Which all-in-one printer is best?
The best printer is one that prints, scans, copies and faxes at the levels you need for your home or small office. All-in-one printers, also known as multifunction printers, save space, time, supplies and maintenance. They come in many forms and some do specific tasks better than others.
Those who need to print a lot of pages may want to consider the HP OfficeJet Pro 9025e Wireless All-in-One Printer, which is a high-performance all-in-one inkjet that prints 24 pages per minute.
What to know before you buy an all-in-one printer
In the world of consumer electronics, compatibility begins with the operating systems used by your computers, laptops, tablets and smartphones. Although the majority of printers will work with the most-used operating systems, you should still check that the printer works with all of your electronic devices.
Startup times vary considerably from one all-in-one printer to another. Check not only the manufacturers’ product descriptions but also user reviews, where you will find examples of users’ experiences.
Print times are measured in pages per minute. All-in-one printers that deliver faster print speeds are favored by most buyers.
Choosing an all-in-one printer that uses ink efficiently is the best way to save money in the long run, as long as the print quality does not suffer. You can calculate any all-in-one printer’s ink cost by dividing the price of a replacement ink cartridge by the page yield to get the cost per page for any printer.
Trays come in various depths. A tray that holds 100 pages means you will be reloading with paper much more often than you would with a tray that holds 250 sheets.
What to look for in a quality all-in-one printer
Think about the color of what you will print. If you only print in black and white, you can save money by buying a monochrome all-in-one printer. However, this probably won’t work if you want to print photos, brochures and flyers.
Some all-in-one printers connect to your devices via USB ports and cables and many are designed to also connect via ethernet cabling. Many all-in-one printers have built-in WiFi connectivity. Some printers can print from your mobile device if you touch the phone to a designated area on the machine. This Near-Field Communication capability is called NFC by electronics manufacturers.
It is not only inefficient but also tiring to print on one side of the paper and have to flip it over manually to print on the other side. An all-in-one printer has a special piece of hardware that allows for printing on both sides of the page automatically after you enable it through your device’s menu. Most all-in-one printers print the second side by sending the sheet back through the printer, but some high-volume printers have two print heads and engines that print both sides at once, cutting your duplex printing time in half.
Too many printers, especially cheap all-in-one printers, use buttons and LCD panels that are dimly lit and hard to read. Large color touch screens that are designed for intuitive use allow you to make adjustments to your copy and print settings quickly and easily.
How much you can expect to spend on an all-in-one printer
Cheap all-in-one printers can print, copy and scan for around $50, but you won’t get wireless connectivity or extras like duplex printing, faxing and emailing. Midrange printers that cost $100-$150 will usually be able to do everything the way an all-in-one printer should. Laser printers, which are about $150, are durable, full-featured and print everything much faster than inkjets.
All-in-one printer FAQ
What is an inkjet printer?
A. Inkjet printers spray liquid ink onto the paper through tiny nozzles. All-in-one inkjet printers cost less than laser printers and print much more slowly. Their big advantage over laser printers is that they print better quality photos and images.
What is a laser printer?
A. Laser printers, called laserjets by some, use static electricity to transfer dry ink to the paper. All-in-one laser printers are always faster than inkjets.
How do I choose a Page Per Minute rating right for me?
A. Inkjet printers deliver anywhere from 10-30 pages per minute and laser printers are capable of as many as 50 pages per minute. The more you print, the higher the rating you should look for. If you only print a few pages, consider saving money by buying an all-in-one printer with low page-per-minute ratings.
What’s the best all-in-one printer to buy?
Top all-in-one printer
What you need to know: This high-performance all-in-one inkjet printer delivers an outstanding 24 pages per minute.
What you’ll love: The OfficeJet Pro connects wirelessly or by USB. The scanner has a built-in automatic document feeder and the email-to-print feature is a big plus. This all-in-one printer comes with six free months of Instant Ink.
What you should consider: It may be difficult to set up the wireless function.
Where to buy: Sold by HP
Top all-in-one printer for the money
What you need to know: This all-in-one inkjet printer brings printing, automated scanning, copying and smartphone faxing to the home or small office.
What you’ll love: Setup is easy with the HP Smart app that guides you through the process step by step. Everyone in your home or office can connect from all of their devices. The self-healing Wi-Fi reduces interruptions and helps you stay connected.
This wireless color printer can print borderless photos and also prints on both sides of the page.
What you should consider: The print speeds of 15 pages per minute in black and white and 7 pages per minute in color are what you’d expect from a budget printer.
Where to buy: Sold by HP
Worth checking out
What you need to know: This all-in-one inkjet printer saves up to 90% with its low-cost replacement ink bottles.
What you’ll love: No more ink cartridges for this inkjet printer that comes with enough replacement ink to print up to 6,000 color pages and 7,500 black and white pages. This all-in-one printer has a 250 sheet paper tray, a 30-sheet auto document feeder and prints at 1200 x 2400 dpi. It’s easy to set up the printer via WiFi or ethernet with the bright 2.4-inch color touchscreen.
What you should consider: Although you save on ink over time, the upfront costs are much greater.
Where to buy: Sold by Amazon
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David Allan Van writes for BestReviews. BestReviews has helped millions of consumers simplify their purchasing decisions, saving them time and money.
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