All-In-One / Multifunctional Printers
If you are planning on printing a majority of text documents and donít want to mess with all the connections of separate printer, fax, and copier, you should look into getting an all-in-one printer. AIO/MFP can be either inkjet or laser printer. If you are looking to print in color, an inkjet might be a better option. See our inkjet and laser printer buying guides to help you figure which technology will suit your needs.
- Price Range
$100-$900 (depending on features you need)
- Advantage & Disadvantage
- Saves Space
- Ability to Scan, Print, Copy
- If the machine breaks down, you loose three machines instead of one.
- What to Look For
Are you running a home office or small business? Then you want to look for a printer that can print high quality text. You want every document you print, scan, or copy to look professional. Most AIO/MFP can print in black ink and in color. If looking for an inkjet AIO/MFP, try looking for a printer that uses two ink cartridges, one black and a separate one for color. If you are primary printing text documents having two cartridges will save you money in the long run.
- Scanner & Copier:
If you want to be able to copy large documents or sections of books, look for a printer with a scanner cover that is removable or that lifts high enough for a book. Newer models now come with a flatbed so you can scan and/or copy documents larger than standard letter size (8.5x11) and books. A good option to look for (you will find this with most new models) is the ability to copy even when the computer is turned off. You donít want the hassle of having to turn on the computer if you just need to make a copy.
Before you buy an AIO, ask yourself how important the fax capability will be to your home office or small business. If you plan to send and/or receive faxes throughout the day, it is best to look for an AIO with a separate fax modem/connection. This will allow you to be able to send or receive faxes even when your computer is turned off. If faxing is not a priority or you are expecting to send or receive the occasional fax, any AIO/MF printer with fax capacity will be enough. The printer will use software that will allow you to send and receive faxes through your computer.
- Photo Printing:
Many AIO are now made to double as a photo printer. If you planning on using your AIO/MFP to print photographs or high level graphics (i.e. business logs or marketing materials) look for a printer with high resolutions capabilities, four to six ink cartridges, and the ability to print directly from your camera.
- Automatic Paper Feeder:
We recommend looking for an AIO/MFP with an Automatic Document Feeder (ADF). It will add to the cost of the printer but will save you time. If you are planning on doing a lot of scanning or you have to copy more than two sheets, you donít want to waste your time standing over the printer, manually feeding each sheet. With the ADF, you will be able to load the feeder and press Copy/Scan and you will be free to work on other tasks.
- Paper Trays:
Are you going to have a high volume printing demand? Many AIO/MFP have optional paper trays, which will add to your paper handling capacity. The extra paper trays will save you from constantly adding more paper into empty trays.