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Is an all-in-one printer right for you?

April 11, 2008 12:00:00 AM PDT
More and more people are buying all-in-one printers these days, and lower prices are making them more accessible. So should you consider getting an all-in-one printer? How do you choose the right one for your home?When Eyewitness News teamed up with Consumer Reports to test printers, we not only challenged the all-in-one printers, but regular printers too. We then found a couple of really good ones that will do the job for you.

Printers have moved beyond just printing documents. Some all-in-one printers let you remove red-eye when you print photos. Some can even use your cell phone to print from. So Consumer Reports wanted to know -- should you push your plain printer aside for a multi-purpose, all-in-one machine?

Manufacturers are offering many more features on all-in-one inkjet printers.

"Generally, they're offering bare-bones versions of their plain inkjet printers," said Terry Sullivan of Consumer Reports.

To compare quality, Consumer Reports put 45 printers through a number of tests. Standardized documents were printed and then compared. Testers also printed photos and evaluated them.

Tests show both kinds of inkjet printers were pretty comparable in performance. But there could be big differences in how much it cost to print a page of text or a photo.

"Over the long haul of the printer, that can actually add up more in terms of price than the initial sticker price," said Sullivan.

For an all-in-one inkjet printer, Consumer Reports recommends the Canon Pixma MP520. It's a best buy at $140.

If all you do is print, and you don't need an all-in-one printer, Consumer Reports named the Canon Pixma IP4500 a best buy at $120.

To review the tests on printers, click here.

 

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