Things to consider before you buy a multifunction printer

Buying a multifunction printer

Gone are the days of having a different machine for printing, faxing, photocopying and scanning. Multifunction printers like the Kyocera TASKalfa and ECOSYS laser multifunction printers perform all these functions, can save space and reduce the cost of running multiple machines.

Multifunction printers can perform multiple tasks at once without compromising the quality of the individual task, this allows your business to better streamline tasks and improve productivity.

Some things to consider when considering a multifunction printer:


The main function of a multifunction printer is printing, with added functions of scanning, copying and sending/receiving faxes. These added functions mean the machine comes with additional document feeders, software and more complex control panels, therefore costing more than a standard printer.

The price of a multifunction printer will vary and not all machines offer the same functions. Many modern multifunction printers offer fax capabilities as an option since it is becoming less common.


It’s important to consider how the printer will integrate into your existing network and be able to connect to other office equipment including laptops, desktop computers and tablets.

Multifunction printers can allow you to print from a desktop computer connected to a service via a network cable, a USB plugged into the machine itself or wirelessly. A wireless or Wi-Fi multifunction printer enables access to remote printing applications directly from mobile or wireless devices eliminating the need for unsightly cords and tripping hazards.

Ease of use

Most multifunction printers like the Kyocera TASKalfa and ECOSYS laser range come with large interactive tablet style displays, making selection of your required function much easier. From the basic copy function to sending scanned documents directly to an email address or even creating specific document workflows to increase archiving productivity, it is easy to personalise your multifunction system to your business requirements.

Handy ‘wizards’ will guide you through the installation process and any troubleshooting such as paper jams or toner replacement.

If you are still stuck, Digital Document Solutions can arrange to have repairs and maintenance incorporated into your purchase or rental arrangement.


If you need to scan and store sensitive documents using your multifunction printer then security is important. Technology in this area has advanced significantly over the last few years and specific device security applications ensure your documents are safeguarded and not be left on the hard drive. This software and web interfacing can easily be set up and secured.

If you need more information regarding a multifunction printer for your home or office, contact Digital Document Solutions today!

Facts about renting a printer vs buying a printer

Deciding whether to rent or buy a printer

When looking at the costs, ongoing maintenance and repairs, and price of consumables for your printer, there is a lot to consider. Since the cost of purchasing a suitable printer does not always include the cost of maintenance and replacement toner, it may be a better option to enter into a rental arrangement that helps reduce these costs.

Since rental arrangements for printers are more commonplace these days in Australia, you can negotiate, adjust and tailor a monthly plan that suits your specific needs.

Of course, if your business has low print demands then purchasing a printer may be your best option. Things to consider when deciding whether to rent or purchase a printer:


  • Low initial costs :Printers can be quite expensive to purchase in one hit, which can take a big bite out of your budget.
  • Upgrade options: Your machine can be replaced every few years or upgraded to include extra features and new technology as part of your rental agreement.
  • Less hassle: Renting is convenient because it offers maintenance plans and easy ordering of toner.
  • Tax cuts: You may be able to claim up to 100% of the rental premium against your taxable income as a business owner.
  • Can be more expensive in the long-term: At the end of the rental term, you may end up paying slightly more for the printer, however the savings in maintenance, repairs and taxation offsets usually outweigh this.


  • Upfront cost: Some printers can cost several thousand dollars and, as one of the first things a new business needs to purchase, this can leave less room in the budget for other things.
  • Replacement cost: If the machine breaks down and is beyond repair, the cost of the machine is sunk and more budget must be allocated to replace it.
  • Outdated technology: When you own your machine, you are limited to use only that machine. Rental arrangements offer upgrades as part of the contract.
  • Disposal: When the printer reaches end of life and is no longer serviceable, you are responsible for the safe disposal/recycling and clearing data off the hard drive.

Digital Document Solutions has various printer rental plans that can suit your needs. Contact us today for more information.

Choosing between a colour and black and white printer

When choosing between a colour or black and white (monochrome) printer, it comes down to your needs and your budget.

If for home or personal use, Digital Document Solutions’ Kyocera ECOSYS range of mono and colour printers could be your best option. But if you are in an office environment that requires faster printing in high volumes and a lower cost per page, the range of Kyocera TASKalfa A3 business grade colour or monochrome printers could be more suited to your needs.

While inkjet printers are still popular and have their purpose, Kyocera monochrome and colour laser multifunction printers are more economical to run, faster, quieter and more reliable.

Some factors to consider when choosing between a colour or monochrome printer:

Your needs

For some businesses it may be obvious that a colour printer is what you need. For example if you require colour prints such as photographs, marketing materials, projects, presentations or business literature. But even if this is not a core part of your business, keep in mind that colour prints have the power to make your documents more vibrant, engaging and give a better overall impression.

If you are printing high volumes of text documents, research papers, memos and letters and need those prints quickly and efficiently then a monochrome printer would fit your needs.


Advances in printer technology now mean that the difference in cost between monochrome and colour printers is closer than ever before. No longer is a colour printer double the price of a monochrome device and while the main difference is the extra functionality available and the obvious ability to print in full colour, a modern colour printer will provide black and white prints for the same cost per page as a dedicated monochrome printer.

Monochrome printers only require one black toner cartridge, which means less consumables to purchase. Colour printers require one black and three colour cartridges, but there is no difference in the overall cost-per-print for colour or black and white prints.  


When colour printers entered the market they were noticeably slower to print each page. This is because it took time for each layer of colour to be applied to the imaging system before it could be transferred to the paper. Today’s technology has solved this problem by placing all four colours on the imaging unit in a single pass, so now most colour and monochrome printers can print at the same speed.

The speed of printing has also increased in today’s modern machines, which have an immense amount of onboard memory and super-fast processors. The Kyocera TASKalfa and ECOSYS colour printer range can produce up to an incredible 80 pages per minute in full colour.

Contact us today to find out more a colour or monochrome printer that will suit your office needs.

How to maintain your photocopier or multifunction printer

When your photocopier or multifunction printer stops working it can cause timely delays, which is why it is essential to ensure it is correctly looked after.

Use the right products

Every machine is different and the choice of toner or paper can affect the print quality as well as the reliability of the machine. Original Equipment Manufacturer (OEM) toner is the best choice for your laser photocopier or multifunction printer as it is manufactured specifically to achieve optimum print quality and reliability. Generic compatible toner may be cheaper than OEM products and can deliver high quality prints if purchased from a reputable brand, however by using generic toner it may affect the life of the drum or developer unit and therefore the manufacturer’s warranty, which could be far more be costly in the long run. Kyocera OEM toner has been manufactured to assist in the longevity of the unique ECOSYS drum, so it is recommended to only use Kyocera OEM toner for all Kyocera TASKalfa and ECOSYS products.

Choosing the right paper is very important. Bond paper is the best choice for general printing because it has an uncoated surface and allows the toner to fuse well with the paper. Good quality paper will be more reliable, produce higher quality prints and create less paper dust than cheaper brands.

Load the paper correctly

Paper jams are not only a waste of paper but also of a waste of time and toner. If the paper is not loaded correctly, it can curl at the edges and get stuck as it passes through the printer/photocopier system. The best way to load your paper to minimise the chance of paper jams, is:

  1. Open the paper tray
  2. Expand the tray guide to accommodate the paper
  3. Fan the ream of paper to remove any static electricity
  4. Do not fill the tray above the fill line on the inner side of the tray
  5. Re-adjust the tray guide to fit snugly against the paper
  6. Close the tray slowly to avoid moving the paper

Correctly store paper

To avoid moisture in the air affecting the paper and causing paper jams or effecting the quality of the print, keep it in the wax-coated packaging until you’re ready to use it. For those paper types rarely used, (such as A3 or coloured paper) consider putting a small amount of paper into your printer cassette and keep the remainder in the package it came in and re-sealing it as best as possible.

Schedule regular maintenance checks

To extend the life of your photocopier or multifunction printer it is important to schedule regular maintenance checks from a qualified professional who knows your specific machine well. Printers and photocopiers have many components and working parts that need to be inspected regularly to identify any potential issues.

There are things that you can do so that you do not always need a qualified professional to clean your machine. Clean the copy glass and take particular care to remove dust wherever possible. Build up of dust can cause paper jams and streaks on papers where they are not wanted. Consult your operator’s manual under “Maintenance” for more details.

Digital Document Solutions provides an exceptional printer repair service. Contact Us today for more information.

Your office copy machine stores so much data

How can you protect it?

Technology is evolving at a rapid pace and because of this, we’ve had to pay careful attention to data security. Hard drives from computers store information and are most at risk for a data security breach, but did you know that your printer has the same type of risk?

Most multifunction printers (MFPs) contain hard drives that record and store data, which means whatever you have scanned or printed could still be on the hard drive. Digital information is transmitted to a printing device through a computer, over a network, by scanning, or through a telephone line. Most of the time this data is stored on a hard drive so the device can print quickly, and multitask; i.e.  perform more than one function (print/copy/ scan) at the same time.

If your company prints sensitive data, you need to institute safeguards to protect this information. The good news is that newer MFP models have now become ‘smarter’, and have security measures built in.

When you buy or lease a copier, consider doing the following:

Work with your IT staff and evaluate your options for securing the data on your printer. Most manufacturers offer data security features with their copiers, either as standard equipment, or as optional add-on kits. Typically, these features involve encryption and overwriting.

  • Encryption scrambles data using a secret code that can be read only by particular software. This means that the data can’t be retrieved even if the hard drive is removed from the machine.
  • Overwriting your data with random characters changes the values of the bits on the drive that make up a file. Overwriting the file occupied removes the file traces and the file can’t be reconstructed again.
  • Think ahead to how you will dispose of the data that accumulates on a copier over time. Check that the company providing the copier will overwrite the hard drive if requested.
  • Securely overwrite the entire hard drive at least once a month.

If you’re looking to purchase a new printer or MFP for your company, you need to find a reputable and reliable stockist. Once you have found a company, consider looking out for the following:

  • Hard drive image that overwrites with a DoD-approved three-pass algorithm
  • Hard drive data encryption with an AES encryption algorithm
  • Hard drive removal option
  • Network security support for SSL, IPsec, and SNMPv3
  • Device authentication to control, manage, and track device access
  • Secure fax
  • Secure print feature
  • Customer security alert process
  • Secure product disposition process

Generally, it is advised you work with skilled technicians rather than remove the hard drive on your own if you’re looking for ways to protect your data.

For quality MFP brands, contact Digital Document Solutions

The fax machine – dead or alive?

If the fax machine could talk, it might quote Mark Twain when he said “Reports of my death have been greatly exaggerated.” While many of us have completely embraced the digital age and now scoff at the mere mention of using a fax machine, its death has been prematurely predicted for years. But is its actual death imminent, or is the humble fax machine still going to be around for a while to come? Let’s take a look.

When someone asks me if they can fax me a document, I tend to ask myself why people still use fax machines, while at the same time trying to find my fax-to-email number, which I keep in case of such emergencies. Although I haven’t used one in years, the fact that people still do, makes me think that the fax machine, while discarded from many homes and offices around the world, is still very much in use. While most of us have found favour with digital communication solutions, there are still many people who are reluctant to condemn their fax machine to join the millions of others on the technology scrapheap.

The truth is, people who have been using faxes since they became mainstream in the 80’s still use them on a daily basis. They know how to use them, they can rely on them, they often don’t trust technology, and they are in no hurry to give up something that still plays a useful part in their lives.

There are a number of reasons why faxes continue to sell at least a few million worldwide every year. Despite their demise being widely predicted, they will continue to be useful for some years to come.

It embraces handwriting

One reason why people still enjoy it is the fact that the fax embraces handwriting, in particular signatures, and is a more personal approach compared to email.

Used in certain industries

The fax machine is still widely used in industries like real estate, banking, legal and medical, where more often than not, a written signature is necessary. Some countries still require faxing in order for a document to be recognised as legal.

More secure

While many of us have given up security for convenience, this isn’t always the case. When it comes to confidentiality, faxes are hard to intercept and cannot be easily manipulated like digital documents.

Depends where you live

Americans barely use faxes anymore but the Japanese still use them regularly both for private and personal use. In 2011, the Japanese used them to spread critical information during the Fukushima nuclear incident.


Fax-to-email only really eliminates the fax on one side of the sender/receiver relationship. I don’t own a fax machine but I do retain the ability to receive a fax, which I only need once in a while but still allows for the occasional non-digital client to send me a fax if and when required.

Multifunction fax machines

Obviously fax machine sales are declining, but these days people are demanding their fax machines to be multifunctional. That is, they want a printer/copier/scanner/fax machine all in one. So the faxware industry is still alive and well, people just want more sophisticated fax machines.

The numbers

In 2014 just over 1.2 million basic fax machines were sold in Japan. While in France just 40 000 fax machines were sold in 2013 and 350 00 in the USA in 2012.

The death of the fax machine might not be that far off, but it certainly isn’t dead yet. It still has its place and uses, and while fax machine sales continue to decline, so far it has outlasted predictions of its demise by 10 years, and it’s still alive, if not quite kicking.

For all your office hardware and software supplies, contact your local digital solution specialists.