Multifunction Printer
How to Find the Best All-in-One Printer for You

A multifunction printer is a very useful machine to have around, especially in the office. Whoever thought of integrating printing, scanning, copying, and faxing into one machine was a genius. This concept has so far proven very beneficial to all consumers who have tried using them. In fact, the multifunction printers can now be found practically anywhere, and where they are, there is sure to be great savings in space and money.

Printer manufacturers are well aware of how these hybrids machines sell, which is why they come in unbelievable numbers that confuse every prospective buyer. There are now a lot of printers around that combines various function and even adds some features as icing on top. One thing every potential buyer should know, however, is that the quality and performance of these machines in one function may not really carry over to the other functions. One product can be a great printer, but not a great scanner.

That’s why it’s important to know how to choose a multifunction printer well. To guide you in looking for a great machine, here are some factors that you should check out.

Choosing a Multifunction Printer

Multifunction Printer A multifunction printer is composed of the following parts:

  • Printer
  • Scanner
  • Copier
  • Fax

1. Printer

Since you are, above anything else, looking for a printer, check out the printer portion of the equation first. Here you should consider the print quality. The print quality, often determined by the maximum print resolution as well as the ink technology in inkjet printers, is the most important factor to consider.

You should be even more meticulous about this factor if you are buying a photo printer. The highest photo printer resolutions reach up to 9600 x 4800, while the standard for text printing is 600 x 600. Aside from that, you should consider speed. Slow printing can prove to be an inconvenience to you even if you think it might be a fairly small sacrifice at first. It would be best to find a great speed that does not sacrifice print quality.

In addition to that, don’t forget to check out the printer memory. If your printer memory is low, the machine might encounter difficulties in handling various print jobs along with scanning jobs, copying jobs, and fax messages. Once you’ve considered all these features, move on to the scanner.

2. Scanner

The scanner in a multifunction printer has a scan resolution separate from the printing resolution. Compared to the print resolution, the scanner resolution is often relatively lower. Don’t make a big compromise in this factor. Make sure that the scanner resolution is not that low so you can come up with sharp and clear scans. Check the optimal and interpolated resolution. You should also check whether you have certain scanning features, such as scan-and-email features, scan-to-PDF, or scanned text conversion into editable text.

3. Copier

Copiers come in many types as well. There are monochrome copiers and color copiers. Multifunction centers with color copiers are usually more expensive. You should also check out features such as reduction and enlargement.

4. Fax

As for the fax, the most important thing to note is the fax/modem speed. The speed of most multifunction printers is at 33 Kbps fax/modem. This is the standard speed. Anything slower than that is clearly not a great option, especially if the fax is as important to you as the other functions on your multifunction. You should also check for some features such as color faxing, speed dial locations, group dialing, and several others.

The Top Multifunction Printer Awardees

In the highly cluttered market of multifunction printers, there are certain models that have managed to claim the top ratings. First, there are Canon printers with highly advanced printing technologies and feature-packed functions, from scanning, color copying, and color faxing. Check out the Canon Pixma models. Epson also offers the CX6600, which produces great scans, printing that leaves nothing to be desired, and media options. On third, there’s the HP PSC 1315 All-in-One, with a reasonable price and fairly adequate print and optical scan resolution.

From Lexmark, there’s the X5270 All-in-One, with standard print and scanning resolutions but with relatively faster speeds than most. The printer can also accommodate up to 8.5 by 17 inches of prints. From Brother, there’s the MFC-8840DN, with special color fax that can stand alone, and impressive print and scan quality. The printer also has a duplexer. This is, however, a pretty high end model and is not that affordable.

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