Multifunction printer buying guide: Compare inkjet and laser printers

We'll give you all the information you need to help decide on a printer that's right for you.

Printing has become less prevalent in recent times due to the accessibility of the Internet and developments such as smartphones, email, cloud storage and document-sharing programs and applications. Recognising the changing times, technology manufacturers have developed multifunction printers that serve several purposes beyond the simple act of dispensing typed documents. Today's multifunction printers are able to scan, copy, fax and print a wide variety of documents and images, while still maintaining the ability to produce hard copy pages of text.

A commonplace concern often associated with multifunction devices is that the ability to perform numerous tasks means that performance quality may be compromised. However, technological innovation has addressed most of these doubts and apprehensions. Multifunction printers are fast, efficient and generally uncomplicated to operate. These machines also save space by offering combined services, reducing the number of devices you may need.

Some multifunction printers can cost less than $100, while others are priced at over $1,000. How much you spend will depend on your personal requirements and demands as well as the type of device you buy and its technical capabilities.

Our guide explains the different types of multifunction printers that are available so that you can purchase the device that best suits your needs and budget. We'll explain the key features you need to be aware of plus give you information on where to buy a multifunction printer and what you can expect to pay.

Compare some of the best multifunction printers

Data obtained November 2018. Prices are subject to change and should be used only as a general guide.
Name Product Average Price (AUD) Type Functions Print speed (black / colour pages per minute) Scan resolution (dots per inch) Dimensions (WxDxH) Weight (kg) Purchase today
Canon Pixma MG2560
Canon Pixma MG2560
$37.98
Inkjet
Print
Copy
Scan
8 / 4 impressions per min.
600 x 1200 dpi
426 x 306 x 145 mm
3.5
Epson WorkForce WF-2760
Epson WorkForce WF-2760
$148
Inkjet
Print
Copy
Scan
Fax
13.7 / 7.3 ppm
1200 x 2400 dpi
424.2 x 558.8 x 231.1 mm
6.6
Epson WorkForce Pro WF-3725
Epson WorkForce Pro WF-3725
$149
Inkjet
Print
Copy
Scan
Fax
19 / 10 ppm
1200 x 2400 dpi
425 x 378 x 249 mm
8.6
Canon Pixma TS6160
Canon Pixma TS6160
$152.46
Inkjet
Print
Copy
Scan
15 / 10 impressions per min.
1200 x 2400 dpi
372 x 315 x 139 mm
6.2
Brother MFC-9140CDN
Brother MFC-9140CDN
$375
Laser
Print
Copy
Scan
Fax
22 / 22 ppm
1200 x 2400 dpi
410 x 483 x 410 mm
18.5
Brother MFC-9340CDW
Brother MFC-9340CDW
$479
Laser
Print
Copy
Scan
Fax
22 / 22 ppm
1200 x 2400 dpi
410 x 483 x 410 mm
18.8
OKI MC363DN
OKI MC363DN
$609.98
Laser
Print
Copy
Scan
Fax
30 / 26 ppm
600 x 600 dpi
427 x 509 x 444 mm
29
HP PageWide Pro 577DW
HP PageWide Pro 577DW
$709.12
Inkjet
Print
Copy
Scan
Fax
50 / 50 ppm
1200 x 1200 dpi
530.9 x 406.4 x 467.4 mm
22.1
Epson Expression ET-3600 EcoTank
Epson Expression ET-3600 EcoTank
$719.29
Inkjet
Print
Copy
Scan
13.7 / 7.3 ppm
1200 x 2400 dpi
515.62 x 558.8 x 205.7 mm
6.6
Kyocera Ecosys M6630CIDN
Kyocera Ecosys M6630CIDN
$1,094.94
Laser
Print
Copy
Scan
Fax
30 / 30 ppm
600 x 600 dpi
475 x 558 x 616 mm
35.4

Compare up to 4 providers

Cost

The price of a new multifunction printer will vary depending on the brand, model and technical specifications. Not all devices offer the same list of services, although most are similar in terms of functionality. For example, some multifunction printers don't provide fax capabilities, since fewer people send and receive faxes due to the Internet.

Multifunction printers range in cost from as low as $90 to over $1,200. The sweet spot seems to be between $150 and $300, but this does not take into account individual requirements.

What types of multifunction printers are available?

Multifunction inkjet printers
  • The most common multifunction printers are inkjet printers. Basic inkjet models are generally the most affordable multi-purpose devices and offer sufficient quality for everyday use. Inkjet printers can also produce exceptional detail when printing images and colours. These devices require you to buy replaceable ink cartridges every so often, depending on what you're printing, how frequently you use the printer and at what quality you opt to print.
Multifunction laser printers
  • These devices differ to inkjet printers in that they use toner cartridges, a fine powder substance that's often more expensive but longer lasting than its ink-based counterpart. It's helpful to note that some multifunction inkjet printers don't require cartridges at all. Some come equipped with refillable tanks that offer greater affordability and fewer trips to the store. Additionally, some printers offer up to one year's worth of free ink when you buy. This can have a big effect on the value of your purchase, so it's important to take this into consideration.

Important features to consider

The different features of multifunction printers that determine quality, capability, cost and longevity include the following:

Where to buy multifunction printers in Australia

A convenient way to buy a multifunction printer is to shop online. Regardless of your budget or specific requirements, retailers generally offer the same deals and products online as they do in-store. In some cases, they'll also offer exclusive online-only prices and discounts.

If you're interested in purchasing a multifunction printer, browse our featured products above.


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