The Most Versatile Printers On the Market
Looking for a printer that can also scan, fax and fold your laundry? These versatile models have you covered (apart from the laundry bit, sorry).
If you've always wanted to own a scanner and photocopier (and maybe a fax machine) but don't have the space in your home or small office, choose a multi-function printer. As the name suggests, they do (nearly) everything. If you do a lot of printing, a laser printer will be the most economical choice. Their initial cost is higher than an inkjet printer, but they're more efficient and toner won't need to be changed as often as ink. If you're buying for your home or home office, an inkjet version is likely to be the best option, as the initial investment is lower and you won't be paying out for ink that you're not going to use.
Small and portable, mobile printers are perfect for people who travel a lot and want to print on the go. They're versatile because they can print direct from mobiles, tablets and other handheld devices. Most connect using Wi-Fi, Bluetooth or USB 2.0, so you can print your favourite photographs instantly (or your budget airline boarding pass, which is a great money-saver if you've accidentally turned up at the airport without it). Like all electronic devices, the more compact and portable the product is, the higher the price is likely to be. But the price tag can be justified when you remember how useful it is for work (hello, last-minute presentation handouts) and personal use (like instant holiday snaps).
Although they can't print out your boarding passes or send a fax to your insurance company, 3D printers are versatile because of what they can print out. 3D printing technology has been around for a while, but was only used by big factories and universities. Now it's finally mainstream and inexpensive enough that small businesses, hobbyists and other private users can get their hands on the technology. The printer melts down filaments, which are usually made from plastic, and squeezes it out in layers onto their print surface to create tangible, 3D objects. When the filament hardens, you're left with a model. With a 3D printer you can design and build your own household objects, like soap dishes and phone cases, or make cool toys for your kids. There's a huge 3D printing community, and they often share their ideas online so you can download maps and try out their designs for yourself.