Making a ROI case for laser printers

by Reads (3,642)

In these difficult economic times, most companies – especially small and medium-sized businesses – are trying to reduce costs and operate more efficiently.

One area, in particular, where significant savings might be realized is in printing. And these cost savings should be considered even before purchasing a printer.

HP Resource Center

Most companies tend to purchase the least expensive printer, which in most cases is an inkjet model. Typical cost for an inkjet geared toward an office can range from $200 to $350 while pricing for laser printers, on the other hand, can range from $250 to $450. For example, the Canon Pixma iX7000 Inkjet Business Printer sells for $229 while the HP P2035N LaserJet Printer sells for $382. Both are office centric and single function in design.

Over the lifetime of the device, an inkjet printer may turn out to be a more expensive investment than a laser printer and therefore the wrong choice for a particular business, notes Stephen Baker, vice president of industry analysis for market research firm The NPD Group.


It’s all in the consumables
One reason why companies do not see the disparity between an inkjet’s initial and long term Total Cost of Ownership (TCO) is the way that printing expenses are calculated. In some cases, printer expenses have been spread out to a number of different departments. The IT group may buy the device, but the toner and paper could be under the aegis of an office manager. To get a better look at its true expenses, corporations need to consolidate these items.

If they do, they will find that the upfront purchase represents as little as 10% of the TCO with the other 90% coming from consumables, such as toner and paper. When beginning the evaluation process, a company needs to perform a comprehensive due diligence and determine how many and what types of documents it produces each month.

As mentioned, a major factor in the TCO is ink or toner with inkjets coming off as the better buy initially. Typically, pricing for inkjet cartridges can range from $10 to $50 while users would be lucky to find a single toner cartridge for $50. For instance at OfficeMax, the lexmark 70 Black Ink cartridge costs $33.99 and the lexmark 20 color cartridge sells for $45.99. In comparison, black toner for the HP LaserJet 92A is priced at $69.99 and a color cartridge, the HP Color LaserJet C9701, is available for $110.99.

The potential savings from lasers stem from their ability to work more efficiently than inkjet systems. While inkjets typically print hundred of pages before requiring new cartridges, lasers often produce thousands of pages before being replaced (exact production numbers vary depending on the models chosen). Estimates are that companies pay about $0.08 per page for black ink printing and $0.25 for color ink. In comparison, prices for laser printing range from $0.04 for black and white pages to $0.12 for color printing.

Speed is a second area where a laser printer usually has a significant advantage compared to an inkjet system. Inkjets offer speeds from about 8 to 15 pages per minute (ppm) while laser printers typically pump out 20 to 50 ppm; the HP LaserJet 9050n Mono Laser Printer can operate at 50 ppm. Depending on how much data a company generates, the higher speed means less waiting and more work by employees.


Pages: 1 2



All content posted on TechnologyGuide is granted to TechnologyGuide with electronic publishing rights in perpetuity, as all content posted on this site becomes a part of the community.