Inkjet, laser or direct thermal printing: how do you choose what’s best for your business?
Ever-expanding choice is part of modern society. This is a blessing of course but it can also cause confusion. Who hasn’t looked down a supermarket shelf and struggled to select something as basic as a chocolate biscuit?
You might experience the same overwhelming feeling when the time comes to choose a new printing device.
For a start, there are three different technologies in Brother’s printing range – inkjet, laser and direct thermal – plus a host of other functions like cloud connectivity as well as solutions to consider. It’s a supermarket shelf stacked high.
Instead of getting baffled by the tech or overwhelmed by the spec, when you’re shopping for a new printing device keep it simple. Think about your output first, what is it you’re asking for from your machine?
Are you a finance department that needs to print invoices?
Are you a design agency that needs to impress a client with a quality pitch book?
Are you a business with a fleet of field workers who need basic documents before they hit the road for the day?
At Brother, we believe it should be a function first approach when it comes to picking a new printing device. Then speeds, feeds and tech specs should fall into line after that.
So, it’s advisable to make a list of what you want your printing device to do for you as step number 1 in the purchase decision tree.
Questions to help you keep things simple
You might want to ask some of these questions too when you’re shaping your list.
- Will the device be for one or two people in a small office/home office, need to cater for a larger, networked workgroup or spend its life out on the road?
- Will you print just a handful of pages every month – or thousands?
- Does colour matter or is mono just fine for your business?
Then start to think smart…
- Do you want to be able to print from a smart device such as tablet or mobile phone too?
- Do you want to be able to print from or scan to the cloud?
- Are you looking for top of the range features like Near-Field Communication?
- Do you want the option of high yield cartridges to be more cost effective?
Do you need portable print?
Where maximum portability is the prime consideration, direct thermal printers should be the first port of call. Requiring no ink, toner or ribbons, they are light, compact and robust, with individual sheets, paper rolls and cassettes that are easy to change on-the-go. Our award-winning PJ range (A4 document printing) fit easily into a briefcase, can be carried in an accessory case or mounted in a vehicle.
Do you need specialist applications?
Direct thermal is also ideal for specialist applications like label, wristband, receipt and ticket printing. This technology can even handle two-layer carbon copies. The TD-2120N label printer has the performance, features and media capacity of desktop label printers, with optional accessories including a battery pack, is wireless and fully mobile.
Lasers and inkjets go hand-in-hand in business
Traditionally, laser models were matched to businesses with a high-volume print requirement, while inkjets were destined for the small office/home office. But advances in inkjet technology have challenged that belief. Those old rules no longer apply, with inkjet ranges that are designed for the needs of SMB like our Business Smart Series.
Laser propositions are equally strong, with our entire business colour fleet receiving recommended or highly recommended marks from the industry-renowned Buyers Lab this year.
Devices that grow with your business
Where direct thermal retains its advantage in portable and specialist printing, the gap between laser and inkjet has narrowed with both technologies from Brother more than capable of meeting professional business demands.
And while the two technologies may have been in competition in the past, they can also work perfectly well side-by-side within businesses as part of a Managed Print Services contract or as part of a larger fleet to support colleagues with different needs within an individual business.
The bottom line is - think about what you’re asking of your machine first and we’re confident that we’ll be able help with a model that’s right for you.