The Konica-Minolta color laser printer series is perfect for a small or home-based business. The ink cartridges and drum are a great value for the amount of printing you get, and the different printer series are very affordable for small businesses. I own the Konica-Minolta MagiColor 2300DL color laser printer, which was a great investment for my small publishing company.
The Konica-Minolta printers run anywhere from $400 to $2,500, depending on what you need. The 2300DL costs $599 and comes with one set of color cartridges (one black, cyan, yellow, and magenta). The standard ink cartridges are good for 5,000 prints, while the high capacity ones can handle up to 15,000. I recommend buying the high capacity cartridges; they cost about $20 more but print three times the amount. The standard ink cartridges generally cost between $65 and $80, while the high capacity ones run about $100 each. The high capacity cartridges will last a good amount of time. In fact, I’ve gotten more than a year’s worth of printing on one set of cartridges.
The 2300DL prints up to 16 pages per minute in black and four pages per minute full color, although it may print faster depending on the amount of color on the document. The printer will print up to 2400 x 600 dpi, giving you very nice, crisp images. It prints regular and legal size paper plus envelopes, and the paper tray holds up to 200 sheets. For an extra $500, you can add either a second paper tray or a automatic duplex unit for two-sided printing.
Other technical aspects of the printer include 32 MB RAM, which is upgradeable to 288 MB. I definitely recommend upgrading the memory if you will be printing graphics-intensive documents just because it decreases the printing time. If you print mainly text, then 32 MB of RAM should be plenty.
The 2300DL includes both parallel port support and USB support, which means it can be connected to both older computers with few USB ports and newer computers and laptops that don’t have the larger parallel port. The printer also has a Ethernet port and supports TCP/IP networking, so you can easily share the printer across your computer network.
The only downside I’ve found with the 2300DL and with the Konica-Minolta line of printers is the lack of licensed printer service and support locations in some areas. My business in based in Oklahoma City, and we have only two licensed providers. If you live in a large city, you should have no problem finding someone to work on your printer, but if you live in a rural area, you may have to travel a bit. However, my printer has only needed service once in the past four years, so you won’t spend a lot of time driving back and forth.
Overall, the Konica-Minolta line of color laser printers are all quality machines, and I’ve been especially happy with the MagiColor 2300DL. I’ve used ink jet printers in the past and found myself not only replacing the ink about once a month but replacing the entire printer every few years. With the 2300DL, I’ve had one printer for four years and very rarely needed to change ink, even after printing a large number of color-intensive documents. While they may seem expensive, especially if your business is just starting out, the Konica-Minolta printers are well worth the investment.