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

The Contenders

There are a half-dozen manufacturers in the multifunction inkjet market. As in the printer category, four of them - Canon, Epson, HP, and Lexmark - divide up the lion's share. But they're now being challenged by newcomers like Dell and Brother, which are entering the market with some very aggressively priced products.

For this comparison, we've chosen eight different models. They're not all positioned similarly in the market, but the range will give you a good idea of the different possibilities offered by this type of product.

Here's an introduction to the eight competitors.

Brother DCP-110C

The DCP-110C is the entry-level multifunction from Brother, which markets a half-dozen such products. Like all models from this manufacturer, its innovation is mainly in the positioning of the ink cartridges. Brother has developed a system called "tubular" printing, which completely separates the ink tanks from the printing heads. According to the manufacturer, this reduces the weight of the print head and increases its speed. However, on this small, entry-level model, the advantage of the technology in terms of speed is not obvious, as we'll see in the performance tests.

Canon Pixma MP-780

While Canon is not as successful in the multifunction market as in the printer market, its high-end Pixma MP-780 model has a lot going for it. Impressive in size, it manages to combine excellent performance both in text and photo mode at a very good cost per page. And the scanner is good, producing some of the best results in our testing in terms of speed and quality.