A few years ago, home offices weren’t all that common. Many people had them, but most workers still worked in a traditional office space. With the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, many office workers transitioned to work-from-home areas. Often, this was a temporary setup designed to get by. But now, with the pandemic persisting two years later, those setups have become a more permanent situation, and it’s vital to have the right equipment so you can continue to do your job correctly. Keep reading to learn how to find the best office printer copier in Fairbanks, AK, for your home office space.
Inkjet versus Laser Printers
One of the first decisions you’ll need to make when selecting a printer is whether you want an inkjet or laser printer. These two types of printers each have their pros and cons, and the right one for your office will depend on how you intend to use your printer. But before we get into those details, let’s talk a little bit about how these two different printers work.
How Inkjets Work
Inkjet printers print documents and images by spraying tiny droplets of ink on the paper as it passes through the printer. Most inkjet printers use ink cartridges, each fitted with a printhead that can separate the ink into near-microscopic droplets. The number of ink cartridges in inkjet printers can vary depending on the printer you get.
The cheapest inkjet printers usually only have two cartridges—black, containing cyan, magenta, and yellow ink. Higher-quality office printers will have four cartridges for black and separate cartridges for cyan, magenta, and yellow, rather than combining them into one cartridge.
How Laser Printers Work
While the operation of an inkjet printer is relatively easy to understand, laser printers are a bit more complex. Lasers inside the printer create static electricity on a rolling drum. This static attracts toner (the powder form of ink), then melts that toner onto the paper. Toner cartridges for laser printers are similar to ink cartridges for inkjet printers in their color selections; the colors inside are never in liquid form.
Price is always a significant consideration when choosing office equipment (especially for a home office). There’s a huge variety for both of these printer types regarding price, features, and capabilities. Generally speaking, a laser printer will be more expensive than an inkjet printer, and their toner cartridges will also be more expensive than ink cartridges. However, it’s worth noting that toner tends to last a lot longer, so over time, you’ll likely end up spending less on toner than you would on ink cartridges for an inkjet printer.
How Are You Using the Printer?
Now, let’s talk about how you’ll be using your home office printer, as this will be a significant consideration when deciding between inkjet and laser printers. If you’re primarily printing black-and-white documents like contracts, spreadsheets, and transcriptions, a laser printer will likely be the better choice for you. Text printing quality is more precise than inkjet printers (especially if you’re shopping on the lower end of the price spectrum), so you can get extremely clear, crisp documents from your printer. You can also get them printed more quickly, as laser printers tend to be faster than inkjets.
On the other hand, if you’re printing many full-color documents, an inkjet printer is the better choice. Inkjets far outperform laser printers when it comes to creating color images. So, if you design brochures or full-color pamphlets or otherwise rely on printing out color images, you’ll want something that can provide a quality print—and that means getting an inkjet printer.
Once you choose which type of printer you want, it’s time to start looking at the more minor details to help you pick a specific model. As we already mentioned, there is a vast spectrum of options for both printer types, from simple models that cost less than $100 to multifunction machines that can cost thousands. Most home offices will need a simpler model, but it’s still important to consider all the functionalities a printer could provide that would be beneficial to you.
At the very least, most work-from-home employees will want a printer that can also copy and scan documents. This way, you can quickly digitize any hard copies you receive of a file so that they can be shared with your coworkers in other locations. While it’s true that a smartphone camera can take a picture of a document that you can upload, the quality of the image will be far lower than a proper scan and PDF upload on a scanner.
Paper size is also a consideration for some workers. If you handle legal-size paper (which measures 8.5 x 14 inches, as opposed to the standard 8.5 x 11 inches), you’ll want a printer that can handle this paper size. If you assemble a lot of packets, you might consider a machine that can staple or hole-punch the papers as they’re printed so that you can get these tasks done more quickly.
Remember Wireless Connectivity
Finally, make sure you’re choosing a printer that offers wireless connectivity. Most employees who work from home must be flexible and often share their workspace with other family members. Sometimes, you might choose to undock your laptop and take it into another room. You’ll still want to have the capability to print documents, regardless of where in your home you’re working from, and wireless connectivity enables that.
We hope these considerations make it easier to buy a copier in Fairbanks, AK, that fits your home office needs. If you have any further questions about finding the best machine for your workspace, contact Arctic Office Products today.