I need a printer for a growing small business, since our current printer has broken. We have no printer, so we need one quickly. Here are some specs: I need to be able to print 1 black document in under 6 seconds, and one 3 x 4 inch photo in under 6 seconds. We print about 200 papers a day, so it has to be able to do 7500 a month. THIS PRINTER HAS TO BE A LASER PRINTER! This is an absolute must. The printer needs to print, scan, copy, but not fax, or web. (If it does, it doesn't matter.) Printing a lot of documents and small photos, we need for the ink / toner to be cheap, or print A LOT of documents before running out. The printer has to scan over the network, or wifi. The printer has to be wireless, since multiple computers will be printing from it. Also, it would be good if this printer didn't crash at all, or have connection problems/ jams since if the printer is down for one day, our business turns for the worse. If you can answer this then thank you SO MUCH! Your help is greatly appreciated!
Now where do we start because you're now entering a minefield but I'm sure I can guide you through :-)
Firstly, you're looking for a laser printer to print 3x4 inch (or 101x76mm) photos? Are you aware that inkjet printers are designed for printing really high quality photo prints and although many laser printers will give you great output, they're more on par with a magazine quality print? Many inkjet manufacturers quote a print speed for 3x4 photos but laser machines always quote pages per minute (ppm) and first page out times (fpot). If you do decide to print you 3x4 photos on a laser then please make sure to stay clear of inkjet only photo media because that's going to make a mess of the heating element (fuser) inside the machine.
We now have another obstacle and that's Wi-Fi. In general you’ll find this built-in on machines designed to go into a home or small office environment. There are a few exceptions but making this a prerequisite means that you’re seriously limiting your options. If you can plug the machine into your network via an Ethernet cable, all your Wi-Fi laptops, etc will be able to print wirelessly. However, if you need the machine to connect to your network wirelessly because it’s too far away from any network points there are a couple of cheap solutions (sub £50ex VAT) that will allow a network printer to connect wirelessly to your network. Again, please get in touch for details but for now I’m going to exclude Wi-Fi.
The final stumbling block is the cost per page. The rule of thumb is the more expensive printers are cheaper to run. Now in general manufacturers have a wide range from low to high end but when they convert one or more of their printers into an MFP in general they only chose their low and mid range. Therefore getting the very lowest cost per page isn’t always possible on an MFP. I hope that makes sense.
So one alternative is to opt for a dedicated laser printer and a cheap (possibly inkjet) MFP for your scanning and copying. Please get back in touch if you’d like me to recommend something based on this setup instead. However, for now let’s find you a machine that closely matches the requirements you’ve stated...
Ricoh SPC-242SF – http://www.printers-uk.com/Store/Printers-UK-DII-26025-...
This machine has REALLY good running costs and you’ll be hard pushed to find something within its price range, which gets anywhere near. That's this machine's really big selling point (although it's actually quite a good all-in-one too).
Samsung CLX-6250FX - http://www.printers-uk.com/Store/Printers-UK-DII-7824-c...
This machine has had a big price drop and has almost as good running costs as the Ricoh. It also has duplex (2-sided) copy and as a special treat if you buy it before the end of June 2012 it even comes with a free 5 year onsite warranty (Samsung have finally gone mad)!
OKI MC561DN – http://www.printers-uk.com/Store/Printers-UK-DII-7855-m...
This model is actually going end of life (the MC562DN is the replacement) so it has a lower price that the new machine and you can also claim an additional £50 cashback before the end of June 2012. This model has a free 3 year onsite warranty as well. Again, you can duplex copy and what is also good is the QWERTY keyboard for easily typing in email addresses if you do a lot of direct scan to email. However, this has a higher running cost than the two other machines.
So there you have it in a nutshell (sort of).
If you have other questions or would like to go down a different path and therefore need further advice just reply to this thread and I’d be only too happy to help.