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Investing in one of the best all-in-one printers is a great way to consolidate some of the biggest space hogs in your office, bringing the functionality of up to four different machines under one roof. While these machines may not have the muscle to handle the workload of some corporate offices, these are more than up to the task of a home workstation or mid-sized office.
All of these printers bring together copy, scan and fax functions and put them into a single machine, however, there are a few key differences between these units to watch out for. Networking capability is going to be essential for any work environment that needs to share a single printer. Also there are significant advantages and disadvantages to inkjet versus laser printing.
Check out the best all-in-one printers below.
Creates high-quality documents and photos
No document feeder for copying
The Canon Pixma TS9120 may lack faxing functionality, but our testing still proved it to be a versatile all-in-one printer with scanning and copying, and it boasts a number of other valuable features that round out its performance. Plus, on a more superficial level, what the printer really does best is look pretty. So, if you don’t have a dedicated home office where you can hide your printer away, this is a great option that will blend pretty seamlessly with your decor.
The Pixma TS9120 has a simple, box-shaped design, and a metallic gold, gray, or red finish on top. The rear paper feed and front tray for catching your printed documents pop out when needed, and tuck away when not in use. Both the rear and bottom paper trays can hold 100 sheets of paper each, which is helpful since this can print 15 pages per minute.
On the front, there is a large, 5" LCD touchscreen display that makes navigation easier. The Canon Pixma TS9120 also offers plenty of connectivity options, with USB, Ethernet, Wi-Fi, and even Bluetooth. You’ll have plenty of ways to print files from your devices, and, you won’t be limited to just documents, either, as this is a capable photo printer, and even can print special CD/DVD/Blu-ray cover images.
"It produced the fastest print time we recorded amongst all the printers we tested." — Jeffery Chadwick, Product Tester
Single-pass duplex scan/copy
Heavy (29 lbs.)
The Canon MB5420 can handle just about anything you throw at it. With a 500-sheet capacity and XL ink cartridges, you can print up to 2,500 pages before needing to replace your ink and up to 30,000 a month without overtaxing your printer. The scan and copy functions feature single-pass duplex imaging to save you time and paper. To help save on energy costs, this printer has a six-second power-on cycle, and you can program the unit to turn on and off at set times (i.e. after office hours).
For safety, you can create up to nine different user profiles to prevent unauthorized access and you can access a record of the printer's use history to prevent misuse. The printer is compatible with Windows and Mac computers as well as iOS and Android mobile devices. The 3.5-inch touchscreen gives you quick access to settings, functions, and security options. This printer can produce up to 24 pages per minute, meaning you'll spend less time waiting for things to print and more time getting things done.
Sharp, fast text printing
Extremely efficient ink use
Fast scanning and copying
Slow color printing
No direct USB to PC connection
The Brother MFC-J985DW all-in-one inkjet printer is a great choice, thanks to its low running costs. With its high-capacity ink refills as part of Brother's INKvestment series, you're getting one of the best cost-per-page value of any home inkjet on the market. Operating costs are less than 1 cent per black and white page, and less than 5 cents per color page.
It also has great features for the office, including duplex (two-sided) printing, and wireless printing from devices via AirPrint, Google Cloud Print, Mopria, Brother iPrint&Scan, and Wi-Fi Direct. Networking is enabled via Wi-Fi, Ethernet, Wi-Fi Direct, or you can print directly from USB. Our testing revealed a paper capacity of 100 pages, and this printer can handle up to legal-sized paper (8.5” x 14”). You can print up to 12 black-and-white pages or 10 color pages per minute.
"It felt like we had hardly dented the high-capacity ink supply after our rigorous testing process." — Will Fulton, Product Tester
High-quality photo printing capability
Variety of project options from photos to DVDs or CDs
Fast photo printing—prints 4X6 borderless photos in 12 seconds
Small ink cartridges
Small capacity paper tray
Slow scanner compared to other brands
When you’re busy creating projects or crafts, you need a printer that can keep up and maintain quality. The Epson XP 7100 will do more than just print, it can scan, copy, and print photos. More than that, it can print on specialty paper, envelopes, DVDs, and borderless photos so you can expand the type of projects you want to create. It’s also equipped with a 30-page auto document feeder for multiple project printing plus, a specialty media feeder for discs. Best of all, it’s easy to set up and navigate thanks to the 4.3” touchscreen which you can use to view photos from any USB or SD card you insert.
Boasting superior print quality, you can rely on the Epson XP 7100 to produce eye-catching projects from sharp text to brilliant photos. Plus, with it’s compact and stackable design, this printer will fit your needs and your space. You’ll even have the ability to print from your phone or tablet thanks to the wireless printing—it even comes with a creative print app to help you design fun projects.
Suited for high volume printing
Slow print and copy/scan speeds
No fax function
If you work full or part time from home, the Canon Pixma G6020 is the perfect option for an all-in-one printer. This model uses an ink tank system rather than cartridges, making it suited for high volume printing. The built-in reservoirs are clear so you can measure ink levels at a glance and refill them easily with specialized bottles. It also uses a hybrid pigment and dye based ink to produce beautiful color images including photos.
It's compatible with Windows and Mac computers as well as iOS and Android mobile devices, allowing you to print whatever you need, wherever you are. With support for Amazon Alexa and Google Assistant voice controls, you can integrate this printer into your smart home network for hands-free commands. The front of the printer has an LCD screen and easy to use buttons for quick and simple controls. It has a capacity of 350 sheets of plain or glossy paper, so you can spend less time refilling your printer and more time getting work done.
High capacity and speed
Easy, universal connectivity
Minor spotting and printing artifacts
When it comes to speed, Brother makes a mighty impressive, monochrome all-in-one model. Whether you want to print or scan, the Brother MFC-L6800DW will floor it, offering incredible speed no matter your project. It’s capable of printing at a max speed of 48 pages per minute, and it can scan 50 single-sided or 100 double-sided documents per minute.
The Brother MFC-L6800DW can fit 570 sheets of paper in its main and multi-purpose trays, and it can be fitted with an even larger tray to expand the capacity up to 1,610 sheets if needed. Considering how fast it can print documents, business customers printing high volumes may find that extra capacity useful.
On top of its high speeds, our testing showed that the Brother MFC-L6800DW supports auto-duplex printing and faxing, can scan directly to the cloud or mobile devices, and has Wi-Fi connectivity. Plus, it comes with a number of business-oriented features, like Secure Print — to ensure no one gets your documents — and Setting Lock — to keep people from messing with your preferred settings. Whatever you need to print, copy, or fax, the Brother MFC-L6800DW can help you do it quick.
"The MFC-L6800DW’s printing, while limited to black and white, is fast, functional, and optimized for bulk documents." — Will Fulton, Product Tester
NFC Direct printing
Can't use glossy paper
If your home office or business is working with a tight printing budget, check out the Epson WF-2760. This inkjet printer gives you laser-quality images and documents with Epson's proprietary PrecisionCore technology. This technology generates up to 40million dots per second to produce highly detailed images and crisp text faster than previous Epson printers. With separate cartridges for each ink color, you only replace what you need, keeping your printing costs down.
The 2.7-inch touchscreen gives you quick access to settings and functions as well as NFC Direct access to set up authorized users and prevent unwanted access to your printer and information. The printer has a 150-sheet capacity input tray and 30-sheet automatic document feeder for the scanning and copying functions, so you don't have to refill as often or manually add pages to be scanned or copied. With Wi-Fi connectivity, you can print from your iOS or Android mobile devices.
Wi-Fi and NFC connectivity
Automatic duplex printing
Doesn’t automatically adjust to change in paper thickness
The impressive Brother MFC-J895DW offers a comparable experience to it's XL sibling (literally called the MFC-J985DW XL), but at a much more budget-friendly price point. Since it blends great all-around performance and features with a price tag that is not painfully high, it gets our top pick for best value printer.
The Brother MFC-J895DW offers color printing, copying, and scanning along with faxing. And, it’s simple, shuttable design helps it keep from being an eyesore — something particularly nice for those using it at home. Like its larger sibling, it can print a maximum of 12 pages per minute, and 10 pages per minute in color. It can hold 150 sheets of paper and has an auto document feeder that can hold 20 sheets.
The Brother MFC-J895DW supports automatic duplex printing. Plus, thanks to its Wi-Fi and NFC connectivity, it supports a host of other features. You can print from or scan to the cloud, you can connect to your computer wirelessly, and you can connect to mobile devices with NFC without needing to sign on to a Wi-Fi network. Amazon Dash Replenishment support will also help you keep your ink stocked so you never run out in the middle of a job.
Nice, compact size for any space
Wi-Fi capable and connects to Alexa or Google Assistant
Slow to print
Not ideal for big print projects
It might not look it, but the Canon Pixma TR4520 is on the small side for a printer of its class. Plenty of others come smaller, but the Canon Pixma TR4520 supports printing, scanning, copying, and faxing, while its competition may focus on just printing. Despite its smaller size, it can still hold 100 sheets of paper and features an auto document feeder and automatic duplex printing.
At a printing speed of 8.8 pages per minute, it’s not the fastest all-in-one printer, but it wins on size, measuring just 17.2" x 11.7" x 7.5" when closed. Best yet, it packs quite a few bonus features on top of its basic functionality.
The Canon Pixma TR 4520 can connect to the internet via Wi-Fi, and supports wireless printing and scanning. You’ll be able to print documents from the cloud, scan documents to the Canon Print App, and create multi-page PDFs. This printer even supports Amazon Alexa natively along with IFTTT (If This Then That) and Google Assistant through IFTTT. This means you’ll have extensive automation options available to you. All that comes in a small package with a similarly small price tag.
Without a doubt, the Canon MB5420 is the best way to consolidate your office with top-notch scan, print, fax, and copy functionality.
Our expert reviewers and editors evaluate antennae based on design, range, performance, and features. We test reception and analyze their effective range, as well as each antenna's included feature set and how well those features are implemented. We also consider the setup process and each antenna as a value proposition—whether or not a product justifies its price tag, and how it compares to competitive products. All of the antennae we reviewed were purchased by Lifewire; none of the review units were furnished by the manufacturer or retailer.
Meredith Popolo has written for PCMag.com, Geek.com, ThinkWithGoogle.com, and Good Housekeeping, among other publications. She is passionate about consumer technology and how it can streamline our daily lives.
Jeffery Chadwick has reviewed products related to video editing, computer security, and media players, as well as home improvement gadgets like power tools and robot lawnmowers.
Will Fulton is an enormous nerd about more things than you might suspect, but he's had a lifelong passion for games and technology of all sorts.
Why buy an all-in-one (AIO) or multifunction (MFP) printer?
Even if you just want to cover your basic printing needs, it’s worth considering an AIO printer that comes with additional capability. All-in-one printers generally share the same multi-use capabilities of printing, copying, scanning, and faxing. But some options can also handle photo and various media printing (and include a number of other handy bells and whistles). While you may not need all of these functions, things could change. And if you’re considering a printer at all—for home or your business—it’s likely you have at least a few use cases in mind. Plus, upgrading to an AIO printer can be a space-saver (one machine versus several) and is also often friendlier on the wallet.
But you don’t need to level up to the largest or the flashiest multifunction printer for the sake of versatility. Use this guide to help you weigh the considerations that mean the most to you when shopping for an all-in-one printer for home or business use.
The first question to ask yourself is where and how you’ll be using an all-in-one printer.
If your interests and needs lie squarely at home for the infrequent scanning job or printing tax documents or a school paper, chances are you won’t need a machine with multiple trays that can hold stacks upon stacks of paper. You probably also don’t need a model that’s capable of printing at lightning-fast speeds. All-in-one printers come in various sizes, which means it’s very possible to find smaller-scale models that do everything and a little more than you need or want. Many AIO printers are small enough to take up little desk space and tuck away when you don’t need them.
On the other hand, if you’ll be using an all-in-one printer for your small business, the size profile could be a lot less of an issue. It’s likely that you’ll want it featured prominently and easily accessible at all times. Larger and more diverse printing requirements could also necessitate a bigger and more rugged machine that doesn’t fit on a shelf. In some cases, more functionality from an AIO printer means a higher price tag. But if you have a more lenient budget to work with, or even a limited one, there’s enough variation in the market to find a device that serves your main functions.
One caveat: if photo printing is a main priority, and you plan to do more than print photos here and there, it’s worth considering a dedicated photo printer over an AIO machine that is capable of producing prints. Photo printers use special inks that help photos last longer and look better. They also come with more options for printing from external devices like SD cards and USB drives and directly from your smartphone or social media accounts.
Once you know your main uses for an AIO printer, it will be easier to decide which type of AIO printer can deliver what you’re looking for.
Inkjet printers tend to be the cheapest option for home printers and are usually more compact than their laser counterparts. But they’re still capable of printing crisp images, photos, and text, even if they’re smaller and more affordable. Some higher-end machines have higher DPI (dots per inch) ratings. This number is connected to how many dots of ink the printer distributes both horizontally and vertically per every square inch of a page; the more dots, the higher the resolution and clarity of the resulting image. That means crisper and sharper images and documents.
One downside, however, is that inkjet printers are known to smudge unpredictably and render blurry results. Inkjet printers generally come with high long-term supply costs as well. Though there are ways to make ink cartridges last longer, they’re small and expensive to replace since you’re not just replacing one cartridge. Inkjet printers usually require several different color cartridges—cyan, yellow, magenta, and black are most common. Some AIO printers use multi-color cartridges that combine all of these hues in one vessel or separate black from the other tones. But if you know you use one particular color more than most, it could be more cost-efficient to stick with an inkjet AIO with separate cartridges.
If you’ve ever worked in an office, you’ve probably used a laser printer. They tend to be bigger and require more floor or counter space to store. Laser printers are generally more expensive initially as well. But unlike inkjet printers, laser AIOs benefit from longer-lasting (but pricier) toner cartridges that can stretch your dollar a bit further.
In addition to more long-term affordability, laser printers are known to be faster than inkjet machines. Rather than relying on squeezing droplets of ink onto printer paper, laser printers use toner as the ink source by melting it onto paper via heated rollers. While you save on ink and time with a laser printer, laser AIO printers fall behind inkjet machines when printing graphics and photographic details. But laser MFP printers are much more adept at producing high-quality, black-and-white text documents and much larger volumes.
The ability to print in color or black and white usually goes hand in hand with your preference between inkjet vs. laser. If your small shop or home projects involve full-color jobs, an inkjet AIO printer is a smart choice. If the bulk of your printing needs revolve around text-heavy documents and a lot of them, a monochrome laser printer is the better bet. There are color laser AIO printers out there that could blend the best of both worlds, but a high-quality model will cost you.
Smaller all-in-one printers come with predictably smaller displays of 3-5 inches or less. Many feature LCDs with button prompts, but you can also find touchscreen interfaces that are customizable and as easy to navigate as any smart device you own. Even if you won’t be generating larger or more complex printing jobs, a touchscreen provides faster access and more precision when making selections.
Multifunction printers have joined the ranks of other everyday devices that provide instant and cord-free access without the need for wireless printer adapters. Even if you’re not purchasing an all-in-one printer for a business setting, simple connectivity via Wi-Fi is an asset and more of the standard than the exception. If you work in an office with a few employees who each have their own devices, move on from machines that require USB- or ethernet-only connections. Instead, consider the type of wireless connectivity options that work best for the team. Even at home, the ability to print from a different room could be a great convenience.
Most AIO printers come with easy Wi-Fi setup or Wi-Fi direct access that can create a direct connection with another device without a go-between like a router. Mobile printing is another plus. If you’re an Apple device user, look for machines that come with AirPrint capability for seamless printing from your iPhone or MacBook. Likewise, many modern all-in-one printers are also ready to operate with cloud-based services—like Google Cloud Print—for printing directly from your tablet or smartphone without requiring any complicated setup.
NFC (Near Field Communication) technology is another compatibility option you’ll see in many all-in-one printers. With the tap of a button, this functionality makes it possible for your smartphone to “talk” to the printer without connecting to the same network or even establishing an internet connection.
If you’re interested in getting rid of wires and buttons altogether, some AIO printers allow voice connectivity. Many brands like HP, Epson, and Canon are tuned into IFTTT (“If This Then That”) technology. That means after you set it up, you can instantly trigger a printing prompt with your voice using services like Google Assistant, Siri, or Amazon Alexa.
Determining the overall investment of an all-in-one printer is a bit complicated since you must factor in the long-term cost of printing supplies. While the initial cost of the device could be low, toner and inkjet cartridge costs are definitely worth diving into before a purchase.
Calculate the cost per printed page and decide what works best based on your budget. If you won’t be printing on a daily basis, consider how spending more than a couple of cents per page on an inkjet AIO printer benefits you. Maybe a more expensive laser printer is the better option since toner has a longer lifespan than an ink cartridge—up to a year versus a few months at a time. If you know full-color printing is the main purpose for the machine, you’ll have to accept that the cost per page will be higher than monochrome printing. But many AIOs come with toner- and ink-level monitoring technology that launches an order automatically when supplies are low. These programs could help you save money or at least offer the convenience of never running out of ink when you need it.
Beyond ink and toner, paper costs are also important to suss out. Certain types of premium paper or specialized paper (card stock, photo paper, large format) are more expensive and present other buying criteria including thickness, stiffness, and finishings.
Whether your needs include high-volume document printing, stationary and craft paper tasks, or generating high-quality print photographs, there are specific features that you’ll need to help you accomplish those tasks.
An all-in-one printer should be able to handle a minimum of 15 pages (but more like 30-50) fed at once automatically via an ADF (auto document feeder). This saves you the time and effort of manually feeding in pieces of paper one at a time to copy, scan, or fax a multi-page document.
Since convenience and versatility are the main reasons to choose an all-in-one printer, look for machines that offer duplex printing (printing on both sides) so that you don’t have to intervene by flipping pages over yourself. Many machines that have ADFs also come with duplexing as well. You may want to look for a printer with this feature if you frequently do double-sided printing, scanning, or copying.
If your printing needs are more casual and include occasional documents in addition to photo printing, you don’t need a large tray capacity or multiple inputs. Some AIO printers can handle over 500 sheets of paper, which is what you’ll want if you regularly produce multi-page documents for meetings, presentations, or other business operations. For home use, you’ll be fine with a smaller capacity up to 100 pages and maybe even less.
If you’re interested in projects outside of straightforward documents, like photographs and stationary, you’ll want to consider a machine’s ability to handle certain sizes, weights, and types of paper (glossy, matte, card stock). You’ll also want to know how they can be fed into the machine and whether there are special feeds for the type of media or paper (CD, DVD, transparency, envelope, etc). One multi-use tray could be a hassle if you’ll be performing a lot of transitions between text documents and other projects.
Most manufacturers supply print-speed estimates on their product pages, which can help you compare models you’re interested in. But speed could be less of an issue than you think if you’re considering a laser printer for the office. These higher-capacity machines tend to be fast anyway and the difference between products could be mere seconds. And if you’re looking for an AIO for home, speed is probably even less of an issue—unless a machine performs at a snail’s pace.
As for looks and noise levels, these are minor factors, sure. But if you’ll be printing often and care about the way this machine works and looks in your space, they’re worth noting too. Some AIO printers are compact and stylish enough that you may not mind or even enjoy displaying them.
There are a few main players you’ll encounter as you browse printer options. Here’s a glance at what each manufacturer offers with their multifunction printers.
The HP brand is no stranger to the world of all things related to PCs, laptops, and desktops. Printers have long been in this tech giant’s wheelhouse, too. HP manufactures several models that are capable of taking on high volumes of printing, including photos and transparencies, along with numerous connectivity options and signature AIO printer hallmarks like duplex printing and scanning and automatic document feeding.
Brother is another very recognizable name in the printer game. Like HP, Brother all-in-one machines combine many high-end features that won’t break the bank and could be suitable for home use or as the go-to machine in your small office. Unlike HP, which offers ink cartridge replacement with a monthly fee, Brother offers a fee- and subscription-free auto-replenishment program on ink and toner to keep down operating costs and free you from worrying about running out of supplies.
The Epson brand is probably one of the most well-known in the computer printer universe. You can find many affordable AIO printers built specifically for home life for up to $300 that are both Mac- and Windows-compatible. The WorkForce series of printers could be especially appealing to small business owners who want high 500-sheet tray capacities, easy scanning, and borderless prints. Epson partners with several vendors (Amazon, Best Buy, Staples) for convenient, automatic ink replenishment without fees or printing limits.
Canon is an established name in the photography world, but it also produces numerous printers for personal and professional use. You can find both laser and inkjet multifunction machines that are competitively priced against competitors—and often more affordable. And given the brand’s foothold in the photo industry, many Canon AIO models have an edge by offering quality photo printing capability in addition to basic printing, scanning, and copying. Automatic ink replenishment is free, as long as you own an eligible printer.
Shopping for an all-in-one printer involves a healthy handful of key considerations. Identifying your biggest needs/use cases will help you drill down to the more detailed features you really want or can live without—such as special media feeding trays, voice assistant support, or automatic double-sided faxing capability. Once you know the basics, you can get as fancy as you want by choosing the all-in-one printer that will make your life/work easiest and most convenient.