Buying A Printer

The quality of your printed marketing materials can make a big difference in their effectiveness, so it’s important to know how to pick out a good printer!  Nathan and I just purchased on for Natril Gear, and I learned some handy tips.  🙂

Nathan and I just bought a new printer for Natril Gear.

Our home printer wasn’t quite up to snuff to handle all the print jobs we needed for Natril Gear (flyers, tri-folds, and other print-outs), and getting things printed at a store is SUPER expensive. I’m talking around $1.00 PER SHEET for double-sided color printing! If you want to make a few hundred copies (and we did because we hoped to pass these out to a few hundred people at that particular event), it ends up costing a few HUNDRED dollars! Ah!

So we started looking into getting our own printer. Nathan found a GREAT one, and we got it! We purchased a Dell 2155CDN MFP Color Laser Printer/Scanner/Copier/Fax USB2.0 600X600 256MB 24PPM, and it just came in the mail!

What all that mumbo-jumbo after the name means, I’m not really sure (Nathan knows!), but I know one thing – this printer rocks!!

It came WITH toner and cost $451.84 after shipping. (We found them for over $600 at other stores – so here’s proof that it pays to shop around!)  We’re sure this printer won’t take very long to pay for itself considering 1) the cost of making copies at copy shops, and 2) the ease with which we can print double-sided means we’ll probably be printing EVERYTHING double-sided now which will save on paper costs, too.

Here are a few things we learned about our printing needs that helped inform our purchase of this printer that I think could be helpful to you as well:

1. PPM – this means Pages Per Minute, and will make a big difference if you’re planning on printing a lot (100+) at one time. All printers should tell you the PPM. Our old printer did 5 PPM I think, but our new printer does 24 PPM.

2. Single- or Double-Sided Printing – Our new printer does double-sided printing. This feature alone increased the cost of the printer by about $75 or $80, I think. At first, I didn’t think it was worth it, but then Nathan reminded me that we want to make thousands of copies over time on this printer. When you do the math, it’s only pennies more per page, plus now you don’t have to babysit your printer for all of your print jobs, AND you can print everything else out double-sided too and save paper.

3. Print Resolution, or DPI – DPI means Dots Per Inch, and this effects how “sharp” your pictures look. The higher the DPI, the more detail you can include in a picture, the lower DPI, the less detail. Our printer is 600 DPI, and, if I remember correctly from back when I worked for a magazine, 600 DPI is the resolution we required for professional photos in our magazine.

4. Fax/Copier/Scanner/Printer All-In-One Feature – Our printer comes with a fax, copier and scanner. We had these on our old printer as well, and they were really handy features. Especially with a business, it’s great for making/scanning copies of signed documents, things you need to fill out and mail in, etc. I’ve never used the faxing feature, but I think it will be more relevant now that we have a business.

5. Laser Vs Ink Jet Printers – Nathan and I use laser printers instead of ink jet printers. Laser printers seem to be a bigger up-front investment and their toner is also more expensive than ink, but over the long haul, they are cheaper to use per-page. Many of the printers in professional print shops are laser printers, too, which is affirmation that lasers are more cost-effective to use while still delivering a very high-quality print job!

Let me know if you have any other questions. The quality of your printed marketing materials can make a big difference in their effectiveness, so it’s important to know how to pick out a good printer!

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