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Think of all-in-one or multi-function printers as a printer, a scanner, a photocopier and in some cases, a fax machine sandwiched together. Combining four different machines into one hardware unit makes these printers the perfect match for homes, home-offices and small businesses.
Which one is the best all-in-one inkjet printer? Well, there is and can never be one definitive answer. For you, the best all-in-one printer could be a fast printer that scans and photocopies at high speeds as well. For somebody else, the best all-in-one printer could be a color inkjet printer with high resolution scanning capabilities along with extra horsepower to handle large volumes of incoming faxes. It all boils down to your requirements, nothing else.
Having said that, even if you finally choose a printer that is your “dream machine”, you might have missed to examine some important features.
The following information is about standard features of an all-in-one printer. It also contains statistics about average performance of all-in-one printers currently available in market. Using this information for reference will help you make the right purchase and will definitely help you avoid frustration later.
Print Speed is calculated by counting number of pages printed per minute by any printer. The average print speed of all-in-one printers with black & white ink is 30.8 pages per minute, whereas the average of color prints is 24.32 pages per minute.
Maximum Input Capacity
This is the maximum number of pages that can fit either in the automatic document feeder or the automatic sheet feeder. The average number is 1,228 sheets.
Vertical & Horizontal Print Resolutions
This describes the maximum printing resolution for black & white and color prints (measured in dots per inch). Printing resolution is a measure of how detailed an image the all-in-one is able to print. Manufacturers list printing resolution as two numbers (i.e. 2400 x 1200 dpi), the vertical resolution being the first number listed and horizontal being second.
The average vertical print resolution of a black & white print for all-in-one printers is 1650 dpi and horizontal print resolution is 1024 dpi. For color prints, the average vertical print resolution is 3259 dpi and horizontal print resolution is 1334 dpi.
Maximum Print Height & Width
Print Heights and widths are about print paper sizes. It relates to the heights and widths of the papers on which you intend to print. The average maximum print height of all-in-one printers is 15.9 inches and the average maximum print width is 10.2 inches.
Max Copy/Scan Height & Width
This relates to the maximum paper size the printer is capable to copy/scan through flatbed or automatic document feeder (ADF). The average maximum paper height is 13.7 inches and the average paper width is 9.5 inches.
Vertical & Horizontal Scan Resolutions
Scanning resolution is how much pixel detail (resolution depth) a scanner can capture. The average vertical scanning resolution of all-in-one printers is 2225 dpi and average horizontal scanning resolution is 2429 dpi.
Reduction & Enlargement
It means how much a document or image can be reduced (shrinked) or enlarged during scanning or copying. The reduction average of all-in-one printers is 31% and enlargement average is 385%.
The standard interface available for most all-in-one printers is USB 2.0. Although companies ship printers with Wi-Fi connectivity option as well, in most cases a USB interface will suffice unless network printing is required.
Operating System Compatibility
The commonly used operating systems are Microsoft Windows and Mac OS X. Apart from some generic hardware, operating systems, by themselves, are unable to ‘know’ what hardware is attached to the computer. Companies manufacturing computer hardware also write software programs called hardware drivers to be used with their hardware. This hardware driver allows computers to recognize the hardware and enables two way communications between computer and the hardware.
However the problem is that there are so many versions of Microsoft Windows and Mac OS X. After every couple of years, both Microsoft and Apple Inc. release new versions of their operating systems. OS version compatibility is and has been an annoyance for computer users who own printers or for that matter, any hardware that requires drivers. Sadly, there is no set industry standard about operating systems and versions compliance. Checking driver’s availability for the operating system you use should be among the top in your checklist.
This refers to the internal memory of the all-in-one printer measured in megabytes. The internal memory is used to hold information about the current print job. The average internal memory of all-in-one inkjet printers is 384 MB.
Based on this reference, you will be able to find an all-in-one printer that best suits you. It won’t be about brands like HP, Epson, Lexmark, Canon, Dell or Kodak will be about fulfilling your needs rightly.
One last bit of information is specifically about Kodak all-in-one printers. If, after evaluation, you choose a Kodak all-in-one printer, don’t be bothered about the fact that the Kodak Company has decided to change its business direction and will not be manufacturing consumer products any more. You will still get one year company warranty.