When you think about what the fastest printer might be, the first thing that usually comes to mind is how many pages per minute it can produce. In reality, that’s not the best way to shop for the fastest printer. If all you’re concerned about is pages per minute (PPM), then you could be missing out on printers that can run circles around the highest PPM machines.
Why is PPM not the best metric to look for when shopping for a fast printer? We’ll explain why in this post and also give you some advice on what you should be looking for instead.
Why the “Fastest Printer” isn’t the Fastest
Companies with high PPM printers may boast that they have some of the fastest machines on the market. In one way that’s true, but in another way it’s highly misleading.
What these companies don’t take into account is how long it takes from the second you send a job to the printer to the second it begins printing out. If it takes 30 seconds or more for the first print to come out, then you’re really not saving any time in the long run, even if the printer can do 100 pages per minute.
A machine that can print immediately will always get a job done faster than a machine with a higher PPM and slower output time. Unfortunately, the industry standard is to measure speed by PPM, so shoppers have to be a little tech savvy when it comes to finding the machine they need. In the next section we’ll go over some of the specs you should look for if you want to find the actual fastest printer.
How to Find the Truly Fastest Printer
Let’s forget about pages per minute, because from this point forward it doesn’t matter. If you want speed, you need to treat shopping for a printer like shopping for a computer. That means processing speed, RAM, and internal hard drive space are the specs to be looking at.
A fast processor with plenty of RAM is especially important if you intend to do a lot of color printing. Otherwise, it may take several minutes for a color job to begin printing. By that time, the faster machine may have already started and finished the job.
The raw power underneath the hood of the machine makes all the difference in how quickly a job gets spooled and released. Unless all else is equal, print speed really has nothing to do with how fast the printer will ultimately perform.
The Benchmark for Fastest Printers
If speed is what you’re after, then the bare minimum we recommend is the Sharp MX-4111N.
This machine warms up in 34 seconds or less, meaning you can get a job started in under a minute. It has 2GB of RAM dedicated to copying and scanning, and 1GB of RAM dedicated to printing. The MX-4111N can store 86GB worth of documents, with the rest of its 160GB hard drive being dedicated to cache memory.
In other words, it is one of the top printers to beat right now in terms of power and speed. Even if you don’t end up going with that exact model, we recommend that you should at least use those specs as a benchmark.
For more information about fast printers, the Sharp MX-4111N, or anything else — give me a call or use the contact form on the right.