The best printers, copiers and fax machines

The quick guide to picking the best printer, copier and fax machine for your SMB

Anyone who’s ever worked in an office knows how often copiers, printers and fax machines get used. There are often lines of employees waiting to use them. Since they’re a vital part of your IT infrastructure, you probably want your SMB to have the finest available machines.

Here’s a checklist of qualities to look for when you’re seeking the best printer, copier and fax machine for your SMB.

The basics for finding the best printer, copier and fax machine

What kinds of machines?

You should first consider whether you’d like separate, specialized machines or multifunctional devices that can print, copy, scan and fax. These days, the best printers fall into the latter category.

Wireless connectivity

Whichever kind of machines you purchase, it’s helpful when they’re connected to a wireless network. That way, employees can send their documents to any printer in the building, which will cut down on bottlenecks. Indeed, with wireless printers, staff members can print materials even when they’re away from the office.

Security

Think about security, too, especially if your business handles sensitive customer data or has proprietary intellectual property. A secure printer will delete the data it receives as soon as a printing job is complete, or it will encrypt that information before storing it. It should also be easy for you to restrict access to your printing devices.

Special features and more

When it comes to fax machines, you should look for one with the special features you feel will come in handy. For instance, you might desire speed dialing or caller identification. Fax forwarding, which lets you immediately fax a document that’s just been faxed to you, can be useful as well.

Furthermore, these peripheral machines should be relatively quiet when they’re in use.

Be thorough when you’re comparing prices! Note that many of the best printers and copiers are energy-efficient, which could lead to additional savings over time.

What’s happening on the page?

Print quality

Now let’s talk about print quality. Before buying printers, copiers or fax machines, look at sample documents they’ve printed. Are the words and images sharp and clear? Or do you notice fuzziness, pixelation or colors running together?

Keep in mind that the pages you print will represent your brand to customers, job applicants and other people you want to impress.

Volume

Consider how many pages your business prints per day. Some machines print fewer than 30 pages per minute (PPM), which may suffice for your company if you only have a few workers. An average small business, however, would probably require a PPM rate of about 52.

Also, keep in mind that double-sided printing and automatic sorting and stapling functions can be highly advantageous.

Support

Finally, keep in mind that even the best printer, copier and fax machine for your SMB may suffer jams, slowdowns and other technical issues. For that reason, it’s wise to have a reliable IT firm to depend on—one that offers support around the clock and has human beings, not software programs, answering its phones.

That combination of expert technical assistance and first-rate IT machinery should help power your SMB to the next level of business excellence.