and even some models can print on fabrics as well.
Disadvantages of Ink-jet Printers:
- Though some advanced versions of ink-jet printers print documents quite fast, they are still slow as compared to laser jet printers. The speed can slow further if you are printing colored documents.
- Their maintenance is also an issue. Ink-clogging and other issues demand frequent cleaning and replacement of ink cartridges. Though cleaning is an automatic process, it still causes wastage of ink. Replacement/ refilling cartridges is also a time-consuming process. That can put a strain on your budget.
- Sometimes, ink bleeding causes smudges on the printed documents.
- Since they are designed for low-capacity printing, some entry-level printers are equipped with low-capacity trays that can support hardly 50-100 sheets. If you need to print a lot of documents, this limitation would cause you a lot of irritation and headache.
Laser Printers use a beam of light to create images on a paper sheet. They provide some distinct advantages as compared to Ink-jet printers which are discussed below:
Advantages of Laser Printers:
- Their performance is matchless. Laser Printers have been designed for catering to the needs of a large volume of printing. They are able to print multiple pages without any kind of hiccups like jams or other problems.
- Quick speed is another advantage. Even the entry-level laser printers having the slowest speed can print 20 sheets per minute which is significantly higher than those of ink-jet printers.
- Laser printers are exceptionally good at printing texts and occasional graphics. Even the small font size and finer lines can be printed on the sheet in a much sharper manner. This is because they use laser technology that makes sure that toner fuses onto paper perfectly.
- They are reliable, durable, and last for years. Toner cartridges don’t face problems like drying out of inks and evaporation. Generally, toners can print 15000 to 60,000 pages.
- The is no issue like smears and smudges on the papers with laser printers.
- In the longer runs, laser printers can print documents at a cheaper run. Though they have a steep upfront cost, freedom from refilling/replacing cartridges and larger printing capacity of toners make them cheaper in the long run.
Disadvantages of Laser Printers
- They have a higher installation price. Laser printers are almost 3 times more expensive than ink-jet printers
- Laser printers are not good for printing high-resolution photos, though they can print simple photos.
- IThey are bulkier and heavy as compared to ink-jet printers which makes them less portable.
- They require specially-built papers which adds to the cost of the overall printing operation.
Multi-Function Printers or All-in-One printers have been designed to meet the printing, faxing, scanning, and photocopying requirements simultaneously. They are good for home or small offices and small enough to fit on the desktop.
Laser Printers Vs Ink-Jet Printers: Which One Is Better
As it has already earlier been discussed that both laser and ink-jet printers possess drawbacks as well as benefits. As a thumb rule, if you require printers for occasional printing in small quantities, you go for Ink-Jet but for printing a large volume of documents on a regular basis, Laser printers would be a better choice.
Some Words about Morgan Ingland Ltd.
We offer a whole range of printers- Multi-Functional, Ink-jet, Laser, and 3D printers- along with scanners and their supplies at the most competitive rate in the market. On top of that, you need solution designs for meeting your printing requirement, our experienced solution architects and product experts are all-time ready to assist you to find the most appropriate printers that best fit your need. Feel free to contact us.
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