A multifunction printer is a useful piece of equipment in offices that need many printing functions at once. An MFD printer, also known as a multifunction printer, single-use, or all-in-one printer, is an office printer that incorporates the functionality of several different devices in a single unit to bring down a bulky, heavy desktop printer to a more manageable size or to offer centralized document distribution/production in a very large office setting. In a small office setting, where the printer is often used on an individual computer for one particular job and is rarely (if ever) shared with other individuals, choosing the right multifunction printer can be crucial to keep your office running smoothly and efficiently. In this article, we’ll take a look at some of the main options you’ll have when shopping for a multifunctional printer for your office.
With a copier, fax machine, and scanner included, a typical multifunction printer will usually serve two primary functions. The first is the copier itself, which will usually be the largest part of the device. It’s capable of scanning and printing both letter and legal sized paper. Depending on your particular model, it may also be able to scan various items, such as pictures and black and white documents, and hold one or more stored images on removable disks or the unit’s internal memory card. And because the copier is typically used in single-colour printing operations, the copier can also deal with duplex printing, which allows you to process two forms of input simultaneously.
It probably won’t make much sense to purchase an MFD printer for most office environments unless you use it exclusively for printing. However, even this device may come in handy from time to time. For instance, if you run a small art gallery or workshop where many different artwork formats may need to be printed, an inexpensive copier may be just what you need to keep everything running smoothly. These devices are available in several different makes and models, and many carry a similar total cost compared to their main competitor. By shopping around, you can get an idea of what you can expect to pay in different styles and models, and then choose a multifunction printer based upon your budget.
Another consideration is the number and variety of device management tools that are included. Like copiers and printers, multifunction printers will usually include basic devices such as a data recovery function and a document shredder, in addition to a variety of management tools, such as a storage device manager and CD/DVD writer. If you tend to save a lot of data regularly, you may want to invest in a device that comes with an integrated media manager, in which every time you save a file, it’s assigned to a separate storage device. This will help you keep duplicate copies on your hard drive, ensuring that one time you pull up a file, it’s already saved on a different disk.
A multifunction printer will usually come with a card reader, as well, and it’s important to make sure that your card readers are compatible with the device that you intend to use for printing. While many devices utilize a common type of print software, some have specific software requirements. As an example, many devices require specific print software for faxing; others may need to use a specific file format when printing. If you’re unsure about which type of software you’ll need for your particular device management task, ask the salesperson at the store where you purchased your printer which applications and features are most compatible.
Whether you’re looking for an MFD printer to take advantage of its multiple functions or to provide multiple functions to one device, you’ll likely find a model that’s right for your needs. As technology changes, so do the needs for multifunction printers. While their original purpose was to support only one function, today’s devices can do everything from fax to scanning and more. To get the most out of your multifunction printer, you must learn how to maintain and care for it properly.