The Top Four Problems with Monochrome (Black & White) Printers / Copiers


Problems with Ricoh Black and White Printer

Printing generally accounts for anywhere from one to three percent of a company’s operating expenses. Choosing the right office printer or copier means having to take a serious look at your needs, budget and business goals.

When you’re going through your options, the first type of device you may think of is a monochrome (black and white) printer or copier. Although there are many benefits to having one of these devices in your office, we have also seen many times where a black and white device was not the best choice for our customers.

Let’s break down some of the most common issues to watch out for when buying a new monochrome multifunction device (MFD).

The Top Four Problems with Monochrome Printers/Copiers

Once you’ve determined your budget, the feature set you’ll need, and the print volume in your office, it’s time to choose whether to buy a colour or black and white device.  

Here are the top four problems with monochrome printers and copiers:

1. Well… They’re Monochromatic…

Ok, so it seems obvious and isn’t really a “problem,” but if you ever need colour documents, like brochures, one-sheets, or design proofs, you’ll need to outsource your project – which will increase your costs and wait time. 

If you find that you are doing this frequently, it might make sense to invest in a colour printer or copier.

2. The Output of High-Resolution Documents Can Be Slow

High-resolution images can slow monochromatic printer/copier output. If you use your device for presentations or formal pieces, it can take time to prepare multiple copies.

While you can opt for high-volume, upgraded printers/copiers that provide higher speed output, as you move up in features, prices also increase.  Increasing the size of your device to compensate for slower high-resolution printing can trap you into paying extra for a device that is much larger than your regular needs.

3. Fewer Enhanced Features in Basic Models

Monochrome devices offer a lower cost of entry than comparable colour models; however, at the low end of the scale, you might find you need to compromise a bit on features.

Lower-end monochromatic printers/copiers may not offer enhanced features like higher resolution, networking features, built-in duplexing, and additional paper handling options like 11 x 17 or A3 sizes.

You can always get the features you want, but you will end up paying upcharges.

4. Toner Cartridges for Monochrome Multifunction Devices Can Be Expensive

Toner cartridges are undoubtedly expensive, especially if you have high print requirements and need to replace them frequently. Those costs add up quickly.  However, a monochrome device will actually consume less toner than a comparable colour printer.

OEM cartridges or “Original Equipment Manufacturer” cartridges are cartridges produced by the manufacturer of your device. They are highly reliable and provide excellent quality results, but they are expensive.

New compatible cartridges are less expensive and can offer comparable quality and page yields to OEM cartridges. There are also monochrome copiers and printers on the market that provide toner saving features, so you use less toner per page.

Choosing the Right Solution for Your Business 

With so many options, it can be challenging to select the right device to fit your needs. What features do you need? What is the best brand? How much should I budget? Is monochrome or colour the best option for my business?

Researching which device is the best can take significant time and effort. Before you decide on a type, model and manufacturer, here are the questions you need to ask yourself that can help direct your search. These include:

So Should You Buy a Monochrome Printer or Copier?

If you need to print in colour often, you outsource colour printing regularly, or colour documents are necessary for your business, you will not want to buy a black and white printer or copier. Paying the premium for a colour device will be worth it in the long run.

Alternatively, a monochromatic MFD will be an excellent choice if you output a large volume of spreadsheets, ledgers, memos, or other documents that do not require colour.  An easy shortcut to remember is black and white devices should be used to print text, while images should be saved for a colour device.

Want to make sure you get the best device for your budget? Check out our blog How Much Does an MFD Cost?  

Cory Porteous
Director of Marketing & Inbound Business Development
Office Interiors

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