Multifunction printers, also known as all-in-one printers are becoming the norm both at home and office. Unlike traditional printers, multifunction printers combine scanning, copying, and even fax abilities for an easily manageable documentation solution. Multifunction printers are available in both inkjet and laser formats. Both have their own pros and cons depending on your workflow and budget requirements.
There a few things you need to keep in mind before zeroing-in on a multifunction printer. The first thing is to define the purpose of the printer. Multifunction printers can range from affordable options for home and small offices to ones that can cost in the thousands designed for large workgroups with advanced security and document handling features. Understanding the purpose of the multifunction printer will help you to save costs and invest the saved money towards consumables. If you are looking to work with a lot of graphics and photos, an inkjet multifunction printer may be more useful whereas those dealing with text may find a better value with a laser multifunction printer.
Another important factor to keep in mind is the presence of features such as the automatic document feeder (ADF) and auto-duplexing. ADF helps in scanning and copying multiple pages without supervision while auto-duplexing can automatically flip the pages for multi-page prints without you having to manually do so.
Connectivity options should also be looked into. Most multifunction printers offer a standard set of connectivity options including Ethernet and USB. Many also offer Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, and NFC for direct peer-to-peer printing. The more advanced ones even offer an app store for downloading apps to directly upload and download documents from cloud service providers.
With that info, here are the 8 best multifunction printers to buy in 2020.
1. Epson WorkForce WF-2760
The Epson WorkForce WF-2760 is a capable multifunction printer that does more than just printing. The WF-2760 is one of the few inkjet printers to include an automated document feeder (ADF) that saves you the hassle of loading individual pages into the scanner. Simply insert all the pages you want to be scanned or copied, issue the command for the desired operation, and walk away. This MFD also has a duplexer feature that flips the page automatically for two-sided printing.
The WF-2760 offers good print speeds and excellent print quality comparable to a laserjet. You get a 2.7-inch color touchscreen for easy operation without having to reach for a computer. Since the device includes a fax functionality as well, you can store up to 100 contacts onboard and even create contact groups. Connectivity is good and you get different options such as NFC, Wi-Fi, Ethernet, and USB. It is easy to send documents to the printer using your iOS and Android device via the iPrint app. Google Cloud Print support is included as well.
Print performance is very good with speeds close to 10 pages per minute (ppm) for plain text documents. However, using the ADF can slow down the speeds by nearly half. Photo printing is good and colors come out well. Copy and scan speeds are among the best in inkjets although, using the ADF can have a drastic impact on the speeds. Scan quality is good but some editing may be required to get better colors. The major disadvantage with the Epson WorkForce WF-2760 is that its printing costs are higher than the average inkjet making it a costly affair in the long run, especially if you are into color printing. Despite the running costs, there are not many inkjet multifunction devices that come close to the Epson WF-2760's performance.
- Pros: Good feature set and connectivity; Fast print and scan speeds
- Cons: ADF slows down printing and scanning; Ink consumption not economical
2. Brother MFC-L2750DW XL
Laser printers almost always produce better quality prints than their inkjet counterparts. The Brother MFC-L2750DW XL is a laser multifunction device that delivers excellent value for homes and small offices despite the higher initial cost. The MFC-L2750DW XL is a monochrome laser printer that also offers scan, copy, and fax functions. You get an excellent feature set including an ADF, duplex printing, fax, and integration with cloud storage providers. The MFC-L2750DW XL offers a huge 15,000 pages per month duty cycle, which is among the best in its class. Navigation using the 2.7-inch color touchscreen is intuitive but don't expect smartphone levels of interaction — it is fine to get the job done without a computer. The MFC-L2750DW XL has a 50-page ADF that is very fast and convenient. The overall dimensions are large compared to a typical inkjet MFD, but the printer does not occupy too much space on your desk.
Print speeds on the MFC-L2750DW XL are excellent and can go up to 18 ppm for a plain text document and slightly lower for mixed documents. Scanning speeds are equally good and using the ADF, you can expect page copies at speeds up to 15 ppm, which is highly respectable. Print quality is great as expected from a laser and although the scans are good for regular documents, color scanning can use some improvements. This is not a color printer so you get a single black toner that Brother says can last up to 1,200 pages, which helps in lower ownership costs. Installing and setting up the Brother MFC-L2750DW XL is easy and you should be able to start printing in no time. If you are looking for the best multifunction device for home or small office use, the Brother MFC-L2750DW XL is hard to beat.
- Pros: Fast print and scan speeds; Cloud connectivity
- Cons: Initially high upfront cost
3. Canon Maxify MB5420
If you are on the lookout for a good inkjet multifunction device for your small office needs that doesn't break the bank, the Canon Maxify MB5420 should fit the bill. The Maxify MB5420 does not demand a high asking price and you still get a pretty good feature set. This includes the 50-page ADF and built-in duplexer for automatic double-sided printing. Connectivity options include Wi-Fi, Ethernet, and USB. There is also a USB port on the front for direct printing from a pen drive. Navigation is made easy thanks to the 3.5-inch color touch screen on the front.
Print speeds are good for an inkjet with speeds reaching about 17 ppm for plain text. Even if you use the duplex printing option, the speeds are still appreciable making the Maxify MB5420 a very good option for those looking at high workloads. Copy and scan speeds are fast for black and white documents. Print quality is good and since this is an inkjet, you can print highly detailed photos on glossy paper. Setting up the Canon Maxify MB5420 is easy and you also get several software packages to make the most out of its printing and scanning features. Overall, the Canon Maxify MB5420 is one of the best all-in-one printers for home use with added reliability for large workloads
- Pros: Good quality prints; Good print and scan speeds
- Cons: Costly original ink refills
4. HP LaserJet Pro M227fdw
Those looking at one of the best all-in-one laser printers for small and medium businesses will find the HP LaserJet Pro M227fdw a worthy consideration. Since it is oriented more towards business users, print speeds are among the highest you can find in the market. The M227fdw is built to last a long time with no cheap flaps or hanging parts and can take 250 sheets of paper at once. You also get an automatic document feeder for the scanner that accommodates 35 sheets of paper. Connectivity options include Wi-Fi, Ethernet, and NFC. A USB port makes it easy to directly print documents from an external storage device. You can also use the HP AiO remote companion app to print directly from your smartphone. Setting up the printer is fairly easy and the color touchscreen helps for intuitive navigation.
The HP LaserJet Pro M227fdw offers excellent print quality even while printing at speeds as high as 28 ppm. HP rates that one toner can last for 30,000 prints, which is a very good number that can reduce the total cost of ownership. Although it is a monochrome printer, charts and diagrams print fairly well. Scan quality is good as well although, you have to make do with a 600 x 600 dpi resolution. However, you do get multiple scan output options including the ability to export directly to PDF or other image formats. You can also get the scan emailed directly to your inbox. All this combined with a smooth and silent operation means that the HP LaserJet Pro M227fdw is easily the best choice for small businesses.
- Pros: Excellent print speeds and quality; High-yield toner
- Cons: Scanning resolution limited to 600 x 600 dpi
5. Epson Workforce WF-7720
If you require a good quality inkjet multifunction printer that can print wide-format tabloids (13 x 19 in), then the Epson Workforce WF-7720 could be the best printer for you. The WF-7720 can be reliably used both at home or office and features an ADF with auto-duplexing, a 4.3-inches color touchscreen, and can take up to 500 pages in its three paper trays. The ADF can hold 35 pages at once and supports single-pass two-sided scanning. Connectivity options are similar to what you find in most printers these days and include Ethernet, Wi-Fi, NFC, and USB. You can also print from your mobile device using Epson's Connect Suite. Since this is an inkjet printer, speeds are not really comparable to what you can get from office laser printers. That being said, the speeds aren't too bad — you get up to 18 ppm for black text printing and around 10 ppm for color printing. Do note that the speeds will vary depending on the complexity of the document.
The quality of text prints is very good across all font sizes and is nearly laser-class. Graphics are detailed for the most part although, you may notice slightly different shades of color when keenly observed. While the printer does a good job with graphics, photo printing enthusiasts might not be too pleased with its performance. This printer is very much suited for those dealing with wide-format pages, but the tanks are a bit expensive to refill so you may want to plan your printing based on the available budget. The cost per page for the WF-7720 is higher than even some of Epson's own offerings. That being said, if the quality is a more important criteria and you don't mind the extra costs, the Epson Workforce WF-7720 is an easy recommendation.
- Pros: Good quality text and graphics printing; Wide-format print support
- Cons: High cost per page; Slow print speeds
6. Xerox VersaLink C405/DN
For those looking at an office multifunction printer that does it all, the Xerox VersaLink C405/DN is a good fit. The VersaLink C405 offers nearly every feature one expects from an office all-in-one laser printer. You get a single-pass auto-duplexing ADF that can accommodate 50 sheets at once. There is also a 5-inch color touchscreen that allows you to configure all aspects of the printer right from setting up individual user accounts to printing from various offline and online sources.
The VersaLink C405 supports Xerox's ConnectKey platform that allows you to install apps, such as Google Drive, Office 365, Dropbox, etc. from the Xerox App Gallery. You can directly print or scan documents to these cloud locations without having to first transfer them to your PC or smartphone. Connectivity options are abound including Ethernet, USB and NFC. Interestingly, Wi-Fi connectivity is not included by default and requires you to purchase an optional adapter. Google Cloud Print, Apple AirPrint , and a host of Xerox's printing services are also supported. The VersaLink C405 offers a 700-page input tray and an 80,000-page monthly duty cycle, which should please business users.
The Xerox VersaLink C405/DN focusses a lot on security features. Not many printers in the market can boast of offering a 256-bit encryption, self-signed certificates, IP address and domain filtering, NFC smart card authentication, and more. The VersaLink supports auto-duplex printing, but it does affect print speeds. Single-sided prints can be printed in speeds up to 37 ppm. Color printing is the VersaLink's forte and despite being a laser printer, it's photo quality can actually rival that of the best inkjets. Text quality is, needless to say, sharp and well-detailed — ideal for presenting in important meetings. All these features mean that the Xerox VersaLink C405/DN is a costly sell. Apart from the initial upfront costs, be prepared to account for higher running costs as well. It is not bad, but the cost per page is higher compared to its competitors. In turn, you do get stellar prints that can somewhat compensate for the higher asking price. If you need enterprise-grade security and don't mind the slightly higher costs, the Xerox VersaLink C405/DN is one of the best all-in-one color laser printers to buy in 2020.
- Pros: Excellent text and color outputs; Enterprise-grade security
- Cons: Higher cost per page compared to the competition. Wi-Fi connectivity requires an additional purchase
7. Canon imageCLASS MF743Cdw
For those who feel that the Xerox VersaLink C405/DN is a tad too expensive, the Canon imageCLASS MF743Cdw is a good alternative. The MF743Cdw can accommodate 550 sheets in the input tray and 50 sheets in its ADF. Canon says that the MF743Cdw handles 4,000 pages monthly, which is a good volume for small businesses. The MF743Cdw has a fairly large footprint for a multifunction device and you would require some extra top space to fully open the ADF scanner as well. The printer offers a 5-inch color touchscreen for intuitive navigation. You can customize the interface to have your most frequently accessed options and presets in one place. Standard connectivity options include Ethernet, Wi-Fi, and USB. A telephone port for fax functions is also present. Setting up the printer is fairly straightforward and the touchscreen guides you through the process. Just make sure to download the most up to date drivers from Canon's website. You can also control the printer remotely from a web browser by simply accessing its IP address.
The Canon imageCLASS MF743Cdw does a great job when it comes to the actual print quality, but it is not really the fastest printer around with the device going up to only about 14 ppm for single-sided text documents. Double-sided documents that use the auto-duplexing function take significantly longer to print so, if you are someone who is hard-pressed for time, the MF743Cdw may not be a good fit. However, copying and scanning speeds are really good especially, while using the ADF. Text clarity and sharpness are excellent and you will no trouble in creating professional documents. Color graphics come out well with expected levels of saturation. The overall cost per page is low compared to most printers in its class especially, if you use the high-yield cartridges.
- Pros: Easy to use; Good print quality
- Cons: Slow printing
8. Lexmark MC2535adwe
The Lexmark MC2535adwe is a great option for those looking at a color multifunction device for office use. The MC2535adwe offers intuitive navigation thanks to a 4.3-inch color touchscreen. You can also control the printer via the embedded web server that offers real-time monitoring of printer and consumable status. On top of the device, a 50-sheet auto-duplex ADF is present. This saves you the hassle of having to manually flip pages for scanning, copying, or faxing. The MC2535adwe comes with a 250-sheet paper tray by default, which is somewhat of a lower capacity compared to some of the other all-in-ones in this list.
Lexmark offers the ability to expand it to 550 sheets or 650 sheets by purchasing additional trays. That being said, the MC2535adwe is rated for a monthly duty cycle of 85,000 pages with a recommended monthly print volume of 8,500 pages, which will be welcomed by businesses. A good aspect of the MC2535adwe is that it is Pantone-calibrated for good color accuracy. Connectivity options include Ethernet, Wi-Fi, USB, and Apple AirPrint. However, there is no NFC or Bluetooth support. Additional functionality can be added by using the touchscreen interface to install apps that connect to cloud service providers. Lexmark MC2535adwe is also one of the best security-compliant multifunction devices in the market as it is a European GPDR-compliant.
Print speeds are good at nearly 35 ppm for single-sided text. Text and graphics come out excellent. Even images with gradients look good with no loss of detail. Black levels are excellent and you can also print some neat-looking photos as well. The Lexmark MC2535adwe is great for business, but you may have to factor in some added running costs, which are comparatively higher than the competition. However, the combination of features and excellent print quality justifies the expense to a large extent if your work requires good quality prints.
- Pros: Excellent print quality; Security protocols-compliant
- Cons: Higher running costs
That was a round-up of our picks for the best multifunction printers you can buy in 2020. Apart from the criteria listed above, pay attention to the operating costs. A large chunk of the operating costs goes into cartridge or toner refills. A printer that offers maximum economy refills without drastically compromising on print quality should figure high on your list.