All-in-One Printers: Ratings of Sources
ConsumerReports.org exhaustively tests 81 all-in-one printers and provides scores for photo, text, graphics, scan and copy quality, as well as photo and text speeds, power use, versatility, convenience and maintenance ink use. Editors also calculate monthly ink costs before picking best buys. Users are invited to add comments on each printer, too, and some have amassed dozens of user reviews. Each printer gets a short write-up, where editors discuss details like ease of scanning and networking.
In this free article, ConsumerReports.org reports that buyers often won't get as much mileage out of an ink cartridge as professional testers do. Editors run a real-world test -- printing just a couple of pages, every other day or so, and shutting off the printer between uses -- and find that only Brother printers are "consistently frugal with ink."
ComputerShopper.com thoroughly tests all-in-one printers and picks the best buys. Editors judge the printers' speed, quality, features and more. Printers get star ratings, so it's fairly easy to compare models -- although not as easy as at ConsumerReports.org, with its handy ratings chart.
PCMag.com regularly reviews all-in-one printers. Reviewers do an excellent job of comparing and reporting relative speeds complete with comparison charts, but we'd like to see direct comparisons of print quality as well. The best models earn an Editors' Choice rating, and editors maintain an up-to-date list of the top 10 multifunction printers.
CNET doesn't review as many all-in-one printers as the top sources do. Reviews spend more time on design and features than performance, but testers do judge print quality, and comparison charts show the print speeds of each model relative to the competition. CNET's "Best Printers" list isn't as up-to-date as we'd like. However, editors award each printer a star rating, so it's easy to find the best ones.
PCMag.com conducts annual surveys of its subscribers. Readers rate printer manufacturers (though not individual models) on their reliability, tech support and frequency of repair. They also say how likely they would be to recommend the brand to others. Brother wins for the seventh straight year. Samsung and Canon earn honorable mentions.
TomsGuide.com regularly tests all-in-one printers. Editors time print, scan and copy speeds, scrutinize photo prints and estimate cost of ownership. Each printer is rated on a scale of one to 10 and gets a concise, well-illustrated review. Editors name one overall winner, plus favorites in various categories (best budget inkjet, best for photos, etc.). This is a helpful test; we only wish the site reviewed more printers.
Staples.com sells lots of all-in-one printer models, including some that attract hundreds of customer reviews. The most popular multifunction printers have hundreds of reviews. Staples.com doesn't censor users posting negative reviews, and plenty can be found.
This retail photo equipment site sells a wide range of photo-centric printers -- including all-in-one photo printers -- and draws hundreds of customer reviews for the most popular ones. This is a great place to check owner feedback if you plan to print photos with your printer.
Amazon sells all-in-one printers from most major brands. Some multifunction printers have hundreds and even thousands of reviews, others only a handful. The review page for each MFP includes a box that contrasts the most helpful positive and negative reviews, and that can be useful.
BestBuy.com sells printers from all of the major brands, and the site attracts thousands of customer reviews. Each review includes a star rating and a "Would you recommend this to a friend?" rating. You can easily sort printers by type and rating to find the best ones.