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HP is one of the leading manufacturers in consumer printing devices. Their line of all-in-one printers caters to home offices and businesses that need a cost-effective printer, copier, scanner and fax in one. This comes through in spades with their state-of-the-art Energy Star rated M479fdw Wireless Laser Printer.

It has the precision and speed of a laserjet printer and can print in color at a rate of up to 28 pages per minute. It’s also worth noting that if you need to print on both sides of a piece of paper the HP M479fdw can also be set up for duplex printing.

There is also a dual side fast scanner that allows you to scan two-sided documents for copying and printing. There’s also a walk-up USB port for delivering large files from another device that might not be connected to its wireless network.

Epsom offers printers geared for homes as well as offices. Their Expression Home XP-4100 is designed for the kind of high-resolution printing that families tend to prioritize, yet also can appeal to offices that need to occasionally produce vivid documents for presentations.

The Home XP-4100 has a maximum print resolution of 5,760 X 1,440 DPI while also being able to duplex print on both sides of a piece of paper. It also offers voice-activated printing, along with wireless connectivity, and the ability to scan documents directly to the Cloud.

The Epsom Home XP-4100 has a robust 100-sheet capacity and can also accommodate card stock through a rear manual feed. It’s rated to print at 10 pages per minute in black or 5 pages per minute in color.

Canon is a well-established manufacturer of consumer-grade printers at nearly every level. Their Image Class MF743Cdw all in one multi-function printer has the quality, efficiency and innovation to appeal to professional offices that need to print as well as process documents.

It has a very intuitive interface and can be set up to produce its own WiFi hotspot with state-of-the-art security features built-in. Canon also backs it with a 3-year warranty and strong customer support.

The Canon Image CLASS MF743Cdw features two-sided scanning as well as duplex printing. The scan feature also has the ability to digitize documents to make them searchable. This is a great feature for companies who need to transition their old paper records to a digital format.

Right out of the box the Image Class is set up with a 250-sheet capacity but can expand to 850 sheets. It can print at a rate of up to 28 pages per minute with color laser resolution.

How We Picked

Modern-day printers have evolved into multi-functional devices that can appeal to family, home, and office needs. Though each of these niches has different features that they might prioritize.

The print engine is the first thing that starts to differentiate multi-function printers for determining its most likely user. Families that need to print images and photographs with rich colors, typically tend toward inkjet printers with high print resolution. Though the page per minute print rate of these printers tends to be far too low for an office setting that will prioritize a much higher print rate.

In an office setting, laser printers capable of color allow professionals to generate visually interesting documents for presentations and display. Many of these units also come with special features like duplex printing, and perhaps two-sided scanning. The ability to configure these printers for wireless connectivity or an existing ethernet LAN might also be high on the list of key features.

We also kept an eye out for things like fax capability, security features, and things like the availability of high-yield inks for offices that might need them.

With all-in-one printers, the brand name matters in that more well-established brands tend to have widely available ink cartridges, or they are affiliated with replacement cartridge programs like Amazon Dash. Well-established manufacturers are also more likely to have strong customer support, superior warranties, and intuitive interfaces. They are also more likely to push the cutting edge in print, scan, and copy innovation to keep up or take a step beyond their competition.

Canon TS9120 Wireless All-In-One Printer, Scanner And Copier


  • Wireless Connectivity
  • Also Hi-Speed USB, Ethernet
  • Maximum Resolution Print Is 4,800 X 1,200 DPI
  • 6 Individual Ink System
  • 5.0” LCD Touchscreen
  • Borderless Printing
  • Front & Rear Paper Support
  • Auto 2-Sided (Duplex) Printing
  • Business Card Printing
  • CD/DVD/Blu-ray Disc Printing Feature
  • Supports a Memory Card
  • 1-Year Warranty

Canon is one of the better-known brands in the multi-functional printer marketplace. They started out in the camera industry and eventually evolved into printers and other devices to allow their users to print out their own stunning images.

Canon TS9120 Wireless All-In-One Printer

This means that the Canon TS9120 is capable of photo-quality printing with a maximum print resolution of 4,800 X 1,200 dots per inch. It uses a 6-color ink cartridge system that creates vivid images on paper.

Canon TS9120 Wireless All-In-One Printer

It can also print on other media including CDs, DVDs, Blu-Ray discs, Business cards and more. It’s also capable of borderless printing for those who want to print a photograph without having to worry about the hassle of trimming the edges.

Canon TS9120 Wireless All-In-One Printer

The Canon TS9120 offers “Air Print” wireless connectivity to a variety of devices. If you prefer it can also be set up to connect via PictBridge Wireless LAN, Wi-Fi, Bluetooth 4.0 LE, Google Cloud Print, or Mopria Device Printing.

The ink cost is a little bit on the high side of average and is relatively available at the retail level. There are some online retailers who often offer it at a discount, or as part of a package or a subscription promotion.

What We Liked

With a Canon color printer, you sort of expect high-resolution printing and vivid color printing. The ability to print on other media like discs, business cards and borderless photos is something that sets this all-in-one printer apart from many of the competitors in this price range.

The wireless connectivity supported through multiple platforms is also a nice touch.


This is a high-quality printer that can deliver vivid images on different media. Just keep in mind that the print speed isn’t going to blow you away. It fits best as a home printer, or for an independent contractor, or entrepreneur who needs to produce high-quality images for presentations. It’s probably not the best fit for an office copier or high-volume document printer.

HP ENVY Photo 6222 Wireless All-in-One Printer with Craft it! Bundle

HP ENVY Photo 6222 Wireless All-in-One Printer with Craft it! Bundle


  • Wireless Connectivity Via HP Smart App
  • 1,200 X 1,200 DPI Printing
  • 600 X 600 DPI Scan Resolution
  • Comes With Hallmark Card Studio Select Software
  • 2-Sided Printing
  • Borderless Printing And Common Photo Size Printing
  • 1-Year Warranty

Hewlett-Packard started out in the late 1930s in a one-car garage and has since grown to become one of the larger players in the technology, and consumer printing industry. Their products are widely available and replacement ink cartridges are offered through a wide variety of brick and mortar retailers as well as online vendors. They also have a reputation for superior 24/7 customer service.

HP ENVY Photo 6222 Wireless All-in-One Printer

This HP Envy 6222 All-in-one printer comes with a Craft It bundle, which companions with Hallmark’s Studio Select software bundle. It also includes Print artist Gold 25 Software, HP photo paper, and 12 HP iron-on transfers.

HP ENVY Photo 6222 Wireless All-in-One Printer

It can print at a resolution of up to 1,200 X 1,200 dots per inch on a variety of stock and sizes of photo paper. It’s also capable of two-sided printing.

HP ENVY Photo 6222 Wireless All-in-One Printer on desk

The “HP Smart App” integrates with the Envy’s wireless connectivity, which lets you print from a variety of devices. This includes printing from social media as well as the Cloud.

HP also understands that the characteristics of this printer are also appealing to small businesses, co-working spaces and offices. As such they offer their 6255 All-in-one multi-functional wireless printer with high yield ink, with ink cartridges in the initial purchase bundle.

What We Liked

This bundle appeals to people who want to get creative with their home printing. It’s a great option for producing your own holiday cards and other visually stunning pieces. The wireless connectivity is also a nice touch that lets you use the printer from just about anywhere.


The HP Envy 6222 All-in-One multi-functional printer, scanner, and copier are geared more toward home use. There are a lot of features that are tailored to families who need a printer to augment their creative interests.

The print speed of 6255 and the high yield ink is more suited for businesses and professionals who need a printer for reprographics.

A minor area of complaint with the Envy is that the 600 X 600 DPI scan resolution is a little bit low compared to some of the competitors as is the 1,200 X 1,200 DPI print resolution. However, those competitor units with better resolution do come with a slightly higher price tag, which makes the Envy a nice choice for families who need to mind their budget.

HP Color LaserJet Pro Multifunction M479fdw Wireless Laser Printer

HP Color LaserJet Pro Multifunction M479fdw Wireless Laser Printer


  • Color Laser Printer
  • 2-Sided Scanning
  • Fax Capability
  • Wireless Printing And Setup
  • Walk-Up USB Port
  • Up To 28 Pages Per Minute Printing Color
  • Energy Star Rated
  • 550 Sheet Optional Paper Tray
  • 150 Sheet Output Tray
  • 1-Year Next Day Onsite Warranty

As one of the larger players in the consumer printing and technology industry HP also caters to businesses that need a cost-effective printer, copier, scanner and fax in one device. You see this reflected in their state-of-the-art M479fdw Wireless Laser Printer.

HP Color LaserJet Pro Multifunction M479fdw accessories

It has the ability to print in color at a rate of up to 28 pages per minute. The M479fdw can also be set up to print on both sides of a sheet of paper.

HP Color LaserJet Pro Multifunction M479fdw

It also has a dual side fast scanner and a walk-up USB port. This allows you to scan important documents for printing and copying or you can bring physically stored documents from another device to deliver them directly to the printer. Yet, this HP all-in-one laser printer does not require a physical connection to a network as it offers dual-band WiFi connectivity.

HP Color LaserJet Pro Multifunction M479fdw

The HP M479fdw Wireless Laser Printer also comes with a few other important bells and whistles. This includes things like security software and the fact that it’s rated for energy efficiency by Energy Star.

What We Liked

A laser printer that can print in color used to be a thing of the imagination. Now the HP M479fdw makes it a convenient reality. The fact that it can scan both sides of a document and then print both those sides through an easy to use interface is something that rides on the cutting edge for this type of devices.

The fax capability is something that might go unnoticed or unappreciated by some. Still, if your business needs a fax machine for receiving and transmitting documents, this all-in-one printer spares you the cost of buying another device.

The 1-Year, next-day on-site service warranty is also a nice touch, and not something you necessarily see in competitor all-in-one printers.


This HP laser printer is designed to cater to businesses of all sizes. It has the fast output and scanning you need to chew through length important documents. Things like the walk-up USB port and the security software are also nice touches that you will appreciate.

Lexmark MC3224dwe Color Multifunction Laser Printer with Print, Copy, Scan

Lexmark MC3224dwe Color Multifunction Laser Printer with Print, Copy, Scan


  • Color Laser Printer
  • Compact Footprint
  • 250 Page Capacity
  • Wireless Setup And Connectivity
  • Security Architecture By Lexmark
  • 2-Sided Printing
  • Energy Star Rated
  • Cartridge Recycling Available
  • 1-GHz dual-core processor and 512 MB of memory

Lexmark is another well-established brand in the all-in-one printer niche. Their MC3224dwe Color Multifunction Laser Printer was designed to print, copy, and scan. While it is positioned for office use, it also has a small footprint and functionality to also appeal to independent contractors and small businesses that need reliable reprographics.

Lexmark MC3224dwe

It prints at up to 24 pages per minute in color and is capable of two-sided printing and a 250-page maximum capacity. It offers wireless connectivity through WiFi, though there are USB and ethernet port options as well.

Lexmark MC3224dwe

The MC3224dwe Color Multifunction Laser Printer also comes with Lexmark’s full-spectrum security architecture. It’s also Energy Star rated for energy efficiency. Lexmark even offers an ecologically friendly cartridge recycling service.

Lexmark MC3224dwe controls

It comes with a 1-year warranty. Though there are some online retailers who offer 3 and 4-year extended protection plans at a very reasonable rate.

What We Liked

The small footprint combined with versatile functionality makes the Lexmark MC3224dwe Color Multifunction Laser Printer a good fit for offices, small businesses and entrepreneurs. The full spectrum security architecture included is also a nice touch for business and professionals who don’t necessarily have access to IT services.


The Lexmark MC3224dwe Color Multifunction Laser Printer is a good fit for small businesses and independent contractors who need a reliable all-in-one printer. It might be a little small or print a little slow for a large office that needs fast reprographics.

If you are going to use it for a home office, then you need to bear in mind that it isn’t necessarily intended to pull double duty as a “Family Printer” for photos and keepsake images.

Brother DCPL2550DW Monochrome Laser Printer, Compact Multifunction Printer, and Copier

Brother DCPL2550DW Monochrome Laser Printer, Compact Multifunction Printer, and Copier


  • Monochrome Laser Printing
  • Duplex Printing Option
  • 250 Sheet Capacity
  • 50 Sheet Document Feeder
  • Mobile Printing Enabled
  • Standard And High Yield Toner Options

Two decades ago, if you wanted a copier, you had to purchase a rather large copy machine offered by a small number of vendors who charged a premium price for what often turned out to be poor reprographic quality. Today scanning and print resolution have evolved along with the laser printer to make copy machines a thing of the past.

Brother DCPL2550DW and smartphone app

Brother’s DCPL2550DW Monochrome Laser Printer was designed to fit an office that needs quality scan, print, and copier functionality, yet space is at a premium. The monochrome laser printer is only capable of printing in black. Though it does have duplex functionality, which allows you to print on both sides of a sheet of paper. It can also accommodate standard letter and legal-size sheets.

Changing cartridge of the Brother DCPL2550DW

This laser printer has a 250-sheet maximum capacity and is capable of printing at 36 pages per minute for a single side. It also has two-tone options to choose from. The “Standard” toner is for offices that need to use it primarily as a printer, and “High Yield” which is for offices that need to use it primarily as a copier. Brother is also affiliated with Amazon Dash, which monitors the toner levels and orders replacements when low.

Brother DCPL2550DW

The Brother DCPL2550DW can be used for ethernet or USB networks. Though if you prefer you can set it up for wireless WiFi connectivity and mobile printing.

What We Liked

The fact that you can gear this printer to act as a high yield copier can be a real game-changer for small businesses and offices who need a copier that doesn’t take up a lot of space. Yet you can also gear it to be a high-quality monochrome printer that is capable of mobile printing.

The Amazon Dash feature that monitors toner levels and reorders when you start to run low is also a nice little feature that won’t leave you in the lurch when you need it.

It’s also worth noting that as a company Brother puts extra energy into providing quality customer service and support. This multi-functional printer also comes with a 1-year warranty, and some online retailers also offer added protection plans for a great rate.


The Brother DCPL2550DW is designed to replace a copy machine when you need it while also spending its life as a monochrome laser printer. You aren’t going to be able to print in color, but you see this reflected in the very friendly price tag. If it would have been nice had they included some level of fax machine compatibility.

Workforce WF-7720 Wireless Wide-Format Color Inkjet Printer with Copy, Scan, Fax

Workforce WF-7720 Wireless Wide-Format Color Inkjet Printer with Copy, Scan, Fax


  • Color Inkjet
  • Print, Copy, Scan And Fax
  • Duplex Printing
  • Two-Sided Scanning
  • Borderless Printing Up To 13” X 9”
  • 500 Sheet Capacity Dual Paper Trays
  • 125-Page Output Tray
  • 18 PPM Black And 10 PPM Color
  • Wireless, Ethernet, Or NFC Connectivity
  • Epsom Precision Core Technology
  • 1-Year Warranty

Epsom is another one of the trusted names in the consumer printing industry. They offer a wide range of devices positioned for personal, home, and professional use. The Epsom Workforce WF-7720 is a color inkjet printer that is geared toward professionals who need to produce high-quality images, yet it also has a place as a high-end home printer.

Workforce WF-7720 in the office

It has two-sided scanning through the document feeder and can scan up to 11” X 17” on the flatbed. It’s also capable of two-sided duplex printing. It can produce borderless high-quality color images measuring up to 13” X 9”. It prints at 18 pages per minute for black and white or 10 pages per minute for color.

The Epsom Workforce WF7720 has a 500-sheet capacity via dual paper trays. There’s a 35-page document feed, with a rear feed for specialty paper, as well as a 125-page output tray. This degree of versatility means it can handle the needs of an office in the creative services industry.

It’s driven by Epsom’s Precision Core Technology. It can be set up for ethernet, NFC or WiFi connectivity, and it’s also fax compatible.

Like they do with all their printers, Epsom strongly recommends that you use their proprietary inks, instead of a third-party alternative. This might be an arguable point with some of the printers that are lower down in their line. With the Workforce, Epsom’s inks are important for maintaining the highest level of print quality.

As such Epsom is affiliated with Amazon’s “Dash” service, which monitors ink levels and automatically reorders when the printer is running low. Though, you certainly could order them yourself. Check these Epson T252XL120 DURABrite Ultra Black High Cartridge Ink and Epson 252XL/252 Standard-Yield Ink Cartridges.

What We Liked

The Epsom Workforce WF 7720 can handle a wide range of print sizes and stock for high-quality color inkjet printing. The ability to flatbed scan documents up to 11” by 17” is also a nice touch that you rarely see in competitors of a similar price point.

The fact that it also has fax capability is also a feather in its cap for office settings that sometimes need to fax multi-page documents.


This is a great all-in-one printer for a small office setting when image quality and versatility are top priorities. Yet it also has a place for home crafters and home offices. Just keep in mind that with the 18 and 10 pages per minute rates, the Epsom Workforce probably isn’t going to be the best option for an office that needs to replace a copy machine.

Canon Color Image CLASS MF743Cdw All in One Multi-Function Printer

Canon Color Image CLASS MF743Cdw All in One Multi-Function Printer


  • Color Laser Print Engine
  • Two-Sided Scanning
  • Duplex Printing
  • Printer Supports Its Own WiFi Hotspot
  • Security Features Built-in
  • Intuitive Interface
  • 250 Sheet Capacity Expandable To 850
  • Up To 28 PPM
  • 3-Year Warranty
  • Can Scan And Digitize Searchable Documents

Canon is another major player in the consumer printer niche. Their Image Class MF743Cdw all in one multi-function printer was designed for offices that need to process and print documents with a mix of quality as well as efficiency.

Canon Color Image CLASS MF743Cdw

The interface itself was designed to be intuitive. The Image CLASS MF743Cdw produces its own WiFi hotspot yet comes with state-of-the-art security features built-in.” It’s also backed by an impressive 3-year warranty and Canon’s focus on high-quality customer support.

The Canon The Image CLASS MF743Cdw is capable of two-sided scanning as well as duplex printing. They take the scan feature a step further in innovation by giving it the ability to digitize documents to make them searchable.

It comes set up with a 250-sheet capacity but can expand to 850 sheets. It can print at a rate of up to 28 pages per minute.

What We Liked

While the intuitive interface and then focus on quality support from Cannon certainly deserves recognition, it’s the innovative scan features that really set this all-in-one printer apart from the competitors. The ability to scan both sides of a document in a single pass, and then digitize it into a searchable document represents the next cutting edge in the evolution in multi-functional printers.

The mobile WiFi hotspot it creates makes it easier than ever for people throughout the office to connect and print through the intuitively designed interface.


This is a great office all-in-one that can truly handle all your scan, print, and copying needs. It also represents the next step in evolution in what a modern-day scanner can do.

Its print rate is a little on the slow side for times when you might want to use it as a high-volume copy machine. It’s essentially meant to be more of an innovative office printer than the beating heart of a small reprographics department. If you need to take a large volume of paper records and digitize them into a searchable file format, the Canon Image Class should pay for itself in short order.

Epson Expression Home XP-4100 All-In-One Color Printer, Scanner And Copier

Epson Expression Home XP-4100 All-In-One Color Printer, Scanner And Copier


  • Color Inkjet
  • 2-Sided Duplex Printing
  • Wireless WiFi Connectivity
  • Scan To The Cloud
  • 100 Sheet Capacity
  • 10 PPM Black 5 PPM Color
  • 5,760 X 1,440 DPI Print Resolution
  • 1-Year Warranty

Epsom offers printers that appeal to all levels. As the name implies their Expression Home XP-4100 is geared for home use and families who need to print high-quality images or photos.

Epson Expression Home XP-4100

It has a maximum print resolution of 5,760 X 1,440 dots per inch and is capable of 2-sided duplex printing. The Epsom Expression Home XP-4100 also offers voice-activated printing features.

Epson Expression Home XP-4100 in the office

The printer has a 100-page sheet capacity and can handle manual feed card stock. It can print at 10 pages per minute in black and 5 pages per minute in color.

The Epsom Expression Home XP-4100 can be set up for wireless connectivity. It also has the ability to scan files to the Cloud.

What We Liked

The print resolution for this home printer is impressive at 5,760 X 1,440 dots per inch. The fact that it can also duplex print at this price range is relatively rare amongst the competition.

The voice activation and wireless connectivity, with voice activation, is also a very nice touch in this niche.


The Epsom Expression Home XP-4100 is a great value for a family who needs to print high-quality images. Even the replacement inks are below the average cost of many of the competitors. Yet it also has the capability to generate documents for an independent contractor, entrepreneur, or just someone who occasionally needs to work from home.

Buyers Guide

If you walked into a small office 20 years ago chances are you would find a separate printer, scanner, copier, and fax machine. Each with its own exorbitant price tag while also eating up a fair number of square inches in the room. Not to mention a nasty snarl of cables needed to connect them to a large desktop computer, or network them to the outside world.

Fortunately, telecommunications, manufacturing, and modern-day innovations have allowed document processing machines to become smaller. To the point that today they have merged into “Multi-Function” or “All In One” printers that are capable of doing things like printing, scanning, copying, and faxing all in one machine.

Key Features Of A Multi-Functional Printer

As you might imagine, not all multi-functional printers are created equal. Some have special features that let them do more the basic functions, while others are stripped down to be good at the basics with little else in the way of bells and whistles. The following are some key features and components to consider when choosing the best multi-functional printer for your home or office.

Being able to define the functions you are most likely to use might help you find a unit that best fits your needs. Sometimes it can even help save you a little bit of money. For instance, adding a fax feature to an all-in-one printer might increase the price. If you never need to send faxes, you could save money by screening out units that offer high-quality, sophisticated fax features.

Defining Priority Functions

Most multi-functional printers come with the ability to print and scan. This allows you to do something like scan a document, save it, and then print it. If you need a half-dozen or so copies, you simply enter that number in the print feature. However, this can be a little cumbersome for times when you need to print a high volume of copies.

A copy feature is more likely to appear in a multi-functional printer that prints from a laser cartridge. Many of these units can produce copies just as fast or faster than a bulky copy machine sitting by the office water cooler.

Just bear in mind that some manufacturers will sometimes cut corners on the quality of the copy the unit produces in order to save time as well as lower the price point. If you are primarily going to be copying things where image quality isn’t a big deal, such as basic office memos, then copy quality won’t be much of a priority. However, if you are going to be copying fine print documents, contracts, and technical images, then copy quality becomes an important criteria.

Fax functionality is one of those things that is slowly falling to the wayside. Though for some industries faxing documents, like manufacturing orders, or basic contracts with a lot verbiage, still use fax to quickly transmit information from point A to point B.

Photo quality printing is another something to consider. For some people, an all-in-one printer is an ideal way to scan and reproduce family photos. Every year people use photo-quality printers to send family pictures out during the holiday season.

With these units, resolution quality is obviously going to be at the top of the list. For most, the bare minimum is 4,800 X 1,200 pixels. Though you also want to make sure that the printer can support various paper sizes and thicknesses.

Scan Functions

In the past scanners were slow and used primarily to digitize a single page at a time. In recent years their processing speed and the associated software have made some units surprisingly fast and capable of handling multi-page documents without significant delays.

If you frequently need to scan or digitize multi-page documents, then you might want to prioritize an all-in-one printer that has an automated document feeder. This is usually a simple tray that can hold several pages at a time.

You simply engage the scan process, and the machine takes care of it for you. The digital file is then sent to the specified device in your network. These units practical pay for themselves in the time saved not having to scan and process one page at a time.

If you frequently need to scan odd-shaped documents or images, but you rarely need to work with multiple pages, then you might want to adjust your priorities toward a flatbed scanner. Most are set up to work with 8.5” X 11” paper. Though there are a few that can handle other sizes for international documents.

Scan Resolution

Of course, scan resolution is also an important factor to consider. If you need to scan high-resolution documents and images, then you might want to set a minimum resolution level of 600 x 1,200 dots per inch (DPI) and 24 bits. Units with a higher DPI rating and bit depth will produce higher-quality images with crisp lines and sharper images.

Some scanners will allow you to adjust the resolution. This could be handy for scanning and digitizing a basic document at a low DPI between 72 to 150. Then when you need to scan a family photo, you can adjust the scan resolution to something higher like 300 DPI. If you need to digitize print overlays you might even go so far as to scan at 1,000 to 1,200 DPI.

Print Resolution

Just like scan resolution, print resolution is measured in dots per inch or DPI. The higher the DPI of the printer, the higher the maximum print quality. Though in some cases, you might be able to lower or raise print quality based on what you will be printing.

To give you a basic barometer. If you just needed to print a black and white document 600 X 600 DPI will be more than sufficient. Though 1,200 DPI might be needed for fine print black documents and documents where fine print resolution is critical.

The closer you come to 1,200 DPI the more likely you are to prioritize and laser print. This is especially true for specialty functions like printing the black and white films for a screen printer using a four-color process or multiple spot colors.

It’s also worth bearing in mind that the higher the resolution you need to print, the longer a particular printing session is likely to take.

Color Or Laser Print Engine

There are a few distinct advantages when it comes to inkjet printers. Right off the bat, you have the ability to print in color. The replacement cartridges are often less expensive. At the same time, most inkjet printers are smaller, which can be handy for an office where space is at a premium.

The downside of inkjet is that you are likely going to go through cartridges much faster. They also tend to print slower. This makes them less than ideal if you are going to use the multi-function printer as a copy machine. It’s also worth noting that some inkjet printers are arguably louder than a comparable laser printer.

A laser printer tends to print much faster, and their cartridges tend to last longer. In the past laser printers were limited only to black, but in recent years color has become available, which has boosted their home and office popularity. They also tend to have a superior print resolution.

Other than the cost, laser printers also tend to take up more space on a desktop. This can be an issue for small home offices or a personal office with limited space.

Printing Speed

Manufacturers try to describe an all-in-one printer’s print speed as a best-case scenario that balances resolution. The higher the resolution the longer it will take the unit to print it.

If you need to primarily use the print function to produce black and white pages like a copier, then you might want to target a laser printer that is rated to produce 20 to 30 pages per minute. This is very fast, and not the sort of thing you can expect from even the fastest color inkjet printers.


Twenty years ago, nearly every device that needed to be on a network was connected by wires or ethernet cables to routers and necessary devices. Today wireless networks are taking over. Not only does this free up the workplace from complicated snarls of cables, but it also allows multiple users to share the same device, without having to leave their personal office space.

This wireless LAN connectivity is gradually taking over as the preferred option in offices as well as homes where multiple family members all share the same printer. The trick here is to make sure that the multi-function printer is compatible with your existing wireless network.

Driver Or Platform Support

Most all-in-one printer manufacturers do a good job of making sure their devices are compatible with the most recent operating systems offered by Macintosh, Windows and other operating systems like Linux. Still, you should always double-check to make sure that your desktop or laptop computer is indeed supported. Especially if you have an older unit with a potentially out of date operating system like Windows Vista.

Replacement Cartridge Cost And Availability

The cost of replacement ink cartridges and how easily accessible they are in your area can sometimes be a factor. Especially with smaller brand manufacturers. Fortunately, even if your local stores don’t carry the particular cartridge you might still be able to find it through an online retailer.

If you do end up choosing a smaller brand, it’s a good idea to keep a spare cartridge or two on hand. That way you know that if you do run unexpectedly low, you won’t lose precious time waiting for shipping.

Frequently Asked Questions

Q: What Is The Difference Between A Multi-Functional Printer And An All-In-One?

A: These are essentially marketing terms used by different companies to describe the same machine. Both terms refer to a device that can print, scan, and possibly fax or perform other essential office duties.

Q: What Is Duplex Printing?

A: Duplex printing is a special feature that allows you to print on both sides of a sheet of paper. It’s more popular with small businesses that need to print in-office reports or sales staff who need to put together custom presentations for a meeting. It’s a somewhat rare feature that isn’t included in every multi-functional printer.

Q: What Does PPM Stand For?

A: PPM stands for pages per minute. If you are looking for a multi-functional printer for your home office that can also print high-quality color photos, then chances are PPM isn’t a big deal for you. If you are an office manager who needs a compact laser printer that can also double as a reprographics copier, then a low PPM below 20 to 25 could end up eating into employee productivity.

Q: Do I Need A Warranty For My All-In-One Printer?

A: Most of the time manufacturer defects show up early in a multi-functional printer’s life. So, in reality, all you really need to see is that there’s a one-year warranty. Though if you are going to be putting the printer through its paces as a copier or simply printing in high volume on occasion, you might want to look for an online retailer that offers an added protection plan.

Q: Does The Manufacturer Matter?

A: This is one of those times when a more established manufacturer might be worth making a priority or at least something to consider. This isn’t necessarily a matter of quality in components or engineering but as a simple matter of being able to find replacement ink or toner.

Established brands like HP, Lexmark, Canon, and Brother have spent decades making in-roads in the retail space. That means if you are suddenly running low on ink and you need to finish a big print job, you can simply pop off to the nearest store to likely find the cartridge you need.

With a less established brand, replacement cartridges might not be readily available. They still deserve your consideration. You will just need to get in the habit of consistently stocking replacement cartridges. There might also be online retailers who offer special ink monitoring and reorder service to make this easier.


The first step in choosing the right all-in-one printer is to define the setting you will most often use it in. Families who need to print high-quality images and reproduce photos will likely tend toward color inkjet printers with high-resolution print quality.

On the other end of the spectrum is an office printer that needs to handle a variety of document processing needs. This might include things like two-sided scanning, duplex printing and a high page per minute print rate. Other features like wireless connectivity, built-in security software, and perhaps fax capability might also rise on the priority list.

Riding between these two ends of the spectrum is the small office or home office where print quality is important, yet the versatile functionality and document processing features also need to be there. With these printers, a slightly lower PPM rate might be worth trading off, for the ability to print stunning display pieces and presentation materials.

Product Boxes: Last updated on 2020-03-15 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

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