Home offices, small businesses and craft rooms can become powerful centers of productivity with the addition of an all-in-one inkjet printer. A combination of scanner, copier, fax machine and printer, these machines come with many versatile features that can make a small business look big, home offices look corporate and craft rooms look inspired.
Following is a list of common features found in the latest multifunction inkjet printers. Note that not all printers have each feature, so be sure to check the details when comparing products:
-Wireless connectivity – print from anywhere in your home with a wireless-enabled printer connected to a wireless network (ethernet cable may not be included)
-Economy of size – most multifunction printers are slightly larger than the size of a standard sheet of paper (the size needed for the scanner)
-Printing speed – starts at about 25 pages per minute (ppm) for black ink and 18 ppm for color
-Sheet capacity – paper trays usually hold 15-50 sheets; a paper drawer can be tuck away a ream of paper for fewer refills
-Connection – printers typically connect to PC or MAC with a USB cable
-PC -free copy and print – make copies or print documents without turning the computer on
-Different print media types and sizes – most inkjet printers support letter, legal, envelopes, transparencies, craft papers, photo paper, sticker sheets, cardstock, banner paper, etc.
-Document feeders copy or scan multiple documents at once – they usually hold 30-50 pages
-Auto-duplexing, a feature that comes with document feeders, means you can copy or print both front and back without having to wait and manually turn over your printed document
-Some printers are Energy Star qualified or claim to be as "green" as possible
-Depending on features, prices range from $ 150 – $ 350
-Print laser-quality documents and lab-quality photos and prints
-Borderless photo and document printing
-Typical print and copy speed in black & white and color ranges from 2 – 3 seconds; photos print in less than a minute
-Print photos directly from memory card slot, Flash drive or digital camera
-Print resolution usually starts at 4800 x 1200 dpi for color and 1200 dpi for black
-Some printers detect which paper is being used to decide what print resolution is needed
-Automatic cartridge alignment
-Both color and black & white copies
-Request up to 99 copies at a time
-Can reduce or enlarge – usually ranges from 25% – 400%
-Flatbed scanners, great for laying books, fragile photos, craft projects, or other items flat are typically 8.5 "x 11.7"
-Color depth of 36-bit or 48-bit means true-to-life replication (the higher the number, the better)
-Optical resolution of 600×1200 dpi is suitable for most scanning purposes, but higher numbers mean images can be enlarged to print or poster size without noticeable loss in quality
-OCR software for scanning text that can be edited
-Fax in color or black & white with or without your computer
-Group dialing for fax blasts
-Speed dial directories with 50 numbers and up
-Transmission speed about 3 seconds per page
-Typically remember about 90 pages of incoming faxes
-Junk fax barriers prevent unsolicited faxes
-Quick, easy setup
-Crop, resize, rotate and retouch photos including red-eye reduction
-Converting and saving images
-Easy Internet printing and faxing
Keep in Mind
-Toner – Most printers use either two cartridges (one for black ink, one for cyan, magenta and yellow) or four cartridges (one for each color). However, some printers, like Canon brand, use different color systems. Kodak boasts the lowest total ink replacement cost in the industry with black ink cartridge costing around $ 10 and 5-ink color cartridge around $ 15. In general, more cartridges mean more cost savings because only the color needed is replaced.
-Compatibility – Check to make sure that your computer's operating system is supported. Multifunction printers may not work with older versions of Windows.