Saving when starting a new business

(Saving with 6abc - Nydia Han)

March 29, 2010 7:05:12 AM PDT
Whether you're starting an at-home business or just managing a household, Consumer Reports says setting up a home office is cheaper and easier than ever.

With limited room for a home office, Taryn Glassman uses an all-in-one printer to help make the space work.

"It's basically just a few buttons. You have to decide if you want to print, copy, scan, and fax," Glassman said.

Team an all-in-one printer with an all-in-one computer and Consumer Reports says you have an instant home office set-up. "An all-in-one integrates the parts of a computer right into the display, so there's no need for a tower," said Dean Gallea of Consumer Reports. "That makes it simple for most people to set up in a matter of minutes."

Consumer Reports gives Apple's new 27" iMac its Top rating but it is $1,700. If that's too steep - consider the 21.5" Apple iMac. It's also fast, and at $1,200 it is more competitively priced.

Many all-in-one PCs will cost you less initially but Consumer Reports says Macs can save you money in the long run. "Consumer Reports' survey shows that the iMac is the most reliable all-in-one computer," according to Gallea. "Apple has the best tech support."

Now for the all-in-one printer.

"They're bigger than a regular printer, but they're a lot smaller than a separate printer, copier, and scanner and a lot less money, too," said Gallea.

Consumer Reports named the HP Officejet 6500 Wireless a Best Buy at $140. It's fast, with a lower print cost per-page than most.

To help cut printing and paper costs - print in "draft" mode. That uses less ink and can cut the cost per-page in half or more. The setting does reduce print quality, but it's worth it for less important jobs. Printing on both sides saves paper. Many new printers now do that automatically.