Performance of the printer is the focus
Regardless of whether the device offers a fax function or not, all multifunction devices still focus on one function: printing. So before you decide on a 3-in-1 or 4-in-1 device, you should think about what type of printer suits you. You can choose between the classic printer types: Inkjet printer, laser printer and color laser printer.
Multifunction devices based on ink convince mainly by one thing: their price. Indeed, compared to the other types of printers, they usually offer the lowest acquisition costs. In addition, the devices score with their quality when printing colorful images. So if you print photos from time to time and don’t just use your printer to print text documents, you should go for an inkjet printer. However, the devices also offer a decisive disadvantage: the printing costs per page. Users usually have to pay more for this than for other types of printers. Especially frequent printers should be aware of this. So when buying, don’t just keep an eye on the purchase price, but also consider the follow-up costs. Another disadvantage of inkjet printers is the vulnerability of the nozzles. If you don’t use the device for a while, this can sometimes lead to problems with the print result or even a defect in the device. The reason for this is dried ink residue that builds up in the nozzles. Accordingly, the device should be used regularly. Modern devices also rely on regular maintenance of their own nozzles. However, this is possible only when the device is in standby mode.
Laser and color laser printers
Laser and color laser printers rely on a completely different system. Here one does without the use of conventional ink. Instead, high-yield toner is used here. For people who print a lot, this results in a much lower printing price per page. However, you usually have to live with higher purchase prices for the device itself. Thus, the laser or color laser printer is only worthwhile for those who print a lot and with pleasure. Another advantage of laser technology is that the toner, unlike ink, can not dry up. Thus, at least theoretically, a device can remain unused for months without suffering any damage.
Last but not least, these devices usually score with their superior speed. Inkjet printers cannot keep up here. A major disadvantage, however, is the lack of color brilliance of laser printers. Color laser printers generally cannot print the vivid colors that are possible with inkjet printers. However, this should not bother most people with multifunction devices, which are only used in the office anyway. After all, the focus here is on text documents or graphics in black and white.
WLAN should be on board
Regardless of whether you are interested in a 3-in-1 printer or a 4-in-1 printer, the device should be able to offer one thing in any case: WLAN. The wireless network connection offers a lot of practical functions that you can’t do without in modern working life. Thanks to a WLAN connection, you can access your printer from any Wi-Fi enabled device. It doesn’t matter whether it’s a PC, notebook or smartphone – you can start print jobs or call up other functions on your device from any device. For example, scanned documents can also be conveniently sent from the multifunction device to your smartphone.
Conclusion: user behavior is the focus
Whether you choose a 3-in-1 device or a 4-in-1 device should be determined by your own needs. If you have really never sent a fax and do not plan to do so in the future, a 3-in-1 device is quite sufficient. However, it is very annoying if you buy a multifunction device and find out some time later that an important function is missing. Since the prices between 3-in-1 printers and 4-in-1 printers are now almost identical, it’s better to go for the 4-in-1 printer. After all, it is better if the device offers too many functions than too few. Away from the number of functions offered, however, you should also keep in mind the general tips for buying a printer. You can read them again here in the tutorial.