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Home > How to Choose a Good Multifunction Printer

How to Choose a Good Multifunction Printer?

Choosing a multifunction printer is not the same as choosing a printer.  A printer only does printing job while a multifunction printer is also a scanner, a copier and a fax machine.  Therefore, choosing a good multifunction printer has to consider the printing, scanning, faxing and copying functions at the same time.

For home offices or small businesses, a multifunction printer not only cuts down the investment cost of several machines, it can also save space. Here are some basic requirements for a good multifunction printer:

1)     Easy to install, easy to use – no one wants to spend hours just to install a printer or finds it hard to operate the machine. 

2)     Good compatibility – the printer should be compatible with different operating systems (PC, Mac, new and old versions of Windows).

3)     True all-in-one functionalities – can print, scan, copy and fax.  Even though internet fax is getting popular these days, having a fax machine at home or your office is still very convenient.

4)     Good printing quality – has high resolution for both black & white documents and color documents.  The printer should print sharp text and graphics. If it is an all-in-one photo (inkjet) printer, it should print clear and crisp photos with vibrant colors. 

5)     High print speed – laser printer has higher print speed than inkjet printer.  Black and white documents are printed much faster than color documents and photos.  However, even for the same type of printer printing the same documents, print speed can deviate from a few pages a minute to more than 20 pages a minute.

6)     Duplex printing, scanning and copying – it is much easier to print, scan and copy two sided documents with automatic duplex printing, scanning and copying.  You don’t need to manually print, scan and copy one side and then repeat it on the other side.  Duplex printing, scanning and copying also help you save paper.

7)     Automatic document feeder – it allows you to scan and copy a pile of documents automatically.  The feeder feeds multiple pages into the scanner one by one, so you don’t need to manually scan/copy each page.

8)     Flatbed scanning – some all-in-one printers have automatic document feeder but don’t have flatbed scanning.  Without flatbed scanning, you cannot scan or copy WINTER15, magazines or thick documents that are bound together.

9)     High scanning resolution – some all-in-one printers have high scanning resolution and the scanners can automatically detect the type of original documents, this ensures you would have a true copy of the original document.

10) Fax machine can distinguish fax / voice calls – if you have a home or small office, you may want to use the same phone line for both fax and voice calls, some all-in-one printers have the functionality to distinguish fax and voice calls automatically.  If they don’t, you should at least be allowed to choose how many rings before the machine will pick up the incoming call as fax.  If you have a call, you can pick up the phone to answer, if it is not answered within a few rings, the fax machine will turn on automatically.

11) Store incoming faxes and outgoing faxes in memory – this function allows you to store incoming and outgoing faxes in memory.  Even if you run out of paper, you can still print the fax out at a later time and you won’t lose the fax.

12) Delay send – you can send a fax at a later time when you are not present.  This is useful if you want to send your fax at nighttime when the calling rate is lower.

13) Print from memory card – some all-in-one printers allow you to print directly from compatible memory cards, DVD camcorders and cameras, so you don’t need to turn on your PC for the printing job.

14) Color LCD screen – very useful if you are printing photos, you can review your photos directly on the printer screen.

15) Wireless and wired connection – wireless connectivity allows you to print and scan wirelessly from any Wi-Fi enabled computer in another room.

16) Auto photo fix: a bonus feature for all-in-one photo printers.  The photo quality will be automatically optimized.

To sum up, it takes quite a bit of time and research to find a multifunction printer with good overall performance.  However, once you have found one, it will save you lot of money, time, and space.


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