Century IT blog

True cost of a colour laser printer

April 26th, 2012

The introduction of laser printers into the world of printing was a revolution, allowing for easier, more efficient and more accurate printing. Laser printers are able to print off thousands and thousands of pages with little effort and at a reasonable pace also.


But it’s all well and good that they can do it at a reasonable PACE… but what about at a reasonable PRICE?

The cost of a laser printer has come down greatly since they were first introduced, but it’s not the cost of the printer itself that you should be looking at. It’s the cost of the toner cartridges, belt units, fuser units and other mechanical parts of the printer that have a specific lifespan. For example the average belt unit lasts for around 50,000 pages before it will need replacing. These replacement parts can build up to a shocking amount and it starts to make you wonder, is there a cheaper and better alternative to this seemingly perfect solution?

There are services out there that do printing contracts or “pay per print” services, which hire a printer out to you and charge for each print you make. This is usually based on a contract spaced over a year or more and in the long run, it appears that the service could prove to be a cheaper alternative.

Based on the Oki C310 laser printer, the costs of running the printer for 200,000 pages under normal usage was very high. This is because you not only have to change the toner cartridges, but other mechanical parts of the printer also, such as the transfer belt, fuser unit or waste toner box.

The printer may have only cost around £280 to begin with, but based on an even balance of colour and black and white printing for 200,000 pages the cost of the toner cartridges alone came to a total of around £8,195.57 based on using the higher capacity toner’s that are available. The actual amount of toner used could well be less, but the price would still remain very high. Add this to the cost of the other mechanical parts that would have to be replaced over this many pages printed and it that brings the total to around £9579.76* for all consumables.




All of a sudden, the cheap little laser printer seems very, very expensive.


Looking at the average costing for a pay per print service it is easy to see that the price difference can be vast. If it is based on the cost for printing being 0.4p for a B&W print, and 4p for a colour print with the hire of an appropriate printer for a year at a cost of £672, then the total comes to just  £5072! Less than half the price!

This is not including other charges that the company providing the service may charge, but it is clear to see that the overall cost is not going to be anywhere near as expensive as the “cheap” little laser printer from before!
So before you go out and buy a laser printer for your business, consider going down the line of a printing contract, as it could save you and your business a considerable amount of money!

If you are looking at replacing your colour laser printer and are interested in getting yourself some leasing costs to compare against a purchase cost, please give us a call or our business expert in this field





* costs are based on 200,000 Prints and using an average of only a 30% usage for the colour cartridges compared to black.




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