Printers, at first look, appear to be quite simple office appliances. You hit the “print button” and a few minutes later paper comes out. At the most basic level, sure, this is how a printer works.
However, if you look beyond these basic needs you’ll find that there are dozens (probably over a hundred) different types of printer configurations each, from a dozen different printer vendors. When looking at what printer is best for you, consider these tips, courtesy of Lexmark:
- Purchase technology built for the long haul: find a printer with a solid warranty. Long-term ownership lowers the overall cost and maintenance of the device.
- Duplexing: two-sided printing to save on paper supplies – look for a printer that does this automatically.
- Go Wireless: explore wireless printers so all users can share one centrally located device. This not only decreases the number of devices but also uses less cords and gives users the flexibility to work anywhere within their network.
- Consolidate devices: if you’re truly looking to “print smarter” don’t acquire or maintain a device that only prints. Instead, look to purchase All-in-One (AIO) technology, designed to print, scan, copy and fax. Consolidating your devices not only means you have fewer supplies to buy, but also that less energy and materials were used to produce the product in the first place!
- Print smarter: looking for coupons online? Don’t just print straight from the Web. First, download a free toolbar to format Web pages before you print, set settings to delete Web ads, change a colorful coupon to black and white, and print only the exact text you want from each page.
- Recycle used printer cartridges: go through your vendor or local store and find a reward program that ensures you’re receiving a free cartridge for every few you return for recycling.
- Use less, get more: it’s no surprise that you need ink to print. But did you know that using high-yield cartridges, that come with twice as much ink, reduces the total number of cartridges that need to be made (and later disposed of) each year? Look for ISO (International Standards Organization) yields provided by vendors for an apples-to-apples comparison on print cartridge yields.
- Get Unplugged: have you heard that the energy usage for one year of printing equates to 194 hours of watching TV, or 1,180 hours of laptop usage? Even more shocking – 90% of total energy usage results when your printer is in a passive “energy saving” mode. Next time you’re not using your printer, don’t just put it to “sleep,” turn it off and pull the plug.
- Hold the color: printing in black ink-only to save color ink and avoid having to refill the more costly color cartridges
- Print less, save more: archive your documents using scan to email, instead of printing. This will save on supplies and is great for the environment.