PC-Hardware

What are 3-in-1 printers and 4-in-1 printers?

Digitalization is increasingly making its way into our working and private lives. Important documents can now be sent conveniently by e-mail or other “Internet channels”. Nevertheless, from time to time we cannot avoid the classic printout of a document. This is especially true if you have to sign important contracts by hand. But even the printout of favorite photos is still a boom for many people today. The purchase of a printer is then indispensable. If you want to kill several birds with one stone, you can buy a multifunction printer. However, confusion can quickly arise here. This already starts with the type of integrated printer. Should one opt for an inkjet, laser or color laser printer? Once you have answered this question, you are still faced with the decision of whether it should be a 3-in-1 or a 4-in-1 printer. What it is and what you should consider in the search, we would like to show you in the following.

Multifunction devices are market leaders

Anyone looking for a new printer will have difficulty finding a device that really only prints. The reason for this is the triumphant advance that multifunction printers have made in recent years. There is a decisive reason why these combination solutions are so successful and popular. They not only save a lot of space, but also money. This makes the multifunction devices ideal for the home office. In the open-plan office, on the other hand, the “egg-laying lactating sows” are seldom encountered. After all, they are not designed for mass use. It simply takes too long to copy or scan large quantities of documents with them. If you opt for an ink-based device, the follow-up costs are also too high for high-volume printers. As a result, multifunction devices are the perfect solution for regular or corona-conditioned home offices or small businesses.

3-in-1 printer or 4-in-1 printer?

Once you’ve decided to buy a combination device, the next decision is already upon you. After all, not all multifunction devices are the same. Here, a rough distinction is made between 3-in-1 printers and 4-in-1 printers. The numbers describe the number of functions that are on board the device. While the 3-in-1 solutions can scan, copy and of course print, the 4-in-1 devices shine with another practical function. Here, the manufacturers integrate a fax. These functions turn a simple printer into a real multi-talent. After all, documents can no longer just be printed out.

For example, if you receive an important contract by e-mail, you can conveniently skip the postal service. Instead, you first print out the contract. Then you sign the document. Now you can make a copy for your records. You can then scan the document, sign it and send it back to the sender. With a 3-in-1 device, you only have the option of sending it back by e-mail. With a 4-in-1, on the other hand, you can send it by fax. But it doesn’t have to be just about formal applications. Furthermore, the devices can also be used to scan photos and archive them on the PC.

Nowadays, 3-in-1 printers are enough

The decision for 3-in-1 or 4-in-1 can be difficult for some. However, a 3-in-1 solution should be sufficient for the vast majority of people these days. Why? Simple. These days, a fax machine doesn’t have the importance it had just a few years ago. In the meantime, e-mails have become legally binding. Accordingly, only those should insist on a fax function who really need one in the end. But the question of whether 3-in-1 or 4-in-1 is often taken away from the manufacturer beforehand. An integrated fax function is now part of the standard equipment of many multifunction devices.

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Simon Lüthje

I am co-founder of this blog and am very interested in everything that has to do with technology, but I also like to play games. I was born in Hamburg, but now I live in Berlin.

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