The process of choosing a multifunction printer can be a daunting one. On the surface they appear to look and sound the same – they all offer the ability to print, copy, fax, and scan – so what’s the difference?

If you take a closer look, you’ll find that there really are some significant differences in MFPs in regards to security, maintenance, warranty, capabilities and more.

Here are five key areas to keep in mind when you’re shopping around for a new MFP:

  1. Security – In today’s environment, MFP system security should be a top priority for your business. Just like a computer, an MFP contains a hard drive that stores information and as a result can be a targeted entry point for hackers.  There are two common security options available: single sub-system component security (which is an additional cost outside of your lease payment or purchase price) or full system security (where the MFP is secured at point of manufacturing).
  2. Mobile Printing – As more business becomes mobile, mobile printing is a must-have for many businesses. Before purchasing or leasing an MFP be sure to find out what its mobile print capabilities are, what devices are supported and if there is an additional charge to enable it.
  3. Print Engine – There are two basic types of print engines that your MFP could have: a cartridge based print engine or drum based print engine. Cartridge based engines have more replaceable components and typically require less onsite maintenance. On the other hand, a drum based engine will require regular onsite maintenance from a service technician.
  4. Warranty – Find out what the length of the warranty is and who is providing it – the equipment manufacturer or the reseller. Make sure that the warranty is included in your lease and service agreement.
  5. Service Credits – Eventually all MFPs will require service at some point during their lifespan.  Be sure to find out who pays for the copies and prints in black and white or colour that are run by the service technician when testing the equipment during a service call – is it the customer or the service  provider?  If you’re not sure then you should definitely ask your service provider.

Be sure to do your homework in advance before you buy or lease your next MFP.  It’s a smart business move that will save you time and money over the long term!