By David DiEugenio
Just like there is a dress for every occasion and a reason for every season, there should be a printer for every type of small-to-medium business. Not all printers are created equal, you see, and every office is unique.
What’s more, a printer that doesn’t meet your exact printing needs can mean a printer that breaks down often or provides poor-quality/late documents. In my years of experience, delivering the printer that satisfies my client’s printing demands means I rarely make service or consultation calls (and that translates to a very happy client with a happy budget).
Here is my list for the best small-to-medium business printers. You’ll notice they are all HP. That’s because the brand has done a commendable job in focusing on businesses that don’t need those “aircraft carrier” printers better suited for large companies.
HP Officejet Pro 8710
The HP 8710 is a great fit for a small or home office with less than three users. We typically place this printer with home users or in an owner’s office to compliment a larger workgroup printer. The print quality is more than adequate for general office printing but would not be my first choice for proposals or marketing materials. This printer is capable of handling monthly print volumes up to 1000 pages.
- Easy to set up and use
- Not the best print quality
The HP M402 is a great all-around office laser printer; and is by far the most popular model we place under the Why Buy a Why Buy A Printer? Program. The M402 (single function) and M426 (MFP) offer affordable and fast black & white printing — making them a fantastic match for almost any office. We typically place these printers in offices that do at least 1000 pages a month but have put them in high-volume situations where print volumes exceed 10000 pages a month without any issues. The M402 series offers a wide range of different configurations, allowing it to be tailored to fit the customer’s needs.
- Affordable for a laser printer
- Available in many different configurations to fit any need
- 10k page toner cartridge
- Only Black and White
The Hp M477 is our most popular color laser printer. The device boasts a wide range of features that makes it an excellent fit for offices that need a color printer. The M477 is also a nice fit for an office or workgroup that prints up to 7500 pages a month. Many of our clients leverage the M477 to print their own marketing materials and presentations, allowing them to save money versus having to outsource to a printing company.
- Great print quality
- Easy to use
- Higher cost per page than other printers
- Not the fastest color laser printer
The Hp M680 is the largest printer that we offer. This printer is much larger than what most offices need. Having said that, we find it is a good match for offices that print at least 7500 pages a month and frequently run large jobs. The M680 can be configured to have up to five paper trays, which allows for many different paper sizes and styles to be used at once. This printer is typically placed in a workspace with at least ten users and can be free-standing in a central office location.
- Tons of options
- Very large
All these printers have resulted in many satisfied clients for me. Beyond the models, I always make sure to audit their printing needs before recommending any printer. If you’re not leveraging a managed print services like the ones we offer, I recommend you download our How to Select the Right Printer eBook or take our Office Print Challenge. With a little work, you’ll find the printer that satisfies your budget without sacrificing productivity.
David DiEugenio serves the Gainsville, Florida, business community with printer solutions and products. Find out more about David at his Cartridge World location.