Best Office Copier Review of 2018
When it comes to finding an Office Office Copy Machine comparing quotes is the key to getting a top product for the lowest price.
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- Xerox Digital Copier Review
- Brother Copier Review
- Canon Copiers Review
- Sharp Copy Machine Review
A Guide To Buying The Best Office Copier
Digital copiers have evolved. While these machines might have once been one trick ponies, they have now evolved to be the workhorse of the modern office. With sophisticated integrated technology, the modern digital copier is a networked multitasking tool, typically providing printing, scanning, faxing, copying and more to an entire office via a network. For offices that still rely on paper, these machines are a vital hub of operations. To decide what copier is right for you, you need to start with a basic understanding of office copier technology, understand which option fits with the needs of your office, and learn how to interpret copier reviews and compare the available offerings to decide which unit will best meet your needs.
What Can The Modern Digital Copiers Do?
Basic Copying Technology: At the bare minimum, your copier needs to be able to be an effective document reproduction station. To do this at high volumes at efficient paces, most machines are equipped with three basic features, each of which you should consider when purchasing your copier. These are:
- Paper Supply
- Sorting Technology
- Paper Feeding
Paper Supply: This refers to how you can stock the paper in a given copier. Higher end copiers may have multiple paper supplies, located in different trays or feed units so you can prepare your copier to print on different types of stock without having to change the paper manually. Typically, the more different types of paper you want to be able to pre-load, the more expensive the unit will be. However, if you frequently print on a wide variety of paper sizes, the time saved by having the capability to load several different types of paper will be significant.
Another consideration is the volume available in the paper supply. Different models have a wide ranging capacities, so consider your normal copy volume when looking at the paper supply. Small capacity trays may only hold 50 sheets, whereas the very largest industrial models may hold thousands. Finally, if you need to print on heavy stock, look for a model with a specialized paper supply or bypass tray that won’t jam when stocked with heavy paper.
Sorting Technology: This refers to the ability of the digital copier to sort and arrange documents so they are easily grouped and retrieved from the copier. This is especially important if you’re frequently printing multiple copies of long, multi-page documents. The digital technology should be capable of sorting documents without relying on older-style sorting bins.
A subset of sorting technology is the finishing options available in most modern copiers. Commonly, you can buy units that incorporate a stapler so your multi-page documents are stapled in your designated groups. However, a wide range of other options such as whole punching or stitching are available in certain models of printers, and your particular needs will depend mostly on the planned end-use of your documents.
Paper Feeding: If you used an office copier decades ago, you probably remember feeding sheet after sheet under the copy tray one by one as you tried to copy a multi-page document. Most office copiers now utilize automatic paper feeding of one kind or another. Most also have the capability to copy double sided documents. RADF, or reticulating automatic document feeders, manually adjust the paper in order to copy both sides. DIDF, dual imaging document feeders, scan both sides of the page at once. This has the advantage of being faster, and of jamming less often because of the much less complex mechanical processes at work.
Most digital copiers should now incorporate all of the other functions that you probably associate with an all-in-one printing unit. The reality of most offices is that printing from a computer is as much or more important than actual manual copying. This is why most digital copiers are now networked devices that also provide a number of other print-related functions, including:
- Networked printing
Networked Printing: A good, modern unit should offer networked printing that allows users to print documents directly from their workstations. Typically, these devices connect to existing networks the same as any networked devices, but because of the inherent complexity of networking you should always involve IT in the discussions regarding purchasing of a networked device. Wired and wireless networking is available, with more modern units often having incorporated wireless networking capabilities.
Scanning: Scanning is essentially what happens when a digital copier makes a regular photocopy of a document, so incorporating the scanning technology that makes a digital copy of the file rather than a physical print version is typically included in almost all copiers.
Faxing: Although faxing is not as commonly required in today’s office as in years of the past, there are always occasions where faxing is still the best way to approach certain communications. Because most of these units are already networked, adding fax capability is common.
Emailing: This is what has replaced faxing for most modern offices. If you are scanning a document into an office copier, email functionality will allow you to email the digital copy of that file to yourself or a colleague.
What to Look For When Comparing Digital Copiers
When you are shopping for an office copier, there are several important considerations to take into account.
Cost of Consumables: Remember that the initial investment into a copier is only one portion of the money you will have to invest in the unit over its lifetime. Consumables is a term used to refer to all portions of the cost involving components that need to regularly be replaced, such as toner, developer and paper. Different units use toner and developer at different rates, and unit-specific products may also be more or less expensive. Understanding the approximate cost per copy of a given unit is a good way to assess the cost of lifetime ownership.
Speed and Ease of Use: Although most copiers will publish a speed statistic, and all will claim to be easy to use, the best way to evaluate these aspects of a digital copier is to assess them in person. See if you can get an in office demonstration of a copier, or if nothing else visit a retail center and ask to see one in use. This will let you know if the unit is simple enough for your staff to use, and fast enough to keep up with your demands.
Service: Digital copiers break, wear out, and jam, not to mention the half-dozen or so other complications that can arise during their use. However, this is much less rampant than it was in the past. As a result, there are a few different ways you can approach getting service for your copier. Warranty will cover a set number of years and consist of the replacement or repair of mechanical components that fail during use. Service plans on the other hand run as long as you choose, and will involve a repair person being available to help with any concerns that arise with a machine. You should always evaluate the cost and value of these types of coverage before choosing a machine. Read reviews of various brand and model warranty and service plans before making your final decision.
Not All Companies Are Created Equal: You should always research the company selling you your copier before you make your purchase. Check reviews, see how long they have been in business, and if you are purchasing a service plan, see if you can speak to some existing satisfied customers. A high quality company should have no problem providing all of these things.
Office Copier Pricing – Deciding What Features You Should Pay For and Which Ones You Don’t Need
When you’re shopping for copiers, there are three main factors that will affect the price:
Speed: Pages-per-minute (PPM) and the total monthly printing capacity
Features: Although most of the features outlined above are now standard, things like advanced finishing capabilities, higher-end digital options such as on-board editing, and compatibility with different printing formats and sizes can all cause price increases.
Color or Black and White: Black and white utilitarian copiers still exist, and are much more affordable than their color counterparts.
For a base level, bare bones unit, $1500 should be enough to get you into the game. If you’re looking for a faster unit that will meet the needs of a mid-sized organization with printing speeds over 20 PPM, prices start at around $3000 and go up to $10000.
For a fully featured unit with speeds of round 30 PPM, you should expect to pay anywhere from $10,000 to $20,000, with black and white units falling in the lower end of that range and colour units falling at the higher end. Beyond that $20,000 mark you tend to be getting into the range of copiers that are for very large organizations or print shops that are moving huge volumes of paper daily. Cost of these units can get as high as $80,000, but these are typically reserved for speciality companies working in the print industries.
Compare Top Rated Digital Copier Suppliers
Xerox Copier Review : Editor’s opinion – One of the best makers of commercial copiers. Nearly every product reviewed did well. Xerox defines themselves as business engineers. They’re not satisfied until they make your work work better. Schools, small businesses, government agencies, commercial printers large companies all rely on them to improve their daily work. By toiling behind the scenes in areas like customer care and HR outsourcing, we’re improving business processes in ways you might not expect.
Sharp Copier Review: Editor’s opinion – I own two of them and could not give a higher recommendation. Great copiers for office. Sharp is dedicated to improving people’s lives through the use of advanced technology and a commitment to innovation, quality, value, and design. They invite you to find out more about them, the value they place upon Corporate Social Responsibility, their on-going commitment to strong business ethics, and the numerous awards won by their innovative products.
Canon Copier Review: Editor’s opinion – Canon has a wide range of solution for business and home use. Canon U.S.A., Inc. is a leading provider of consumer, business-to-business, and industrial digital imaging solutions to the United States and to Latin America and the Caribbean (excluding Mexico) markets. Canon’s corporate philosophy is kyosei. It conveys their dedication to seeing all people, regardless of culture, customs, language or race, harmoniously living and working together in happiness into the future.
HP Office Copier Review: Editor’s opinion – Not my preferred choice, but can’t argue with the reviews. HP is seen as a reliable manufacturer of copy machines. HP’s vision is to create technology that makes life better for everyone, everywhere — every person, every organization, and every community around the globe. This motivates them — inspires them — to do what they do. To make what they make. To invent, and to reinvent. To engineer experiences that amaze. They won’t stop pushing ahead, because you won’t stop pushing ahead. You’re reinventing how you work. How you play. How you live. With their technology, you’ll reinvent your world.
Ricoh Copier Review: Editor’s opinion – Again, not our top choice, but we must say Ricoh copiers do place well in our overall review of quality and dependable office copiers. At Ricoh, they call it the new world of work, a place where the only constant is change. And at Ricoh, they’ve always imagined change. With their legacy of innovative technology that has changed the way they work, and their deep expertise in accessing, capturing and managing information, they deliver solutions that are harnessing the power of today’s changing workforce. They are leaders in information mobility because we understand that it’s not just about information access.