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How to pick the perfect printer for your small business

How to pick the perfect printer for your small business

LEXINGTON, Ky., Nov. 20 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ -- For most small business owners, printers aren't top of mind among the countless decisions that have to be made each day. But taking the time to choose the right printer to match your specific business needs can impact your office productivity and bottom line.

(Logo: http://www.newscom.com/cgi-bin/prnh/20020819/LEXMARKLOGO )

"Printers are definitely not one-size-fits-all when it comes to small businesses," said Marty Canning, Lexmark vice president and president of its Printing Solutions and Services Division. "Different devices are designed to meet different needs, and the challenge is to choose the one that is best for your unique office environment."

To help make a decision about which printer is right for you, you should start by asking yourself a few basic questions about your office printing habits, including:

- How many pages do you typically print a month? - What kind of documents are you printing? Are they basic black and white text documents or do you frequently print color graphics and presentations? - Do you regularly print photos? - Do you also need access to copy, scan and fax functionality? - What is your budget for printing equipment and supplies?

The best printing solution for you is dependent on your answers. Below are profiles of different types of small business owners, in addition to guidelines on the type of printer that would be the best fit for their environment and budget.

Customer profile: "I don't print a lot of pages, but when I do, they frequently include color photos and graphics. I also use a scanner and fax machine throughout the day, and I'm on a very tight budget for printing equipment."

Solution: An All-in-One (AIO) inkjet that can print, copy, scan and fax is best for you. AIOs provide a wide range of functionality for low acquisition costs and also have low supplies costs. In addition, inkjets excel at printing high-quality, professional photos and some offer wireless capabilities, which can make working at home more convenient. For example, the Lexmark X6570 Wireless AIO is available for $149(1) with print speeds up to 28 pages per minute (ppm)(2) in black and 24 ppm(2) in color. It features wireless capabilities and includes a robust 25-sheet automatic document feeder, two- sided printing and advanced photo features such as card slots and PictBridge(TM) digital camera interface. The X6570 also comes standard with Lexmark's Productivity Studio software to help small business customers increase efficiency by making it easy to convert hard copy documents to digital files such as Portable Document Formats (PDFs).

Customer profile: "I print mostly spreadsheets and text documents every day. Black and white is fine for me, but I need a printer that is affordable, reliable and can handle high volumes."

Solution: You should choose a monochrome laser printer. Monochrome lasers are available with low acquisition prices, and while supplies have a higher up front cost compared to inkjets, monochrome lasers offer a low cost per page which is beneficial for users that print high volumes. In addition, many lasers can be networked and shared by multiple users to help reduce costs, and they typically have more advanced paper handling options such as extra paper trays. For example, the Lexmark E250dn prints at speeds up to 30 ppm and also offers two-sided printing and networking standard in a small, ultra-quiet device for $249(1). It is ideal for small business customers that print large volumes of text-heavy documents like reports and spreadsheets because it offers fast, reliable performance in addition to a 3,500-page(3) cartridge option to reduce user interventions and provide a lower cost per page.

Customer profile: "I print a lot of pages in black and white, but I also use color to impress my clients. I'm looking to save money on outsourcing color documents, and cost per page is a big factor in my purchase decision."

Solution: A color laser printer is the best choice for you. Color lasers allow users to print professional brochures, fliers and client-facing documents in-house, saving time and money versus outsourcing color documents. Customers can also use the same printer for every day black and white printing without purchasing an additional device and increasing supplies and maintenance costs. For example, the Lexmark C532n features print speeds up to 24 ppm in black and 22 ppm in color and comes with networking standard for $499(1). It offers outstanding print quality and performance as well as high- yield 5,000-page(3) color and 4,000-page(3) black cartridge options to provide lower cost per page.

Customer profile: "I have a monochrome laser, color inkjet, and a fax machine in my office. I print mostly text documents on my laser, but use my inkjet for occasional color printing. I'm looking to consolidate devices to reduce costs."

Solution: A laser multifunction product (MFP) will bring the most benefits to you. Like inkjet AIOs, laser MFPs give users affordable access to print, copy, scan and fax capabilities in one space- and cost-saving device. Laser MFPs are a good fit for workgroups or users that print high volumes because they are robust and offer good costs per page, even though they have higher initial acquisition costs. Some laser MFPs also include color printing capabilities to help consolidate devices even further. For example, the Lexmark X502n prints at speeds up to 31 ppm in black and eight ppm in color for $699(1) and combines the power of a fast monochrome printer with color capabilities and copy, scan and fax functionality into one compact device. The X502n also includes intuitive workflow software that helps users improve productivity by making it easy to digitize documents in multiple formats and send them to multiple destinations such as a PC, fax number, e-mail address or network folder.

For more technology tips for small business owners and detailed information about Lexmark's full inkjet and laser product lines, visit http://www.lexmark.com/smb.

About Lexmark

Lexmark International, Inc. provides businesses and consumers in more than 150 countries with a broad range of printing and imaging products, solutions and services that help them to be more productive. In 2006, Lexmark reported $5.1 billion in revenue. Learn how Lexmark can help you get more done at http://www.lexmark.com/.

Lexmark and Lexmark with diamond design are trademarks of Lexmark International, Inc., registered in the U.S. and/or other countries. All other trademarks are the property of their respective owners.

All prices, features, specifications and capabilities are subject to change without notice.

(1) All prices are estimated street prices in U.S. dollars - actual prices may vary. (2) Printing in draft mode and excludes time to paper feed. See http://www.lexmark.com/ for details. (3) Average continuous black or continuous composite CMY declared cartridge yield is in accordance with ISO/IEC 19798.

Lexmark International, Inc.

CONTACT: Nancy Fraley of Lexmark International, Inc., +1-859-232-3708,
[email protected]

Web site: http://www.lexmark.com/

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