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.
This excerpt is shared with permission from Bob Rankin.