Staff information

Do I really need my own printer?

How much does it cost to print?

Graph showing relative printing costsUntil a few years ago, it had been common practice for staff to purchase a desktop inkjet printer when buying a new PC. Whilst this was a convenient method of printing, it is by far the most expensive way of obtaining a black and white printout. As the chart (right) shows, to print a single A4 sheet of text costs almost 6 pence. Using this figure, to print a 5 page document by inkjet would cost just under 30 pence. In comparison, if the equivalent text was printed using a Ricoh MFD or printer, which only cost 4 pence per sheet (2p per side) would only cost 10 pence - a saving of almost 20 pence!

The savings are even more comparing colour printing on a Ricoh multi function device against an inkjet.

Printing Speeds.

Whilst modern inkjet printers feature much faster printing speeds than earlier models, the number of pages per minute that the networked printing facilities offer are much higher. For example:

Inkjet: Hewlett Packard Deskjet 960c 15 ppm

Networked Laser Printer or MFD: 25 to 70 ppm

Central Print Unit Machines: 100 ppm x 2

For small documents the Ricoh printers are perfect, and for multi thousaand page documents , the LJMU Central Print Unit.

Advantages and Disadvantages of printing types.

Inkjet Printers.


  • Convenient for small documents


  • Slower
  • Expensive to run - especially colour
  • Single sided printing only

Best suited for small documents, and some colour documents. Becomes uneconomical for any large documents.

Networked Laser Printers and Multi Function Devices


  • Relatively fast (25-70pm)
  • Duplex printing (both sides of the paper)
  • Cheap printing/consumable costs
  • High quality printing
  • Multi functional - can also be used as a photocopier, fax and scanner machine
  • Multi functional - offers facilities such as scaling, stapling and so on.


  • Not all lasers or multi function devices are colour.

Best "all round" printing option, ideally suited for low / medium volume print jobs, offering cheap duplex, high speed, high quality printing.
Ricoh MFD printers also offer additional copying / fax / scanning facilities.

Central Print Unit machines.


  • Ideally suited to very high volume printing
  • Cheap ~1.4p per mono page
  • High Quality, with a range of print finishing (such as binding etc) available
  • Colour available
  • 20% VAT saving when documents are stapled or bound
  • Time saving for member of staff


  • None - jobs are submitted electronically and then delivered in 1-2 days.

Best high volume printing option, ideally suited for production of booklets etc, offering cheap duplex, high speed, high quality printing. Easy to submit jobs to via Ricoh Trac website.


Using the Ricoh MFDs saves your department money. However, for large numbers of pages, the speed and professional finishing quality of the University Central Print Unit is the best choice.


Page last modified 14 July 2014.

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