If you are have a home office, work from home, or run a small business it can be difficult to choose what office equipment to invest in. Printers and copiers are expensive, and you want the best quality you can get without spending too much on unecessary features. Two of the leading options for the small business or home office are the Xerox ColorQube 8570 and the HP OfficeJet 4500 all-in-one, both of which deliver impressive results for two different budget brackets. The ColorQube offers a powerful printing platform with patented solid Xerox 8570 ink, while the OfficeJet offers an afforable multi-device capable of professional quality at low cost. Which is best for you?
Let us start by looking at the Xerox ColorQube 8570. The 8570 is a powerhouse piece of office equipment. It would be at home in a large office, serving up high speed quality copies in volume. But for a large piece of workhorse office equipment it is relatively affordable, clocking in at less than $1000 which makes a wide variety of the features suitable for a large corporation available for the price range of a small business.
The specs are impressive. Speed is crucial, and that is one of the ColorQube’s strong points. It can print out 40 pages per minute in black and white or the same 40 pages per minute in color, an impressive rate. At the same time it handles volume. You can load up the 8570 with over 600 sheets of paper at a time. This is a single-tray printer, which is part of why the cost stays down. You will need to manually change betwee different kinds of paper. But if you expect large runs on a single paper type, or usually just print on plain or letterhead paper, this machine will be a good asset.
The ColorQube is a specialized device. It is a fast, high quality printer but it does not act as a photocopier or fax machine so you will need the space and budget for multiple devices if you go this route. Still, for a high-volume printer it is a great investment.
Many small businesses of course are going to want more features at a lower price tag. This is where the HP OfficeJet 4500 comes in. This device occupies the opposite side of the budget spectrum at less than $100. For the price, it delivers an amazing range of features. The 4500 is an all-in-one office device that functions equally as a double-sided, black and white/color printer, photocopier, scanner, and fax machine. This kind of multi-device can save you significant space and money in your home office. It also comes ready to network to multiple computers either wirelessly or through hard lines, and has a USB port to print directly off of handheld devices such as your smartphone.
This versatility comes with a downside. The paper capacity of the machine is very low with a 100 sheet feeder tray and 20 page output tray. This means for long runs or large jobs you will need to be on standby and ready to keep feating paper and grabbing finished copy from the output tray. This can be a time drain, but if you do mostly small runs or letters it may not be a major consideration.
The other downside is the speed. Although capable of speeds up to 28 pages per minute in black and white or 22 pages per minute in color, if you want to get the same high quality definition as you would get on the ColorQube your printing will slow to a crawl at 6 pages per minute in black and white or 4 pages per minute in color. That can make presentations and handouts a serious chore.
Of course, as an inkjet printer the 4500 makes up for some of these downsides. HP OfficeJet 4500 ink lasts for a long time and is cheap and easy to replace. HP ink cartridges are among the more competitively priced brand names, and there is always the option of buying a cheaper compatible cartridge from a third party company if you need to save money.
Likewise, inkjet printers have made bug leaps forward in terms of quality and are now competitive with laser and solid ink machines. If you stock up on Inkjet printer photo paper you can produce quality color photos on the OfficeJet that are ready to be framed and displayed. You cannot argue with quality, especially at a low price, and that is what the 4500 delivers.
Running a home business or making the jump to your first office always comes with a certain amount of risk and uncertainty, but with tools like these you can take some of that risk out of the equation and rest easy knowing you have professional quality at a small price tag.