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When Should You Get a Laser Copier?

The laser copier is becoming the office standard, so you may be wondering if it's time for your office to invest in one. These copiers have many advantages, but other types are still a good choice for particular applications. Which one you need depends on how many copies you make, what you do with the copies, how you generate your text and images, and what machines you already have. The best copiers for your business combine low cost with the performance matched to your application.

Laser machines are comparatively inexpensive to operate but cost more than other copier types. Black-and-white copiers are the most economical choice for large volumes of high-quality copies, but if you have special needs, other options may be more effective for you. Color ink-jet copiers are inexpensive to buy and deliver the highest-quality color prints, but the ink is very costly. If you already have a photocopier operating with the traditional technology, you can avoid the cost of a new copier as long as you don't run high copy volumes and can accept the lower copy quality.

Which Copier Is Best for My Business?

The laser machine scans the document into memory and then prints it out from there. You can connect it to your computer network and use it as a printer and scanner, integrating your handling of paper documents with digital documentation. While an ink-jet copier can fulfill this function as well, a traditional copier is only able to handle paper copies and can't interface with your digital documentation systems.

While the slow speed and high cost of special paper and ink make ink-jet copiers unsuitable for general use in most offices, they can deliver better-quality color images than laser machines. If you need true photo quality for small volumes of promotional material, handouts for presentations, or graphics for bid documents, ink-jet copiers can deliver impressive copies in small quantities. Because they are inexpensive to buy, you can provide for such special needs by getting a laser copier for general office use but keep an ink-jet printer for when you need photographic output.

Because the laser machine prints from memory, it can deliver high copy speed. Laser-machine price depends partly on its printing speed but, if you often make large numbers of copies, the extra cost can increase the efficiency of your office substantially. In addition to printing speed, the time taken to make the first copy is important if you make single copies or small batches frequently.

For most office applications, the increased copy performance of a laser copier will help improve office efficiency. For special applications or particular needs, there is room for keeping a traditional photocopier in operation or getting a high-quality ink-jet copier. Sometimes a combination of copiers matches your needs most closely.

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