Separate machines for printing, scanning, faxing and photocopying can be pricey and consume a lot of space. One of the main advantages of an all-in-one printer is that all these functions, and sometimes more, are contained in one unit.
With so many options available on the market, it can be a minefield trying to decide which one suits you best. We will look at the features an all-in-one printer offers and detail some considerations to keep in mind when shopping for this big paurchase.
Features and Considerations
There are numerous features and considerations to be taken into account when choosing the best printer for your needs.
Is Your All in One Printer for Home or Office Use?
One of the first considerations is whether your printer will be for home or office use, or maybe both. This can determine whether you are likely to need an inkjet or laser printer.
Inkjet printers are generally better if you plan to print a lot of images, while laser will give a better print quality to text. Inkjet printers are usually smaller, taking up less desk space, and the ink cartridges are often less expensive to replace. They can generally accommodate a wide variety of printing media.
Laser printers have a better print quality that tends to be more consistent. They are often quieter but also larger than inkjet printers. Laser toner cartridges are expensive but longer-lasting than ink cartridges.
Print quality is measured in dots per inch or DPI. The higher the DPI, the better the print quality.
The DPI can vary in black print versus color print. If you want to mainly print high quality images or photographs, a higher DPI on an inkjet printer will be the best option. If documents are your priority, then the higher monochrome DPI of a laser printer will be more suitable.
You may want to produce both. In that case, some inkjet printers can easily cater for this, producing DPI of 1,200 x 1,200 in black print and 4,800 x 1,200 in color.
The speed at which your printer can produce pages or photographs can influence your choice. Slow performance can be time-consuming and frustrating. While this may be acceptable for home use, in the case of a small business it could also cost you money.
A typical print speed of an entry level inkjet printer will be about 20 to 30 pages per minute (ppm) in monochrome. In color, it becomes much slower, taking about double the time or more.
Laser printers are generally quicker, with a home version printing between 21 and 42 pages per minute (ppm).
When considering print speed, bear in mind the machine’s estimated workload per month. If you buy a machine rated for 3000 copies per month and the needed production is 6000 copies per month, you will likely shorten its lifespan.
If you regularly scan documents you will want to pay some attention to this feature of an all-in-one printer. There is nothing more mind-numbing than standing at a machine feeding one document in at a time.
You might want to consider a model which includes an automatic document feed (ADF). The ADF allows you to place your documents in the feeder tray and it then does the work for you. This is the case whether scanning, faxing or copying.
Scan resolution and scan bits are two other factors to look at. The higher the scan resolution and scan bits, the clearer and sharper the scanned copy.
When purchasing an all-in-one printer, consideration as to network and wireless connectivity is important. As well as a USB port, many all-in-one printers have either a port for an Ethernet cable or they have Wi-Fi capability. These connections are very useful for sharing a printer between a number of PCs.
Some machines now have Wi-Fi Direct, allowing compatible devices to be connected without the need for a wireless access point. Some also offer Near-Field Communication (NFC) - allowing printing from a compatible mobile device by just tapping the printer with the tablet or phone.
While some all-in-one printers require a computer connection to enable copying, there are also those that operate as a stand-alone copier.
Duplexing refers to the ability to print both sides of a document. This function saves money on printer paper.
Some machines will have an automatic duplexing capability. This means it refeeds a sheet of paper for printing on the opposite side. No need for you to stand there and turn the sheet over yourself.
Others might have dual printer heads that can print both sides of a sheet of paper at the same time.
Best All in One Printers in 2019
We have outlined some of the functions and features you might want to look for in an all-in-one printer. Let’s look at some of the best options available to help you decide which will best suit your needs.
This inkjet printer from Canon is compact and lightweight. It will easily fit into a home office without taking up too much desk space.
It has six different color ink cartridges producing high quality print for text, especially photographs. Capable of wireless connectivity with smartphones, tablets and PCs, it prints from Apple’s AirPrint, Google Cloud Print and more.
With a five-inch LCD screen and automatic duplex function, the Pixma can cover most needs. It even has a tray for printing CDs, DVDs or blu ray discs.
A perfect choice for those wanting a capable home printer with high quality printed photos.
The Officejet Pro is a color inkjet printer, copier, scanner and fax machine with wireless printing capability. It has advanced duplex printing on a single pass copy/scan.
The 4.3-inch touch screen is perfect for ease of use and managing print jobs. It has two paper trays, each capable of holding 250 sheets. Ideal for a small business or office, it supports many paper sizes, including letter, legal and envelopes. Print speeds are about 24 pages per minute in monochrome and 20 pages per minute in color.
It has Wi-Fi, Ethernet and NFC touch-to-print connection, allowing direct printing from PC, phone or tablet.
Measuring just under 20 inches tall and weighing just over 40 pounds, this might need its own home within your office.
This high quality inkjet printer brought to us by Epson is labelled as a photo printer but is actually capable of much more.
Operated by a 4.3-inch touch screen, it allows printing using Epson connect from a number of devices including: Android, Apple, Chromebook, Kindle Fire, Mac and Windows. Ports are also available for USB flash drive and memory cards.
The five ink cartridges print clear, crisp photos on a variety of different papers, including recycled for the eco-friendly amongst us.
The 30-page duplex automatic document feeder quickly faxes or scans two-sided originals, even scanning to email. It can also provide double-sided printing and copying.
With print speeds of 14 pages per minute in monochrome and 11 pages per minute in color, this slimline all-in-one has all your needs covered.
This laser printer is perfectly suited to improve the efficiency of a home or small office. It can print, copy scan and fax. The automatic document feeder can feed up to 50 sheets and the printer has single pass duplex capability.
Pages per minute output is 36 and the print is high quality. Paper trays hold 250 sheets, meaning less refills. This printer also allows printing on envelopes, legal and many other sizes of paper.
The 2.7-inch color touchscreen gives you ease of control and management over your printing jobs. It allows printing and scanning from Google Drive, Dropbox, OneNote, Evernote and more.
The NFC touch-to-print facility offers printing and scanning from compatible mobile devices. Fully Wi-Fi enabled, it also has Ethernet and a high speed USB port.
Toner refills for this printer are available in a super high-yield, giving the user up to three times more printing capacity than normal. Brother have a convenient, environmentally responsible recycling program for disposal of their own cartridges. The company also offers free online, live chat or call support for the lifetime of your printer.
This all-in-one inkjet printer is a good choice for either home or small office. Coming with up to two years supply of ink cartridges, printing is economical. This is based on printing 300 pages per month—70 percent monochrome and 30 percent color.
Output from this machine is 12 pages per minute in monochrome and 10 pages per minute in color. There is an automatic document feed for up to 20 pages and sizes up to legal (eight and a half by fourteen). Two-sided printing is also available.
It has a wireless printing capability from various devices, via Google Cloud, Mopria, Wi-Fi Direct and more. The printer network is enabled via ethernet, Wi-Fi or direct printing from a USB flash drive.
For those shopping on a budget for a home use, all-in-one printer, this offering from HP should cover your needs. The printer connects wirelessly to your PC to access the internet.
High quality photo printing can be edited and printed via the 2.65 inch touchscreen. It also has the capability to print from memory cards.
The print speed is 14 pages per minute for monochrome and 9 pages per minute for color. The 125 sheet tray is able to hold paper up to legal size.
The multifunction Canon MF414dw is an all-in-one printer which can support home or office functions. The text quality is good and it is capable of printing up to 50,000 pages per month. The print speed is 35 ppm, with the first sheet available in about 6.3 seconds.
The three and a half inch LCD touch screen makes navigating your all-in-one simple. It has a 50 sheet multi-purpose tray and 50 sheet auto duplexing automatic document feed for scanning. It also has an optional paper cassette, catering for 500 sheets.
The USB port allows connection and printing to and from a USB connected device. Wi-Fi Direct allows connection on the go from mobile devices.
Security is also covered with Secure Print protecting the privacy of your documents. Passwords can be set up for up to 300 people.
The initial outlay for this all-in-one is high, but you never need to buy ink cartridges. The Ecotank comes with sufficient ink to last about 2 years, equating to 20000 of each monochrome and color copies. Replacement ink is economical.
The PrecisionCore-powered copies and scans produce prints that will likely rival that of any print shop. With its 20-ppm speed for both color and black print, and an optional tray with a feed capacity of 500 sheets, printing is a breeze.
The 4.3-inch LCD screen allows management and control of work queues. It has Wi-Fi, USB, WiFi Direct and Ethernet connectivity and can also print from tablets, smartphones and Airprint.
Printers have evolved quickly over recent years and are no longer huge, cumbersome machines taking up half your office space. Some are produced for home users and photo enthusiasts, while others are robust enough for small business use.
Whichever you choose, you don’t have to compromise. The functionality covers printing, copying, scanning and faxing - all to varying degrees.
We have detailed components to look for in an all-in-one printer and highlighted those which are, in our opinion, the eight best all in one printers in 2019. Once you have decided what your priorities are in an all-in-one printer, the rest is no hassle. We hope you enjoy many hours of quality printing and more with one of our top products.