The biggest photocopier brands are Xerox, Canon, Ricoh, and HP (formerly Hewlett-Packard). These offer the widest range of products on the UK market, and among their offerings you'll most likely be able to find something suitable for your office.
Other popular brands include Lexmark, Brother, Kodak, and Epson. Each of these may have advantages and disadvantages for particular usages, so inquire with suppliers.
On this page, we take a closer look at each of the big four brands.
Of course, some copier and printer models are just plain bad. A good supplier will also be able to tell you what to avoid, thanks to having a lot of experience working with a variety of users and models.
Xerox's range of multifunction machines starts at around £200 (and can exceed £10,000 for large production copiers).
At the lowest price level, the recommended monthly print volume is 1,500–2,500 pages per month.
For a medium office (or even a small one with more than a couple regular users), you will have to spend more to obtain a well-suited copy machine.
Xerox ColorQube – solid ink colour printers/copiers
WorkCentre is not Xerox’s only copier line. Xerox also offers ColorQube, a range of colour A3 multifunction copiers. These use solid ink technology.
Solid ink produces excellent colour print quality, as well as generates less printing waste. If you print and copy a lot of colour pages, choosing a solid ink machine may reduce your total cost of ownership due to a comparatively much lower cost per page.
The solid ink technology was invented back in 1986. As of 2016, Xerox is the only manufacturer offering solid ink devices, so if that’s what you’re after, your choice of brand is clear.
If you're curious about this technology and would like to learn more, there is a solid ink FAQ provided by Xerox that will answer some of the questions you might have.
Xerox's multifunction copier line is imageRUNNER. Current entry-level models include features that used to be available only in higher-end copiers. Some of them are:
- Duplex document feeder
- PDF searching
- Secured printing
- Secured hard disk erase
- Scan to e-mail or file server (FTP / SMB)
All of Canon's imageRUNNR multifunction devices are able to copy, print, and scan. Fax functionality is not included in all models, but machines with G3 fax are available if you need it.
Canon’s smaller workgroup machines, generally intended for small offices and up to 10 users, are able to handle maximum paper size A4.
For larger floor-standing models, the maximum cassette paper size is A3+ (305 mm x 457 mm). The maximum bypass paper size is SRA3 (320 mm x 450 mm).
Many Canon copiers also support AirPrint, Apple’s technology that enables easy wireless operation without downloading or installing drivers.
Adobe PostScript support is also standard.
Canon has offerings in all of the main copier classes, from desktop machines to floor-standing production copiers able to output up to 80 pages per minute in colour, with the maximum monthly volume exceeding a hundred thousand copies.
You probably know this one. Back in 1984, the LaserJet became the world’s first desktop laser printer, priced at around $3,500. Over a hundred million LaserJet machines have been sold worldwide. Of course, today this line includes multifunction devices that not only print, but also copy and scan.
An HP LaserJet Enterprise model priced at around £1000 will be quite suitable for small offices. At this price level, the recommended monthly volume is rather small (2000 to 6000 pages). However, you can expect and reliable printing (about 30 pages per minute in black or colour), with a low first-page-out time of just over 10 seconds.
Other features include:
- 2 paper trays standard (maximum 3)
- 100-sheet multipurpose tray, 250-sheet input tray, 50-sheet automatic document feeder (ADF)
- Optical scan resolution up to 600 DPI
HP OfficeJet (and OfficeJet Pro)
OfficeJet is the multifunction offshoot of HP's Deskjet printers. This can be a good choice if your office has relatively low monthly volume requirements, but you would like a single device that can print, copy, and scan. As the devices are inkjet-based, you'll also be able to output high-quality colour materials, including photographs.
HP also offers a line of printers for the graphics industry. The price range of Designjet printers is £1000–5000. They allow printing in very high quality (up to 2400 DPI).
Designjet printers all have built-in wireless connectivity, enabling easy use with Android or iOS smartphones and tablets.
Naturally, all Designjets have large, intuitive colour touchschreens, as befits equipment intended for graphic designers and photographers.
Ricoh also offers a number of digital duplicators. The entry-level models are about £1,000. At this price level, you can expect a speed of 60–90 sheets per minute (with the first page out in about 45 seconds), a standard document feeder, and manual duplexing.
If you need to handle A3 sheets, and an even higher page-per-minute speed, a higher-class Ricoh digital duplicator that can output up to 130 pages per minute will cost about £2,000. At this price level, the first-page-out speed will also be slightly faster.
Enter your requirements in the quote request form, and we'll get back to you with offers from several suppliers. Copier prices can vary between different suppliers, so comparing several offerings is a very good idea. Particularly when purchasing a more piece of equipment, this can help you save up to 30% or obtain other benefits (such as more favourable service agreement terms).