Understanding Multi-Function Printers – MFPs Explained

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Updated November 16, 2022

Multi-function printers, otherwise known as MFPs, are a popular emerging high-quality printer type. In other words, consumers have flocked to the features on offer when it comes to a multi-function printer.

While they’re wonderful devices, MFP printers do tend to have a higher price tag. Although, they’re often worth it due to their performance and the many capabilities they offer. You’ll find if you need to scan to iPhone from a printer, these capabilities can also cover that.

Moreover, paper capacity, print environment, and mobile printing are also other features available on these printer types. 

KEY TAKEAWAYS:

  • Multi-function printers, otherwise known as MFPs, are a sub-category that includes printers that offer a number of additional features above simple print jobs.
  • The features can vary depending on the printer, but most multi-function printers can make copies, fax documents, scan documents, and more.
  • Most MFPs are also wireless, meaning they do not have to plug into a computer or phone to complete a print job.

What is a Multifunction Printer?

As the name suggests, a multi-function printer is a printer with multiple functions. These functionalities are not set in stone, however, as they can fluctuate depending on the make and model of the printer itself. If you do not need a multifunction printer, you can use a Laser printer that uses a toner cartridge to print and is less messy than an ink cartridge.

Insider Tip

If color prints are a high priority for you, try to purchase an inkjet multi-function printer, as ink cartridges tend to produce better results when it comes to color images.

MFP Features to Look For

There are some key features to be on the lookout for as you shop for a multi-function printer.

Color Printing

One of the key benefits of choosing a multifunction printer is the ability to create high-resolution color pages. If color prints are a high priority for you, try to purchase an inkjet multi-function printer, as ink cartridges tend to produce better results when it comes to color images. It is also important to remember that color is not necessary when it comes to MFPs, especially if you are mostly printing out work-related black-and-white documents. If you are okay with monochrome or black-and-white reproductions, a Monochrome laser printer will be perfect for you.

Fax and Scan

A faxing mechanism and a high-resolution scanner are two more popular features that can typically be found in a multifunction printer. While the popularity of fax machines has waned in recent years, it can still be necessary to fax important documents occasionally. As for scanning, this can be incredibly useful for backing up and storing paper-based documents. If scanning and faxing are important to you, be sure to do some research on the resolutions the MFP can handle.

Insider Tip

A faxing mechanism and a high-resolution scanner are two more popular features that can typically be found in a multifunction printer.

Making Copies

Multifunction printers (or digital printers) can excel at making quick photocopies of documents. If this is a feature you prioritize, research the pages per minute the copier function can produce. You will want a high PPM if you are going to be regularly using the copier function. The resolution here should also be considered, as printing speed will cease to matter if the copies are of a low resolution.

Wireless Connectivity

Modern multi-function printers tend to offer robust wireless connectivity options. In other words, you will be able to receive print jobs from laptops, smartphones, and tablets via your home Wi-Fi connection or, in some cases, a Bluetooth connection. This means that a printer will not have to be plugged into anything to complete a print job. Of course, the printer will have to be plugged into a power outlet, but that is it.

Warning

If scanning and faxing are important to you, be sure to do some research on the resolutions the MFP can handle.

F.A.Q.

Color printing: thumbs up or thumbs down?

Thumbs sideways, as it depends on your individual preferences. Color printing can be incredibly useful, but color ink cartridges can be expensive to replace.


What is office technology?

The term office technology generally refers to types of technology that are typically used in an office setting. This includes printers, scanners, fax machines, and more.


Do I have the space for a multi-function printer?

This is something to consider, as MFPs tend to be larger than standard single-purpose printers. Measure your space and stack up that data next to the size of the printer you are thinking of buying.



STAT: In 2018 the turnover in the printer, scanner, and multi-function device market was projected to be 9.7 billion U.S. Dollars. The printer, scanner, and multi-function device market are expected to amount to approximately 9.3 billion U.S. Dollars by 2021. (source)

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