What is a Multi-functional Printer (MFP)?



We sell and service, use and experience, rely on and trust multifunctional printers. So you will have to excuse us, we may not have previously given you a decent definition of exactly what these machines are. We are committed to changing our ways, so here it goes:


The Definition

A multifunctional printer, abbreviated to MFP, is an office machine that is multi-purpose. It has multiple functions, is basically where the name comes from. Your printer can now copy and scan, and in some instances it is also capable of fax (although, this is often an expensive add-on that you may not find necessary, and we get that!) These printers are generally ideal for the small business owner, the home office and the freelancer with a hot desk. It is excellent for replacing the numerous clunky devices that you may find yourself juggling in your current office scenario.

Also Known As

You may have also heard the term all-in-one (AIO) or mopier: these are the exact same family of office machines. Our industry is moving towards MFP as the standard name of these devices, but don’t be confused if you are mid-conversation and these other terms are thrown around without explanation.


A Brief History

The first MFP debuted in the early 1990’s and was based on inkjet technology (more on device types here), which resulted in a clunky device that was expensive and unrealizable. Plus the print produced was mediocre in quality. The leaders in this market are Lexmark (we sell and service these, so plenty of info on them here), Canon, Epson (again, those are in our online showroom here), and Brother.


A Few Options

Often the devices that are directed at the general consumer are still InkJet machines. These are not necessarily the best bet for business but are certainly a favourite for the very small home office or for personal use. More serious machines will often be toner based, and while the initial upfront investment is comparable, the life-time of the machine is longer and the toner cartridges last for a substantially longer period of time, that equals a comparable cost-of-ownership between the two styles of machines.


Fantastic Features

Some of the great features of these machines fall directly in line with our favourite saying, which is that all business machines should “make your business life better.” We like easy to use, increases in productivity and measurable cost savings based on those elements that are obvious and beneficial to your business. Here is the list:

  • USB Drive Space – scan to USB or print from USB (awesome)
  • Media Reader Slots – scan to and print from (more awesome)
  • PictBridge – virtual connectivity to your devices

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