A multifunction printer or an all in one printer is a multipurpose printer or device which merges different types of functions like printing, scanning, photocopying, faxing, etc. Multipurpose printers are used by offices as well as individuals. These days many of the school or college going students needs a multipurpose printer so that they can get their various projects finished at home itself.
These printers have gained tremendous amount of popularity in the last few years mainly because of the functionality and convenience which they provide. I have somehow also been cynical about such multipurpose printers’ functions and uses; I feel that these printers are more of a mess when compared to a normal single use device. A normal single use device might make you pay a bit extra but it has convenience under its belt. You do not need to work under any sort of terms and conditions like these multipurpose devices come with.
One very ridiculous function which you get with an all in one printer is that you cannot scan a document or a sheet of paper when you do not have ink! Now how does ink affect the scanning functionality of a printer! The manufacturers want you to spend on their cartridges otherwise they won’t let you do other tasks with your device! There was this forum where I read that one of the giant manufacturers made printers which cannot scan because they have ran out of ink only to make the customer purchase a new cartridge.
One of the employee of the company told that scanners have got to do with the photocopy functions of the printer; therefore, it was better for the customers only so that their work does not stop in between. I was amused at such an explanation, there is no work that gets stuck in between, at least I get the benefit of mailing a scan document, but then these devices are not equipped to do that.
There are other disadvantages of purchasing a multipurpose printer as well; I am summing up a few of them:
- You can never get the quality of what a standalone device would do. You will get quality printing but then there are chances that you might not get standard scanning quality. The body of the printer itself might be very fragile to handle and work on.
- You do not get the convenience of using two features together. For example you can never scan and print at the same time. It will be very time killing to do the job at different times.
- IF one of the component or function of your printer fails or stop working, you will see that other features and functions of the printer have stopped working as well. It also means that you will have to send your entire printer to get the problem fixed and thus your work will remain disrupted for quite a bit of time.
All these problems and inconvenience has made me personally dislike multipurpose printers. I believe that if somebody wants to use the scanning function more than printing then he must prefer a standalone scanner over a multipurpose printer.