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User Guide — How to Choose a Business Copy Machine

User Guide — How to Choose a Business Copy Machine

Posted by BK on 5th Aug 2019

A few years back, printers and copiers  were two distinct pieces of office equipment, each with its own purpose. Today, the lines have blurred thanks to high speed office networks and multifunctional, digital designs. Modern all-in-one business copy machines can copy, scan, and fax as well as print. Some can even connect to the cloud, upload and download documents, and send emails. Advanced features include wireless connectivity, biometrics, account codes, duplex (two-sided) printing, collating, stapling, and three-hole punching. In addition,  full color copiers have arrived boasting robust features and producing high resolution, full color documents. Some have additional advantages such as energy savings, high capacity paper trays, or high yield ink or toner cartridges. Depending on your needs and budget, business copiers can be purchased outright or leased.

While multifunction printer / copiers allow a single machine to serve multiple functions, the sheer number of models and options available make choosing a copy machine for your business a challenging task. This guide breaks it down for you, helping you to find the right copier for your business and budget.

Choosing Between Monochrome and Color Copiers

Where to start? The first choice is to decide between a monochrome or color copier.

  • Monochrome copiers — Typically laser-based, monochrome business copiers produce black text and graphics.
  • Color copiers — Color copiers can be either laser- or inkjet-based. Because they use multiple colors of toner or ink, they tend to have higher costs than their monochrome counterparts. However, they produce full color documents which could be desirable depending on your intended uses.
  • Consider how you will be using the printer / copier in your business. If you simply need to print and copy documents such as memos, correspondence, and invoices, a monochrome printer should be fine. On the other hand, if you will be using it for reports, sales materials, instructional materials, transparencies, labels, newsletters, and flyers, the ability to produce color documents could be desirable.

    Choosing the Appropriate Classification of Your Printer / Copier

    Printers and copiers are built for different scenarios, making it important to understand what category of printer you should be looking at. For example, someone working out of a home office will have dramatically different needs than a team working out of a large corporate office.

  • Small business copiers — Ideal for home offices and smaller businesses, these multifunction printers tend to be more compact and suitable for the desktop. Their small size saves space. These printer / copiers tend to be the least expensive of the bunch, though many perform multiple functions. Those at the low-end of the price spectrum tend to have fewer features and potentially higher ink and toner costs. It’s worth stepping up to a small business printer / copier that will best suit your needs, which will generally put you in the $300 to $700 price range.

  • Office or work group copiers — If your small business has multiple employees, a networked office copier / printer is a great choice. These multifunction printer / copiers tend to be larger than small business copiers, though some are suitable for a tabletop. They tend to have more features than small business copiers including document feeders, multiple paper trays, or even wide format printing. Because they are intended to be shared across the network, most include Ethernet or wireless connections. Depending on the size of your office, you may want to consider models that accept high yield ink or toner cartridges as the machine won’t run out of ink or toner as often. This will also likely result in lower ink and toner costs over time.

  • High Volume / Enterprise copiers — The larger the office, the more demands that will be placed upon your printer copier. These machines get a lot of use. Thus, they must be faster and more efficient. They tend to be freestanding with multiple paper trays. Since they will be used across the office and usage will vary, desirable features include: network connections, fast print speeds, duplex printing, cloud features, document feeders, staplers, security features, high capacity paper trays, high yield inks and toners, and account codes.
  • Choosing the Right Features

    No matter which classification of printer you’re looking for, you’ll need to select from a wide range of features, most of which are available in small business, work group and enterprise machines. Features to consider include:

  • Ink versus Toner — Laser printers are known for their speed, crisp imaging, and economy for high volume printing while inkjet printers are generally thought of as being great for color but slower and with higher consumable costs. If color is an absolute must, keep in mind that color laser printers are available, so it’s not necessarily a deciding factor. The speed gap between laser and inkjet printers is closing thanks to printhead innovations, and ink costs can be more manageable than in the past thanks to higher yield ink cartridges and new ink systems.

  • Print Speed and Volume — How many pages per minute (PPM) does the printer / copier you are considering produce? The higher number of pages per minute, the faster it is. While speed is desirable, it is closely related to volume. For example, if you only print a handful of documents each day, speed is less important than if you print hundreds or thousands of pages each day. In a shared environment, print speed is especially important in avoiding backlogs.

  • Print Resolution — Print resolution is expressed as dots per inch (DPI) with lower DPI being lower quality than higher DPI. Entry-level office printer-copiers typically start at about 600 dpi which is sufficient for basic documents. The highest quality printers have DPIs as high as 4800dpi.

  • Paper Capacity and Paper Size — For high volume printing and copying, you’ll want to pay attention to paper capacity. The more paper that the copier can hold, the less often you’ll have to reload it. In addition, most printers and copiers can handle letter (8.5” x 11”) and legal (8.5” x 14”) paper sizes. Wide format printers are available. If you need to print larger documents, this will be a consideration.

  • Duplex Printing — The ability to print on both sides of the page is called duplex printing. This feature can cut your paper costs in half and is desirable if you print a lot of long format documents such as policy manuals and reports.

  • Document Feeders — Multifunction printers are able to scan documents, but not all of them include a document feeder which is useful for scanning multi-page documents. If you anticipate scanning multi-page documents, a document feeder will save you a lot of time.

  • Collators, Staplers and Hole Punches — Being able to collate, staple, and three-hole punch documents is another great productivity feature for busy offices.

  • Memory and Storage — Printers and copiers typically include anywhere from 256 megabytes to 1.5 or 2 gigabytes of RAM for storing documents and scans. Some include internal hard drives for even more storage.
  • Buying or Leasing a Printer / Copier

    Depending on the type and cost of the printer, you may need to choose between buying or leasing it. Both have their advantages and disadvantages. Buying a printer outright can bring peace of mind knowing that it’s paid for while leasing can spread the cost over time, making a larger investment easier to manage. There may be tax advantages to leasing as well. In both cases, DuraFast Label Company can help.

    Epson Multifunction Business Printers and Copiers Available from DuraFast Label Company

    DuraFast Label Company carries  Epson photocopiers and office printers for all scenarios ranging from home and small offices to networked office and enterprise environments. We also sell mobile printers for working on the go.

    Epson is known for manufacturing high quality printers and copiers. Its inkjet technologies are highly regarded and cost effective thanks to innovations such as EcoTank and Replaceable Ink Pack System that make ink much more affordable. EcoTank eliminates the need for ink cartridges altogether by storing up to two years’ worth of ink in refillable on-board ink tanks. Epson’s Replaceable Ink Pack System uses large high yield ink packs rather than ink cartridges. The largest of these ink packs has a page yield of up to 80,000 pages.

    If you’re in the market for a new office copier, Epson’s multifunction printer-copiers are an excellent choice for small business, work groups, and enterprise organizations. High resolution, full color imaging and Epson reliability are just the beginning. Innovative printhead technology and new ink storage and replacement systems make inkjet printing faster and more affordable than ever. Depending on your preferences, models are available with the features you want such as duplex printing, document feeders, staplers, three-hole punches, wide formats, high capacity paper trays, and more. Document finishing and bridge units are also available for select models.

    DuraFast Label Company has a long relationship with Epson. We know these products inside and out and are committed to helping you select the best copier for your business. Visit to learn more.