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Printer Jargon Explained | Equipment Rentals
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Printer Jargon Explained
Buying a printer, photocopier, or scanner can be a complex decision if you don’t understand the jargon. In this post we explain some of the most common terminology you’re likely to hear or read when looking for your next printer.

PPM (Pages per minute)

A home printer is likely to print between 5-20 pages per minute, with the colour print likely to be much slower than the black. With higher end printers such as the printers in our catalogue, the PPM can range from 22 up to 75. This is an important aspect to consider when you will be primarily using your printer for a business. Will you be printing large documents all at once? Do you print many copies of the same document? A faster PPM will not necessarily impact on print quality and will save you time.

DPI (Dots per inch)

This is the resolution of the image or the quality of the printer document. A higher resolution looks sharper and clearer which is especially important for printing images, for text documents, the resolution doesn’t matter so much. Dots per inch is the amounts of dots that fill 1 square inch, typically displayed like 600x600dpi. With DPI the higher the better generally, but anything over 1200 can’t generally be noticed as being different. The best quality A3 colour MFPs we offer has a DPI of 1200x1200.

CMYK (Cyan, Magenta, Yellow, and Key (black))

The four colours you need to produce any colour available. With home printers, Cyan, Magenta and Yellow are usually bought as a single cartridge, but higher end machines will come with them separately. For businesses, the machines you use will generally take between four and eight toner cartridges.
All machines will have Cyan, Magenta, Yellow and Key. But some may have Light Cyan, Light Magenta, Light Yellow and Grey.

RAM (Random Access Memory)

This determines the size of the document or image you can print through your device. Having higher RAM allows you to print better quality documents and images and speed up the process of your print. A low end business printer could have between 32MB to 128MB of RAM, whilst higher end machines could have between 256MB to 1GB. It really depends on your planned usage, if you plan on printing high quality graphics, or printing a lot of documents from a lot of computers, then you will need a higher amount of RAM.

GSM (Grammes per Square Meter)

This is the standard paper weight, and standard paper is usually 80gsm. The higher the gsm the thicker the paper will be, it is important to find your favourite paper weight and style. For a comparison, cheap paper will be around 75gsm, whilst business cards are usually 300gsm.


Duplex printing means double sided printing. This is an important feature id you are a business looking to print many documents and save on paper usage.
We hope this has helped you, if you have any questions regarding printer jargon, or looking for your next printer hire or lease, get in touch. See our Why Rent? and Why Lease? pages for more information also! 

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