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How to choose an MFP for a home or small office?

Having an MFP at your disposal, you can forget about a copy center’s services and save a decent amount on printing text, scanning, and copying documents.

Features of the MFP

A multifunctional device (MFP) is a machine that combines the functions of a printer, copier, and scanner, and some models also include a telephone and fax. All devices are housed in one compact case, which is convenient for home use.

MFPs are slightly more expensive than a printer of the same class to serve as an alternative. And, of course, this option is preferable to buying separate devices. But this is not the only advantage of such devices. Here are a few more. 

What are the MFPs?

Before you start choosing an MFP, you need to answer the main question: why are you buying it. The optimal type of device will depend on this. Most often, MFPs are taken for printing, but different equipment is needed for documents and photos. 

Laser multifunction devices

This type of device is best suited if you need to print a large amount of text material. The simplest models have only a black cartridge, respectively, monochrome printing. 

Benefits:

Color laser MFPs are expensive models that are designed to print documents containing color images: infographics, design elements, pictures. However, 6-color inkjet models are more suitable for printing artistic photographs.

Inkjet MFP

They work according to a different printing principle: the matrix, using a set of nozzles, transfers the image to the paper point by point. This technology can provide higher print quality, but it is no different from laser models for budget inkjets. 

Inkjet printing is more expensive, but there is an MFP with a continuous ink supply system (CISS), which significantly reduces costs by eliminating cartridges. CISS can be installed on most devices and separately. 

Benefits:

When compared to laser models, inkjet printers are inferior to them in print speed and the presence of perceptible vibration during operation. Also, when the equipment is idle for a long time, the ink can dry out, and with it the print head, the restoration of which requires expensive repairs.

How to choose a good MFP: basic criteria

MFPs don’t have many characteristics, but they are all critical enough. Pay attention to these parameters. 

Print type. To print documents, a monochrome device with laser printing is enough. If there are also colored elements – you can take a color laser or an inkjet MFP. 

Scanner resolution. For most users, 1200×2400 dpi will suffice. If you plan to scan photos, use higher resolution models. 

Print resolution. To obtain high-quality documents, a resolution of 300 dpi is sufficient for photographs – 1200 dpi or more.

Print speed. Not the most essential characteristic of a home device. Laser printers usually print faster. 

Print format. Home MFPs are usually designed to work with A4 sheets. If you need to print A3, you should pay attention to the office and industrial models (but they are more expensive). 

Connection method. Traditional is a wire. But there are models with a Wi-Fi module. You can access them wirelessly. Some devices can also be controlled via a mobile application, that is, to print documents from a computer and a smartphone. Owners of “apple” technology should pay attention to the availability of support for AirPrint technology.

Which MFP to buy for your home in 2020

HP Smart Tank 615

One of the popular MFP models for home printing or the needs of a small company. In the arsenal of the device – 4 colors and a supply of ink, which is enough to print up to 18,000 black and white or up to 8,000 color pages. The maximum resolution for scanning is 600×600 dpi for color printing – up to 4800×1200 dpi.

This model can be connected via Wi-Fi, and it is also compatible with the HP Smart app. It provides many additional features – for example, control over ink use or sending files for printing directly from a mobile device from anywhere in the world where there is an Internet. 

Canon PIXMA MG2540S

A budget MFP ideal for home use. The device is equipped with an inkjet printer, copier, and color scanner. The device provides high-quality monochrome and color printing on A4 sheets – 4800×600 dpi. Suitable for those who print a little since they work on cartridges. There are two of them in the device: black and color (total – 4 colors). 

HP LaserJet Pro MFP M28w

Laser MFP with high-speed monochrome printing – 18 pages per minute. The maximum resolution of a printer is 600×600 dpi, for a color scanner – 1200×1200 dpi. The input bin holds 150 sheets and the output bin holds 100 sheets. Suitable for owners of mini-offices and coworking spaces. 

Epson L3150

MFP, with which you can organize a small office at home. The device implements piezoelectric inkjet printing at 10 sheets per minute in monochrome and five sheets per minute in color. The machine is designed for continuous ink supply and provides borderless photo printing. CISS significantly reduces the cost of printing, but with small volumes, you will not notice this. 

Brother DCP-1612WR

MFP with a high yield of a cartridge for 10,000 prints. Real, monochrome – there is no color printing here. The device is compact, so it doesn’t take up much space on your computer desk. The scanner provides a resolution of 1200×600 dpi. Copier capabilities are impressive – up to 99 copies per cycle.

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