Video Buying Tip: How to Select a Low-Cost Laser Printer

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Finding the right low-cost printer can be a challenge as we enter the holiday season, especially as manufacturers offer all sorts of discounts and premiums to attract your attention and hard earned dollars.  PrinterComparison Editor Sarah Meyer offers some tips on finding and choosing a low-cost laser printer in this video report, pointing out that you should look beyond the price tag for a printer that will satisfy your output needs.

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Yes. You can definitely find a quality low-cost laser printer. What you really need to look for is what you need in a printer. So if you need a certain print speed, if you need a larger tray, if you need a front-side USB port, if you want web connectivity, wireless connectivity, you look for these features. Then you go out and you price out different manufacturers’ printers because they’re going to run different prices based on the features that they offer.

I would say, some of the things I just said are the most important features to look for. So, you’re going to think print speeds. You’re going to think whether you want black and white or color, because if you just need black and white, then you’ll save a lot of money right there. You definitely want to think about your flow.

So if you are printing a ton during the day, you’re going to want to consider a larger tray or possibly an additional tray, which a lot of manufacturers will offer for an additional cost or they have configurations. Again, you’re going to want to think about side features, like auto duplexing. You’re going to want to think about energy, cost efficiency, toner efficiency. Those kinds of things.

Well, see that’s a really good question. It really depends on what you want. You can find a mixture of any of the features I just mentioned in a low-cost printer. You just have to be willing to look for them. For instance, the Dell that we featured in our Top 5 low-cost laser list is wireless enabled, and it’s only $119. But it’s not going to offer the large tray. It’s not going to offer high print speeds. It’s not going to offer a front-side USB port or any kind of control panel. Whereas you can go for around $200 and get some of those features out of them.

(Another low-cost laser alternative is the Brother HL-5470dw, detailed in a recent review.)

That’s based on your needs. So I would suggest a laser printer to anybody that has a high print flow or volume and really only wants to print quality documents and maybe graphs, charts, that kind of thing. If you’re looking for photo print, then obviously you’re going to want to consider an Inkjet. But if you’re just looking for a low cost per page and a quality document, then the laser printer is really the way to go, because even if it has a high initial cost, over the long run it will be much more cost effective.

Want more tips on selecting the right laser or ink-jet printer?  Check out our buyer?s checklist on finding the perfect printer.

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