While the idea of a paperless office sounds great in principle, the truth is that many homes or small office businesses still have a need to copy printed documents on a frequent basis.The standard standalone office copy machines have nearly vanished in the digital age, replaced by multifunction printers that unite the functions of copying, printing, scanning, and optionally faxing into one device. Technically a “copier” in present terms is typically a printer that has a built-in scanning device so that a document to be copied can be scanned and made by the printer.As with many electronics, copier/printer devices continue to drop in price, though they come with more features than ever. The ease of copying in-house instead of going to a print/copy shop can't be beaten.Here are the main buying factors to help you pick a printer/copier for your small or home business:Inkjet vs Laser/LEDFor high-speed copying of text documents, LED/Laser printers are usually the better choice. Inkjets are able to print at much higher resolutions, making them more suitable for graphics, particularly for photographs.CostWhen looking at the cost of a printer/copier, it is important to take the ongoing cost of consumables into account if you want to do more than random copying/printing. Manufacturers have shifted gears in recent years. Instead of making profits on selling printer/copiers, now they can sell them at cost, making huge profit margins on selling toner and ink.Many machines now come with ink/toner cartridges with embedded microchips that stop other brands from being used. Bargain laser or inkjet don’t look cheap when it comes time to replace the expensive ink or toner cartridges. Color printer/copiers are a little expensive to use. They necessitate four cartridges. It is typical for the replacement cost of inkjet/toner cartridges to go higher than the purchase price of the whole printer, making printers a common occupant of electronics recycling landfills and depots.