How to choose a printer or MFP
Printer or MFP?
MFP (multifunction device) - these are three devices in one: printer + scanner + copier.
For the home - the MFP will not give any special gains, it is better to buy a printer and a good scanner separately, because at the same cost, the scan quality will be better, and in case of breakdown during the repair you will lose only one of the devices.
For a small office - a laser MFP with black and white printing is an ideal option, as it takes up little space and requires servicing one device, not two. It is better to take a model with support for connecting to a local area network (LAN, Ethernet) or the presence of Wi-Fi.
For specific tasks, such as high-quality scanning and color printing, you can buy an additional scanner or color inkjet printer.
For a large office - you can purchase several laser MFPs, but it is better to consult with specialists, because printers and copiers for large offices have many additional functions and operating features.
Inkjet printing - liquid ink is applied to the paper with tiny drops and soaking up to form an image.
- cheap color printing;
- Ideal for printing color photos at home (special photo paper is needed).
- printing speed is two to three times lower than that of a laser;
- if you do not use an inkjet printer for a long time, then the ink may dry out, and then, at best, the cartridge is expected to be cleaned, and in the worst, its replacement;
- very noisy at work;
- high demands on the quality of paper used.
Laser printing - powder is applied to laser-heated sections of paper and baked forms an image.
- excellent quality and low cost of printing a single sheet;
- high speed printing;
- significant cartridge capacity - the number of sheets printed at one gas station.
- color laser printing is significantly more expensive than an inkjet printer;
- frequent airing of the room is necessary to avoid negative consequences, since when using the powder part of it enters the air.
LED printing - the principle of operation is similar to laser. The advantage is that the dimensions of the devices are slightly smaller (especially for a color laser printer). The disadvantage is that the print speed is lower than that of the laser.
Solid ink - solid ink is melted before printing and then applied to paper.
- high print quality, almost like in a printing house;
- the service life is much longer than other models;
- the ability to print on various types of material (plain paper, cardboard, film, etc.).
- low print speed;
- significant energy and ink consumption
- instability of prints to high temperatures (above 125 ° C).
Sublimation printing - the main advantages are print quality and durability of image storage.
Disadvantages: the high cost of ink and the printer itself, a significant consumption of material and a long printing process. Often used for printing on compact discs.
A printer with the function of printing color photographs is usually inkjet (less commonly sublimation) printing. Number of colors: 5-6 and above. Such models often have a built-in card reader, can print directly from the camera or DVD-ROM, are more expensive than others.
It is desirable to have borderless photo printing - this will save photo paper.
The continuous ink supply system differs from conventional ink cartridges: ink is supplied to the printer from special containers. They need to be filled as needed. Each color has its own capacity.
Refueling such a system is easy, but moving or transporting is extremely inconvenient. Such a printer will be needed if you plan to print many photos all the time.
If you mainly store and display photos electronically, and sometimes you need to print, it is better to choose an inkjet printer with 5-6 or more colors - it will be cheaper than a model with a CISS.
Depending on the daily print volume, you should pay attention to the following printer settings (MFPs).
Print (copy) speed - the number of pages per minute. An important feature for a busy and large office.
Warm-up time - Some printer models require it before starting work. Parts of the mechanism must be warmed up to the required temperature. It can be from a few seconds to several minutes.
Paper Feed — The number of blank sheets in the printer. It is desirable that it is completely enough for at least one working day.
Two-sided printing - allows you to print a sheet from two sides at once, without turning it over manually, this can significantly save time during office work.
Noise level - too noisy printers (MFPs) can cause significant interference for comfortable operation. If you plan to print a lot and often, then you should definitely pay attention to this parameter. Choose a device with minimal noise.
Number of cartridges
One cartridge is monochrome printers.
Two cartridges - color and black. The disadvantage is that with a lack of one color, the entire cartridge is replaced.
Four or more cartridges - black and color. The advantage is that only one cartridge is replaced when it fails, but replacing all four cartridges is more expensive than replacing one.
A6 format - a compact printer for printing photos.
A4 format - a printer for printing standard text documents, both at home and in the office.
Formats A3, A2, A1, A0 are professional printers for printing large formats, quite expensive.
Zoom - the ability to zoom in or out when copying (from 25 to 400%).
Fax - allows you to reduce costs, if necessary, with this feature and not buy a fax separately.
Interfaces - WiFi, USB, Ethernet, Bluetooth. The presence of various interfaces makes using the printer as convenient as possible on any network.
Printing from cameras and memory cards - these printers are equipped with appropriate connectors or a device for reading memory cards. Note which memory cards are used in your camera and whether the selected printer model recognizes them.
Thus, when choosing a printer, the decisive factor is the place of its use - office or home.
The laser MFP is most suitable for the office, as it provides fast and cheap printing, as well as space saving.
For the home, the optimal solution would be to buy a separate scanner, copier and color inkjet printer.