May 14, 2008

FAQ -- Printers Laser and Wide Thermal for Kiosks

kiosk_printer.jpgNew addition to FAQ section. Question is "I need a wide printer but not sure if I should go thermal or laser. Which one should I use". Craig Keefner of KIOSK contributes objective guidelines for consideration. One of the more relevant is the life cycle of the printer. This becomes particularly important in large and longt erm deployments. As size and duration of a deployment goes down, so do considerations on which printer to use.

Wide Thermal versus Laser A4 printers in Kiosks

Thermal "Advantages" Most Often Cited

  • Service Calls -- fewer service calls
  • Capacity - 1200 sheets versus 250 (or 500)
  • Capacity -- higher capacity translates into fewer "add paper" service calls
  • Print Size -- you can print just the paper you need rather than always a sheet
  • Print Options - have choice of printing multi-pages versus only one page
  • Time to Print -- thermal printers require no warmup (10 to 20 seconds for laser)
  • Jams -- thermal printers have fewer jams than laser printers
  • Presenters -- thermal printers have presentation technology for kiosks. Lasers require making something.
  • Cost Lower for paper
  • Cost Lower for Consumables -- toner or ink ribbon consumables are eliminated, printer drum replacements (est every other year) are eliminated (and service calls).
  • Flexibility & Size of Printer -- has horizontal and vertical mounting options. Smaller than laser as rule.
  • Supportability -- wide thermals have longer life cycle. Size and configuration remain consistent if one needs replacement you can always get another the same size and form factor. Laser printers often change form factors every 6 months.
  • Thermals are not Cheaper, but they are more reliable,
  • Larger the deployment and the more support options the bigger the advantages.
  • Thermals are Used more often in self-service deployments (75% of time)
  • Thermals are smaller. Lasers drive you to a larger kiosk size.

Laser "Advantages" Most Often Cited

  • Lower cost for printer (25% the cost)
  • Adding paper can be done by employees with no technical expertise
  • If Workforce/Employees are not technical Laser is easier for them to deal with.
  • Higher resolution and quality of print
  • Easier to service when servicing required.
  • Smaller deployments or test deployments work fine with Lasers

Contributor: Craig Keefner with KIOSK Information Systems
Notes: This is intended as general guide. Each situation is different depending on the project and requirements and the devices. Additions and clarifications are welcome.

Posted by staff at May 14, 2008 07:55 AM