Digital Copiers vs. Analog Copiers
Key Differences between Analog and Digital Copiers
A digital copier is to an analog copier what a VCR is to a DVD… or a cassette is to a CD…or cable television is to an antenna. While the technical explanation of analog and digital devices is a bit complicated, it’s sufficient to say that analog devices transmit information via electronic pulses, while digital devices use binary code (composed of 0s and 1s).
Digital copiers, when first introduced, were much pricier than analog copiers. But digital technology has progressed to the point where analog copiers are no longer manufactured (although they’re available refurbished). And, as you’ll read below, digital copiers are superior to their analog counterparts in almost every way.
The Advantages of Digital Copiers
We live in a digital world. Sure, analog technologies such as film photography and record players will always have a role in the hobby industries, but when it comes to the business world and getting things done, digital rules. The data storage ability at the heart of digital technology allows an image to be scanned once, saved, and reproduced countless times. Analog copiers, on the other hand, must recopy the original each time a copy is made. This small but important difference makes digital copiers superior to analog copiers in a number of ways, including:
- Less noise: Simpler operation and fewer moving parts mean that digital copiers are quieter than analog copiers.
- Fewer repairs: Fewer moving parts also means that digital copiers often require fewer repairs.
- Better image quality: The image quality of a digital copier is typically better than that with analog models thanks to better graphic rendering and the ability to edit scanned documents.
- Broader reduction/enlargement range: Many digital copiers can reduce documents to 25 percent of their original size and enlarge them to 400 percent. The reduction and enlargement range of analog copiers is much lower at 50 and 200 percent, respectively.
- Multi-functional: A modern digital copier does much more than make copies. Most machines also work in tandem with computers and computer networks to provide scan, print, fax, and email capabilities.
Digital Copier vs. Analog Copier Average Costs
- Home office digital copier/multi function devices (MFDs) that print at speeds of up to 15 to 25 ppm (pages per minute) and are suitable for very small businesses or work groups start at under $1,000. Machines with similar speed but advanced functions such as duplexing, automatic document feeding, and high-capacity fax memory can cost $1,000 to $2,000.
- Small business copiers/MFDs can cost anywhere from $3,000 to $60,000or more depending on speed, monthly volume, and features. Take a look at our detailed digital copier pricing guide.
- Small businesses interested in a great deal on an analog copier might consider buying one refurbished. For half the price or less of a new digital MFD, a refurbished analog copier can provide reliable document reproduction.