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The Advantages and Disadvantages of Multi-Function Printers

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Advantages

Space Saving

Multi-function printers, or all-in-one printers, are printers that carry out multiple different functions in addition to printing- copying, scanning, and faxing. Rather than having a separate printer, copier, scanner, and fax machine, a multi-function printer combines all of these separate functions into one versatile machine.

Combining four different machines into one multi-function printer has many advantages and disadvantages. This post will break down these advantages and disadvantages in order to help printer owners decide if an all-in-one printer is the right choice for them.

Price

Rather than buying up to four separate machines, multi-function printers make it so you only need to buy one. While MFP printers do have higher initial costs than printers without multi-function capability, the price is well worth it if you would otherwise have to purchase separate machines to scan, copy, and fax.

Again, when it comes to large corporations or any business that needs to have multiple areas with printing, scanning, copying, and faxing capability and would otherwise have to purchase multiple machines for each area, multi-function printers are the more cost-effective option by a wide margin.

Convenience

It’s far more convenient to use to one multi-function printer to print, scan, copy, and fax than it is to use separate machines to carry out each function. For example, if you have to both print a document and copy a document, it’s easier to get both functions done using one MFP than it is to have to use a printer to print and a separate copier to copy.

Energy Saving

Staying with the theme here- one machine vs. multiple machines= less power used. MFP’s save energy and save printer owners money on energy bills. They are the more energy-efficient option and the alternative of having separate machines running simultaneously is very wasteful from an energy perspective.

Disadvantages

Crowding

In office or school settings or any setting with multiple people using one multi-function printer, one machine means multiple people performing multiple different functions. For example, if your office had a separate printer, scanner, copier, and fax machine, when one person needs to print they use the printer and when another person needs to scan they use the scanner. 

With a multi-function printer, those two people will both need to use the same machine which can cause crowding and traffic around the MFP which is carrying all four functions on its back. Depending on the amount of people who will be using the MFP, buying more than one may be needed in order to reduce crowding.

Low Specialization

Multi-function printers are high in versatility but typically low in specialization. For example, an all-in-one printer will typically not have the same number of scanning features that a top-of-the-line scanner will have. An all-in-one printer will typically not have the same copying features that a top-of-the-line copier will have. You get the picture. 

However, many of the top HP all-in-one printers are able to very closely match the features of top scanners, copiers, and fax machines. Some of these all-in-one printers include the HP Color LaserJet Pro MFP M477fdw, the HP LaserJet Enterprise MFP M527dn, and the HP Color LaserJet Managed MFP M577dn. 


Conclusion

Multi-function printers are versatile, effective printers that perform the functions of four separate machines. They have many advantages and a few small disadvantages. Overall, if a person or a business, office, school, ect. needs to print, scan, copy, and fax or any variation of these four functions, investing in a multi-function printer is most likely the best option rather than buying separate machines in order to save space, money, and energy and add convenience. 

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