No office can do without an All-in-one printer/scanner/copier. There was a time when these devices were elusive, when technology was still budding and when offices were just about slowly catching up. However, today, faster and more efficient devices have made their way around our person, our homes and our offices. One device can perform many functions simultaneously providing cost and time benefits. The All-in-One is a similar device. Many offices sooner or later realize that they’d be saving a lot more time and money if they switched to an all-in-one from the older, individual copiers, scanners and printers.
The All-in-One also provides are very neat solution to the needs of a home based business or a small office, employing not over ten people. Such an office could obviously save on space by installing one machine in place of three. And of course, there would be a lot of savings on electricity, paper, maintenance and overall costs. Like they say, three-in-one machines are better than one.
To make your job easier (or tougher, as the case may be), you have so many options. Almost every consumer electronics and office equipment manufacturer out there manufactures All-in-One machines. To name a few you have Dell, HP, Epson, Kodak, Nikon, Canon, Panasonic, Brother, HP-Compaq, Ricoh, Xerox and Lexmark. What’s more, each manufactures easily has at least 5 -10 different models to suit the needs of everyone. So no matter what kind of a business you are, you can easily find one to suit your financial, technical, personnel, work load requirements.
However, a few things you must consider before buying an All-in-One:
1. Printing Technology: Although the scanning and copying technologies remain more or less the same, you need to consider what kind of printing technology will work for your business. Inkjet printers are quite common if you only intend to print text documents and black and white graphics. If you’re going to require color printing then you might want to consider laser. You will require still more sophisticated technology if you’re going to print photographs, depending on the kind of resolution and image size you would require.
2. Connectivity: this is quite important too. You don’t want to buy an expensive machine and then realize you don’t have the right kind of connectivity option. Decide previously if you are going to connect your machine directly to a single computer, or connect it to many computers via an Ethernet cable. Also important is to check if you will be connecting via serial ports or USB ports. The good news is that most new All-in-Ones have in built Bluetooth cards which make it possible for them to function wirelessly and over wires. Ideally you should look for one that can connect wirelessly and with wires.
3. Speed: If your printing requirements are quite high, then you will want something fast. Ensure that you know beforehand what printing speed will work for you.
4. Size: When it comes to office equipment, size does matter. Thankfully, some of the newer models are quite compact and also very good looking. This makes them easier to store and move around.
A few good options:
Kodak manufactures over 8 different types of All-in-One suited to the needs of large offices, small businesses, graphic-intensive businesses, plain old printing businesses and for homes. Their machines are quite affordable, the most expensive one coming for around $299. This, from Kodak, is quite a good bargain. These machines are able to print over 30 colored pages per minute and the website boasts of helping businesses save almost 50% from their previous printing costs.
HP All-in-Ones must be considered for their sheer variety. The HP website is also quite customer friendly and has already made your work easier by classifying its products as those meant for everyday/home-office/photo-document/business printing. With over 12 models in each category you will definitely find your favorite.
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