How to choose an MFP

MFP (or “multifunction device”) – a kind office equipment, which combines the capabilities of a printer, scanner and copier. However, when choosing the right one, it is worth starting from capabilities and characteristics of the first.

How to choose an MFP: features you need to look at Attention

How to choose an MFP

It is worth remembering that combining the functionality of several devices in one leads to some losses. That is practically it is impossible to find an MFP that offers opportunities professional printer (e.g. native color resolution printing 1200 × 1200 dpi) or at least a professional scanner (a palette of shades from 16 million colors, native resolution scanning from 600 dpi, streaming paper feed). Such devices designed for home use and small applications Offices where there are no high requirements parameter.

When choosing an MFP, you need to pay attention to the following parameters:

  1. Type of printer (laser or inkjet);

  2. Color (color, black and white);

  3. Compatible with operating systems;

  4. Ability to use the network;

  5. Print resolution;

  6. Scan Resolution

The last two parameters are important exclusively for professionals. But compatibility with operating systems and the ability Use on the network should be considered when choosing an MFP for the office.

Laser or inkjet printer?

Color or black and white printer

This is one of the most important parameters. It determines the value of not only MFPs, but also prints. And in relation to the costs of withdrawing 1 sheet paper laser printers are much cheaper. Cost of printing on them is about a few cents per page.

In addition, laser MFPs are much quieter in operation, have more high print speed and can be refilled. However, they many times more expensive than inkjet. Especially when it comes to color models. Yes, and they have more dimensions. Another disadvantage of laser MFPs in compared to inkjet – they are poorly suited for printing photos.

However, in the long run, laser MFPs in total cheaper than inkjet – even at a very high price devices. Therefore, it is advisable to acquire just them – as in office and home.

Color or black and white printer?

It’s worth mentioning right away that this section will be discussed exclusively about laser MFPs. Inkjet monochrome at present virtually no time.

Color laser MFPs are significantly more expensive than black and white. However, thanks to their technology of work, they provide quite bright and saturated prints – but still not too Good for printing photos.

In addition, they are distinguished by the high cost of refueling and increased dimensions. Therefore, purchase a color MFP in the house or an office is only advisable if regular or frequent color printing. If you do not need it, you can do it black and white.

OS Compatibility

The vast majority of manufacturers release drivers for their MFPs exclusively for the Windows operating system. If at home or in the office using computers with MacOS or some Linux distribution, make sure that the device will be compatible with them. Moreover, it is desirable to use branded drivers.

It is worth remembering that how a MFP copier can work without installation driver or computer connection.

Network Ability

network printer connection

If on all computers of the organization included in the local network OS of one family is installed, then the MFP connected to one of PC, can be used as a network. However, it is worth remembering that in In this case, this computer must be turned on constantly.

To avoid having to keep one computer constantly included, you can purchase an MFP that turns itself on to a local wired or wireless network. But it costs significantly more expensive than not equipped with a network card. But such MFPs in most cases can be used in networks consisting of from computers and mobile devices with different operating systems.

If you plan to print images frequently on the MFP (for example, photos), then this parameter should be taken into account. Than print resolution is higher, the more small elements there will be on imprint. It is measured in DPI and means the number of points on square inch of paper.

For printing black and white text, even small, enough printer resolutions at 300 × 300 dpi. For unsaturated parts color and monochrome images will suffice 600 × 600 dpi. For high-quality prints will require 1200 × 1200 dpi, however, such MFPs are very rare and expensive.

By the way, if you plan to print only text, then it’s worth choose an MFP with “economy mode”. It keeps readability prints, but at the same time less intensively consumes color from cartridge.

Scan Resolution


Similar to print resolution, the higher the resolution at scanning – the more small details will be on the image. The specific values ​​for this parameter are the same. Unless with scanning texts for recognition, especially printed, choose a smaller dpi.

Additional features


The advanced features of MFPs determine how practical it will. But it’s worth remembering that for every such function you have to, essentially pay extra. The more options the MFP has, the more it costs more.

Among the practical additional features are:

  1. Auto duplex function. Like it if often you have to display text on both pages of a sheet. Great saves paper. In addition, no need to shift sheets;

  2. Possibility of inclusion in a wireless local Wi-Fi network. Very useful feature for multifunction devices that are used in small (or even large) offices. It allows you to print documents from different computers that are connected to the same local area network;

  3. The presence of a slot for SD memory cards. Like photographers who often print photos. On such MFPs, you can display pictures on paper without even connecting the camera to the computer. Also she can used for printing documents;

  4. Photo mode. MFPs equipped with this feature are expensive. However, they do without a separate photo printer, because they print pictures in “professional mode” – on special paper, with enlarged amount of color and image resolution.


Choosing an MFP is like choosing a printer. However, it is worth considering that multifunction devices are more commonly used in everyday purposes than professional, therefore, parameters such as volume buffer memory, first page output speed and print speed, can not be considered.

The main thing in the MFP that is installed in the office is compatibility with operating systems and the possibility of inclusion in the network. For the house it is better to pay attention to dimensions. And finally, choosing between color and black and white, you need to understand how often you plan to print color images.


In the following articles, our experts tell you how to choose monoblock for home and office, and the secrets of choosing a netbook for high-quality web surfing.

Attention! This material is subjective opinion of the authors of the project and is not a buying guide.

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