Five Best Printers for Your Home Office

If you have set up your home office, and you spend a reasonable amount of time working from that space, then you will probably need a printer, even if just for drafts of your work, or to produce a hard copy of a reference sheet. The problem is that there are literally hundreds of printers available on the market today, so how do you choose?

First of all, since this is for your home office, and not strictly for personal tasks, you will need a printer that can serve both aspects of your life. If you like to print photographs of your family from a digital camera, or if you produce annual newsletters to send to family members across the country, then the printer you choose should not only serve business purposes, but personal ones as well. This eliminates the need for two seperate printers, and certainly helps with your budget.

Most home office printers are used for the following purposes:

1. Correspondence from associates and clients.
2. Brochures, newsletters and letterhead.
3. Contracts & Agreements.

However, you might have other needs as well:

1. Faxes to and from primary office or clients’ offices.
2. Copies of memos and intra-office material.
3. Scanning of important documents or pictures.
4. Multiple copies of correspondence or documents.

Because of these varied tasks, you might end up buying a printer, copier, scanner and fax machine seperately, which could cost you thousands of dollars! Not to mention, you have to find surface space for all of these different machines. Rather than breaking your budget and causing organization havoc, you might want to consider a multi-function printer.

I’ve compiled a list of the five most cost-effective machines for your home office. All of these printers enable you to perform multiple functions, but can fall well within your budget.

HP Officejet 4215 All-in-One

Price: $99.99 (online price)
Speed: 17 PPM in black; 12 ppm color
Cartridge: 56 Black Inkjet (19.99); 28 Tri-Color Inkjet ($21.99)
Functions: Color printing, color copying, color scanning, color faxing
Website: HP 4215

This compact printer also provides you with a scanner, a fax machine and a copier. It weighs just under nine pounds, and works in both black and color. It comes with a one-year limited hardware warranty, and one year of technical phone support, which can greatly simplify your need for repairs or assistance. It is compatible with both Mac and PC computers. The fax machine comes with a 33.6 Kbps modem, 80 speed dials, and automatic redial, and you can automatically resize documents and photos.

Brother MFC-210C

Price: $99.99 (online only; before $20.00 rebate)
Speed: 20 ppm (black); 15 ppm (color)
Cartridge: LC41BK, LC41C, LC41M, LC41Y
Functions: Color printing, color copying, color scanning, color faxing
Website: MFC-210C

With a one-year limited warrenty, Brother International has come out with a great, cost-effective multi-function printer. The MFC-210C is attractive with a black and gray cover and offers the highest print resolution available. It has an 8MB Memory, an NC-2200W wireless print server, and a 14.4K bps fax modem. You can also enjoy its added feature of the PhotoCapture center, with a built-in digital Media Card drive. Copies can also be enlarged or reduced by 25-500%.

Lexmark X4270

Price: $99.99
Speed: 19ppm (black); 22 ppm (color)
Cartridge: #20 / 15M0120 Color Print Cartridge, #70 / 12A1970 Black Print Cartridge
Functions: Color Fax, Print, Copy & Scan
Website: X4270

This machine reduces your space even more by providing an attractive black telephone handset along with its other specifications. Lexmark has provided a professional, functional thermal inkjet printer that will last for years, and boasts the latest technology. It is very quiet, which will allow you to work while you print, scan, fax or copy documents, and it supports all types of media, including card stock, coated paper, envelopes, labels, and transparencies.

Canon PIXMA MP130

Price: $99.99
Speed: 18 ppm black; 13 ppm color
Cartridge: unknown
Functions: Print, Copy, Scan and Direct Print Photo Card Slot
Website: MP130

Canon doesn’t produce an inexpensive printer with a fax machine, but this printer does have the extremely easy-to-use Direct Print Photo Card slot. It is able to print completely borderless pictures, and it also has a sleek, modern appeal. It prints fast and quietly, and the print cartridges are said to last longer than most, which means that you won’t be running to the store every other week for more ink.

Samsung SCX-4720FN

Price: $99.99 (Internet only)
Speed: 22 ppm
Cartridge: unknown
Functions: color print, copy, scan & fax
Website: SCX-4720FN

With two-sided scanning, automatic folding, clone copy capabilities and enlargements of up to 300%, this Samsung printer is the perfect home office machine for all of your needs. It is larger than some of the other models – around 28 pounds – but with its 33.6 Kbps modem and 20 speed dial capabilities, you won’t even notice it’s size! It also has an automatic power save function that will help with those electricity bills.

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