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A Guide to All-in-One Printers - Part 2: A Comparison of Top All-in-One PrintersAs discussed in Part One of this article, All-in-One printers (also known as AIOs or MFPs - multi-function printers) combine the features of multiple devices in one package. The most basic All-in-One printers offer a laser or color inkjet printer combined with a scanning unit so that it can act as a printer, a scanner, and a copier. Additional functions include sending and receiving faxes, and downloading photos directly from your camera via its memory card.
Other high-end features may include an automatic document feeder (ADF), which is very useful if you plan to copy large numbers of documents; an upgraded scanner that is a flatbed and/or includes a transparency negative adapter for scanning slides; or a virtual photo lab complete with a small color LCD viewer that allows you to preview the images on your memory card and enhance them before printing.
A Comparison of Top All-in-One Printers
In a June 2007 survey of 1,971 consumers, Hewlett-Packard and Canon topped the list of user-preferred peripheral manufacturers for All-in-One devices, as well as stand-alone printers and scanners. The chart below compares three of the top All-in-One printers priced from $89 to $349, with information on their different features.
As always when choosing a printer, calculate your TCO (total cost of ownership) by comparing the price of the unit, the cost of ink cartridge refills, the print speed and quality, and the device's additional features/functionality before selecting an All-in-One printer for your home or office.