When buying a new office printer, it can be confusing to look past the fancy sales jargon to find one that really works for your office needs in general. It becomes even more important to do this for small offices, where your budget may be limited and where you don't necessarily need a printer with every single feature offered. Note a few essentials to consider when buying an office printer so you know you don't overpay for something you don't need, but don't overlook an important function either.
A print speed of about 10 pages per minute for color and 20 pages for minute for black and white printing is somewhat average; you'll pay more for a faster printer, but consider if you do need something faster. In some cases, such as when you need to print out large presentations or copies of the quarterly budget, you'll appreciate a faster speed; remember that you can't adjust that speed when you're in a rush!
On the other hand, if you just need a basic printer for a few pages here and there, don't invest in something that will work faster than necessary. You might track how many pages your staff prints in a day and note how many of those are rush jobs, and then decide the best speed needed for your office.
The print quality becomes especially important when you print graphics, photos, marketing materials, and so on. The dots per inch or DPI should go up when you do, in order to create crisp, clear images. For standard prints of letters and correspondence, you may not need more than 600 by 600 DPI, but for color graphics, 4800 by 2400 is ideal. Note the wide range of DPI between this and invest in what you can afford versus the need to produce the clearest images, remembering that sometimes a higher DPI also means a slower printer.
It's always good to check for a printer you can adjust when it comes to its power supply. Having a sleep function is common; the printer shuts off most features after so much time of disuse. However, having it come back on after a sleep cycle can take several minutes, so look for an idle feature along with a sleep function. This idle features shuts off some features but not all, so it powers back up more quickly. Being able to adjust when and how much the printer shuts down can ensure you're not wasting time waiting for it to power back up.