Labs roundup: MFDs: Introduction
Every office, whether it is a small, medium or large corporate environment, needs a printer for its day-to-day operations - this is a given. Despite the cliché that is the paperless office, streamlined electronic information exchange and the continued sales of inkjet and laser printers would suggest this is still not a reality and we think it may not be for some time.
Ink outside the box
It's time for single function inkjet printers to step aside for MFD inkjets. The PC Authority team investigates.
Correction: January 2004: MFD Labs
In our January 2004 issue in the MFD Labs on page 75, we incorrectly stated the price for the Labs Winner Lexmark X6150 multi-function printer as $199, not its actual selling price of $399.
However all of the calculations for features, quality, value for money and overall scores were based on the selling price of $399, not the erroneous printed price on page 75. We apologise for this error, and any confusion it may have caused.
Every office, whether it is a small, medium or large corporate environment, needs a printer for its day-to-day operations - this is a given. Despite the cliche that is the paperless office, streamlined electronic information exchange and the continued sales of inkjet and laser printers would suggest this is still not a reality and we think it may not be for some time. The emergence and continuing level of acceptance of all-in-one units has brought printers to the next level - they're now able to provide scanning, copying and, in some instances, faxing capabilities.
Although not necessarily the greatest performers when directly compared to the top of the range standalone products, these multi function devices (MFDs) are more than adequate for mid to high resolution scanning of documents and images, with resolutions of up to 1,200dpi.
All of the units we evaluated this month contained inkjet style printing. Although not running as economically as the more expensive to purchase mono and colour laser printers we looked at in our October roundup (2003, page 78), MFDs do offer plenty of performance without having to shell out up to $2,000 initially. The other obvious benefit of inkjet printers lies in their greater range of flexibility in regards to available features.
We've taken nine of the best all-in-one units and tested them in a range of ways to ascertain exactly what they are capable of. We'll give you a clear insight into some of the advantages and warn you of the pitfalls associated with these combined units.
We've done the legwork for you. So, if you're interested in ditching that cumbersome old inkjet you've been kicking around for years in favour of something newer and funkier, but can't justify handing over your hard-earned money for just another plain Jane printer, look no further. And be sure to check out our two-page ink exposé where we uncover the truth about generic ink refills.
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This Group Test appeared in the January, 2004 issue of PC & Tech Authority Magazine