Best Printer Brands ~ What To Look For In A Printer. Does Brand Matter?

If you’re looking for a printer you may be wondering what are the best printer brands. Obviously, no one wants to end up with a lemon! You’ll quickly discover there are many brands available on the market. And most of them have been around for a very long time.

However, some of the biggest, most trusted, brands offer models that (in our experience) give customers grief. The truth is that buying according to brand is not advisable. And making the best choice is not as easy as it seems.

The Printer Industry Has A Dirty Little Secret.

You see, it leads you towards buying printers that have high ongoing cartridge and maintenance costs. At Easyink, we do things differently. We encourage people to consider the running costs over a printer’s lifetime. And to buy the most cost effective option over the lifetime of the printer.

There’s a simple rule of thumb for buying a printer:

  • Lower initial outlay = Higher cost per page
  • Higher initial outlay = Lower cost per page

This is only a rule of thumb, though. You’ll need to assess each model on its merits.

Part of our mission is to help New Zealanders choose the most appropriate printer for their particular circumstances. When selecting a printer you’ll want it to:

1) Have the features you need.

2) Be easy to set up and easy to use.

3) Have good ongoing support. Driver updates, readily available parts and consumables for the life of the printer. Ideally a New Zealand-based help desk.

4) Have a reasonable per-page cost for consumables and maintenance over the life of the printer.

5) Lastly, have a reasonable upfront cost.

Brother MFCJ5320DW ~ Great for home of office

Brother MFCJ5320DW ~ Great for home or office

As you can see, upfront investment is only one of many considerations when buying a printer. And its probably the last that should be taken into account.

Because when your primary consideration is price, you’ll almost certainly be disappointed. You’ll pay dearly over the life of the printer, in terms of both money and frustration.

At Easyink, printers are our business. Our range of 3,500 products covers most of the printer consumables used in NZ. And we get feedback from printer users on a daily basis.

Plus, we know which printers give grief, and which printers provide the best overall customer experience. So we only recommend printers that we’re comfortable with. Printers that we’d use ourselves, or recommend to a close friend.

So with that in mind, let’s briefly take a look at what most of our customers have found to be the best printer brands…

Best Printer Brands? ~ Our Experience With Brother Printers

We’re happy to recommend the Brother range. In our experience Brother offers the best printer support in New Zealand. Some of our customers still use very old Brother models, and there’s never a problem with driver updates and consumables supplies. You see, most printer vendors base their support in third world countries… and getting support  is typically a very frustrating experience.

Brother has had a presence in the NZ market for over 50 years, and their support staff speak Kiwi English. Plus, they are easy to contact too.

Brother offers fit-for-purpose, well-designed printing solutions that provide excellent customer value. With a low total cost of ownership and low running costs, you’re not expected to sacrifice quality for affordability.

Brother printers are suitable for the home, home office or corporate areas and include something for everyone. They are well known for innovative features, cutting edge technology and being an excellent cost-effective solution.

Best Printer Brands? ~ Our Experience With Hewlett Packard Printers

We’ve found Hewlett Packard printers to be a mixed bag. HP customer support has been difficult to deal with, as it’s based in third-world countries. That said, we like their range of Pagewide inkjet printers and have supplied a number of them to customers. All have been thrilled with the product. And due to the design we don’t expect support challenges going forward.

However, apart from the Pagewide range, our experience with HP inkjet printers in recent years has been less than satisfactory.

HP laser printers are quite good – especially the higher end printers. HP use a flexible fuser assembly membrane that enables a fast warm up. It also means they can awaken from standby mode quickly. The downside is that the fuser membrane can tear. This can be expensive to repair and it can be more cost-effective to replace the printer.

HP laser printers usually combine drum and toner in the same unit. This makes the toner cartridges more expensive, but it means there is no drum cartridge to replace.

So in our opinion… the Hewlett Packard Pagewide inkjet printers are great, but the rest of their inkjet range we don’t recommend. HP laser printers are quite good.

Best Printer Brands… Other Choices

We’ve discussed HP and Brother printers. Canon have historically produced the hardware for most of the HP laser printers. The controls on Canon laser printers tend to be a dumbed-down version of the HP models, often lacking some of the option the HP version has.

Canon low-end inkjet printers have a high per-page cost. Higher end Canon printers are quite good. Their photo-quality is arguably better than Brother but the cartridges tend to be more expensive. Epson photo quality is good, but their lower end printers are best avoided.

People buy Fuji-Xerox for the recognised brand but the ongoing running and maintenance costs can be exorbitant. Oki also tend to be expensive to run.

Save Money With Printer Cashbacks

With the regular cashbacks that we promote at Easyink, you might not need to pay full price for your printer. These cashback deals can give you anything from $30 to $500… so they are well worth taking advantage of.

Keep in mind that the cashback is offered from the manufacturer (not Easyink), and they’ll send the money back to you after you have purchased (and applied for the cashback.) We can help you with that if necessary.

Click here to see our current printer cashback deals

Or click here to see a range of our Brother inkjet printers…

Or click here to see a range of our Brother laser printers. 

Chris has written 14 articles

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