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Photocopier or multifunction printer – which is best for my office?

13/07/2017

It can be a tricky question for every office manager – which will best serve my company's needs, a photocopier or a multifunction printer? Here we look at the differences between the two and weigh up the pros and cons of each.

Buy or lease a photocopier?

There are a number of advantages to choosing a traditional photocopier. Firstly, they do not need to be connected to a computer, which can save valuable time in the office. We’ve all had to hang around waiting for the IT guy to solve our printing woes, but with a photocopier you can just plug it in and use it without connectivity issues.

Today’s photocopiers offer much greater functionality than in the past and often include features offered by a multifunction printer - for example scanning and faxing. Simple and easy to use, photocopiers are also generally more robust than printers. An important consideration is that if you need to use your machine a lot, photocopiers tend to offer greater reliability during heavy use.

One of the biggest advantages of a photocopier over a multifunction printer is the quality of the print. The more expensive copiers can produce prints that are nearly as high quality as those produced by a professional printing press. If high print quality is your key criteria for choosing a machine, then a photocopier may be the right choice.

Another benefit of a photocopier over a multifunction printer is that they offer advanced features generally not provided by a printer – for example hole punching, binding, stapling and other finishing features.  

Buy or lease a multifunction printer?

If you only need to print documents infrequently and at low volume, a multifunction printer may be preferable to a photocopier. A multifunction printer is ideal for modest use whereas a photocopier is specifically designed to be able to cope with high print demands.

An MFP is a good all round machine that can offer a variety of features in one convenient package. Regular scanning, copying, faxing, and printing can all be done on the machine and whilst the running costs of an MFP tend to be higher in the longer term, you can usually purchase one at a much lower upfront cost than that of a photocopier.

Cost and multifunctionality do of course mean that quality is to a certain extent compromised – the print quality of a dedicated copier is almost always going to be superior to a multifunction printer and many MFPs offer relatively low scanning resolution. If you need high resolution then you will need to examine machines on an individual basis to identify which make and model provides the quality you need.

At the end of the day, you need to weigh up a variety of considerations and identify exactly what your office needs from a machine. How many people will be using it, how often will they need to use it, how much space you have available in your office, and what your budget is, are all factors that need to be taken into account.

If you are considering investing in a photocopier or printer, contact the experts at Copyform today and we will be delighted to help you choose a new machine.

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