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Multifunction printer reviews

Last tested: 28 May 2015

In this report, we take a close look at 80 multifunction printers (also known as AIOs or all-in-ones) which work as printers, scanners and copiers. Models on test include inkjets and lasers, both colour and mono. Our printer buying guide will help you decide which type you need, and how we test explains our process in the CHOICE lab.

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Half of the printers on test cost less than $200, but don't let that fool you: the purchase price is a small proportion of the cost of ownership – printer ink for inkjet printers is one of the most expensive fluids on earth, and the toner used by laser printers is expensive too. That's why we look at the total cost over three years. We also include an assessment of the ink used by inkjet printers in their cleaning cycle – the results may surprise you.

Modern printers are sophisticated pieces of technology and they can produce impressive results, but that comes at a cost. When not in use, inkjet printers can accumulate air in the ink cartridges and dried ink or dust on the print heads, so if they've not been used for a while they perform a cleaning cycle before printing which itself uses ink. For most of the inkjets in this report (except those we reviewed before we introduced this test) we've measured the extra ink used in cleaning cycles over a three-week period of low use.

Laser printers don't have a corresponding cleaning cycle and our measurements show no significant increase in the amount of toner used when the printer is used infrequently. But there may be other costs associated with lasers that we haven't included in the three-year calculation.

Go back to our old comparison table.

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List of brands we tested in this review.

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Inkjet/Laser

Features

Can print both sides
Print items emailed from the internet
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Internet printing is done by sending pictures to an email address configured through the manufacturer's website, the printer's own built-in web-page or Google's Cloud Print. Typically, this makes it possible to print from a phone or tablet without going through a computer just by emailing the file to the address given.

Wi-Fi
Bluetooth
Near field communication (NFC)
Airprint
Ethernet
USB connection
Auto feeder for scan or copy
4x6 photo tray

Test results

Total cost of ink/toner over 3 years

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Printing score
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The printing score is made up of a printing quality score (65%) and a printing speed score (35%).

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Scanning score
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Scanning and copying are assessed by scanning and copying a magazine page, an 8x10-inch colour photo and scanning a 3D object.

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Copying score
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Scanning and copying are assessed by scanning and copying a magazine page, an 8x10-inch colour photo and scanning a 3D object.

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Included in this review

Members-only access
  • Overall score
  • CHOICE buy
  • Printing score
  • Printing quality score
  • Printing speed score
  • Scanning score
  • Copying score
  • Ease of use
  • Networking
  • Toner cost per text page
  • Toner cost per graphics page
  • Toner cost per photo page
  • Annual ink toner cost
  • Total cost first year buy inktoner
  • Excess ink usage for cleaning etc
  • Total cost of ink/toner over 3 years
  • Responsiveness time from power on to start printing first page
  • Text pages from set of cartridges
  • Graphics pages from set of cartridges
  • Photos from set of cartridges
  • Noise assessment
  • Good points
  • Bad points
  • Brand
  • Model
  • Price
  • Inkjet/Laser
  • Dimensions cm h x w x d
  • Claimed printing speed color ppm
  • Claimed printing speed mono ppm
  • Stated life of laser drum
  • Input paper capacity main traymultipurpose tray a4 sheets
  • Max standard metric paper size
  • Min standard metric paper size
  • 4x6 photo tray
  • Borderless printing: A4
  • Borderless printing: 4x6 photo
  • Print on CD/DVD
  • Print on transparent film
  • Can print both sides
  • Auto feeder for scan or copy
  • Feeder for scan or copy can auto duplex
  • Scan for each copy
  • Fax without PC
  • Number of cartridges required to load printer
  • Cartridge format
  • Has individual colour in tanks
  • Cartridge has built in printhead
  • Laser drum integrated with toner cartridge
  • Must swap cartridge for photo printing
  • Ethernet
  • Wi-Fi
  • USB connection
  • Bluetooth
  • Pictbridge
  • Near field communication (NFC)
  • Print from mobile devices over Wi-Fi
  • Print items emailed from the internet
  • Airprint
  • Print through Google cloudprint
  • Cards memory card support
  • Has memory card dpp
  • Windows 8 compatible
  • Linux
  • Mac OS
  • LCD type colour mono touch
  • LCD size mm w x h
  • Preview screen
  • OCR software
  • Photo editing or organising software
  • Eco setting
  • Website
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