Dell: Personal Printers Are Power Hogs

Carl Weinschenk

Laser printer prices may be dropping, but Dell says that it makes no sense for employees to have desktop devices, according to this TechWorld article.


There are security and management issues, both of which favor deployment of a relatively few and more easily tracked networked printers as opposed to a flotilla of desktop devices.


The main reason to go with the networked devices, however, is cost. The story lays out a scenario (30 users each printing three hours per day) and concludes that outfitting them with personal lasers would consume 17 times as much power annually (1,000 kWh versus 17,000 kWh) than running a single networked printer, which the writer says would be adequate.


Other savings, such as more efficient use of toner, also is realized in the networked scenario.


The reason for the big gap is that a laser printer's drum mechanism is kept hot for a half-hour after each use in case more copies must be made. This, apparently, is cheaper than re-heating. Whether that is true of all lasers or not should be part of the organization's research before purchasing. In any case, the cost associated with all this surplus heating adds up quickly when multiplied by all the desktops in an organization.


The stories have no information on the power consumption of emerging 3D printers, but we assume that these gadgets are no bargain to run.

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