Bob Rankin: All-In-One Printer Buying Guide


By Bob Rankin

Let’s start with the benefits of all-in one, or multifunction printers… You save a lot of space with an all-in-one printer, obviously. Not so obviously, you save electricity by having just one machine powered on all the time. There are fewer power and network cables to worry about. Supplies are used more efficiently because you don’t need idle paper, ink, toner, etc., in four machines. Oh, and of course you don’t have to BUY and service all four machines. It’s like saving on the cost of baskets by putting all of your eggs in one.

But that leads me to a downside of multifunction printers, too. If a critical component such as the print head or power adapter fails on an all-in-one printer, all of your functions are gone until it’s repaired. An all-in-one printer doesn’t get as much rest as four separate machines, so it may tend to fail sooner, depending on your usage.

Another con to all-in-one printers is compromise of quality or functionality. A machine designed to do everything won’t do each thing the best; it would cost an arm and a leg if it did. And it goes without saying that a multifunction machine that CAN do everything is going to be more complicated to use than a single-purpose tool. It reminds me of a combo TV/VCR/DVD player I bought once. I think you could even cook a Pop-Tart in that thing.

Article continued here:

This excerpt is shared with permission from Bob Rankin.


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4 thoughts on “Bob Rankin: All-In-One Printer Buying Guide”

  1. Hi Bob,

    Yes i agree that you will initially save a lot of money buying a 3-in one (or more) system. Worth notice though that ink cartridges for these printers usually are pricy…

  2. “Other factors to consider when buying a multifunction printer are connectivity and the ability to interface with mobile devices.”

    I thought this was PC Pitstop…not Mobile device pitstop or Ipad pitstop. Who gives a stuff about mobile devices? I certainly don’t and anyone who does? Let them go out and subscribe to Mobile Pitstop instead.

    Mobile devices with your ipads and the like have no place here…or at least they shouldn’t.

    If I ruled the world, you would have been put up against a wall and proverbially shot a long time ago!

  3. Kenny | Printer Repair

    That was indeed correct, I agree with you sir. That’s why most of the all-in-one printers which are made to deliver quality printouts costs a lot compared to those designed for just personal or home usage.


  4. You seem to miss the most important thing. You didn’t once mention compatibility with different operating systems.
    Linux, MAC OS, older and newer versions of windows.

    Believe it or not full size printers are more important to computer users and different operating systems then cellphone and tablet compatibility.

    In all the years of buying and using different printers I would be hard pressed to recommend anything other then HP or Brother for compatibility among the numerous and different operating systems out there.

    Kodak, and Lexmark make outstanding bookends and doorstops. Epson is slightly better, but now much.

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