Top All-in-One Printers for Small Businesses

If you haven’t shopped for a printer recently, the models currently available for small offices might surprise you. Prices have decreased substantially over the past 5 to 10 years, yet devices have gotten better and the print quality much higher. You can find a good quality printer that does color printing for under $200.

We recently looked at printer lines suitable for small offices.  We define a small office as having up to 5 people, with modest levels of usage.  So that means these devices are suitable for a home office, or for a small business that does not require high volumes of printing and is satisfied with moderate printing speed.  In other words, these printers are not for businesses that routinely print many thousands of pages per month and require high speed and high-volume paper feeders.  Instead, the typical small office needs a printer that balances economy with convenience and features.

Also, most small offices get benefits from having several functions in one device.  All-in-one printers include printing, scanning, copying, and faxing capabilities in one device, thereby saving space and money.  That is why they are called “all-in-one” or multifunction devices. Today these are very popular among small businesses.

What’s more, today’s top all-in-one printers pack a surprising amount of technology in them.  Simply put, printers are getting smarter — and they do more. Some of the printer lines below offer sophisticated features like wireless connectivity, printing directly from mobile devices, ability to download photographs directly from a camera, touch screen menus, and access to documents stored in the cloud.  Look for more of these kinds of advanced technology features to become standard in the near future.

Today’s machines generally are more energy efficient than predecessors.  You can leave your printer on all the time, but with power-saving mode it will use little power, and it won’t take forever to warm up when you finally do need it, either.

For most small offices, we recommend an inkjet device — versus a laserjet.  Compared to a laserjet, inkjets in general are:

  • smaller and lighter
  • less expensive to buy
  • better at printing photographs and documents containing images, than laserjets
  • suited to relatively low volumes.  If your printing volume is low, then low speed and capacity won’t be a negative. But if you need to print thousands of pages in a day, or regularly copy or scan long documents yet the document feeder only holds 30 pages, this can get old, fast.

If you need professional quality printing, such as for printed brochures and signage, or for occasional high-volume print jobs, we recommend your local print shop for those.

And of course, with visuals so much a part of today’s documents, you’re going to want a color printer, not just black and white.

Don’t forget to factor in the cost of buying ink. Ink for inkjet printers can be expensive, and may add hundreds of dollars of cost per year even for a very small-volume office.  Consumer Reports has tips for saving on ink costs.

Take a look at the options below.  They are listed by company name in alphabetical order.


Top All-in-One Printers for Your Small Business




Brother Business Smart

top all-in-one printers

Brother Business Smart printers range in price from about $170 to $250. Basic features include touch screen displays and color printing. As you might expect, extra features come with the higher priced models. These printers all offer wireless connectivity with computers and mobile devices. You can also access documents from online accounts like Facebook, Picasa, Google Docs and Evernote and print them from the Web directly on these printers.

There’s another unique feature that comes with the Business Smart printers line. That’s the ability to customize your printer by creating different shortcuts for the functions you use most often.




Canon PIXMA

top all-in-one printers

Canon’s PIXMA line handles basic printing well, and specializes in printing photos and graphic documents. Canon also has four different PIXMA printers under $100. So this is a consideration depending upon your budget. Overall, prices range from about $70 to $150. The bare bones model still offers photo printing and editing options. The higher end models offer higher resolutions and other added features.




Epson WorkForce

top all-in-one printers

This line of all-in-one printers includes some options that are compact and basic. But there are also printers with more versatility and features for a slightly higher cost.  Prices range from $100 to $200, so it depends on the specific features you are looking for in your printer and your budget.

Each of the four models has mobile and wireless printing options. They can also print black and white documents at much higher speeds. But, like all the printers you’ll find on this list, they also offer color printing. The pricier models have LCD screens and additional features like automatic two-sided printing and energy efficiency.

The less expensive models have fewer features and lower print speeds. But, on the plus side, they are more compact for a home office or small business office.




HP Officejet

top all-in-one printers

HP’s Officejet printer line is solid and proven, and ranges in price from about $100 to $400. You get basic features like wi-fi compatibility and duplex printing on all of these. The higher priced machines give you higher printing speeds, better resolution, and some more advanced features, most notably additional Web functionality.




Kodak Hero

top all-in-one printers

Not all of the devices in this Kodak series have faxing capabilities, but they all print, scan, and copy. Some models also have features specific to photo printing like a separate photo tray for photo paper. All models include basic features like wireless and two-sided printing. Kodak doesn’t sell its Hero line of printers on its website, but popular retailers like Walmart carry them starting at $100 for the base model.

Kodak came out of Chapter 11 bankruptcy in 2013 after reorganizing. The focus now is on providing businesses with solutions.




Lexmark MS310/410 Series

top all-in-one printers

Lexmark offers a series of three printers that are affordable and functional for most small offices. They range from about $200 to $400 in price. So they can be more expensive than some other available models in our listings. But they include features like LCD screens, mobile printing, dual core processors and built-in memory to handle complex documents.




Ricoh Multifunction

top all-in-one printers

Ricoh carries 25 different all-in-one printers with color printing. The devices vary in printing speeds and offer different specialties and even the ability to handle varying paper sizes. However, many are built for larger businesses and volumes and the prices reflect that. The SP models tend to be the most compact and still offer wireless printing and sharing capabilities. Prices for those models start at around $350.




Xerox WorkCentre

top all-in-one printers

The Xerox brand at one time was almost synonymous with copiers (ever heard of “xeroxing” something?).  Today, Xerox tends toward the higher end when it comes to all-in-one devices, compared with some of the other manufacturers. For example, its WorkCentre 6605 model pictured above can handle up to 80,000 images per month, but sells for nearly $1,000.

However, Xerox does offer some less expensive, color multifunction devices starting at around $450.  Still, most WorkCentre models are better suited for higher-volume offices.


Printer Photo via Shutterstock

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REBLOGGED FROM SMALLTRENDS.COM

How long do hard drives really last?

One-hundred percent of all hard drives will eventually fail. This is a fact. Some will fail prematurely due to manufacturers’ defects while others will fail because a mechanical part finally wears out. The question is, how long until that happens?
Online backup provider Backblaze.com has kept 25,000 consumer-grade hard drives constantly running for the last four years, diligently noting whenever a hard drive breaks down. The results are very interesting.
• Ninety-two percent of all hard drives will survive the first 18 months. These failures are typically due to manufacturers’ defects (oftentimes called the “lemon effect”). Hard drives’ warranties are typically one to three years, which is basically the manufacturers saying that they are only on the hook to replace the lemons.
• During the next 18 months, only a very small percentage of drives (~2%) will fail. These failures are from random “unlucky” issues and occur rarely anytime during the life of the drive.
• Beginning in year three, hard drives start to wear out due to usage. They are simply mechanical devices that are getting old. Eighty percent of drives will make it to year four and then they drop off at about 12% or more per year thereafter.
• The failure rate is essentially a U curve with most failures very early on or after the three-year mark.

So, What Does This Mean?
Simple. Back up your data. With a 1-in-10 chance that your hard drive dies in the first three years of its life and an accelerating chance of failure after that, there is no excuse for being caught without a solid backup. Ever.
Make a plan. Build equipment replacement into your budget at least every four years for most devices, with a 10% equipment-replacement expense built in over the 1st year and then again starting in year three.
As for that 10-year-old PC in the back room still running Windows XP and your most critical reporting software, the clock is ticking …

Smartphone Stolen?

Pop Quiz: You Just Discovered One Of Your
Employees Had Their Smartphone Stolen…

Quick, What Do You Do?

Over the last couple of months, we’ve come across some alarming statistics that you should know. Studies show that as many as 16% of smartphones are lost or stolen each year with only 7% of the stolen devices ever being recovered. Despite the fact that 60% of the missing smartphones are deemed to contain sensitive or confidential information, 57% of these phones were not protected with available security features, leaving the company exposed! In fact, only 14% of companies currently have a mobile-device security policy in place. The bottom line is, no matter how careful your employees are with their smartphones, losing a smartphone (or having one stolen) is likely to happen to you or your employees at some point in time.

In the hands of even a relatively unsophisticated hacker, all of your smartphone information can quickly be siphoned off. And time is of the essence for taking action. Criminals will remove the battery of your phone to prevent “remote wipes” of your data by your IT staff and then use a room without mobile access to break into the phone. This is akin to giving a thief the key to your data and the code to deactivate the alarm.

Asking employees to be more careful IS a good step in the right direction, but accidents happen and thieves are always on the prowl. That’s why it’s so important to take measures to lock down and secure any mobile devices you and your staff use to access your company’s network.

Here are just a few steps you can take now to be prepared:

1.     Strong Passwords. Enforce a strong mobile-device password policy and make sure your employees can’t leave devices unlocked and vulnerable.

2.     Enable Device Wiping. Prepare to be able to wipe both company-issued and personally owned devices that access company data. Make sure your employees are signing off on this before they add company data to their phones.

3.     Have A Plan In Place. If a phone is lost or stolen, act quickly! If you happen to find the phone again, then the data can likely be replaced; however, stolen data in the hands of a criminal can rarely ever be taken back!

Small business mobility

Mobile technology is becoming increasingly vital to your small business as the number of employees working from home or away from office is growing significantly. More than 50 million US workers are considered mobile, spending at least 20% of the time away from their primary work space. Some of your employees, such as your salespeople or representatives, may be constantly on the move.
Today, productivity in and out of the office is imperative to keeping your small business running efficiently and gaining a competitive edge. For example, when you or your team are away from the office without connectivity and need important information, that time often proves to be unproductive and wasteful. However, if you connect your mobile workers to your company network through mobile devices such as mobile phones and personal digital assistants (PDAs), you can enable them to maintain a continuous workflow on the road or from home. Investing in mobility solutions will maximize the productivity of your employees. Mobility is essential for your business since your employees and your customers require anytime/anywhere access to each other and vital information.
What is Mobility?
Mobility is the ability to access your office information and data remotely, and to conduct business anywhere, anytime. Mobility solutions provide mobile and remote access to your company data and e-mail.
Find out how your small business can go mobile.  Contact Achill Computer Services 901-457-4230