How To Choose a Multifunction Printer

Are you on the hunt for a multifunction printer for your workplace or home office? 

If so, you’ve likely realized that there are dozens upon dozens of printer varieties out there. And with so many options, it can be difficult to narrow down the perfect match for your needs and workspace.  

Wondering how to choose a multifunction printer? This guide is for you.  

 

What Is a Multifunction Printer?

First things first, multifunction printers (MFPs) have capabilities beyond a simple print job. 

A modern multifunction printer also performs several documentary tasks, including:

 

  • Scanning
  • Faxing
  • Copying 

 

Because of these various advantages of multifunction printers, an MFP is a must-have for practically every modern work setting, particularly if you deal with high volumes of documentation on any given day. 

Over the decades, MFPs have evolved from the expensive and cumbersome machines of the mid- to late-’80s. Now, they tend to be cost effective, mobile, modular, and jam-packed with powerful features. 

 

How To Choose a Multifunction Printer

The wide selection of available options combined with the various, possible features and functions can make it difficult to find the right multifunction printer. So, to help you avoid choice paralysis, here are some questions and considerations you should keep in mind as you shop around for your next office printer. 

 

Know Your Needs 

Some multifunction printers may have too many bells and whistles. Others may not print at volumes you require. An optimal printer for one business may be inadequate for a different company. 

Put simply, it all depends on your specific printing needs. 

Therefore, consider asking questions like:

 

  • How much do you plan on printing, scanning, faxing, copying?  
  • How important are features that streamline workflows?
  • How many users do you plan on including? 
  • What is the best multifunction printer for small business?
  • Do you want to print in black and white only or color?
  • Does it need to have cloud-based capabilities? Mobile?   

 

By understanding your plans for the printer from the outset, you can better determine which machine adequately suits your company’s needs. 

 

Inkjet or Laser?   

One of the first decisions you’ll have to make when purchasing an MFP is to choose whether you want an inkjet printer or laser printer. Practically every printer uses one of the two technologies. 

Do you print a lot of text-based documents? 

Then a laser printer is likely the better option. Laser printers are made to print in high volumes, particularly when it comes to text-heavy paperwork. For instance, the fastest multifunction printers can produce fonts, graphics, and logos on paper at a print speed of up to 65 pages per minute, and print high volumes in the tens of thousands of pages per month.

Do you plan on regularly printing high-quality images? 

If so, the inkjet printer is often considered the better choice for image-based printing. The reason for this comes down to how the printers work. Photo inkjets spray microscopic drops of ink dots to reproduce a broad range of shades and vibrant colors. Laser printers function differently, making them less ideal for photo-realistic quality—they use patterns of dots to create an illusion of a tone, rather than a photorealistic one. 

 

What Is the Total Cost of Ownership? 

Remember, printing costs aren’t limited to just the initial cost of purchase for the hardware. 

There are several other cost factors you need to consider, including the cost of supplies and regular upkeep and maintenance. Additionally, some printers may come with built-in capabilities that save time and optimize workflows, thus saving you money on labor costs. 

By adding these factors into your budget and purchasing process, you can opt for an MFP that provides the greatest cost-benefit ratio.  

 

Does it Provide the Security and Confidentiality You Need? 

Does your business have security and confidentiality restrictions? 

Cybersecurity and privacy is an especially relevant and regulated concern in the financial, legal, and healthcare sectors. And a printer could potentially be exploited as a cybersecurity vulnerability. 

Knowing this, you must be careful about selecting a printer that comes with built-in security features and is scalable to your security requirements. As Xerox notes: 

“Left unchecked, multifunction printers can be vulnerable entry points for data breaches or malicious attacks. The best way to keep your data secure is to choose multifunction printers that exceed industry standards for intrusion prevention, device detection, and data encryption.”

All it takes is for a single hacker to exploit a vulnerability in your office printer to potentially bring your organization to its knees. And for hackers, such innocuous entryways are often the ideal route into a company’s network since they’re so frequently overlooked.

 

Consider the Features

A multifunction printer typically has four primary capabilities. But not all MFPs are made equal. As you consider what’s best for you or your business, you must also consider the features. 

 

  • Scanning
    • Is it capable of scanning books and photos? 
    • Is it able to scan transparencies and slides?
    • Does it need to be hooked up to a USB connection or can it scan over the network?
    • Does it have an automatic document feeder? 
    • Does it have duplex scanning abilities? 
    • What is the scanning resolution? 

 

  • Copying
    • Is it a standalone copier? Or does it need to be connected to a smart device? 
    • Black and white or color?
    • What is the internal memory and RAM size? 
    • Does it automatically recognize the user with PIN codes? 
    • Does it allow you automatically collate, stape, or hole punch?   

 

  • Faxing  
    • Do you have to install a fax driver or fax utility? 
    • Does it require you to print a document, or can you send a fax directly from your smart device? 
    • Does it offer automatic redialing if the number is busy? 
    • Can you forward a sent or received fax? 

 

MRC—The Answer to All of Your MFP Needs 

Selecting the right multifunction printer for you shouldn’t be a spur-of-the-moment decision. Rather, you need to weigh your particular printing needs, budget, and features. Once you’ve done that, it becomes much easier to narrow down your options. 

Are you searching for the best place to buy a Xerox MFP? 

Welcome to MRC. As a locally managed, Xerox-owned company, we’ve spent more than two decades delivering industry-leading print and IT solutions. So, if you need help finding the optimal MFP for your company, you’ve come to the right place.

For more information on how a multifunction printer works, reach out today to discover more!  

 

Sources