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How to Choose the Best HP Printer for Your Small Business
June 22, 2018
Choosing the best HP printer for your small business doesn’t need to be confusing, emotionally taxing, or even time consuming. A little logic and some evaluation of your current and upcoming printing habits will help you choose the best printer for your business.
The key to making a decision is to first assess your needs. What do you currently need from a printer? Do you expect those needs to change and grow? Once you answer these two questions, finding that perfect HP printer becomes much easier.
You should also consider the following when choosing a small business printer:
- What features do you need?
- How much do you want to spend?
- How much printing will you be doing?
- What kind of printing will you be doing?
Keep in mind whether you want your printer to take on additional roles, such as photocopying, faxing, and scanning. Business printers that perform those tasks are known as multifunction printers (MFP) or all-in-one printers, and you’ll find that most modern printers fall into this category.
Types of small business printers to consider
We know that one size never fits all, and printers are no different. Here are the categories of printers that you’ll be choosing from, along with the reasons why each category of printer may be best for your business.
If being cost-conscious is a big factor in choosing a small business printer, then it’s difficult to beat a high-quality inkjet printer.
Inkjet printers are versatile since they can do a little bit of everything. Need a splash of color? No problem. Need to print a few professional-looking documents? Of course. But it can get a bit tricky when your needs grow.
Installing and using inkjet printers is quite intuitive, as is replacing the ink cartridges. And while those printer ink cartridges aren’t nearly as expensive as laser toner cartridges, you’ll run out much more quickly, so don’t expect a high page yield.
If space is a concern and you’re looking for something more compact, an inkjet printer can easily work its way into tight spaces. And as for the cost, both the inkjet printer and the ink are less expensive compared to laser printers and toner.
Inkjet printers can be slow, though, so keep that in mind if printing speed is a big concern.
Inkjet printers at a glance:
- Low startup costs
- Slower than LaserJet
- Great for low-volume printing
- Lower print quality than LaserJet
- Ink is inexpensive and easy to replace
It used to be that laser printers were a lot more expensive than their inkjet counterparts, but that trend is quickly changing.
Laser printers come in many varieties, and there will no doubt be at least one that’s best suited for your small business. While most businesses can get by with black and white printing, you’ll easily find printers that can handle full-color and high-volume jobs.
If you do a lot of printing, then speed is definitely an issue. When it comes to pages per minute (PPM), laser printers are much faster than inkjet printers. Also, laser printers use toners that are made of a fine powder, and not ink, so there’s no risk of freshly printed documents smudging.
However, your costs may be higher with laser printers. The devices themselves cost more because they use more sophisticated technology, and toner cartridges cost more than ink cartridges.
And while ink cartridges can be refilled, toner cartridges cannot, so there is some extra cost-saving with inkjet printers here. On the other hand, laser printers print more non-graphic heavy sheets per toner cartridge.
When comparing prices, you must consider what types of documents you’ll be printing (graphic-heavy or not), how often you’ll be printing (ink cartridges can dry out, but toner does not), and how much printing you’ll do each session.
Laser printers at a glance:
- Sharp document print quality
- Great for high-volume printing
- Use laser toner, which is higher cost
- Require more space due to larger size
- Not the best option for graphics and images
Also known as all-in-one printers, multifunction (MFP) printers can handle printing, scanning, copying, and faxing. They also come in either inkjet or LaserJet, and can include a multitude of features.
If your small business is growing, or if your printing needs are varied and extensive, the features you’ll get from a multifunction printer may be worth the higher cost by providing document handling solutions for virtually any situation.
Some of the more common features include double-sided printing, accommodating different paper sizes and card stocks, scanning to the cloud, and printing wirelessly from your smartphone or office computer network.
Most multifunction printers are bigger, more powerful, and more expensive than standard inkjet or laser printers. This means that properly assessing your business’ needs will be especially critical in determining if you require this type of printer.
Multifunction printers at a glance:
- Many more printing options
- Both inkjet and LaserJet models
- Numerous features to choose from
- Save money and space by using a single device
- All-in-one capabilities - print, copy, fax, and scan
If you plan on printing a lot of documents, you’ll want to look at a multifunction LaserJet printer. If you anticipate printing more graphics, an inkjet printer is probably the way to go. Beyond that, it’s about finding the printer with the right features at the right price.
1. HP LaserJet Pro M501dn printer
Best all-in-one printer for small businesses
The HP OfficeJet Pro 8740 All-in-One printer is easy to set up, and works great right out of the box. There is a noticeable speed improvement over the HP 8600 OfficeJet series of printers, and the size was reduced to make it fit more easily into challenging spots.
As an all-in-one, the HP OfficeJet Pro 8740 can handle copying, scanning, and faxing in addition to printing. And with print speeds of 24 pages per minute (PPM) for black ink and 20 pages per minute (PPM) for color ink, you won’t be waiting much longer than you would with a LaserJet printer.
The HP OfficeJet Pro 8740 offers affordable, professional color printing at about 50% less than what you would spend with a laser printer. It can also perform double-sided scanning and fast two-sided printing, is mobile and USB-compatible, and has a paper tray that can extend from 250 to 500 sheets.
When compared to similarly priced options, the HP OfficeJet Pro 8740 is easily one of the best all-in-one printers for small businesses.
2. HP OfficeJet 250 Mobile All-in-One printer
Best mobile all-in-one printer for small business
This mobile printer is perfect for on-the-go professionals, business travelers, or telecommuters. Put it in your car, your backpack, or your luggage - wherever you need it.
And when it’s time to print, copy, scan, or fax, simply connect it to your laptop, tablet, or mobile device, and you’re ready to go.
For a mobile solution, the HP OfficeJet 250 Mobile All-in-One printer enjoys speeds of 10 pages per minute (PPM) for black ink and 7 pages per minute (PPM) for color ink. It gets the highest ink cartridge page yield in its class, and its long battery life will ensure you don’t run out of juice at an inopportune time. And with HP Fast Charge, you can fully charge the HP OfficeJet 250 in only 90 minutes.
Establishing a good connection is easy because of the HP OfficeJet 250’s Bluetooth® Smart technology and Wi-Fi Direct®. Set up is also quick and straightforward when you use HP Auto Wireless Connect.
3. HP LaserJet Pro M501dn printer
Best HP LaserJet printer for small business
The HP LaserJet Pro M501dn does only one thing, but it does it really well, which makes it the best HP color laser printer for small businesses. This printer boasts speeds up to 65 pages per minute (PPM) on A5 paper while producing sharper print quality with bold blacks, crisp graphics, and clear text.
In addition to its impressive speed and performance, the energy-saving HP LaserJet Pro printer leads its class in low energy use. It’s also compact enough for smaller spaces and quiet enough to almost go unnoticed.
The HP LaserJet M501 starts up quickly, going from sleep mode to printing a single document in just 7.3 seconds. It has a 1,200-sheet maximum capacity that, when used in conjunction with Original HP Toner cartridges and HP JetIntelligence, will produce a very generous page yield.
4. HP PageWide Pro 477dw Multifunction (MFP) printer
Best wide HP printer for small business
The HP PageWide Pro 477dw Multifunction printer isn’t an inkjet, and it’s not a LaserJet, either.
HP PageWide Pro printers land somewhere in between, in that space occupied by the best combination of the two when it comes to price, quality, and printing speed. It certainly deserves consideration for the best HP color printer for small businesses.
As a multifunction printer, you have the option to print, copy, scan, or fax. You also have the option to connect to it via Ethernet, wireless internet, USB, email, or through the cloud.
And when it comes to printing speeds, the HP PageWide Pro 477dw is nearly unmatched, with speeds topping out at 55 pages per minute (PPM).
The color printing quality is professional quality, but it also provides up to 40 percent lower costs per page compared to the competition. And if you use Original HP PageWide high-yield cartridges, you’ll spend more time printing, and less time maintaining ink levels.
This HP printer is great for a mid-sized business or smaller businesses that are experiencing growth. It’s affordable and versatile enough to handle a variety of tasks and a large workload.
Choosing the best HP printer for small business
Confusion over a task like buying a new small business printer can cost you time and money.
Buying the right printer is a decision that must be made based on your specific business needs, such as:
- Do you need a color printer, or will black and white suffice?
- Will printed documents be for internal use, or will they be seen by customers and clients?
- Do you anticipate printing many thousands of pages per month, or just a few hundred pages?
- Do you only need a basic printer, or could you benefit from an all-in-one that does everything?
When you can answer these questions, you’ll be ready to make an informed printer-buying decision, and HP® will be here to provide the best printer for your small business.
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About the Author: Dan Marzullo is a contributing writer for HP® Tech Takes. Dan produces strategic marketing content for startups, digital agencies, and established brands. His work can be found in Forbes, Entrepreneur Magazine, YFS Magazine, and many other media outlets.