Print Speed – Why, When and Where it Matters

February 17, 2023

4 min read

Print Speed – Why, When and Where it Matters

Printers and copiers are still an essential part of the workflow in most offices. Businesses are always on the lookout to optimize every hour of the working day with the ability to have a constant flow of documents printed in a timely fashion.

Does producing prints faster make your printing processes better? How much should you care about how long a print job takes to get out of the tray and into your hands? How much waiting time is considered a delay to getting on to your next task? If time is essential for you and your business, it’s good to understand how print speed plays a role in achieving your business goals.

Let’s get you up to speed with one of the essential qualities of a productive office. Find out why, when, and where print speed matters.


Why does Print Speed Matter?

Printing speed, simply put, is how quickly a printer can produce printed pages, whether they’re black-and-white or colored documents. If you consistently print in bulk or need something that can get long documents out fast, you’ll benefit from having a printer that prints quickly. You will save time, which is especially important in many types of business settings where you could potentially have multiple users queuing up for various kinds of print jobs one after another.


When and Where Does Print Speed Matter?

When you need to print a lot of documents fast, then you’ll want to know the variables that influence the print speed to get the results you want. You can start by auditing the page-per-minute (PPM) ratings on your printer devices. This information is readily available from the device manufacturer’s online resources and their product specifications, or Novatech’s comprehensive product catalog.

Keep in mind that PPM ratings typically depict printing under perfect conditions, usually with documents consisting of unformatted black text sent to the printer. As you add formatting, color, graphics, and images, print speeds can slow down. The PPM rating gives you one way to see if your printer is up to the task of your print workload.

The size and type of printed documents also have a great deal to do with the speed at which a printer prints. If you have large files, the printer needs to do some background processes before it prints. If your printed documents contain colored graphics and photos, that slows the process even more. On the other hand, if you print a lot of black-and-white text documents, the process can be relatively fast and you can get your documents in seconds or minutes on longer jobs.


Here are some variables which affect print speed:

Printer age: Modern printers have better print speeds compared to older models, which means you might need to consider getting newer models to meet print demand.

Choice of printer technology: Laser printers vary from 20 pages a minute to more than 65 or 70 pages a minute. Some high-volume monochrome laser printers print as fast as 100 pages per minute.

Color printing versus black ink-only printing: Printing in black ink is typically faster than printing in color ink, particularly when the color ink is used in printing photos. This is truer with inkjet printers than laser printers, in general – mainly because inkjet printers tend to be cheaper and lack the processing power to handle the graphics data coming in at the same rate as a more expensive inkjet or laser printer.

Printer settings: Some printers have settings that instruct the printer to flip a page to a horizontal orientation, reverse the order of pages in a multipage document, apply edge smoothing, or collate several pages. These features require the printer to do extra work before the actual printing starts.

High-resolution vs. low-resolution printing: High-resolution images may take longer to print than low-resolution images. You can opt to go for high resolution printing for professional-quality photos. Low-resolution printing can be used for images within internal documents not given to clients.

Print quality: Most printers offer a choice of high quality, regular quality, and draft quality printing. You can opt for draft quality when printing internal documents as this is the fastest mode to use, although the quality may not be as good as the other settings.

Warm up time: Most printers have a window for warming up before they start to take on print jobs. Some printers take a few seconds to warm up, and others half a minute. This might cause some delay when trying to get some prints done if you have the printer with a slower warm up time.

Number of printers available: How many printers are in the office? Single printers might be good for small businesses with minimal print work, but offices with multiple teams and departments might need to consider the wait time for other print queues to finish.

It’s always good to take the time to understand what your printing needs are in your business, and match that with your printer’s capabilities to meet the demand. Speed matters, as it plays into many elements of your workflow, like the print quality of your documents, and how many people in your team can use printers optimally without wasting time.

Need help finding the right printer with the best print speeds that can keep up with your workflow?

Talk to us at Novatech, we’re happy to get you up to speed with great productivity for your printing needs.

Written By: Editorial Team

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