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BuyingTips - All in One Printer

What is an All in One Printer?

All in one Printers or Multifunction printers (MFPs) not only print, they also copy, fax, and scan. MFPs are less-expensive than buying four separate machines, are compact and save valuable desktop space, and are usually easier to set up and program. Almost all multifunction printers can perform multiple tasks simultaneously such as printing while receiving a fax.

For Printing requirements the choice is Laser Printers versus Inkjet Printers.

Laser printers usually are capable of producing professional-looking text and images. They are ideal for handling heavier printing jobs at a lower cost per page.

Inkjet Printers on the other hand are less expensive, but they're designed for modest printing needs.

The following features will help you decide which is the right All in One Printer for you:

Speed: Pages per minute(ppm) is the average speed printing black and white pages only. Since color images need to be scanned thoroughly and printed differently, they tend to take longer than black and white copies.

Resolution: Resolutions is measured in dots per inch - the more dots, the finer the resolution of the text or image. As images are more complex to copy than text, image resolution can be different than the text resolution.

RAM: Or buffer memory holds the graphic information on its way to be printed. The larger the buffer memory, the faster the printer can print complex graphics.

For more information on Laser Printers and Inkjet Printers please visit Buying tips - Printer

Parallel Port: An Interface cables is typically used for two way communication between the printer and the PC, usually they aren't included with printers.

USB Port: Or Universal Serial Bus Ports are a different and new way to connect printer and Computer. USB ports allow more than one external devices connected to the same port, to the computer. Not only are they easier to install they transfer data much faster than the parallel or serial ports.

MacIntosh Port: Some printers come with mac interface ports which looks like the round keyboard and mouse ports on PC.

FAX: If there are going to be multiple users for the same machine, a single click copy and fax function with easy to read front panel is ideal.

Fax Speed: This is the maximum bits per second that can be sent or received by the fax machine. Actual speed can be different as it also depends on the machine on the other end of the fax.

Fax Forwarding: This feature automatically forwards received faxes to another number programmed.

Fax Page Memory: A larger memory allows you to leave the fax machine unattended for a longer period of time. It keeps recently received faxes in memory if the fax machine runs out of paper. After refilling the paper for the fax, it then prints out the faxes that were stored.

Automatic Document Feeder(ADF): ADF is convenient as you don't have to feed each page by hand. A large feeder has a number of pages and hence is more appropriate for long documents as it is not required to be reloaded soon.

Speed dial: Frequently dialed numbers can be programmed into the units memory for convenience.

Junk Fax Block: This feature provides the freedom to program numbers from which you donít want to receive faxes. The fax machine still answers the call; it just doesnít print anything out. On the other side the fax machine thinks the fax was transmitted and doesnít call back.

Broadcast Number Locations: This features helps you in saving some money as it sends the same fax to different phone numbers. You only feed the documents into the machine once, enter a list of phone numbers, and the fax machine takes care of the rest.

Scanners: A scanner makes a digital copy of an image and outputs that into a file that you can view and change on your computer. Some MFPs combine a color scanner with a color printer, so they can function as color copiers. Others offer only a black and white scanner, providing you monochrome copies even if they include a color printer. Generally all the scanners let you scan to copy or fax, but some of them let you scan to disk, giving you all the benefits of a scanner.

Copy Speed: Is the speed in pages per minute for a series of copies. Copy speed of 1st page is different than the copy speed 2nd pages. Since the copier has to scan the original to generate the first page, it takes longer than the rest of the pages.

Enhanced DPI: The scanner enhanced DPI resolution indicates the resolution that the device is capable of yielding through interpolation (a software program in the machine does this).

Optical DPI: The scanners optical DPI is the physical resolution at which a device can capture an image. The larger the number of the optical dpi, the sharper the image will be.

Compatability: Most MFPs work fine with windows PCs but not with a Mac system. So don't forget to check the compatability of your PC with MFP. Also make sure that your system has room in hard-disk and RAM for your Multifunction Printer, as is required.

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