Multifunction Printer Buying Guide

Multitasking has become a byword in today’s working environment. Everyone is expected to do several skills almost at the same time. To keep up with our fast-paced work lives, our office equipment has been developed to catch up with us. This is why multifunction printers (MFPs) have become a popular item in offices.

Also known as all-in-ones or multifunctions, MFPs can print, copy, scan, and sometimes even fax documents in one usually large package. It is especially attractive for personal use, as well as small or home-based businesses. They are also fit for people who want a versatile printer, scanner, copier, and fax machine but who do not have the money and space for separate single-function machines.

MFPs nowadays have become so varied that it has become difficult to choose between models. One model may be excellent in printing but fails miserably in scanning and copying. These are the criteria that you should follow when it comes to choosing a great multifunction printer.

Inkjet versus lasers printers

Most MFP models are available in inkjet, wherein several ink cartridges are inserted into the unit. Although they are generally inexpensive and have better print quality, the cost of replacement cartridges are actually costly and may even overtake the cost of the actual printer in the long run.

Also, inkjets usually print at a slower pace. Meanwhile, color laser MFPs may cost more, but they tend to print faster and have better print quality on copies and prints of scanned images. The cost of toners are much lower than cartridges and can accommodate thousands of pages a month (whereas inkjets can only do hundreds).

The problem, however, lies on its sheer size as color laser multifunction printers tend to be bigger and bulkier. If you are divided on which to choose, take note that inkjets are recommended for smaller offices while organizations with bigger outputs may want to opt for its laser counterpart.

Go for function, not price

MFPs vary widely in how well they handle certain task, so decide on which are more important to you and then shop accordingly. For instance, some printers can handle the job automatically while others would require placing each page manually.

If you print documents that have more text than images, you may be better off with a laser printer over an inkjet. The copier function of multifunction printers also vary, as some are performed on a flatbed and or on a scanner head that works with an automatic document feeder (ADF).

Pay for what you need

Some MFPs have fax machine functions, and with the onset of e-mails, you have to determine whether your office really needs a fax machine before buying a printer with one. Newer printers also include photo-editing functions.

Photo-card support

Many MFPs come with slots for digital camera memory card that are convenient when transferring digital photos directly into the unit or into the attached computer, then you can use the bundled software to fine-tune your images.

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