In recent years, it seemed that paper products were headed for extinction as the paperless trend rose in popularity. But now, all-in-one printers seem to be more relevant than ever before. How could this be? Well, the truth is that printers save space, time and money. They also provide high quality results straight from your home or office.
You might have heard that printers are difficult to use and problematic, or that you won’t use it if you get one. This couldn’t be farther from the truth! Keep reading to see the most important benefits of having your very own all-in-one printer. We’re sure you’ll soon realize just how much it can do for you.
- 1 Key Facts
- 2 Shopping Guide: Everything you should know about all-in-one printers
- 2.1 What exactly is an all-in-one printer?
- 2.2 What are the functions of an all-in-one printer?
- 2.3 What are the advantages of an all-in-one printer?
- 2.4 If my all-in-one printer is wireless, does that really mean no cables?
- 2.5 What is Wi-Fi Direct?
- 2.6 What are the benefits of using the recommended apps?
- 2.7 Are inkjet or laser printers preferred?
- 2.8 How does using an all-in-one printer save ink?
- 3 Shopping Criteria
- 4 Summary
- An all-in-one, or multifunction, printer is a piece of technology that joins together three basic yet extremely important and useful functions: printing, photocopying and scanning. The most recent models also provide other features, such as memory card readers and the ability to email and fax right from the machine.
- The greatest benefit of an all-in-one printer is its versatility. These printers are ideal for all types of people. Whether your goal is to archive and store important documentation, print beautiful family photos or copy class notes, an all-in-one printer won’t let you down.
- All of the top printer manufacturers have embraced the production of all-in-one printers. Companies like HP, Canon, Brother and EPSON are all great choices for quality devices.
Ranking: The best all-in-one printers on the US market
Printing, copying and scanning are the key to all-in-one printers, but you’ll find a range of additional features available in a variety of printers on the market. Here, we’ve compiled five of the best printers available right now so that you can get an idea of what’s out there.
No. 1: HP OfficeJet 3830
Get all of your printing, scanning and copying done straight from home with this affordable all-in-one printer from HP. The OfficeJet 3830 is a compact machine designed to fit right on your desk, shelf or wherever you need it most—and an optional quiet mode means the noise it produces is especially minimal. You’ll be printing laser-quality documents and stunning photographs on the 3830 wirelessly from your computer, phone or tablet in no time.
This HP printer is Amazon’s Choice for all-in-one printers, and for good reason: you can get four months of ink free when you sign up for HP’s special Instant Ink service. HP also offers a one year limited warranty, and 24 hour, 7 days a week customer service. Paper sizes supported by the 3830 include letter, legal, a number of common photograph sizes and also No.10 envelopes.
No. 2: Canon PIXMA TS5120
Canon’s PIXMA TS5120 inkjet printer is similarly priced to the HP 3830 and offers many of the same great features, including the ability to print wirelessly with a handful of different printing softwares like PictBridge, AirPrint and Google Cloud Print as well as over standard WiFi and Bluetooth connections.
This compact printer is compatible with optional extra large ink cartridges, so you can save money and print more without having to constantly replace the ink. Other perks of this device are the 2.5″ LCD screen, front and rear paper support, borderless printing (great for photos) and Hi-Speed USB connectivity. The printer will even remind you to remove your documents after scanning, so you don’t misplace the original!
No. 3: Canon MAXIFY MB5420
Canon’s MAXIFY MB5420 is a more robust option than the previous printers mentioned, but it comes at a higher price tag. This sleek, black printer is suitable for a small business or a professional looking to print large-volume jobs in a short amount of time. Up to nine users can connect to this printer and have results in seconds, with an unbeatable first printout time of just six seconds.
The MAXIFY MB5420’s paper tray holds up to 500 sheets in two separate trays, and this printer’s XL ink cartridges have a high page yield of 2,500 black and white prints or 1,500 color prints, so you don’t have to switch the cartridges all the time. The printer also features a 30,000 page peak Monthly Duty Cycle, so it can withstand all of your daily printing needs.
No. 4: Epson EcoTank ET-4760
Produce less waste with this unique all-in-one printer from major manufacturer Epson. The ET-4760 boasts easy-to-fill, supersize ink tanks that will last you up to two years per replacement set. Each set can print up to 7,500 black and white pages—the equivalent of what you might print with about 80 ink cartridges used by other printers.
This printer’s paper capacity is 250 sheets, and its other features include a 2.4″ color display, wireless printing and hands-free, voice activated printing capabilities. Say goodbye to expensive, wasteful cartridges with this special printer that will meet all of your needs at superior speeds, be it scanning, printing or copying.
No. 5: HP ENVY Photo 7855
Last but not least, this HP ENVY 7855 is a great mid-range option that’s perfect for those looking for the option to print professional-quality photos with deep color and sharpness. This printer is also ideal for the usual home office tasks, with a hefty array of features like wireless connectivity, borderless printing and an automatic document feeder that allows you to efficiently print and scan multiple pages.
Pair the ENVY 7855 printer with the HP Smart App and you’ll be able to use your camera to scan documents on the go, and print straight from social media or other cloud-based services like Google Drive, iCloud and Dropbox. With an HP Instant Ink subscription, you can get especially big savings, printing your best photos for less than 5 cents each.
Shopping Guide: Everything you should know about all-in-one printers
Everyone encounters those sudden situations where they need to print something urgently. Maybe you need to scan a passport or driver’s license, fax a signature or make a copy of your favorite magazine. These situations are exactly what an all-in-one printer is made for. They’re always there when you need them most, and they can do a bit of everything. Still, each person has particular needs and features they should look out for. We’ve covered it all here so that you can make an informed purchase.
What exactly is an all-in-one printer?
An all-in-one printer is an electronic device that accompanies your computer, phone or tablet to allow for printing, scanning and copying. These three basic functions are common to all models on the market, and are what gave rise to the name all-in-one printer, or sometimes ‘multifunctional’ printer.
As technology has advanced, printers have been integrating more and more useful functions. Along with the ability to email and fax, today’s all-in-one printers can connect to WiFi, print directly from memory cards and communicate with your smartphone or tablet.
All-in-one printers usually offer laser or inkjet printing, with the latter being more commonly found and more affordable. Affordability is one of the primary reasons that all-in-one printers have become so popular. Their unique versatility makes them exceptionally practical for those looking for professional-quality prints right from home.
What are the functions of an all-in-one printer?
You’re certainly familiar with the most critical task that printers are used for—printing of course! But all-in-one printers also provide two functions that are especially important today: scanning and copying. Here, we briefly explain what each of these three essential functions does in the below list:
- Printer: The most basic operation of any printer: it allows you to print documents or photos, in black and white or color. These days, most printers also have the option to print on both sides of a sheet, which is a great way to save paper.
- Scanner: On the top of most modern printers, you’ll usually find a scanner. You can use the scanner for a number of things like digitizing old photos or texts and important documents. Place the item for scanning on the glass surface or, on some models, feed it into the appropriate tray. Then you can adjust various settings to get the exact type of scan you need.
- Photocopier: In the same place where scanning takes place, you also have the option to make immediate photocopies of documents and photos. The difference here is that the printer will produce a copy of the document or photo instantly, rather than create a digital version. Most models offer the possibility of making color or black and white copies.
What are the advantages of an all-in-one printer?
Some of the benefits of these incredibly versatile machines are pretty obvious, while others might not be so clear. Recently, printer manufacturers have developed exciting new features, bringing us innovative all-in-one printers. Here’s a list of the most crucial advantages:
- Save space. Having an all-in-one printer is a much more space-efficient option than trying to fit a printer, a scanner, a fax machine and copy machine all on your desk! Now it all fits into one compact device that is easily stored wherever you need it.
- Save energy. One natural consequence of having all your needs in one device is that it uses much less energy than three individual machines.
- Save time and stay comfortable. Although printers at home have been pretty common for a while, we used to have to go to special shops for things like scanning or copying. Now you can do it all from the comfort of your home.
- These printers are affordable. All-in-one printers are an affordable option for most people, and this is due in part to the fact that they’re targeted at families, students and young professionals. It provides all of these groups with a great tool for document management. If you do need to get more in-depth with a specific function, you may want to look for a standalone device with greater capabilities.
- Wi-Fi compatibility means no annoying wires. Your all-in-one printer won’t contribute to the mess of cords found in most homes. The use of smartphone apps to activate printer functions is also a huge plus.
If my all-in-one printer is wireless, does that really mean no cables?
Unfortunately, you will need one cable! All-in-one printers still require electricity, so you’ll need to connect it to a power outlet. Still, wireless-capable models do not need to be connected directly to a computer to complete prints, scans or copies. This means you can use your printer from anywhere in the home or office, and you won’t need to plug in your computer every time you want to print.
As we mentioned above, you can even use your wireless printer straight from your smartphone or tablet, as long as you’ve got a compatible model. Most printer brands have an app that facilitates communication between your phone and the printer for ease of use.
What is Wi-Fi Direct?
This is a particularly useful feature for all-in-one printers. Wi-Fi Direct allows you to establish a secure connection between your all-in-one printer and any mobile device. So if you have issues with your Wi-Fi network or router, this will be a very convenient feature.
The following instructions will help you utilize this feature:
- Check Wi-Fi Direct availability in the wireless settings on your all-in-one printer.
- Activate the Wi-Fi Direct feature in the printer settings by pressing on the appropriate button.
- Detect the Wi-Fi Direct-connected printer on your tablet or smartphone. Ta-da! A secure connection has been created.
What are the benefits of using the recommended apps?
Wireless all-in-one printers are made to be fully accessible straight from your phone or tablet. The apps designed by the manufacturer will make that process simple, easy and efficient.
While you may find minor differences depending on the particular brand of your printer, most features are similar in all devices and apps. We’ve listed them here for you:
- Fast, integrated printing: Apps allow you to print documents and photos at the touch of a button on your phone. Print anything you want from your social media sites or straight from cloud storage services like Dropbox. The apps can make the direct connection for you.
- Scanning to external services: You no longer have to connect the printer directly to your computer. The dedicated apps can send scanned documents or photos right to an email address of your choosing. If you prefer, you can also store your just-scanned documents in the cloud.
- Make copies from your phone: Some apps will even allow you to make copies of a photograph or document right from your smartphone’s camera. Simply take a photo, upload it to the app, and then choose if you’d like to make a copy in color or black and white.
Are inkjet or laser printers preferred?
This depends on how you intend to use your all-in-one printer, as is often the case with modern technology. Laser models are usually the faster option if you only want to quickly print, copy and scan black and white documents. But if you’re hoping to work with high-quality color photographs, inkjet printers are going to better meet your needs.
How does using an all-in-one printer save ink?
Most all-in-one printers are designed for use in the home, and manufacturers know that their products won’t be competitive if ink cartridges aren’t readily available. Because of this, many big-name brands offer their own ink promotions to attract customers and build loyalty at the same time.
Some brands like industry leader HP even offer ink delivery services so that you don’t have to purchase new cartridges yourself. All you need to do is pay a cheap monthly subscription fee, and the manufacturer will send ink right to your mailbox every time it detects that your printer is low on ink. This is also an opportunity for great savings in the long-run.
You will really boost your capacity to manage all of your photographs and documents when you decide to purchase your very own all-in-one printer. But before you do that, there is a handful of important factors that you should take into account during your decision-making process. In this final section, we explain each factor to address any doubts you might have. This way, you won’t have any trouble getting an all-in-one printer that provides the quality you deserve.
- Wireless connectivity
- Wi-Fi Direct function
- Ink saving plan
- Competitive price
- Mobile apps
- Memory card and USB ports
Our homes are getting smarter every day. One thing you definitely don’t want from your new all-in-one printer is to have more tangled cables lying around. Fortunately, there are a wide variety of wireless printers available on the market. These models allow you to print, scan and copy from anywhere in your home—no need to plug in your computer first.
Wi-Fi Direct function
Almost every home has a WiFi connection, but connection issues are still commonplace. For this reason, we advise you to look for an all-in-one printer that offers Wi-Fi Direct. That way, whenever your network or router has issues, you’ll still be able to connect with your printer over a secure network.
Ink saving plan
Be sure to look at what type of ink cartridges you’ll need before selecting your all-in-one printer. You won’t be saving much on a new printer if you have to spend tons on the ink! But a number of manufacturers offer plans like HP’s Instant Ink, which is a great way to save money on ink.
All-in-one printers come in a range of sizes and prices. Be sure to compare different models before you make a final decision. Expensive models aren’t necessarily better, especially if you’re looking for a compact printer for personal use.
Printer-specific apps will make your life much easier by facilitating all your printing needs. Read through the product description to see which applications are compatible with a printer, and compare the features available in each app.
Memory card and USB ports
A final feature that isn’t always discussed is the capability to print directly from memory cards or USB drives.This feature is especially useful when you don’t have a lot of time and know exactly which photos or documents you need to print or copy. Definitely look for models with these features.
Since the advent of the all-in-one printer, dealing with all your documents and photos has never been easier. Now, you’ve got all the most important functions in one simple device: printing, scanning and copying. Some models even have the ability to fax and email. These devices are also incredibly easy to use, efficient and affordable.
With an all-in-one printer, you’ll save time, money and space. You can also bid farewell to annoying cables. Instead, print directly from your computer, phone or tablet over a wireless connection. A number of models also offer the option to directly connect memory cards and USB drives, making life that much easier.
If you found our shopping guide helpful, please share it on social media so that others can also learn the essentials of all-in-one printers. You can also leave us a comment below, and we’ll be happy to get back to you.
(Source of featured image: Leung Cho Pan: 24880537/ 123rf.com)