PC Advisor reviews the best multifunction printers you can buy. The 12 best multifunction printers of 2014. Reviews of the best printer/scanner/copiers you can buy in the UK. Best printers for value- and quality, and best printers for home- and business. (For more overall printer buying advice, see what's the best printer?)
Multifunction printers - also known as MFPs or mutifunctional printers - incorporate the functionality of multiple devices, typically a printer, photocopier and scanner. Some of the multifunction printers reviewed here also offer fax machines or email capabilities.
The benefits of such versatility are several. For one thing you will need less space, because all of those functions will be incorporated into a single device no larger than a standard printer. In an office it is also useful to have one single hub for document management, distribution and production. Typically, there is a cost saving, too. Almost always your MFP will cost less than would buying individual devices. Just be sure to check out running costs: in all printer technology you get what you pay for, and the very cheap-to-buy printer will often cost a lot more to run over the ensuing months and weeks. We address running costs in all of the reviews of our 12 best multifunction printers. (See also: The 5 best budget printers.)
Key features to look out for include the underlying print technology. Inkjet is usually cheaper, but can be slower and less accurate. Most modern inkjet printers are perfectly fit for all but the most detailed copy printing, however. Do you need colour or mono? Unless you regularly print photos a mono-laser or -inkjet may suffice, and will save you money up front and in the longer term.
For the more business-orientated user features such as duplex printing (in which both sides of the page can be printed) are useful. And look out for paper management: if you are looking for a multifunction printer for your office the chances are you will want it to have a large capacity paper tray. You don't want to be consistently having to put in new stocks of paper.
All of these issues and more are addressed in our reviews of the 12 best multifunction printers of 2014. (See also: 11 best mono laser printers of 2014.)