Multifunction Printer Vs Conventional Printer

Published: 26th February 2010
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In recent years, the multifunction laser printer (MFP) has transformed the way offices are working. It's something of a quiet technological revolution but the MFP is providing companies and organisations the world over with huge improvements to the way they do business - saving space, time, money and energy and also bringing in new capabilities, dramatically enhancing imaging and communications potential. For those who are new to the term, we've put together a list of the main advantages the MFP offers over a conventional printer, so you can make an informed choice.
Printer Functionality

The first obvious advantage of the multifunction printer or multifunctional device (MFD) as it's often known, is functionality - the impressive range of capabilities that most MFP's/ MFD's will be able to offer. Typically, an MFP will provide you with photocopying, network printing, scanning, faxing, and all usually colour printing and copying capability too. And today, most MFP's are usually internet and network ready, so they can be quickly, simply and seamlessly integrated into your existing office systems and workflows.
Space Saving Multifunction Printers

Most offices that install an Multifunction Printer (MFP) will find they save on a lot of space. Often smaller businesses would simply have done without the high level of functionality a multifunctional device affords, thinking they had to choose between whichever single function machines were available to them, based on their business priorities and the limited amount of space. Thankfully, today's MFP's, along with offering ever increasing levels of functionality are becoming more and more compact. While a multifunctional device/printer is still typically larger than a standard office printer, in terms of what an MFD/MFP offers for its size, that's the performance to size ratio, it obviously compares very favourably with a standard office/desktop printer. For larger office set-ups, many will find a new MFP will out-perform their separate single function devices on those individual functions. The new, Canon imageRunner Advance multifunction printer, for instance, will copy and print at a staggering rate of up to 70 PPM. Considering a lot of offices will be under-utilising their existing devices, combining functions, with an MFP that performs well across the range of capabilities, could be an ideal, space-saving solution.

Multifunction printers are heavy-duty machines that are built to last. A standard office/desktop printer is not designed to withstand the constant, often heavy-handed and varied usage that will be typically thrown in the direction of an MFP/MFD. Depending on the size and price of the machine you're choosing, MFP duty cycles will usually beat or at least equal those of most office printers and will certainly put the average desktop printer to shame. As robust as they are, MFP's/MFD's will need less attention and your company downtime could be cut considerably, even when compared with your existing single function office devices. And unlike a range of various single function office devices, running just one multifunction printer at any one time, means your chances of seeing an engineer and the associated bills are on average much lower, replacing the three potential fault risks with just one.
Reduce Page Cost

By replacing your usual desktop/office printer with a multifunction printer, you can usually make significant savings. The lower initial outlay for most office, desktop printers can make them very much more attractive when compared with a multifunction printer. However, the day-by-day running costs of a desktop printer could be considerably more. Toner/ink cartridges can be very expensive, sometimes as much as Β£50, and often require disappointingly regular replacement. If you buy or lease an multifunction printer, you can make a significant reduction on your printing costs. Firstly you can usually opt for a service/support agreement where the MFD will be completely maintained and repaired fro a fixed cost per print copy. And all parts, toner and labour can be included. Printing this way, the total cost to print will normally be around 25% of what the cost to print to a workgroup would be, so savings on your consumables could be substantial. Many organisations are now making significant savings by printing to an MFP rather than a workgroup printer.

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