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

Our Test Procedure

Our tests on these multifunction printers focused on three main areas: quality, speed (when printing, scanning, and copying) and cost of use. In each area, we noted any wide disparities, particularly with respect to speed and cost of use. The last criterion reflects the fact that the initial purchase price of a printer has a limited impact on its total cost of ownership, since consumables play such an important role in the long-term cost.

Printing Performance Tests

All time measurements are taken from the time the printer driver is activated and not when printing is launched. That way, the time taken to prepare the document, which varies from one computer to another, isn't counted. Below are the performance tests we ran:

  • Time taken to print a 10-page text in draft, standard, and high-quality modes
  • Time to print a document combining text, pictures, and graphics in standard mode, in color and grayscale
  • Time to print an A4 color photo in photo mode at maximum resolution

Scanning And Copying Performance Tests

Here we used an A4 color document and took several measurements to check the performance of the scanner part. We made three main measurements from Paint Shop Pro 9 for each function:

  • Time taken to produce a preview of the A4 document
  • Time to scan the A4 document at 300 dpi, 24 bits
  • Time to scan the A4 document at 600 dpi, 24 bits
  • Time to make a black-and-white copy, standard quality
  • Time to make a color copy, standard quality
  • Time to make a copy enlarged 200% from the original A4 document

Quality Tests

Since inkjet printers are multi-use, we conducted quality tests in both text and photo modes. All photos were printed on A4 glossy photo paper of the manufacturer's brand, except for Brother and Dell, we used Fujifilm paper for these.

  • Printing text containing fonts in sizes between 2 and 72 points
  • Printing a photo with heavy contrasts between very bright colors