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All In One Printers

Aug 18, 2007
Developments with printer technology are moving as fast as that in mobile telephones. The focus seems to be on convergence which is just a fancy word for combining functions within one device you have a camera on your cell phone for instance that is an example of convergence. In the printer world, we have seen the rapid development and uptake of combination printers, telephone, faxes, copiers and scanners commonly known as multi-functional devices or MFDs.

Some MFDs are bulky and will dominate your desk space but you will find that a combination machine provides a great deal of utility and they are very difficult not to justify in terms of cost, ease of use and overall integration.

Home Users

Home users will probably be very happy with the flat-bed scanner MFD, usually combining print capability with scanning and copying. Relatively light use for scanning and copying means that you can buy an all-in-one at a very low competitive price to fit the budget of most home users. There generally is not much demand for a fax capability either, but you will still find many that offer this feature while remaining within budget. Typically you can find an MFD suitable for home use for less than $100 but if you are prepared to spend a little more you will find a lot faster machines and probably cheaper consumables that will form the largest part of the total cost of owning the machine.

Home Office and Light Business Use

If you are working or running a business from home then you will certainly be looking at ensuring fax capability in your all-in-one. You should start looking for features on an MFD that you are likely to find useful in your work such as OCR (Optical Character Recognition) that allows you to scan a document into your computer and hen allow you to edit the document rather like you would a text document you had created on your computer in the first place. Consider a machine that offers a document feeder as well so that you do not have to stand over the all-in-one while you are scanning, faxing or copying and just leave it to get on with the job. You may want to consider a laser printer rather than an ink jet in this case because of the faster and better print quality that is available compared to an ink jet.

You will find MFDs offering these features in the price range $150 to $400.

Heavy and Specialized Use

When you start looking at the MFDs in the price range in excess of $400 we start to see machines that can compete directly in terms of efficiency and print quality with their stand alone counterparts. The major difference here is in the speed and quality of scanning and copying, and particularly image scanning and reproduction.

Features you will expect to see include PictBridge technology which handles communications and data manipulation between the MFD and the computer as well as between the individual MFD components. You also should expect to see the ability to directly produce output to different paper and media types, including CD and DVD.

You can find cheaper photographic units but these tend to be stand alone machines that do not offer MFD functionality. With the growth in digital photography you can expect a decrease in hardware costs as manufacturers respond to demand. In this instance you will also probably be looking more for an inkjet printer rather than a laser as they give a better photo finish in general.
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Our company http://www.easyinkz.co.uk is a leading expert in printer ink A full range of our product can be found at http://www.easyinkz.co.uk where we supply cartridges for Epson, Lexmark, Canon and HP inkjet printers
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