Multifunction printers are the best for small offices and or the home. It is a real miracle - one unit that prints, copies and scans. It saves on space and money. One point has to be kept in mind that it does all these functions but not all of them well. If the requirement is for high grade scanning then this three-in-one model might prove to be inadequate. It is all right for moderate use and not for intensive application.
As regards the speed the printer might prove to be too slow for professional use. This is especially so in the case of color printers. While using a multifunction printer and trying to get some fast assignment completed then the rate of 22 pages per minute as against the crawl of 12 pages per minute does matter.
Multifunction printers that have more memory turn out to be more costly. This inadequacy becomes apparent when one tries to do three things together - scanning, printing and copying. If the requirement is heavy then it is best to opt for a multifunction printer that has 16 MB - to say the least.
The quality of the image depends on DPI or dots per inch. The standard (600x600) will suffice for printing but is unsuitable as regards quality of photo. Scanner resolutions must be noticed, as these are usually low in multifunction models. There is a wide gap as regards quality between interpolated and optimal resolution.
Multifunction printers that have to be fed with one page at a time can become a real headache and eat up the whole day. It is best to buy a multifunction printer that is fitted with a document feeder system that is automatic and at each go holds 15 sheets at the minimum.
It is advisable not to just pick a multipurpose printer off the store shelf, have it packed, pay and walk off with it. Always play around with it in the store giving a good amount of time and attention. Carefully scrutinize the specifications and see how the printer actually behaves when put to the test. Each operation should be tested separately. After all it must meet the specific requirements of the buyer - no matter how small it is.
Most of the multifunction printers are manufactured with the prime function of photographic output. But being three-in-one the other utilities are kept in mind.
The scanner function is of great importance. There are two main types technologies involved in manufacture of scanners. CCD or charge-coupled-device performs better as regards quality of image especially when dealing with books. On the other hand the other technology of CIS or contact-image-sensor makes the machine more durable. Other points to consider are sheet-fed versus flat-bed machines.
The flat-bed ones allow scanning of thicker objects. Try to include in the purchase package an OCR or optical-character-recognition. It converts the pages that are scanned into text documents that can be edited. This will save a lot of time - running into hours - if the original soft copy is misplaced. For those who want to store old photographs purchase with this multipurpose printer attachments that will enable scanning of slides and films.
The speed of making copies can never be up to the mark unless the unit has these gizmos. Always bear in mind that documents have to be lifted and replaced innumerable times. Apart from speed other areas of importance are user friendliness and storage of memory. But with all the attachments included it will be child`s play to manage multiple copies; only few buttons will have to be pressed.