The all in one color printer comprises of 4 basic devices that are converged into 1 printing equipment to provide ease of operation and increased productivity. Specification criteria for the printer, scanner, facsimile and copier were thoroughly discussed in part 1 of this post entitled the Ultimate Guide to Buying an All in One Color Printer.
Apart from the devices integrated into the all in one color printer, other features that put more convenience into basic printing, scanning, photocopy and fax transmission must also be considered by those looking out to buy an all in one printer.
This post concludes the 2 part series and deals with the frills integrated as one opts to buy an all in one printer.
Paper Handling Capabilities
This feature must go with the advances implemented on the printer. The Automatic Document Feeder or ADF for instance provides more convenience to the user in the course of printing. Without the ADF, it becomes cumbersome to hand feed paper or media to the tray for printout of say 50 pages. With the ADF, the printer automatically cues for printing the stacked paper loaded with the paper trays and feeds it to the document feeder one at a time.
Most all in ones are outfitted with input drawers or are supplied with drawer attachments that can carry different types of media or paper. It is important to point out how office personnel will be utilizing diverse types of media to carry out different print jobs and having multiple, high capacity input drawers will serve best high volume print jobs requiring media of various types and sizes.
Everybody expects a high end printer to be shared among office personnel and thus it has become an important feature of all an all in one color printer. The networking capabilities of the printer must be harnessed using cables and Wi-Fi which allows personnel to automatically forward print jobs to the remote device. Moreover, direct to USB and direct to memory card printing are just a few of the primed connectivity features bundled with modern day all in ones.
For networked printers, find an all in one that can easily be hooked up to your existing network and likewise compatible to the Operating Systems of PCs connected to the office network.
The provision to expand memory is vital to the performance of the printer. Not all print jobs are simple and easy to configure. Consequently, more intricate print jobs set the stage for operational mishaps. As print jobs become complicated, the all in one color printer will need a larger memory baser to resolve the printing issues. Therefore, what is ideal is to acquire a printer unit outfitted with an expandable RAM slot or a provision to expand onboard memory.
Photo Printing Capabilities
This printer feature is dependent on user needs. If photo printing is a regular office print job, then this requirement can be best addressed by an inkjet all in one color printer since ink has the upper hand over toner powder in the delivery of crisp, true-to life images captured in photographs. Some inkjet all in ones can even function as stand alone photo labs that dispense with the need of computers in the print out of digital images. However, there are also a number of multifunction laser printers that could be trusted with print photos and likewise turnout lower cost per page (CPP). Depending on your requirements, determine if it’s the inkjet all in one or the laser all in one that will best serve your projects and budget.
An energy efficient unit is vital to any office network in line with intermittent print jobs and the periods of inactivity for the machine. Thus Energy Star classified printers came into the mainstream because of its ability to minimize power consumption.
The laser printer for instance uses as much as 500 watts during actual printing. Print jobs usually come at 3 to 4 pages at time and the printer stays idle in between print jobs. To substantially reduce power consumption, the printer automatically shifts to sleep mode during periods of inactivity and uses only as much as 3watts energy. This is one feature that should form part of the checklist if intending to buy an all in one printer. Check out our post on the Top 10 Most Energy Efficient Laser Printers for added reference.
Printer consumables present a really huge gap between inkjet and laser printers because the replacement cartridges for the latter are very much cheaper considering the rated number of pages set for its yield. As such, toner cartridges also support lower cost per page (CPP) turnouts.
While the inkjet all in one color printer is recognized to produce top of the line printed images, it cannot however match the laser printer in terms of print speed and output quality for documents. While both can be refilled after the ink or toner supplied with the OEM cartridge has dried up; refills through toner refill kits do not come messy compared to inkjets.
We may have left out other minor all in one features, but this list should help users intending to buy an all in one printer decide and close in on a multifunction printer that fits the needs of the workplace and the budget as well.