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

HP PSC 2355

HP's multifunction printers are divided into two lines: photo-oriented models, called Photosmart, and those intended more for office applications. The PSC 2355 is in the latter group, yet it uses the same operating principle as the Photosmart where the inks are concerned: two cartridges, one for cyan, magenta, and yellow and the other for black. The black cartridge can be replaced by a tank containing inks dedicated to photo-quality printing. The PSC 2355 has a very small form factor but has two major drawbacks: high cost per page, and unconvincing performance in photo mode.

HP Photosmart 2710

The Photosmart 2710 is the nec plus ultra of HP's multifunction line. On paper, at least, it can meet all users' needs, whether for office use or photo printing. With dedicated inks for photo printing, a fax function, and network and WiFi interfaces, it's one of the most versatile models we tested. But as is usual with HP, its cost of use is very high due to the high price of the cartridges, which are combined with the printing heads. It's also relatively slow; we expected better from a product in its price range.

Lexmark P6250

With the P6250, Lexmark has remained faithful to its policy of offering products that are rather plain-looking with very small form factors. Along with the Lexmark DCP-110N, it is the lightest in weight of all the units we tested. The P6250 has made progress compared to earlier lines from the manufacturer, particularly in the area of print quality, which is now close to true photo quality. The same holds true for speed - even if the P6250 is still behind Epson and Canon, it does very well for a product in its price range. Unfortunately its cost of use is high.