If you have been researching printers and multi-function printers (MFPs) you may have come across the terms “A3” and “A4”. Both of these terms refer to paper sizes that the machines are capable of handling.

The standards of paper size have existed at different times and in different countries. Today, the A and B, which includes the popular A4 are the international standard used by almost every country. Of course, you may hear the word ‘Letter’ more commonly than A4 here in North America but they both refer to the same size.

A3 products such as printers and multi-function printers will have the ability to handle sizes up to 11″ X 17″ which is commonly know in in our market as Ledger Paper. Of course the A3 products are also able to handle both letter and legal size paper as well. A4 products such as printers and MFPs will have the ability to handle letter and legal sized paper ONLY (8.5″ X 11″ and 8.5″ X 14″)


So which one is right for me?

If you absolutely need to print ledger sized paper, then an A3 product is the only choice for you. Some of the reasons you may need to print on ledger size paper is for printing large documents such as schematics, spreadsheets, menus or booklets.

Even if paper size is not an issue, an A3 product may still be the right solution for you. A3 machines are larger and often come with more advanced features on the higher end products. Due to their size and added features, the upfront cost of an A3 product is typically greater than an A4 product; however the cost of supplies and cost of operation over time is typically lower. Read about the true costs here.

If paper size is not an issue then an A4 product may be the right option for you. A4 machines have a smaller footprint, are great in environments where space is an issue and are best suited for lighter duty applications. Due to their smaller size and fewer options, A4 printers have a lower upfront investment then A3 products. There was once a significant difference in the cost of operating an A4 product, however, we find that the cost to operate a A4 product over the long run is just as reasonable as the A3 products.

If you would like to understand your cost of printing based on the volume of printing and the applications required for your environment our team would be happy to help. Please give us a call at 866-266-7761 or local 604-574-8623 or send us an email HERE.