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Multifunction Inkjet Printers: Are You Ready for a Printer that Does More?

Ergonomics And Specific Features

Each of the eight multifunction printers we tested for this article has its own specific ergonomics and functions. These are not crucial aspects for differentiating them, but they can be good criteria to take into account when it comes time to make your choice. Here's a quick look at the particulars of each model.

Brother DCP-110C

As we've already mentioned, the major distinguishing mark of the DCP-110C is its ink cartridges, mounted at the side of the machine and connected to the printing heads via tubes. The manufacturer claims that this system lightens the printing head, thus accelerating its movements. The innovation doesn't really seem to prove itself, however - at least not on this entry-level model.

On the other hand, it does make it possible to reduce the size of the unit considerably; this model is one of the least bulky ones we tested. Its control panel is very no-frills, but very easy to use, with all the functions grouped together in a minimal amount of space. We also liked the paper loader, which is a real drawer that opens to the front, like the ones on laser printers. On the negative side, the noise level was well above average in printing mode.

Canon Pixma MP780

The impressively-sized Pixma MP780 has many added features for both printing and scanning. First of all, it's the only one that has a real duplex printing function as a standard feature. It also has an automatic document feeder, which is highly practical for both copying and scanning.

We also liked its double black-ink cartridge system, which significantly increases cartridge life and makes this the ideal choice for office-oriented use. We should mention, however, that the volume of black ink it uses tends to be higher, and it's a good idea to wait a few seconds for a document to be totally dry before handling it.

Dell AIO 962

Like the Pixma MP780, The Dell AIO 962 has the advantage of having an automatic document feeder. This does add to the bulk of the unit, but it comes in very handy. The driver is the same as that of the Lexmark P6250, but it has a faster mechanism that gave it better marks in our performance tests. The layout of the main control panel is a little confusing, which is a common fault on units with a fax function built in.