Things to Consider When Buying an All-in-One Printer

Home office design has dynamically changed thanks to innovations in technology.  It seems every bit of office gear has become compact so that many homeowners have transformed the space under staircases, hallways, or even the corner of the kitchen into a home office.  Combining all their traditional features into one compact and user-friendly machine, the printer-copier-scanner-fax machine has made the home as well as many work spaces more functional and far less cluttered.  The subsequent article explores the design features of multi-function printers and why they have become the new “must-have” item for home offices. 

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Essential Functions

While there are many makes and models of all-in-one printers to choose from, most are similar in size to printers that, well, only print.  Multi-function printers combine the main functions of printing, scanning, copying, and faxing into one compact machine.  Instead of finding space for four different equipment items, you now only need one small space and one electric outlet to get all this office functionality.  Many small offices in the work place have also discovered that these do-everything printers are more convenient than more traditional office equipment.


Print from Work to Home

Many new multi-capability printers have gone digital.  These advanced devices almost seem to have the brains of a computer.  One great feature that some models boast is remote printing capability.  If the printer at work doesn’t work, you can easily send documents home straight to your printer and it will print them.  By setting up permissions, you can remotely print from your work computer, laptop, iPad, or even your smart phone.


Online Capabilities

Often, these devices rely on an email account to print remotely.  Yet, instead of the clunky process of sending an email from one computer and then opening a document on another computer before you can print, you can directly email the printer with the document in question.  It makes the printing process far more streamlined.  Moreover, some devices allow for limited web access.  For instance, you can use your printer’s applications to print road maps, coupons, calendars, recipes, and much more without ever touching your computer!


Wireless Functionality

Having a wireless printer means all your family needs is one printer!  If you’re sitting outside on the deck with your laptop you can print to your upstairs office.  If your kids have a computer in their room, they can print to this same office.  Computers and printers no longer have to plug in together!  You simply hit the print button just like you always would from anywhere in your home and your printer goes to work.


Smart Card Slots

Devices with slots for smart cards are terrifically handy.  It gives you yet another option to explore.  You can transfer data from your card straight to your printer which will print or fax it–whatever capability you need.  When your sister’s printer breaks down, she can simply take her smart card to your house and print from your printer.


Fun with Photos

Many deluxe all-in-one printers feature photo printing capabilities.  Now, you don’t even need a dedicated photo-printer to print pictures from your smart card, cell phone, or computer.  You can easily scan photos and then print them right on your photo paper, too.  This single feature alone is drawing more and more consumers to check out this do-it-all device.



The cost of these multi-function printers is rather astounding–especially if you consider what you might have paid for each separate functionality even a half a decade ago.  Many name brand models are less than two hundred dollars.  Moreover, the ink cartridges have also come down in price, making these devices a truly cost-effective option for offices.  In addition, some makes boast eco-friendly features that promote power-saving.  Low cost combined with optimum function has made these items an ideal purchase.  Moreover, everybody knows that technology is continuously advancing.  You’ll feel much better knowing that you didn’t sink a ton of money into a device that you might want to upgrade in a few years simply to gain even more great features that will inevitably be created.


If you haven’t seen these multi-function printers in action, head to your nearest office supply center or check out a demo online.  Read product reviews before making your final selection and you’re likely to get the model that is ideally suited to your needs.


Guest post contributed by Mike Holmes on behalf of Ricoh Printers. Mike is a freelance writer with an extensive background as a printing technician. He now consults business on their printing needs and his articles appear on various business blogs.





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