All-in-One is fully in line with the trend

Printers come in many different shapes, colors and types - but more and more users are turning to all-in-one devices, which are also known as multifunction devices. Typically powered by ink cartridges, all-in-one printers can feed in, scan, copy, or print any size of document. All-in-one printers have the immense advantage of taking up very little space in the room. The printer system is particularly interesting for business users - but private households can also benefit.

The appearance features of the printer system

If you want to buy a multifunction printer, you can already tell from some features whether the printer is an all-in-one printer. The classic all-in-one printer looks a bit taller and wider than if you ordered a regular home or office printer.

The increased size is precisely because the multifunction printer - as the name implies - combines several functions in one model. Thus the scanner takes an enormous share of the printer. The remaining size is due to the different paper trays and input modules. Especially when multifunction printers or all-in-one printers are equipped with a touch surface, the printers quickly become somewhat larger.

Optical features of the All-in-One printer:

  • Scanner
  • photocopiers
  • Printers
  • paper trays
  • Touch interface or other controls

The printing techniques with the All-in-One printer

As a rule, printer systems distinguish between inkjet printers and laser printers. While laser printers work with an image drum and burn the image onto the paper due to different charges, inkjet printers work with simple cartridges. These cartridges are filled with ink, which is then printed onto the paper.

The printing technology used in a multifunction printer depends on the manufacturer and the customer's requirements. A laser printer is generally a bit more expensive to buy, but offers very high quality document printing, which can also be printed very quickly. It is generally said that laser printers are the better alternative when fast document printers are needed. However, there are huge differences in the price ranges. A high-quality and enormously expensive inkjet printer can print just as fast as an inferior laser printer. Users should therefore always compare print speeds in advance.

The fact is that inkjet printers print better photos. The photo quality is kept high by the ink, which is not possible with a laser printer. So if users want to print photographs or postcards, the all-in-one printer is a better choice as an inkjet printer.

The test shows that most multifunction printers are built as inkjet printers. This is due to the simple technology and the coupled photo quality.

Scanner features

The scanner is the second feature that the multifunction device should have next to the actual printer. The scanner offers users the possibility to scan different documents directly at the device. Either the scanned documents are then given to a PC system or to a storage medium or printed directly. Direct printing is then referred to as copying.

Scanners need to be able to capture documents accurately and colourfastly, which is why some features are extremely important. First and foremost, a scanner in an all-in-one device is about image resolution. The resolution is calculated in dpi, which means dots per inch.

Those who want to scan simple magazines should have a scanner between 150 and 300 dpi. At least 200 dpi is required for text recognition of lower case documents. In general, however, most all-in-one printers are equipped with 300 dpi for text.

Those who find higher dpi numbers can also scan high-quality photographs with great detail without losing any information during the scan. Especially photographers profit from the high dpi values.

More important features of the multifunction printer

  • Simple operation via touch
  • Combination of different functions
  • High printing speed
  • Fast saving of scanned documents

Security with the All-in-One printer

Security is an issue that should not be forgotten, especially with an all-in-one printer. While normal printers usually work without an Internet connection, all-in-one printers are often equipped with WLAN modules so that several users can access one printer at the same time. Although this makes it easier to use the printer, it does mean that there is a certain security risk.

For this reason, buyers should be aware of what security features are available before making a purchase. On the one hand, printers can be protected against physical data theft with simple PIN queries - but much more important is protection against virtual attacks. Files are often sent encrypted from the PC to the printer. Here, users can fall back on SSL encryption, which is usually mentioned separately by the manufacturer.

Such encryption can also be used in private households, but is not an important purchase criterion here. In the private use it depends above all on the simple operability.

Accessories for multifunction devices

Similar to a normal printer, the multifunction printer also has wear parts that can be purchased as accessories at any time. In this case, we are talking about ink cartridges or toners that are used in inkjet printers or laser printers.

How many and which cartridges or toners customers have to use depends on the manufacturer. In general, inkjet printers as photo printers are often equipped with five or more cartridges, so that images are printed more colourfast and richer in contrast. Normal multifunction printers that are only used for text are usually equipped with four cartridges.

The toners for laser printers are usually somewhat more expensive in direct comparison, but often last longer. But here, too, there are differences between third-party manufacturers and products from their own manufacturers.

Tip: The software is decisive

Apart from hardware issues, software plays a major role in the multifunction printer. All-in-one printers cannot be operated extensively without a suitable interface. For this reason, manufacturers usually supply their own programs with which all-in-one printers can be operated. Within the programs, fine settings can then be made on the systems or images can be subsequently edited. Color adjustments and cuts are particularly important here.

The scanner usually also has its own subprogram, which should be carefully examined when buying. Customers can choose between WIA drivers and TWAIN drivers. While the first driver usually allows a fast use of the scanner, the TWAIN driver works much more precisely. The advantage: With the TWAIN driver, more settings can be made before the scan as to how the document is to be captured and scanned. For example, texts can be read in together with a text recognition function so that the text can then be edited.