How to choose an inexpensive printer-scanner-copier for your home
The development of digital technology has reached its peak, but people still need to print and scan important documents. There are many models of MFPs on the market. universal devices that combine the functions of printers, copiers and scanners. Today we will tell you how to choose a multifunctional appliance for home use.
To print an image in laser MFPs, toner is used. a special dye, which is attracted to the carrier, thanks to oppositely charged elements. Then the paint is heat treated and solidifies in the pores of the paper. The laser image is highly resistant to mechanical and UV exposure. It will NOT wash out or fade. Print speed outperforms both inkjet and some dye sublimation models.
- High resistance to external damage.
- Print speed surpasses other types of printers.
- The most economical considering the cost and consumption of dyes.
- Many toxic substances are released during the printing process.
- Noticeable energy consumption due to the presence of high-voltage elements.
- Photo quality is lower than inkjet and dye sublimation models.
- The high cost of the MFP itself.
How to Pick a Good Printer-Scan-Copier
Before buying an MFP, you need to study the specifications of the devices. These include: print speed, noise level, print format, scan, PC interface, etc. Let’s consider these parameters in more detail:
- Print speed. The optimal indicator is considered to be from 20 sheets per minute. This is sufficient for both home and semi-production use. If you don’t need to print a lot of documents, choose an MFP with speeds up to 20 sheets per minute. It is cheaper and uses less electricity.
- Loudness of work. For home use, it is best to purchase a low noise device. It will not bother household members or neighbors.
- Print format. The printer must necessarily support standard print formats. A3, A4, A5. This will allow you to print not only standard documents and forms, but also photos, certificates, etc.
- Scanning. Be sure to pay attention to the resolution of the scanner. For home use, 600-1200 dpi is enough. For professional scanning, it is better to take models from 2400 dpi. Inexpensive MFPs are more likely to have low resolution.
- Interfaces for connecting to a PC. Some printer-scanner-copiers are capable of connecting to a computer or phone using wireless networks. These models are quite expensive, but they greatly SIMplify the printing and scanning process. If the MFP supports only a wired connection, make sure that the device has a standard USB output.
Also look out for additional features like continuous ink supply, the ability to print with one cartridge missing, remote control, etc. The more functions, the higher the cost of the device.
The principle of operation of the MFP
The abbreviation MFP stands for multifunctional device. Here are the usual peripheral printers, they differ in the presence of additional features, such as scanning, copying and, in some cases, sending documents. The functions of different devices can be combined in one device or complement the basic printer through a modular system. Some advanced MFP models may have their own processor, memory, display, and offline printing. MFPs, like conventional printers, allow for reuse of liquid ink cartridges by refilling.
The principle of operation of inkjet MFPs is the formation of a dot image using a special matrix with liquid ink. With prolonged downtime, the dye hardens on the printhead nozzles and requires cleaning. However, most modern devices are equipped with an automatic cleaning function for dried paint. This consumes a huge amount of liquid ink. If the paint is very old and cannot be mechanically cleaned, the MFP is returned to the Repair Shop.
Inkjet devices offer high image quality when compared to conventional dot matrix printers, and have a high output speed. Saturation and detail of the picture directly depends on the resolution and the number of colors used.
- Quiet enough when compared to dot matrix printers.
- Have a more affordable cost than laser and thermal sublimation materials.
- Low for consumables if you buy cartridges with regular ink.
- Provides the ideal range of tones in monochrome photographs.
- Often do not support third-party cartridges.
- Low durability.
- Nozzles constantly require cleaning.
These MFPs use solid dye to apply the image. When exposed to high temperatures, the ink evaporates and is fixed in the pores of the paper. Sublimation models have the highest image quality. The picture is homogeneous, without banding or raster lines. The ink is not in the surface of the paper, but is soldered into the pores. This allows for maximum resistance to fading and water attack. Dye-sublimation MFPs use rather expensive consumables due to the peculiarities of the technology. However, they are quite economical compared to inkjet printers.
- Dye-sublimation multifunction printers are highly durable because the ink is under the surface of the paper.
- Print better quality than inkjet or laser models.
- Economical paint consumption.
- The high cost of the MFP itself and consumables for it.
- Very slow output of photos and other images with many halftones.
- High sensitivity of paints to ultraviolet radiation.
Varieties of devices
To choose the right inexpensive printer-scanner-copier for your home, let’s look at their types. By the principle of printing, multifunctional devices are divided into three main types. laser, inkjet and thermal sublimation. They differ in the speed of material delivery, the quality of the output image and the cost of consumables. We will discuss each of the types in more detail.
Rating of the best models
How to Choose an Inkjet Printer (2018) | Inkjet Printers | Blog
Thanks to inkjet printers, color printing has long been available to everyone. But the low price of basic models of “inkjet” did this type of printers a disservice: for many buyers, the euphoria of the purchase very quickly gave way to disappointment due to the small resource of cartridges and their high prices. And the print quality was far from Photographic, even if you print on expensive photographic paper at that time.
So the buyer cooled down to the printer after a while, And do not count how much dust is gathering dust on the mezzanines and garages of the dried up Stylus of dozens and DeskJet of dozens of years, so two thousandth.
But progress does not stand still: photo paper today is inexpensive, and the tenfold increase in print resolution allows you to achieve acceptable quality even on the most inexpensive “inkjet”.
The cost of cartridges, however, remains quite high, but continuous ink supply systems (CISS) and cartridge refills can significantly reduce the cost of a print. And today the inkjet printer can be called optimal for low-volume printing both at home and in the office.
And if you print a little, and you need color printing as often as black and white, then you only have to choose between inkjet printers and inkjet MFP.
If you do not need copier and scanner functions, you should understand the characteristics of printers and concepts, how they affect their price, print quality, the price of consumables and other properties.
Characteristics of inkjet printers
Although most inkjet printers are color, black and white models are on sale and are able to compete on an equal footing with laser printers in both price and quality of halftone printing, and in terms of cost per print.
The advantages of black and white inkjet printers with CISS also include ease of refilling and the ability to print on film. Disadvantages: the print speed is slower than in laser printers, the quality of text and drawings is also inferior to the quality provided by a laser printer.
In a printer with a continuous ink supply system, there are cartridges; ink is supplied to the print head through tubes from containers located outside the printer. CISS allows you to significantly reduce the cost of consumables for the printer. instead of replacing expensive cartridges in a printer with CISS, you just need to add ink to the containers.
Printers with CISS are more expensive, but the difference in price will pay off after a few hundred printed pages.
Most inkjet printers have a maximum A4 format (210×297 mm) and this is enough for most tasks. If you need the ability to print posters, drawings and other large-sized images, then inkjet printers with a maximum A3 format (297×420 mm) are not at all as expensive as color laser printers with the same maximum format. Among the affordable color inkjet printers, there are even models with a large maximum format. A3 (329×483 mm).
The maximum resolution determines the number of INDIVIDUAL dots that the printer can print per inch of paper. the setting is SIMilar to the pixel density of a monitor or tablet, but there are differences.
Devices with the maximum pixel density of smartphone models with 300 ppi or more demonstrate excellent clarity and reproduction of details, even in the smallest image elements. At the same time, if you print a color picture on a printer with a resolution of 300 dpi, then the quality in the pictures will be “so-so”: the paint dots will be easily distinguishable, small details will be completely lost.
The problem is that laser and inkjet color printers are NOT capable of displaying halftones. If you print a thin line of pure yellow, it will be as clear as on a smartphone screen, because everything will be composed of dots of only yellow color (from a cartridge with yellow ink). But if the same line is printed in orange, then red dots will already be added to the yellow dots, that is, the line will NOT consist of orange pixels, as on a smartphone screen, but of yellow and red.
If pixels of even more complex color are printed, then the printer, in order to accurately reproduce these colors, will need to Place a different number of dots of each paint side by side. So it turns out that one pixel of a smartphone screen corresponds to several dozen dots of paint on paper. As a result, acceptable color printing starts with a resolution of 600×600 dpi, on closer examination, at least 1200×1200 is required, and for a photographic image, resolutions go from 4800×1200.
Requirements for the maximum resolution for black and white printing also vary greatly depending on whether the printer is to print halftones (grayscale). For black and white text, a resolution of 300×300 dpi is sufficient, but if a high-quality transmission of halftones is required, then the resolution should NOT be lower than 1200×1200.
Number of cartridges.
Basic inkjet color printers use four colors of ink: cyan, magenta, yellow and black. Accordingly, models with four cartridges (one for each ink) are quite common.
But many inexpensive printers contain only two cartridges. black and color, in which three color inks are stored at once. This option Reduces the price of a set of cartridges (two cartridges are cheaper than four), but in the long term you cannot call it an economical ego: after all, the color cartridge will have to be replaced, even if only one of the paints has run out. The low price of such a printer will result in overspending of ink and an even higher price for a print.
In photo printers, the number of cartridges is more than 4x. Light inks are added to the standard set of cartridges for enhanced color reproduction in the lighter parts of the image: light cyan, light magenta, etc. At the same resolution, a printer with a large number of cartridges provides better colors and image clarity.
The print speed in inkjet printers is lower than in laser ones, but among the inkjet printers there are quite high-speed models. up to 50 A4 sheets per minute for both color and black-and-white printing. True, if in laser printers this indicator almost does not depend on the filling of the letter and the print quality, then in inkjet printers the speed is strongly related to the printed m.Printing with the maximum photo quality on the whole sheet can lower the passport value of the speed ten times.
Automatic 2-sided printing makes booklet printing much easier, and double-sided printing saves paper. But keep in mind that in inkjet photo paper only one side is working, the images on the back will be of much poorer quality.
Almost all printers are equipped with USB today, and this interface will be optimal for connection to a nearby computer. Please note that many printers use the USB Type-B connector, which is preserved today only in printers, although it was developed for all USB peripherals.
The presence of the Ethernet interface (RJ-45) on the printer allows it to be used as a network interface, making it available for workstations on the local network. Such an opportunity will be in demand in offices, for home use it may be more relevant to connect via Wi-Fi.
On such a printer, it will be possible to print from any computer or laptop connected to a Wi-Fi network, and if the printer supports mobile printing technologies, then from tablets and smartphones. Before purchasing, you should make sure that the printer supports the same technology as your mobile devices.
Each inkjet printer manufacturer has its own mobile printing technology, which you can use by installing the appropriate application. But there are also universal technologies supported by most printers: AirPrint, which is used on Apple gadgets, and Google Cloud Print, for Android devices.
On some printers, you can “send” a document for printing using NFC. just touch the phone to the printer, and the selected document will be printed. Again, the appropriate application must be installed on the phone first.
Types and device of inkjet printers
In all inkjet printers, printing is done with microscopic droplets of ink, which are “fired” by the print head under pressure. But the pressure in the nozzle is created in various ways.
Epson printers use a piezoelectric method of creating pressure: a piezoelectric crystal is located under the nozzle, bending under the influence of an electric current. The pressure created by this pushes a drop of paint out of the nozzle.
In HP and Canon printers, a thermal method is used: a resistor is located under the nozzle, which heats up under the action of a current passing through it to a temperature of 500-650 ° C. The paint adjacent to the resistor boils, a gas bubble forms, which pushes the drop out of the nozzle.
The piezoelectric method provides faster printing speed, better color rendering (due to the ability to change the droplet size) and greater image clarity (due to less splatter). But piezoelectric heads are more expensive to manufacture, which cannot but affect the price of the printer.
The thermal method, being inferior in print parameters, gives the printer one more disadvantage: 100% consumption of any ink cannot be allowed. The ink in the printheads made using this technology cools the resistors; when printing “dry”, the resistor burns out very quickly, which leads to head failure.
The print head can be combined in the same housing with the cartridge or located separately. in the printer itself. In most printers without CISS, the head is in the cartridge.
On the one hand, this makes it easy to replace a worn-out head (which is often the case with thermal inkjet printing), on the other hand, this increases the cost of the cartridge.
In most printers with CISS, head replacement may already require contacting a service center.
Inkjet printer choices
If you want color printing at the lowest cost, choose among inexpensive inkjet printers. But keep in mind that an inexpensive inkjet printer is expensive to maintain. the cartridges that come with the printer can be reduced in volume and literally enough sheets for 50, and a set of new full-volume ones can cost about the same as the printer itself. Before buying, it will be useful to find out the cost of a set of cartridges and find out if it is possible (and how difficult) to refill them.
To be able to print in color often, a lot and at minimal cost, choose among printers with CISS.
Black-and-white inkjet printers with CISS can compete with laser printers in terms of print speed and print price, while they do not need an IT specialist to refuel them: even a child can handle ink filling.
For large color posters and drawings, choose from A3 and larger printers.
For high-quality photo prints, you need a high-resolution color model with extended ink cartridges.
If your job is related to Travel and you often need to print a document while out of the office, choose among mobile printers. they are compact, lightweight and can run on battery power for several hours.
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Cons of inkjet devices
Unfortunately, there are also disadvantages to inkjet MFPs. First of all, this is the print speed. If you have to work with a large volume, then it will be for a long time. Some models are close to the speed of laser MFPs, but there is such a problem. The second drawback lies in the maintenance of these devices. The ink dries frequently and needs to be changed. In some cases, you just need to replace the cartridge. To solve the problem, you need to periodically use the inkjet MFP to warm up. This will always consume ink.
The advantages of laser models
The main advantage of laser MFPs is fast printing. If we talk about large volumes of work, then this is SIMply an irreplaceable device. In this regard, it surpasses inkjet MFPs very much. However, it is the first sheet of paper that will take a long time. This fact is connected with the need to warm up the drum. The second advantage lies in the SIMplicity of the device. The need to repair it is extremely rare, and it is quite SIMple to maintain. Unlike inkjet MFPs, there is a need to constantly think about ink problems.
How Canon laser MFPs differ?
Many models have good maximum print resolution. This figure comes very close to Canon inkjet MFPs. Additionally, we can note the good quality of scanning documents. A wide variety of paper sizes and weights are accepted. At the same time, of course, there is no opportunity to work with photographic paper or matte surfaces. Average print speed is 23 pages per minute.
As a rule, Canon laser MFP is equipped with a fax machine. The print boundaries are quite extensive: the top, bottom and sides are 5 mm. The management is generally satisfactory. Many models are equipped with a convenient display for this purpose. The total memory of most models is at 256 MB. Operating systems support a variety of. However, the Canon laser MFP has quite a lot of power consumption. In working order, the device consumes approximately 500 watts. Power consumption in standby mode is 5.4 W.
All this makes us think about the cost-effectiveness of laser multifunction devices. over, their dimensions are quite impressive. On average, the Canon laser MFP model is 390 mm high and long. 440 mm deep. 360 mm. In this case, the weight of the device will be approximately 12 kg. Canon MF217W (laser MFP) is perfect for home.
Laser MFP device
Any color laser MFP for home has a special mirror. A ray from the drum hits it. There is also a large imaging drum, which rolls the paper over itself. The toner is installed side by side and directly transfers the image onto the page. For this, there is also a special transfer roller. A fuser is installed at the back of the laser device, which brings the paper to a specific temperature. This is enough to burn the toner and fix the image on the sheet.
A primary charge shaft is provided for the spent powder. Additionally, there is a squeegee to clean the toner from the drum unit. Also, all laser devices have a blade that guards the paper. The toner compartment of laser multifunction devices consists of a magnetic roller, a seal, a hopper and a seal. At the same time, there is a system that monitors the even distribution of toner on the paper.
Hewlett Packard Laser Models
“Which MFP is better to choose?”. the question is difficult, but Hewlett Packard has long established itself on the positive side, and it has something to offer. Laser models of this brand differ from others in their reliability. It is possible to work with paper of different weights. Average print speed is 25 pages per minute.
Hewlett Packard inkjet
Hewlett Packard inkjet MFPs are far superior to laser models in print resolution. It is possible to print on photo paper, as well as glossy. Additionally, there is a function of optimized resolution of work from a personal computer. Various paper sizes can be skipped. However, the recommended sheet density is 75 g / sq. M. The average print speed is at 4 pages per minute. In turn, the first sheet is ready in 24 seconds. The printable area is quite wide. You can also highlight a wide range of colors.
The power consumption is insignificant and saves money. In working order, a Hewlett Packard inkjet MFP uses approximately 10W. At the same time, only 2 watts are consumed in standby mode. Also in many models, manufacturers have installed a sleep mode system. When activated, the Hewlett Packard Inkjet MFP uses 0.9W. Of the features, we can highlight the presence of Special contact image sensors. In general, the color depth is approximately 24 bits. Additionally, there is a scan input mode. Copying speed is 4.5 letters per minute.
How are inkjet devices?
Most of the inkjet MFPs have a SIMilar device. They include a printing mechanism, a paper feeding system and a control unit. Also, manufacturers install a control scheme, which differs in different models. The printing mechanism is folded from the head, which is located in the center of the inkjet MFP. Also there are ink cartridges, which are of various types. Next, a motor is installed, which is responsible for the rotation of the head. A belt is attached to it for THESE purposes. Last but not least, there is a stabilizer bar in the printing mechanism. It is necessary for accurate printing and is responsible for the vibrations that occur inside the head.
The paper feed system consists of a tray and rollers. In addition, there is a separate motor for scrolling the sheet. Directly the paper inside the inkjet MFP runs along the rollers.
The power supplies for the above devices are usually standard. Previously used bulky transformers for this purpose. Power supplies do NOT take up much space these days. The control system of the inkjet MFP is presented in the form of an electrical circuit. Her job is to decode the data. Additionally, the control system allows you to transfer information to a personal computer and back.
Some models of inkjet MFPs also have parallel ports. In the second case, they are replaced by a serial device. Manufacturers can also install ports on small computing systems. There are two types of ink spraying technology in string MFPs. The first is a thermal bubble system. Most often it can be found in models of the Canon and Hewlett Packard brands. The second type of atomization is called a piezoelectric system. It is based on the work of Special Piezo Crystals. This technology has been patented by Epson.
Which is better: laser MFP or inkjet for home?
“Which is better, a laser MFP or an inkjet?”. a question that worries many. Multifunctional devices were first created in 1977 by the Xerox company. They are intended for printing, as well as copying images. Today, there are laser and inkjet MFPs. They all have their own advantages and disadvantages. In order to understand what is better. Laser MFP or inkjet, it is necessary to understand the device of these devices. In addition, much depends on the manufacturers.
Pros of inkjet models
The main advantage of inkjet MFPs is their low cost. Most of the models are available to absolutely everyone. At the same time, the cases in these devices are quite compact. All this allows you to attach the inkjet MFP almost to the edge of the table. Plus, they print the first page much faster than laser ones. Given this, if it speaks about one document, then inkjet MFPs are in the lead here.
Additionally, it is possible to supply a continuous ink supply system. The cartridges themselves are very cheap. By the way, they can be refueled absolutely independently without any problems. You can print on different types of paper. At the same time, the ink adheres perfectly to both the matte surface and the gloss. The final advantage of inkjet MFPs lies in print quality. It is SIMply excellent, and if we talk about photographs, then the ink in this situation is SIMply irreplaceable.