The lowdown on color printers

What's new with color printers? Single-pass technology, which applies four primary colors in one pass rather than four, has greatly increased the speed of color printing. Meanwhile, black-and-white printing costs on color printers have moved closer to that of monochrome printers.

Any tips for installation? Add the vendor's print server if you have limited network drops or want to monitor color use and simplify the installation of other printers. Make sure a printer or print server has drivers for all the operating systems on your network. Study your workflow to determine optimal placement of color, monochrome and multifunction devices.

Must-know info? Tally up each printer's hidden costs and benefits, such as toner cartridges and drum kits, worker productivity, and on-site and Web support. Borrow a demo unit to test on real jobs because pages-per-minute ratings can be misleading. So can stated resolutions, although most printers' actual resolutions are sufficient.

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