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Old 08-03-2013, 07:13 AM   #1
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Smile Help With Choosing Heavy-Duty Computer & Printer

Good afternoon,

I'm not sure this is the right place for this question (Feel free to delete if it's not) but I was recently entrusted with the task of choosing a computer and printer for our faculty's museum/study hall. The computer will cater to around 80 students every day but the number might rise to 300+ and I need a PC that can handle working all day long.

As for the printer, I need one which doesn't require high-maintenance, easy to use and fix and can handle 800+ pages printed every day, cheap but good-quality ink. And of course, to produce good-quality printed paper. If there's an all-in-one printer with those qualities, I would be very grateful for its name.

Thank you
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Old 08-03-2013, 08:35 AM   #2
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Default Re: Help With Choosing Heavy-Duty Computer & Printer

I would recommend a server with several dumb terminals with one or two printers networked in.
If you have the numbers you state, you're going to have people having to wait and a lot of wear and tear on any one computer and printer. Well not really the computer but the keyboard and mouse. They'll hold up for a while but will need to be replace.

I'd give a membrane keyboard an MTBF of about 90 days. A good mouse might last a bit longer. A mechanical keyboard will last longer but will eventually have to be replaced. Under those conditions you stated. Normal use they will last for years.

Also an off the shelf printer like you'd get for yourself from an office supply place, is not going to hold up printing out 800 pages per day. The cost of ink alone would drive your budget in to the stratosphere. For that sort of workload you need to check in to IBM or even Lexmark commercial printers. And that my friend is going to be expensive.
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Old 08-03-2013, 10:16 AM   #3
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Default Re: Help With Choosing Heavy-Duty Computer & Printer

I agree with Seti on the server with thin clients.

A more attractive option would be to lease a commercial printer.
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Old 08-03-2013, 10:29 AM   #4
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Default Re: Help With Choosing Heavy-Duty Computer & Printer

Make sure you get a maintenance contract.
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Old 08-04-2013, 01:50 PM   #5
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Default Re: Help With Choosing Heavy-Duty Computer & Printer

First of all, thank you very much for the quick reply, it's very much appreciated.

I do realize the number is a problem but I have a relatively small budget and need to think of other solutions. Say I can make sure that no more than 100 people use the computer and printer (~250 pages), would a normal office printer do? Also, is HP a reliable enough brand or should I go with Brother?

Thank you so much again

P.S.: I apologize I'f I'm annoying you with stupid questions and lack of experience, feel free not to answer if you don't want to.
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Old 08-04-2013, 02:49 PM   #6
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Default Re: Help With Choosing Heavy-Duty Computer & Printer

A small budget is not going to net the hardware you really need.
Printers like my Epson WorkForce 845 are office mules. Mine has not jammed once since I bought it a year ago. And with the XL cartridges it can churn out some pages. It's getting hard to find that model and Epson has replaced it with a upgraded model in the same price range. Using HP and Brother both in heavy usage office environments, neither held up for more than 3 or 4 months. Your results may vary.

As far as a limited budget goes, and as much as I hate saying this, DELL might turn out to be your best bet. Talk to a sales person and tell them what you want to do then give them your budget. They have a commercial branch that can put together a package. Might even let you lease it. I think, and don't hold me to this, the lease has a maintenance contract which covers the cost of repairs for normal wear and factory defects. Vandalism won't be covered.

No problems asking questions. That's what we do here. Answer questions.
Good luck with that.
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Old 08-04-2013, 05:24 PM   #7
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Default Re: Help With Choosing Heavy-Duty Computer & Printer

Thank you so much again, I think I'll try to get more money for the budget and go with the Epson WorkForce. Thanks again for all your help

But one last question, most internet reviews say that specific printer uses up lots of black ink cartridges? Is that true?
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Old 08-04-2013, 08:09 PM   #8
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Default Re: Help With Choosing Heavy-Duty Computer & Printer

In my office we use Xerox FX DocuCentre-II 3005 for black and white printing. Not sure about the price or maintenance contract (all I know is we have one) or cartridge price, etc., but I can definitely attest for its durability. We easily do 300+ a day. We once did ~5k a day on a particuarly busy week. It's been down just once over the past three years.
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Old 08-05-2013, 05:08 PM   #9
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Default Re: Help With Choosing Heavy-Duty Computer & Printer

Well let's see. I had this since last June and in that time I have put 3 XL carts in it. Just popped in the 3rd one last week. I average 2 packs of paper a week.
How long they last for me depends on how I set it up. Fast draft on Bosie X9 paper makes day to day printing look good enough to fax. I even print out my own registration cards on Avery postcard stock. 120 at a time.
If you don't bother to set up the printer it will eat you out of house and home in ink in no time.
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