Comparison: Low-Price Multifunction Devices


Model MultiPass F20 CX3200 psc 1210 x5150
Manufacturer Canon Epson hp Lexmark
Price (US) $150 $199 $150 $150
Print resolution (dpi) 4800 x 1200 dpi 5760 x 720 4800 x 1200 dpi 4800 x 1200 dpi
Number of cartridges 2 2 2 2
Price for set of cartridges (US) $27 $54 $55 $65
Number of colors 4 4 4 4
Speed, B&W 14ppm 14ppm 12ppm 16ppm
Speed, color 10ppm 10ppm 10ppm 11ppm
Connectivity USB 1.1 USB 1.1 USB 1.1 USB 1.1
Scan resolution (dpu) 600 x 1200 660 x 1200 600 x 2400 600 x 2400
Color depth 36bits 24bits 36bits 48bits
Card reader yes no no no

The four multifunction devices were judged on the same basis we use for inkjet printers, flatbed scanners and the earlier all-in-ones. The scores reflect an average of the different test results and are taken from a total of 5. Note that none of the devices reaches the mean for our chosen test criteria: printer, scanner and photocopier. The printer/ scanner on each of the four is not as good as the average separate device. There is some progress, however, and, while these all-in-ones do not work miracles, they are convenient, well-behaved, cheap to buy and easy to use.

Canon MultiPass F20

The MultiPass F20 is a consistent device where the only failing is the scanner's tendency to darken colors. This hardly matters for digitized items which can always be touched up afterwards, but it is much more annoying in photocopies, especially monochrome ones.

In its category, the MultiPass F20 also has the advantage of being economical with ink. In addition, it integrates a memory card reader so that digital photos that are stored on memory cards (Compact Flash, SD, MMC, Smartmedia, Memory Stick) can be directly printed.

Epson CX3200

The printer and scanner are adequate, but combining the two functions, along with their faults, results in poor photocopies. Still, it's a good device for those who want to print, scan and copy quickly. In this respect, it's the best of the lot!

hp psc 1210

The psc 1210 can be recommended not just for the quality of its work, but also and mainly for its minimal size: three times smaller than the Canon. If you are short of space, this is the one for you!

Lexmark X5150

The X5150 may be the only all-in-one to have a paper type detection system, but it still comes last in its category. Not that it's disastrous, its rivals just always perform just a little bit better. Let's hope that the next generation of Lexmark all-in-ones will improve on the quality of its colors (photos, scanner).

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