The promise of a paperless office never became a reality. Instead, printing technology has advanced to make sure we can print slides for a presentation, contracts for that new server bank and even that email from the board of directors at lightning speeds. In other words: We still need to print, but now workgroups don't have to wait as long. These new models fall into a wide array of price points and speeds, but all clock in at around 30 pages per minute or more.
Samsung Xpress M2885FW
Price: 120 Speed: 29 pages per minute (PPM)
Outfitted with a 600 Mhz processor, this multi-function printer (which can also copy, scan and fax) outputs at 29 pages per minute (black only). For teams, one unique feature is the capability to tap the printer with your Android smartphone, sync over Near-Field Communication (NFC) and print using the Samsung Mobile Print app. (Apple iPhone users can still print from the app, but there's no NFC syncing.)
With Wi-Di Direct, you can print over Wi-Fi without the hassle of configuring a Wi-Fi network. While the Samsung Xpress M2885FW certainly isn't the fastest printer in this roundup, it's easily the least expensive.
Canon imageRUNNER ADVANCE 500 iF
Price: $5,250Speed: 52 PPM
This high-end, multi-function color printer outputs at 52 PPM in black and white and a respectable 75PPM in color. Beyond those specs, paper capacity is the big selling point for the Canon imageRUNNER ADVANCE 500 iF. Not only can you make copies, scan and fax, but you can add up to three extra trays (at $299 each) for a 2,300-sheet maximum.
There's a bright, 7-inch color LCD screen for setting up print jobs, scans, copies and faxes. Teams can print from mobile devices using a secure app. The scanner is also fast at 52 impressions per minute.
Oki Data Monochrome Multifunction Printer MB770
Price: $1,700 Speed: 55 PPM
This fast but low-cost printer is ideal for large teams. The print speed is a fast 55 PPM (black and white only), and Oki Data says the first page print takes about five seconds or less. One perk to using this printer in a workgroup:
You can use the OKI Print Job Accounting software to restrict printing to individuals and teams in the company. There's a huge 9-inch color screen for setting up print jobs, copies, scans and faxes. Instead of mobile or cloud printing, the Oki Data MB770 does let anyone print using the front-facing USB port from a laptop.
Brother HL-S7000DN Monochrome Inkjet Printer
Price: £2,150 Speed: 100 PPM
If speed is your primary concern, here's the printer you want for large groups. Print speeds blaze a trail at 100 PPM, the fastest we've found. Paper capacity runs 2,100 if you choose the configuration with three additional 500-sheet trays. (That total capacity includes a 100-sheet feeder.) What you lose for your workgroups is the capability to fax, copy or scan.
The Brother HL-S7000DN also has a small, non-color LCD screen for managing the printer. You can, though, print from a smartphone using the Brother iPrint&Scan app for iOS, Android, Windows Phone and BlackBerry.
The Lexmark MX812dxe Monochrome Laser Printer. (Image courtesy of Lexmark.)
Lexmark MX812dxe Monochrome Laser Printer
Price: $4,699 Speed: 70 PPM
The Lexmark MX812dxe runs at the same speed as the HP Officejet Enterprise x585z, at 70 PPM for black-and-white pages. Your teams can also scan, copy and fax; there's even a version of the MX812 that can staple pages.
Unlike the HP Officejet Enterprise x585z, the MX812dxe model comes with the extra paper trays you'll need for a 2,700-sheet capacity. There's a massive 10-inch color touchscreen for setting up options such as networking and security. The printer also shows how many pages are remaining to print on the toner cartridge.
HP Officejet Enterprise x585z
Price: £2,000 Speed: 75 PPM
The HP Officejet Enterprise x585z cranks out black-and-white documents at 75 PPM. While that's slower than the Brother HL-S7000DN, you can also print out color pages at similar speeds. Note that the ISO-rated speed is 42 PPM for the first sheet; the HP rating of 75 PPM is for the general office-use draft mode in black after the first sheet comes out.
The multi-function device lets you scan, fax and make copies. Sheet capacity runs 1,050 pages if you add the extra 500-sheet tray for $299. HP Web Jetadmin software is provided for managing the printer. There's a large 8-inch color LCD screen for managing jobs, as well as a full QWERTY keyboard. Like the Samsung printer, you can sync a phone using NFC and print using a mobile app.
John Brandon is a former IT manager at a Fortune 100 company who now writes about technology. He has written more than 2,500 articles in the past 10 years. You can follow him on Twitter @jmbrandonbb. Follow everything from CIO.com on Twitter @CIOonline, Facebook, Google + and LinkedIn.
Plenty of power, plenty of choice and a wide range of cost - there is an appropriate printer for every workgroup in your enterprise.