Multifunction Laser Printer

In the early years of computing, laser printers were too expensive for many home and small business users. They had to make do with cheap inkjet printers and their expensive ink cartridges. But in recent years, the price of laser printers has fallen enough to make them attractive to this market. There is even a type that has a scanner built into the case, called a laser multifunction printer. Some of these also have a modem, allowing them to be used as a fax machine. Many brands and models are available, including the popular Canon imageCLASS series. It is even possible to buy a cheap laser multifunction printer for slightly more than the price of an inkjet model.

The multifunction laser printer is in a class of its own. While an inkjet printer is suitable for students and home users who print occasionally, business users who do a lot of printing are better off with a laser printer. Toner cartridges for laser printers are more expensive than inkjet cartridges, but they have a greater capacity and a lower cost per page. This saves money and also avoids the hassle of frequently changing the cartridges. Monochrome laser printers are cheaper than color models, and many business users avoid the need for a color printer by using printed stationary. Using a multifunction printer can also save desk space and reduce the jungle of cables behind a desk.

Before looking at the specifications of its printer and scanner, the general features of a laser multifunction printer should be considered. Virtually all models support the Windows and Mac OS operating systems, but some may not support early versions, such as those before Windows XP. Wireless connectivity is an important optional feature to look for. Many notebook computers, mobile phones, and other portable devices can use a wireless printer if they have Wi-Fi or Bluetooth capability. The software bundles are often the deciding factor when buyers cannot choose between two similar printers. The warranty is also important, especially for businesses which require on-site service.

The printer is the most crucial part of a laser multifunction printer. Its resolution, given as a value of dots per inch, should be as high as possible. The printing speed for both monochrome and color pages should also be as high as possible. Color pages normally take longer to print that monochrome pages, so it is not unusual to see different speeds for each type. The printer should be able to handle different paper sizes, such as large envelopes and sheets of address labels. Double sided printing and page collating are useful features that are available on most models.

The paper tray should have a large capacity and be easy to remove. The automatic document feeder should also be large enough to handle faxes and double sized printing jobs that have many pages. Some models have a single cartridge system that combines the toner cartridge and drum unit into one package. This makes changing the toner cartridge a much simpler and cleaner job. If the machine will be used to receive a large number of fax pages, it should have enough internal memory to hold them all until they can be viewed. A display is useful for showing information about the status of the machine and how many jobs are waiting to be printed.

The features of the scanner are also important to consider. A multifunction laser printer can still be used for scanning even when its printer fails or runs out of toner. It can send and receive faxes, provided it has a modem, and it can scan a page or photo to a computer file. Just like the printer, the scanner should also have a high resolution and speed. Many models have a useful feature where they can scan and convert a page to a PDF file with the touch of a button. The front control panel should have plenty of speed dialing buttons, and a telephone handset is handy in case a fax doesn’t make it through.

This Multifunction Laser Printer Review is Written/Updated on Dec 21st, 2010 and filed under Computer Hardware. Both comments and pings are currently closed.

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