For 2018 the smart choice for business color office copiers is to buy a refurbished copier/printer/scanner. Why? 70-80% savings! You'll save thousands, even tens of thousands over conventional new copier leases- and you'll actually get a better performing machine. Why? Because often a late model refurbished copier is actually better and more reliable than a new machine. (Link to Dan's blog post.)
These systems are much more durable and inexpensive to operate than smaller units and all come standard with features like copy, network and USB printing and Cloud Print, sorting, high speed document feeding and scanning. You can take your system to the next level with affordable and powerful options like stapling folding, and booklet making (these upgrades are much more affordable then when they are brand new) Customized for your workflow, these machines can all be configured into very powerful marketing weapons for your business.
Even for a home office, if you have document production or document management needs, you will be better off dedicating a little more space to your MFP than that little desktop you've been using. This is because the cost savings in not having to frequently replace expensive imaging cartridges will offset the cost of the machine. Starting at under $2000 you can get a real copier with all of the bells and whistles, plus the durability and economy to pay for itself over time
For 2018 these are the smartest choices for a color business MFP for your office.
- Konica Minolta Bizhub Color or Black-and-White Systems. You'll see the larger Bizhubs used in professional print shops, and now you can get that same impressive color and technology in your own office, starting at under $2000. Konica's Color systems are the go-to choice when you use thick and glossy papers. Their impressive touch screens lead the pack. A handsome looking system, the Bizhub comes in all speed ranges on both color and black and white, from 22 pages per minute print speeds (with 80 ppm scan speed) all the way up to the big Bizhub press production machines. Expect to pay : $2000 to $8000 for office systems, $10,000 to 30,000 for Konica's well-regarded "Press" series production systems.
- Toshiba eStudio. While typically the most expensive systems when new, Toshiba eStudio line of office copiers can often be bought for a song on the aftermarket. Reputable nationwide resellers like Copier1.com offer these intelligent systems from locations around the country with fast delivery and a 5 year warranty. With impressive color, amazing technology (including WiPE security) and high performance, the low operating costs make the Toshibas a smart choice to get the most bang for your buck. We recommend the eStudio 3055C. Expect to pay : staring at about $1600 for a really good MFP and up to $7000 for a high speed system with folder.
- Canon IMAGERUNNER. Long a favorite for government and corporate work groups, the reliable and consistent Canon IMAGERUNNER series has proven itself over time. While often not as fancy, Canon is a camera company, so their equipment is easy to use and packed with powerful features, with string imaging. Also, if your office needs to do a lot of scanning, Canon invented the single pass-dual scan document feeder that scans both sides of the page at once. (They also invented the color digital copier in the first place.) While other manufacturers have caught up with IMAGERUNNER quality, for some people, only a Canon will do. Lucky for them, you can get a refurbished unit that is a current or last year's model for about 70% less than a new systems.
- Ricoh. Ricoh copiers have been front runners for a long time, and are or have been also sold under the names Savin, Lanier, and Gestetner. This brand can be either great or problematic, depending upon which model you get. Some of the mid-sized Ricohs went through a redesign a few years ago, and when this happens with any brand it can lead to short-term problems that are typically solved with the next revised model. It's best to consult an expert with any office system to make sure you are getting the quality, reliability, and features that will best serve your specific business needs.
Machines to avoid. We definitely do not recommend the following brands:
- Xerox. While Xerox was once a storied American brand, these copiers are now made in China. Well, everything is made in China, right? Most copiers are, although some Toshibas and Canons are still made in Japan (ask your dealer if it matters to you). The problem we see with Xerox is their nationwide service network being controlled by the corporate interests, which makes even something as simple as a firmware update sometimes impossible. While some Xerox products including their professional printing equipment can produce spectacular print quality, service and supplies can make owning a Xerox difficult and expensive. Also, Xerox can decide when to stop supporting your system, and they sometimes do just that, leaving their users with nowhere to turn.
- Kyocera. While often made to look like the higher quality systems from Konica and Toshiba, we find the Kyocera product to be poorly designed and exhibit shoddy build quality. Panel fitment, control panels, reliability, and print quality will often be far below what you can expect from one of the major brands. Their best machines are actually manufactured by Toshiba.