Updated October 8, 2011
Small home offices and other frequent printers may well find that an all-in-one (or multifunction) printer is a best buy. These multifaceted machines have the ability to print, scan, copy, and (usually) fax. There typically not expensive, either. So if you're in the market for a great all-in-one printer, here are some of the top units I've tested. By the way, some "all-in-ones" don't offer fax capability. Still, I consider them here since fax seems an increasingly outdated service.
The Epson Artisan 810 is a high-end multifunction printer, though you'll get a lot for your money. Print speeds were uniformly excellent, and the quality and depth of the resulting prints hasn't yet been beat. Whether you're looking for built-in wireless or automatic duplexing, extra features abound here. Plus it offers a very large touchscreen that you can tilt to make it easier to see. It's not the cheapest all-in-one printer out there, but it's certainly one of the best I've tested.
I don't know how Brother managed to get a very good all-in-one printer that you can find for as little as $99, but they have. No corners were cut and it offers plenty of extras, including automatic duplex printing, an automatic document feeder, a tray for printing CDs and DVDs, and wired and wireless networking. It's quite quick yet final results look good. Great deal for the money!
What do you call a multifunction printer that offers a detachable seven-inch wireless tablet? HP calls it the Photosmart eStation, and while it's fun to use, I didn't quite figure out what the detachable tablet was for. Still, printing quality was above average, whether documents or photographs. I suppose if you're waiting for a print job to finish, you could see what's new on Yahoo or elsewhere on the Web...though of course you're probably sitting right next to your computer anyway. Bottom line, it's a great printer and if you figure out something great to use the tablet for, it's even better.
Yes, another Epson Artisan 837 all-in-one color inkjet printer makes the Top Ten list. You get a printer that's quick and easy to set up, and print speeds are admirable. Plus, of course, end results look great. The extras included (such as wireless, built-in CD and DVD printer, and a big, colorful touchscreen) make it easier to justify the cost (initially, this printer was retailing for about $300).
For about $200, you're not likely to be disappointed by the Canon Pixma MG6220, a three-in-one that provides good-looking prints and great-looking photos. I particularly like the convenient touchpad which makes navigating easy and keeps the buttons to a minimum. It uses six ink cartridges, which may cause some dismay when it comes time to replacing them, but it also offers some nice perks like a tray for printing CDs and DVDs, wireless networking, and a built-in duplexer. Not bad at all for this price!
Looking for speed? You may not be in love with the HP OfficeJet 4500 all-in-one wireless printer. Looking for low price? Well, perhaps you will be in love with this under-$100 all-in-one printer that has an automatic document feeder and fax capability--both of those unusual in a printer this cheap. It also is wireless enabled, which is even more of a surprise. So if you want cheap, and you have time, this may be the all-in-one printer for you.
I love the big and easy-to-use touchscreen on the Lexmark S605 Interact printer. I also like that you could customize the printer, scanner, and copier to your specific needs, rather than relying on whatever the manufacturer offered. Speed and quality were both above average, and so if you think a large touchscreen will help you get the job done (I know it's easier for me to work when I can see the icons clearly), the Interact is worthy of consideration.
Another inexpensive Brother multifunction printer is the MFC-495CW. Photos in particular looked fantastic with this all-in-one, which sells for about $100 and offers extras such as wireless, making it a compelling and cheap buy for anyone who's just looking for the basics.
Near the low end of the Epson line is the Workforce 610 all-in-one printer. I found it to be quite fast and it produced results that looked clear and crisp, like they came from a much-more expensive printer. Extras such as wireless only make this printer an even better buy for anyone who is looking for an excellent entry-level printer.
While the Kodak ESP 7250 all-in-one printer isn't all that fast, it does come at a decent price and offers features that make it a decent buy. Wireless networking is always handy, not to mention welcome for low-end printers, as is the ability to print via Bluetooth. Print quality is excellent, particularly for photograpsh.