How to Choose a Fax Machine

14. January 2012 09:00 by Calvin Yu in Troubleshooting and Printer Tips  //  Tags:   //   Comments (0)

Fax MachineFax machines are still a staple of the traditional office setting, filling a role not yet replaced entirely by advances in telecommunications technology. Fax machines should be chosen in line with the machine's predicted volume and necessary quality requirements. The wide range of models and capabilities means fax machines can be found to cater to nearly any atmosphere. Many machines on the market today perform several key functions to complement their fax capabilities, further enhancing the buying experience for shoppers who could use new printing or copying tools. Ultimately, there are some key questions and considerations that will benefit anyone in the market for a new fax machine.

Fax machines are the fastest way to handle and share documents when the written form or a signature is preferred. Passing these back and forth electronically saves time and money, eliminating the need for overnight shipping. When shopping for fax machines, one way to eliminate some of the field is to determine exactly what role the machine will play in an office environment. For those looking to spend less upfront and who are in need of nothing more than a basic fax set-up lacking the bells and whistles of an all-in-one or 3-in-1 system, like the Brother MFC-490CW ink printer. In addition to the lower cost of a fax machine that does nothing more than fax, training employees on such a machine will also be simpler than the extensive walkthroughs and tutorials an office manager may need to complete on a more sophisticated piece of technology.

Breaking down the necessary technologies, one must then consider whether ink or laser would be beneficial for their operation. Between the two, inkjet fax machines offer good quality at a lower cost. Inkjet fax machines are typically targeted when the expected volume of faxes is going to be less than 40 in a business day. Laser fax machines use toner to create higher quality images than an inkjet fax. Additionally, laser fax machines can handle a higher volume at faster speeds. Although laser fax machine cartridges cost more up front, the number of copies they produce is far greater than a replacement inkjet cartridge.

The majority of the printed documents handled in an office setting will be 8.5" x 11". As the most common size required for faxing and printing, most fax machines on the market with one tray will boast a tray to support 8.5" x 11". Law firms commonly use fax machines to get signatures on legal documents and present information to necessary personnel. It is possible that a legal team will want a fax machine that offers capability to handle 11" x 17" documents. Fax machines equipped to handle legal documents will sport two paper drawers: one for standard sheets and one for legal-sized documents.

When choosing a fax machine, budget will almost always be a concern. Buyers who hope to incorporate printing and copying functions into their fax machine are going to be faced with a higher price tag than those purchasing a fax machine to do nothing but fax.

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