As with the rest of the Information Technology market, printers have continued to develop in sophistication over the years.
As with the rest of the Information Technology market, printers have continued to develop in sophistication over the years. With this development has come an expansion of choice when it comes to specification, which has had the result of making the choice of printers for the office a bit more complicated than it was twenty years ago. Here we look at some of the advantages of the different types of printers on offer from the big suppliers like Ryman, so that hopefully the task of choosing the right kind of machine becomes a bit more straight forward. After all, you’ve plenty of other things to occupy your attention in the office.
For the home office, wireless printers offer the kind of flexibility you may well need if using both a desktop and a laptop on a regular basis. Wireless printers have connectivity within a small radius through a wireless router, and can be shared between any computers within range of the router. This built in Wi Fi makes printing from different computers speedy and simple.
The next step up from the wireless printer is the e-printer. E-printers have their own e-mail address, meaning that connectivity can be achieved from a far greater distance than the local Wi Fi network. Basically, you have the ability to send material for print from anywhere in the world with e-mail access, and can easily connect to the printer from a variety of devices beyond dedicated desk and laptops, such as smartphones. Using the e-mail address of e-printers precludes the need to set up a wireless network between printer and device, so that any e-mail enabled machine can send information to the printer as soon as the e-mail address and access permissions for the printer are received.
In general terms, if you are looking to connect multiple computers, look for printers with an ethernet connection. USB connections work fine if you will be using just one computer to send information to a printer. However, if you want to share the printer connection between more than one machine you will need the host computer to be switched on if the printer connects through a USB port. With an ethernet connected printer, this is not necessary - all that is required is a router and the printer to be active, precluding the need to power up a host computer.
For most small businesses, it makes sense to purchase a combined printer, scanner and photocopier. Many such printers can now convert scanned data into PDF format automatically. This can be a handy feature for the speedy production and transmission, via e-mail, of documents like invoices that you don’t want anyone else to be able to edit.
See also: Guidelines for workplace monitoring