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Multifunction Devices: More Space On The Desktop!

Tests And Methods

The tests were run on a Dell computer, a Dimension 8100 with the following main features:

  • MS Windows XP Professional
  • Intel Pentium 4 at 1600 MHz
  • 256 MB RAM

The methods used were a combination of those that apply to inkjet printers and scanners. To assess the behavior of the devices in autonomous mode, we added extra color and black-and-white photocopy tests, plus photo reproduction and enlargement.

Printer Tests

The printer tests were done in all the resolutions available, with all kinds of documents, from plain text to high-definition photos. Most of the speed tests were done with the printer_speed.doc file available online on ici . The complete method (from draft to photo) is described here.

Scanner Tests

The method we used was exactly the same as the one used for our first 1200 dpi scanner test, which you can find here - therefore, the tests were done from 75 to 1200 dpi, with and without de-screening, and with analysis of color fidelity.

Document Reproduction Tests

All the tests were run via the all-in-one control panel, so the PC was not used.

  • Photocopy of one, and then ten copies of a document in black and white, followed by color.
  • Enlargement to A4 format, in black and white followed by color, of a 10 x 15 cm photo.

Rankings

There are two tables that rank the products based on certain criteria, scored with points ranging from 1 to 5. The first table, which appears at the end of each product review, summarizes each product by test category:

  • Cost of use: based on purchase price and ink-per-page costs.
  • Ergonomics: relates to size, functions available, control panel, etc.
  • Overall speed: speed in printing / scanning / photocopying.
  • Overall quality: quality of printing / scanning / photocopying.
  • Photo mode: involves quality of printing and enlargements, plus speed, in photo mode.
  • Office mode: speed of printing / scanning / photocopying in low and medium definition.

The second table appears on the conclusion page:

  • Cost of use: based on the purchase price and ink-per-page costs.
  • Ergonomics: relates to size, functions available, control panel, etc..
  • Printer: average of print speed and quality.
  • Scanner: average of scanning speed and quality.
  • Photocopier: average of photocopy speed and quality.