Top 5 Time And Cost-Saving Features Your Next Small Office Printer Needs

Great news for busy Australian small offices — or if find yourself working from home regularly. It now only takes a small investment of just a couple of hundred dollars to ensure you benefit from the latest print, copy, scan and fast fax technology. Here's what you need to look for.

1. Printing Costs

Multifunction printers — those with the ability to print, copy, scan and fax — have become so popular because they're more versatile and space-saving than finding room for a bunch of individual machines. Compared to laser models, inkjet all-in-ones generally cost less to buy up-front and tend to produce superior colour prints. Though lasers are well regarded for their low cost-per-page running cost, new multifunction printers like Brother's flagship $299 MFC-J5720DW (pictured) turn the market on its head. With super high yield ink cartridges, the MFC-J5720DW produces black and white prints at an incredible 2.3 cents per page (LC-239XL BK ink: 2400 pages using ISO/IEC 24711 test standards). Perfect for small business. From legal, marketing and accounting firms to retail and real estate offices.

2. Print Speed

Of course, a low-printing cost means nothing if you're forever lining up to grab your print-out. Inkjet or laser, you should demand at least 18 pages per minute (ppm) output for your workplace. The same Brother MFC-J5720DW has laser-like speeds of up to 22/20ppm monochrome/colour.


3. Paper Handling And Capacity

Having to constantly place new paper in your printer is frustrating and a waste of time. Carefully consider your device's capacity and look for advanced paper handling: two sided printing, automatic document feeding (ADF) and more. The MFC-J5720DW has time-saving functions such as automatic 2-sided scanning / up to A4, and an up to 50-sheet automatic document feeder. It also introduces a multi-purpose tray that handles up to 80 sheets in A4, or 5 sheets in A3. Dual trays offer 500-sheet capacity for paper up to A3 size and switch easily between printing envelopes, labels and paper of varied thickness. Removing hassle means getting more done.

4. Connectivity

In addition to an old-school Ethernet connection, you definitely want your new multifunction printer to include Wi-Fi for wireless printing from laptops, etc. The Brother MFC-J5720DW can print from Apple, Android and Windows smartphones or tablets (via AirPrint/Wi-Fi Direct/Brother's iPrint&Scan app) and has built-in slots for printing from or scanning to USB drives and media cards.

5. Print From (And Scan To) The Cloud For A Convenient, Competitive Edge

A multifunction printer with direct connection to cloud services and mobile devices offers easy collaboration both in and away from the office. Simply put, the Brother MFC-J5720DW can print documents directly from popular online storage services such as Google Docs/Drive, DropBox, OneDrive, Evernote, Box, OneNote, Facebook and Flickr. You can also scan documents and photos directly to these same services.

With an easy-to-use 9.3cm touchscreen LCD, innovative landscape printing technology for an unobtrusive space-saving design and 2-year limited warranty with free phone support for its lifetime, the surprising $299 MFC-J5720DW sets the benchmark to compare any new small office/home office multifunction inkjet against. Available from The Good Guys, Dick Smith, Officeworks, Harvey Norman and authorised dealers.

Office printing image courtesy Shutterstock