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Multifunction Inkjet Printers - The Features Included in Multifunction Ink Jet Printers

printing photocopying scanning faxing email ports and connections printer output photocopier features scanner features fax features

Multifunction inkjet printers are inkjet printers that include a myriad of office functions besides printing. This increases convenience as less individual devices are needed to perform the same function, saving desk space and adding to efficiency. These integrated machines are great for making life at the office or even at home easier and less cluttered. Integration almost always means increased productivity. Listed below are some of the functions that multifunction inkjet printers typically perform. It is generally in the best interests of the consumer to find printers that include as many of these functions as possible at once, while still purchasing a unit that performs well and is within their budget.


Ink jet printers print by shooting tiny jets of ink onto paper in accordance with the visual data of a digital image. Inkjet printing is one of the most accurate and modern printing processes available, known for giving high resolution and clear images. It is more or less the standard printing method used today in most situations.


Multifunction ink jet printers also usually have photocopying capabilities. Printing and copying are two closely allied functions so it makes sense to have them integrated into one machine. Modern photocopier systems often use the scanner (the next function on this list) in conjunction with the digital printer to create the photocopied image. The flat glass portion of a photocopier (called the platen) is usually located centrally in the printer with feeder trays and printer functions either on top of the unit or to the sides. When sheets of paper containing images or text are placed on the platen face down, the lid is closed to exclude external ambient light and arrays of optical sensors or photodiodes read light reflected off the sheets.


Scanning is a process by which images such as photographs (or, less often, documents) are read and stored as digital images within computer systems. It’s easy to see how this links to the photocopy process. But a scanned image does not have to be reprinted – it can instead be stored as an image file in computer memory. Virtually all multifunction ink jet printers include scanning in their set of functions. This is an often used function in office settings – images often need to be sent over the internet so that parties in separate remote locations have access to them.


Faxing is a somewhat similar process to scanning but it generally deals with documents and uses ordinary telephone lines for transmission of the visual information. Multifunction printers also include this function as faxing is still the most standard form of sending documents remotely.


The process of printing, sending, and receiving documents is made much easier if it goes hand and hand with email capabilities. So many current multifunction inkjet printers have an internet connection, monitor, keypad, and so on, enabling them to send and receive email. This can save a bit of time because the user does not have to move back and forth between a desktop or laptop computer and their printer.

Some considerations when buying a multifunction ink jet printer

It is important for customers to select the right multifunction ink jet printers for their home or office needs. Not all of these machines are equal, especially given the multiple functions each unit integrates. The following are some considerations in selecting the right multifunction inkjet printer:

Ports and Connections

What kinds of input ports does the printer have? Universal Serial Bus (USB), Network, and Parallel ports are three common types. Consider the other peripherals you have that you may wish to connect to a printer as well as the connection types and cords that you have and make sure the printer has those connection types.

Printer output

What is the output speed of the printer? How many different sizes of paper can it print on? Does it print labels? What is the dot per inch (DPI) resolution (note: this applies to both printing and scanning)? Can the printer duplex print (i.e. print on both sides of a sheet without user intervention)? Can the machine print directly to its internal memory? These are some questions to consider when evaluating the printer’s output capabilities.

Photocopier features

Does the photocopier offer duplex output (again, photocopying on both sides of a sheet of printer paper)? Does the printer offer automatic stapling, hole punching, or folding? Does it offer image scaling, rotating, and pagination?

Scanner features

Does the printer do duplex scanning? Does it have an automatic document feeder or do you need to feed sheets in manually? What are the scan file formats and image transfer formats supported by the printer? Does it offer security features such as encryption?

Fax features

Does the fax function have an answering machine included? Can if fax in color? What kind of TCP/IP fax methods does it use (SIP Fax, Network Fax, Internet Fax, etc.)?

Take these and other factors into account when shopping for a multifunction inkjet printer. These devices are the up to date solution for easy integration of the functions that used to be handled by a variety of different office machines. Anyone seeking to update or streamline a business or home office should consider getting a multifunction inkjet printer in order make the work environment as efficient, modern, and user friendly as possible.

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