by Paul Sanders
When it comes to printing in high volumes, laser printers are about as good as it gets. Which laser printer you choose will depend on the quality of prints you want, whether you print in color and how fast you need to produce materials. Here are a few tips on choosing laser printers that will fit the needs of your home or office.
Duty cycle: The duty cycle describes how long the laser printer can be used without overheating or being damaged. With laser printers, the duty cycle is usually calculated in pages per month. If you know you'll be printing more than that many pages in a month, you may need more than one laser printer or a printer with a higher duty cycle.
Power consumption: Printers and scanners make up a significant portion of electricity costs for businesses. Look for power consumption statistics for the laser printers you're considering. Power consumption will be different for operational and sleep modes. By comparing these numbers between laser printers, you can choose more energy-efficient printers that will save electricity and money.
Print speed: Laser printers rate their printing speed in pagers per minute (ppm). If you're printing large documents with lots of pages, print speed becomes more important. But if you're only printing a couple of pages at a time, you may not notice a difference in printer speed.
Print resolution: Laser printers have a maximum print resolution, measured in dots per inch (dpi). The resolution won't affect the appearance of text documents noticeably, but it will affect photos, images and graphics that your printer produces. Photographers will be happy with 1,200 dpi, but regular business documents will look fine at 300 dpi.
Color printing: A color laser printer uses multiple toner colors to produce color image, whereas a monochrome laser printer produces simple black and white images with just one color toner. As with inkjet printers, printing in color will cost more per page. But a printer with a high print resolution can produce some stunning images. Again, the thing to watch for here is the dpi.