In most offices where copying documents is a common task, a regular photocopier is usually sufficient. However, some companies need to copy or print in larger sizes for specific jobs. This is where an A3 photocopier may come in handy. Depending on the model, it can carry out a wide range of tasks, at a wide range of prices. Identifying what you need to do and how you could achieve it is therefore essential to save money.
What is an A3 photocopier, and who is it for?
Photocopiers used to be cumbersome and complicated machines, but ergonomics have improved and modern units can be operated by virtually anyone. Here are a few elements to take into consideration when you intend to purchase an A3 photocopier.
Modern digital machines are able to fulfill many roles: they can copy of course, but also scan or print from a computer or network. These units are called multi-function printers (MFPs). If your company needs to print and copy booklets for instance, or technical diagrams, the A4 format may not be enough. In schools, universities and libraries, a larger format will also be much appreciated. It should be noted that most manufacturers offer integrated solutions: units with an A3 as well as an A4 paper tray, for all tasks from small flyers and labels to larger posters.
Choosing carefully between ink-jet or laser technology is all the more important when dealing with large formats. As a matter of fact, an ink-jet MFP is perfect for large colour prints, but it’s slower than a laser copier. However, laser units are quite high-end products, but as toner is cheaper than ink they become more financially interesting for large volumes. Network connectivity and usability are also essential considerations depending on who is going to use the machine. In all cases, a touch-screen, network-connected MFP will be user-friendly and suited to even non-specialists.
Black and white or colour?
Black and white is generally the best choice for high volumes of documents for internal use, or text photocopies, like in administrations for instance. However, an A3 photocopier seems likely to be needed for more than just text, so if you need to print and copy brochures, timetables or technical diagrams, a colour model will be preferable.
Finding the best price
Photocopier prices are quite difficult to pinpoint, ranging from as low as £100 to more than £17,000. There are also different ways to equip your company with an A3 photocopier.
Should I buy or rent my A3 photocopier?
Any medium-size or large company will probably use its photocopier or MFP on a daily basis, which makes outright purchase the best option as the machine will have been paid for once and for all. However, for smaller businesses, or in the case of very specific jobs, a rental contract might save you money. In fact, you may need an A3 photocopier for marketing material, but not every day or for a restricted period of time. In that case, renting your unit seems to be the most sensible option. Moreover, maintenance is often included in rental contracts. Likewise, cheap second-hand MFPs are nowadays easy to find, especially online.
A basic desktop A3 photocopier will typically cost a few hundred pounds, while higher-spec units for professional use reach costs between £1,000 and £6,000. Leasing or renting fees start at around £20 a month for a five-year lease, with maintenance and toner often included.