Our test of ten multifunctional devices (MFDs, for short) priced under $500 revealed significant increases in performance, thanks to improved printing units and scan optics. And then there are the optimized software packages, which make them a piece of cake to use. With all of the MFDs, all it takes to choose between the print, scan, copy and fax functions is one mouse click.
Thanks to putting a printer, scanner, copier and sometimes even a fax machine all in a single case, the price for the combination unit is less than the total cost for the individual units would be. What's more, the all-rounders require less space and even work without a computer in fax (if available) and copy modes. The only exception is the Lexmark X75, which is useless without a PC.
For the very first time, HP has integrated its HP PhotoREt IV technology in its PSC 2110 and 2210 models. It's a technology that is usually found in high-end inkjet printers, but this combination has paid off, because the HP PSC 2210 is the undisputed champ in this test. Moreover, it is the only test candidate, apart from the HP OfficeJet D145, to offer several media slots for direct image output. Lexmark's X125 offers the best value for the money. This entry-level model costs only $149.99 and gets our budget thumbs-up, thanks to operation and maintenance costs averaging roughly 7 cents in both color and black and white.
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