How to choose a multi-function copier

Posted on October 13, 2009 by Dan Dalton

Every office needs to print, copy, fax and scan documents. Purchasing and storing separate office equipment for each application is expensive and unwieldy. Multi-function copiers are save money and space.

There are a few factors to take into account while shopping for a new multi-function machine:

What do you need your machine to do?
What type of documents do you generally print? 
Where will you use your copier?

Do you need a multi-function copier that faxes and scans?

All multi-function copiers copy and print. But not all models offer scanning and faxing capabilities. Choose a machine that satisfies as many of your needs as possible. Generally, the more functions a copier can handle, the more expensive it's likely to be.

How will you use your multi-function copier?

Inkjet Multi-Function Printers

Lexmark Inkjet Multi-function Printer

Best for: photo printing

Standard Laser Multi-Function Copiers

Laser Multi-function Copiers

Best for: black & white graphics & text

Color Laser Multi-Function Copiers

Color Laser

Best for: color graphics & text

Where will you use your multi-function copier?

Home & Small Office Multi-Function Copiers

Best ChoiceInkjet Machines
- low initial investment
- print up to 35 pages per minute 
- highest cost-per-page
- up to 500 pages per ink cartridge
- small size takes up less office space

Inkjet Printer

Medium & Large Office Multi-Function Copiers

Best Choice: Laser Machines
- high initial investment
- print up to 55 pages per minute
- lowest cost-per-page
- minimum of 2,000 pages per toner cartridge
- larger size takes up more office space


Need to connect multiple computers?

Look for network-ready multi-function copiers. Ethernet networks are the most reliable, while wireless networks allow for convenient copier placement.

Other copier features to consider

Does your office use PCs or Macs? What kind of operating system do you use? Make sure you choose a compatible Multi-Function copier.

Regularly print on non-standard paper? Choose a machine that's up to the task. Not all multi-function copiers can handle envelopes, card stock, or paper with irregular dimensions.

How often will you use your copier? The higher your machine’s paper capacity, the less often you need to refill the paper.

Running an environmentally-friendly office? Reduce paper waste with a copier equipped with automatic-duplexing.

Want to limit use? Some multi-function copiers offer password protection, allowing you to prevent unauthorized use, or simply to monitor who is using the machine.

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Document printed / saved on 01/17/2018. Prices subject to change.