Office equipment has long and firmly entered our daily life. It is difficult to imagine an office that does not have a multifunctional device (MFP), or just a printer to display information from the computer screen on paper. The scope of such products is wide - they are used not only in offices, but also in production, in apartments and private houses. Due to the variety of types and types of equipment, the presence of additional functionality, it is difficult to figure out which device is best to buy.
In this article, we will find out what to look for in order not to make mistakes when choosing, and we will also make a rating of the most economical printers based on basic characteristics, as well as reviews from real customers.
Before making a purchase, you need to decide where the computer equipment will be used - for the office or for the home. In the first case, the device requires high printing speed (measured in the number of pages per minute), as well as economy in the use of consumables (the less often you need to refill the toner or cartridge, the less ink costs), and energy (which is important for large volumes of printing ). It is also worth clarifying what format the documents are planned - devices that accept sheets of A3 and larger are much more expensive.
When using the printer at home, the above parameters are not so important, and the cost of the device comes to the fore, since the requirements for the device are minimal (it is necessary that the information is simply printed, speed and quality do not matter much).
After determining the main task, you need to clarify whether it is easy to find and purchase consumables for the selected model in the stores of your city, since they will have to be purchased periodically. If you do not know how to refuel office equipment yourself, you also need to find out how much the toner refueling service will cost.
Inkjet technology attracts the attention of buyers for its low cost. However, experts do not recommend buying such devices if the device is required to perform a large amount of work, since the cost of consumables for the device can hit your pocket hard, and in some cases even exceed the total purchase price.
The advantages of such printers include high print quality - you can display photos not only on special photo paper, but also on standard paper. Replacing the ink fluid is a tedious process and some models use a continuous ink system to make it easier, but it is expensive and adds even more to the total cost per page printed.Another drawback of such devices is that during a long idle period, the ink in the toner may dry out, and you will have to buy a new container. Other features include a low print speed, a rapid loss of the quality of the printed ink at the slightest contact with water (ink spreads), and fading of ink upon prolonged exposure to ultraviolet rays. In modern innovations, many of these shortcomings are leveled, however, due to the high cost, an ordinary consumer cannot afford such devices.
Laser printers cost an order of magnitude more expensive than inkjet competitors, but much more economical in terms of refueling. One container can be enough for 2,000 pages of text or more. Among the shortcomings, one can note the fact that black and white models are most often found in stores, and it is not so easy to find a color one on free sale. You can refill the toner of the laser device yourself, without the involvement of specialists. The repair of such toner is much cheaper than that of an inkjet printer.
Economists noticed that the manufacturers of MFPs have come up with a great way to make money on the sale of their goods - they sell office equipment almost at cost price, forcing the buyer to make a purchase, after which they unjustifiably overestimate the cost of consumables, thereby receiving excess profits from their sale.
In this section, we'll look at ways to save money when printing documents:
In this category, laser devices are unmatched, despite the high cost of the device, the price of one processed sheet is the lowest, but we will also consider inkjet counterparts.
The products of the American brand have long been present on the office equipment market and are included in the TOP of the best, since they have proven themselves well during the work. Since the company began its work at the dawn of the appearance of copying technology, it has accumulated a lot of experience in this area, constantly introducing innovations in the development and release of finished products.
The scope of delivery of this model, in addition to the device itself, includes a power cord, operating instructions, cartridge, and a CD with additional information. The main feature of this model is the ability to connect to a personal computer via Wi-fi at a relatively budget price. In addition, a standard USB connection can be used.According to buyers, the advantages of the manufacturing company include the fact that the cable for this connection is included in the delivery set and does not need to be purchased additionally.
The appearance of the device is standard, without any outstanding features. The body is made of white plastic, the lid is also plastic, blue. To avoid damage during transportation, all moving elements are fixed with adhesive tape. There are several indicators on the lid - signaling that the cartridge has run out, setting the Wi-fi interface, the state of the device (working, error, etc.). The overall dimensions allow placing the device even in a small niche, which makes it suitable not only for a small office, but also for an apartment.
The manufacturer claims that the printer is capable of printing up to 20 pages per minute, which is a good indicator for technology of this level. Toner can be refilled at home on your own, the price of the container itself does not exceed 4,000 rubles, and the price of a compatible analogue is 1,000. The capacity of the container for paint is approximately 1,500 sheets. Several modes are provided for printing - standard (600x600 dpi) and high quality (1200x1200 dpi). Double-sided printing is present, but only manual (the user has to turn the pages on his own). Most devices can work over Wi-fi without any complaints, but there are copies on sale that require additional configuration, tips and tricks for which can be found on specialized forums. The average price of a product is 6,500 rubles.
This device belongs to the category of MFPs - multifunctional devices that can not only print documents, but also scan them, as well as photocopy. The body of the product is made in black, which makes it possible to install it in any interior. This model is suitable for a small office, and will replace several devices at once, such as a printer or scanner, copier. The fax machine is suitable for companies that use fax.
All the necessary information on working with the device can be read on a small screen located next to the lid. The display is touch-sensitive and color, which is a rarity in an MFP of this level. The connection to the computer is carried out using USB, or via a wireless access point via Wi-fi. The device supports connections with mobile gadgets using special applications such as Google Cloud Print, iPrint & Scan, etc.
The package includes a cartridge, an imaging drum, the MFP itself, a user manual, an installation CD, a cable for connecting to a telephone line. Unlike the previous contender, you will have to purchase a USB cable yourself. According to the description on the manufacturer's website, it is allowed to use both regular and high-speed paper in the MFP, as well as sheets from recycled materials. Users note fast print and scan speeds, large tray capacity, fax availability and a color LCD display.
The review continues with one of the best representatives of the HP MFP line.The popularity of the models of this manufacturer is due to the high quality and reliability of the components, which allows you to buy a piece of equipment once and for a long time. The thermal printer with automatic two-sided printing will cover the needs of even a large office, as it is configured for high-speed printing and scanning. Like the previous representative, this MFP can replace 4 devices at once. According to the manufacturer, the device is suitable for a department of 3-10 people with an average text output of up to 4,000 pages per month.
The delivery set, in addition to the device itself, includes a network cable, telephone wire, USB cable, cartridge, operating instructions. The software is not included in the package, it must be downloaded from the manufacturer's website. A distinctive feature of the device is the ability to use together with it two different cartridges - for 3,000 pages (included in the delivery set), and for 10,000 pages (purchased separately). To protect against the use of non-original cartridges, the manufacturer has provided the ability to configure the MFP, which will allow accepting only original consumables.
In appearance, the device does not differ from the proprietary line: there is a receiving tray at the bottom, an automatic paper feed compartment on top, and a screen with control buttons at the very top. It can rotate in one plane for the convenience of the user.
Buyers note the convenient scanner cover - it can be fixed in various positions. The MFP provides a large number of settings for various parameters, making it possible to work not only in tandem with a computer, but also autonomously. It is also possible to work with mobile devices using a Wi-Fi Direct access point. Of the interesting functions, we can note the presence of a function for storing pending jobs - documents may not be printed immediately, but after a specified period of time. Due to the fact that the output of photos is not a core function of this MFP, you should not expect high-quality performance from them. Nevertheless, all elements are printed clearly, without obvious defects. Sheet processing speed - up to 38 pieces in mono mode, 31 - in duplex mode. If necessary, documents can be encrypted using a PIN code to protect them from unauthorized viewing. The average price of a product is 23,000 rubles.
As stated by the manufacturer, this technique is the best choice for home use. Customers note the attractive design, as well as a simple and intuitive menu, which makes it convenient to work with the device from the first minutes. Since this is a budget device, you should not expect it to perform complex tasks, its main function is to process typical A4 documents.
The package does not include a USB cable, and therefore, experienced users recommend buying it immediately when purchasing the printer. The box contains software on an optical disc, a network cable, and a cartridge. The cost of refueling a cartridge in the service costs about 350 rubles, after several refills, it may be necessary to replace some elements (photodrum, shaft).
The device is economical not only in the cost of the product itself, but also when refueling. It uses a standard toner, which even in the original is inexpensive, and if you wish, you can find an analogue on sale at a price of 500 to 1,000 rubles. Experts also note the high maintainability of the device - the resulting breakdowns, as a rule, are minor, and are eliminated in any service center for a small amount of money.
Users note that the printer processes documents faster than advertised by the manufacturer and does not generate much noise. If the computer has the latest version of the operating system, there may be problems with installing drivers on the device. The average price of a product is 7,500 rubles.
Let's present the main characteristics of black and white models in a comparative table.
|Index||Xerox Phaser 3020BI||Brother MFC-L2720DWR||HP LaserJet Pro MFP M428dw||Canon i-SENSYS LBP6030B|
|Chromaticity||black and white||black and white||black and white||black and white|
|Application area||small office||small office||middle office||small office|
|Print speed, ppm||20||30||38||18|
|Paper feed tray, pcs.||151||251||900||150|
|Paper output tray, pcs.||100||100||150||100|
|Overall dimensions (WxHxD)||331x188x215 mm||409x316x398||420x323x390||364x199x249|
|Supported OS||Windows, Linux, Mac OS, iOS||Windows, Linux, Mac OS, iOS||Windows, Linux, Mac OS, iOS, Android||Windows, Linux, Mac OS|
|Power consumption during operation, W||313||510||510||870|
|Interfaces||Wi-Fi, USB||Wi-Fi, Ethernet (RJ-45), USB||Wi-Fi, Ethernet (RJ-45), USB, Bluetooth||USB|
|Screen presence||is absent||color LCD||color LCD||is absent|
This is one of the most popular MFP models today, which is designed for use at home or in a small office. This is one of the most affordable thermal photo printers. Customers appreciate vibrant colors and high-quality photo prints.
When buying, it is worth considering that the package does not include a USB cable, which is better to buy in advance. Since the Wi-fi module is also missing, communication with a computer cannot be established without an additional purchase. It should be noted that the price of such a cable can reach a quarter of the cost of the device itself. In the box with the MFP, you can find two cartridges at once, which is rare today.
Working with MFPs is easy to understand and easy. The installation disc contains a program along with the driver, with which you can perform the required actions with the printer. Black and white printing is not satisfactory, and with color, users note the following drawbacks: there is no frameless function, one of the fields is larger than the others (left), dark colors are inexpressive. Scanning is performed flawlessly. Since the device is inkjet, the price of consumables is high. To solve the problem, some buy a separate CISS system, but it also costs a lot. Users note that ink in cartridges does not dry out with occasional use. The average price of a product is 2,500 rubles.
The rating of high-quality color printers is continued by the Epson model, which is equipped with CISS, due to which it not only processes documents quickly, but also has protection against drying out, and is also convenient to refuel. Even a child can handle toner refills. Buyers note that compared to other similar devices, the cost of printing one sheet is more economical.
The delivery set includes the device itself, operating instructions, CD with the installation program, paint for the first refueling (four 65 ml jars), power cord. The USB cable must be purchased separately. Due to the fact that there is also no network interface, it is impossible to work with the device without this cable.The manufacturer recommends using the printer in a small office or at home, as the processing speed of documents is slow. The product is made in black, has a non-standard shape with a ledge on the right side. The finishing material is not easily soiled, no fingerprints remain.
Users note that, despite the fact that this is an inkjet MFP, it is practically not inferior to a laser one in terms of document processing speed. We should also mention the cost of ink - its price is an order of magnitude lower than that of other competitors, due to which the cost of servicing the device does not differ much from the laser analogue. Among the shortcomings, one can single out the peculiarity of photocopying - after the tenth page, the speed decreases to 1 sheet in a few minutes. The average price of a product is 12,600 rubles.
This model is popular in many offices - due to its versatility, as well as the speed and quality of the tasks. Despite the fact that the device is marked with the HP brand, in fact, this is an improved Samsung 3305 model with the corresponding advantages and disadvantages. The device has a Wi-fi module, so that it can be installed remotely from a computer. There is also an LPT port. Supports FireWire technology.
The device is a multifunctional device, and combines the characteristics of a printer (piezoelectric system), scanner and copier. Buyers note the unusually budgetary price of the product, which is at the same time offset by the cost of consumables - four original toners will cost the same amount as was spent on the purchase of an MFP. Among the unusual functions, we can note the LED display backlight, which automatically turns on if it gets dark in the room.
Due to the fact that the chips for this product have not yet been released, refilling toners is not easy. If it is not possible to find a service center that can cope with this task, the user will have to buy an expensive set of new cartridges, since there are no analogues to the original yet. The average price of a product is 17,000 rubles.
This model is designed for a large amount of work and is purchased mainly for offices. This machine is designed for heavy use, and therefore has an increased capacity of cartridges and processing speed of documents, as well as the capacity of the trays. The device operates on LED technology, due to which the permissible machine load is 50,000 pages per month or more.
The paper feed trays can hold up to 850 sheets, with the option to add an additional compartment for an additional 550 pages. Buyers note the convenience in operating the device, after unpacking and connecting to a computer, it can be used immediately. All necessary cables are included with the device. There is a Wi-fi module and an infrared port, so that interaction with the printer is possible from any compatible device. Dye-sublimation technology declared by the manufacturer, advanced color cartridge contributes to high-quality printing. Due to the high capacity of cartridges and the use of modern technologies, the device is much more economical than its direct competitors. The average price of a product is 23,500 rubles.
Let's compile a comparative table of color MFPs:
|Index||Canon PIXMA MG2540S||Epson L3100||HP Color Laser MFP 178nw||Xerox Phaser 6510N|
|Application area||small office||small office||small office||middle office|
|Number of colors, pcs||4||4||4||4|
|Print speed, ppm||8 (black and white), 5, (color)||33 (black and white), 15 (color)||18 (black and white), 4 (color)||28 (black and white and color)|
|Paper feed tray, pcs.||60||100||150||850|
|Paper output tray, pcs.||60||30||50||150|
|Overall dimensions (WxHxD)||426x145x306||375x179x347||406x289x423||420x347x483|
|Supported OS||Windows, Mac OS||Windows, Mac OS||Windows, iOS, Android||Windows, Linux, Mac OS, iOS|
|Power consumption during operation, W||9||12||300||350|
|Interfaces||USB||USB||Wi-Fi, Ethernet (RJ-45), USB||Ethernet (RJ-45), USB|
|Screen presence||is absent||is absent||there is||there is|
When choosing a printer of which company is better to buy, it is important not to make a mistake, since this product does not belong to the category of daily consumption, and is bought once and for a long time. We recommend that you decide on what functions the device should perform before you go to the store.
In order to find a balance between print quality and the cost of a printer and consumables, when choosing, you should rely not only on the opinion of the manager in the store, but also study the preliminary profile forums, as well as customer reviews. We hope that our review will help you make the right choice!