Printer technology has somewhat been playing catch up with itself over the last 20 years. There were originally 3 types of output device: dot matrix (noisy), inkjet (very smudgy) and laser (expensive). Since then, the smidges have disappeared from inkjet and the prices have dropped for laser, so making the decision of which printer to use for your home office is much more difficult. There’s still a wide choice of options for you, but instead, the questions that need to be answered are slightly different. How reliable do you need it to be, what does it need to do, and where do you need to print from?
The question of reliability is often closely tied to the cost of the original printer. You can spend under £35 on a basic off the shelf unit, but it’s unlikely to have been developed with a heavy workload in mind. Do you need to print multiple sets of minutes and documents for a committee, regularly, or loads of photos? Or maybe you need to print out large documents for clients? Often we find that the cheaper options simply aren’t up to it. They will start to struggle to print in high enough quality, the parts will wear out very quickly and you will probably end up spending a small fortune on inks for it as well. But a compact, space saving home printing unit that has been designed for business use will be able to cope with everything your home office can throw it at without breaking a sweat. The warranties for these machines are often very long, and if you take out one of our servicing and repair contracts you never have to worry about looking after it either.
A costly area of business that you might not have thought of is shoddy printing quality. This isn’t likely to cost you in money terms (though it will if you have to constantly reprint things), but more I reputational damage. If you are putting documents in front of clients, you need to make sure that the quality is as high as possible. For example, if you are printing large photos or image heavy documents, you will probably want to opt for an inkjet printer, as the quality will be higher than laser printers. For high volumes of text heavy documents, laser printers give the best quality with crisp, quick drying print every time. If you are using the wrong type of printer to produce your documents, or your printer just isn’t up to the job, your printed material will look shoddy and business reputation could suffer.
Connectivity isn’t just about how your PC connects to the printer (though that is a fairly basic requirement), it’s also about how everything else connects, and for this, you need to think about how you are using your printer. Do you need to print from your tablet or mobile? Do you scan a lot of documents that need to be stored digitally? Might you need to print something t your home printer while you’re out and about? Choosing the right printer can make all of these things possible – and more. For example, to save you some admin time, you can program your printers scanner to scan files direct to your Dropbox, OneDrive or other cloud storage solution. So no more moving files about and things getting lost, and one less step for you too. If you prefer, we can also set it up to scan directly to email, scan to print, direct copy or many, many more options.
One of the big downsides of working from a home office is that you are unlikely to have your own IT department on hand. So when something goes wrong, who do you call? Your best friend, or your brother in law who knows a bit about computers? Odds are they won’t be able to fix your issue – you need an expert in printers. At Archway, we live and breathe printers, scanners, ink and toners (that last part is very bad for your lungs), so we will be able to diagnose and sometimes even fix your printer problems with a simple phone call. If we can’t, we will send one of our printer superheroes over to your home to fix it in a jiffy.
Our team are friendly, approachable and very good at what they do, so when you order a new printer we can deliver, set up and train you on how to use your printer properly as well, all in the time it takes to boil the kettle. And if you’ve taken out one of our service plans, all of your ongoing maintenance, inks or toners are completely covered. Now that’s a load off! To find out more about how Archway can revolutionise your home office, or to experience it for yourself, all you need to do is get in touch with us today.