What Is the Difference Between All In One And Multifunction Printer?

Kyle Adam
Kyle Adam
Founder at - Printers Guider

Kyle Adam is a printer technician and the founder of this site. After completing his graduation in Computer Science and Engineering, he started work for...Read more

Printers come in different brands, models, functionalities, features, and capacities. There are printers used for both smaller and larger transaction purposes. With modern multifunction and all-in-one printers, you could print, fax, copy and perform other office activities. But what is the difference between all in one and multifunction printer?

Though the two printers can perform several functions, an all-in-one printer is a smaller home office or personal use device. On the other hand, multifunction printers can scan, print, photocopy and send fax faster and are suitable for larger-scale use. For a workgroup and bigger corporate firms, using an MFP (multifunction printer) is an ideal means of saving costs.

Through this article, you will learn more about all in one and multifunction printers. Also, you will discover the differences between the two printers and the one that is right for you. Keep reading.

Key Points:

  • All-in-One printers are smaller devices that could perform more functions besides printing and are suitable for home offices.
  • Multifunction printers inculcate finishing functional features such as stapling, folding, and duplexing and are the best for larger corporate settings.
  • Getting the right type of printer requires making some vital considerations like functionality, connectivity, price, and others.

What Is All In One Printer?

All in one printer is an office device that provides operational functions like scanning, copying, and printing. Also, some brands can send and receive fax documents, send emails, and scan some presentation slides. The printer could allow you to access and download photos and other files using memory cards.

Generally, an all-in-one printer puts together some of the various features of several devices in a single package. Moreover, the functioning of an All-in-One printer is through a direct connection to a host computer via a USB port. This computer must always be ON for the printer to function.

What Is All In One Printer

So, using an all-in-one (AiO) printer helps you to save the cost of acquiring different devices for your office operations. With just a single device, you perform several office functions. It’s the best option for small businesses and those that run home offices with a low budget. This means that you can spend less as there are available all in one printers under $200.

Most AiO printers may either be inkjet that uses ink or laser printer that uses laser rays. With an inkjet, you can engage in photo printing but also consider the cost of buying and refilling the ink. Using laser printers produces a massive volume of jobs within a very short period. They are considered the best options for large businesses.

Advantages of All in One Printer

Combination of Several Features

An all in one printer provides you with more than a single function. Besides printing, you can scan, copy and send fax documents. Its versatility in operation accounts for its name, which provides more convenience in running your business.

Space Management

For small businesses and establishments that lack much space, an AiO printer will fit the setting. It removes the need for using several devices like printing, scanning, and copying machines that would take more space. With just a single printer on your desk, you can get your jobs done.

Saves Costs

To effectively run your business, you will need to perform different functions of printing, copying, scanning, sending a fax, and others. All these operations require devices for their performance and will cut deep into your pocket. However, an All-in-One printer will cut down your budget and save the cost of buying numerous devices. You can buy the printer for about $200 to $1,000.

Lower Energy Consumption

When it comes to energy management, an All-in-One printer should be your top priority. It uses less energy in comparison with other larger commercial printers.

What Is A Multifunction Printer?

A multifunction printer (MFP) is an office operational device that performs several functions like printing, copying, scanning, sending fax, etc. Just as the name comes, it is a convenient replacement for multiple machines in an office. With the application of modern technology, multifunction printers now provide more technical finishing activities like folding, stapling, hole punching, etc.

What Is A Multifunction Printer

The performance of an MFP is quite speedy and on a larger scale. Hence, the device is more suitable for corporate offices and huge workgroups that process many jobs in their daily activities. Also, with an MFP, there’s a connection to the network, which allows multiple users.

Components and Features of a Multifunction Printer

Some of the features or components of an MFP include the following:

  • Scanning
  • Printing
  • Copying
  • Faxing
  • Hole punching
  • Duplexing
  • Stapling
  • Booklet making
  • Folding
  • Colored or plain compatibility

Advantages of Multifunction Printers

Office Space Management

A Multifunction printer cuts off the need for several devices in a single office setting. It takes only a space of the office setting in comparison to getting different machines for the office activities.


Using a Multifunction printer offer any business a cost-effective operation. They won’t have to acquire different devices as a single MFP will perform all the jobs. Also, it reduces the energy costs of connecting multiple machines to power.

Energy Efficiency

Using an MFP means that you will only plug in one device that will provide numerous functions for the business. So, a single device consumes less electrical energy than having several devices plugged in for different functions. Moreover, an MFP will automatically activate its energy-saving mode if not in operation.

Faster Delivery of Jobs

The combination of the several features of a Multifunction printer enables companies and businesses to complete their jobs faster. Functions such as hole punching, stapling, and folding eliminates unnecessary delays. There will be no need for manual activities or moving the jobs to different locations for the finishing touches.

What Is the Difference between All In One And Multifunction Printer?

Though both All-in-One and Multifunction printers could perform more than a single function, they have some differences.

What Is the Difference between All In One And Multifunction Printer

Let’s look at the detailed differences between an All-in-One printer and a Multifunction printer.

Functioning Features

An All-in-One printer can perform several functions such as printing, copying, and scanning. In some cases, the device could serve as a faxing machine. But there’s a limitation of its functioning features due to its small size.

Similarly, a Multifunction printer could also print, scan, copy and send a fax. However, besides these basic features, an MFP could perform more finishing functions that distinguish it for corporate applications. The device has more features enabling stapling, folding, hole punching, and others. In most cases, businesses can send emails, read and print from photo cards and perform optical character recognition (OCR).

Other features that you can get from an MFP include the following:

  • Advanced network scan
  • Customization tools
  • File Transfer Protocol (FTP)
  • Network File System (NFS)
  • Server Message Block (SMB), etc

Set up Space

All-in-One printers are small in size. They are mainly inkjet printers and are mostly suitable for home offices and smaller business setups. The small size offers more space where there is limited room for a larger device. You can conveniently place the printer with a portable desktop and still have more space for easy movement.

Multifunction printers are larger functioning devices designed for high-quality output. They are mostly suitable for large corporate offices that engage in multiple operations jobs. The size of an MFP is quite big. So, in most cases, they may be kept directly on the floor in the corner of the office building.

The majority of these printers contain an automatic document feeder where you can load and keep some documents. Also, this removes the stress of frequent movement to load papers or take out completed jobs from the machine.


An AiO printer connects through the USB port of a host computer. Hence, you can only access the printer from the host computer. Also, you must turn on the computer before the printer can work.

But connectivity is different for an MFP. Its connection is through the network and not a computer. Moreover, MFP allows several users to access the device from different sectors of the office.


The price of an All-in-one printer is quite low. You can get very small AiOs for a price range of $100 to $200. For mid sizes, the cost could fall between $200 to $1,000.

However, Multifunctional printers are more costly due to additional features and sizes. The price of getting an MFP could be above $400.

Remote usage

Unlike AiOs, MFPs allow remote usage through their card reading features. So, remote workers could send documents and different jobs through the devices.

What Types Of Printers Are Right For You?

The right printer for a job should be a device that satisfies the purposes for its purchase and delivers great function. It could either be for colored graphics or plain printing jobs.

When planning to buy a printer, it’s necessary that you select and invest in a device that will serve you properly. Also, the printer should give you great value for your money and provide your needed purposes for jobs.

What Types Of Printers Are Right For You

Here are some considerations to make when choosing a type of printer.


Before choosing the right printer for your job, you should know all the functionalities of the device. This will help to determine if it meets up to the requirement of your job. So, in addition to printing, you can inquire if the device can scan, copy, send faxes, send emails, and others.

Furthermore, where you are involved in a large office operation, you should go for a multifunction printer with more features. Getting a device with finishing functional features like stapling, folding, hole punching, and others will be more beneficial.

Printing Volume

When your printing jobs are just a few, you could go for a smaller printing device like an inkjet printer. The printer will match up to limited printing activities.

However, a laser printer is the best option when the volume of your printing work is on a large scale. This device is bigger, with massive printing trays that could meet the higher demand. Also, its printing speed is considerably on the higher side.

Printing Quality

The quality of your printing requirement should affect your choice of a printing device. For instance, if you are involved in photos and their printing, the device to choose should feature photo printing. Also, you should choose a brand that will provide high-quality images and photo jobs. Going for an inkjet would be better than a laser printer.

Conversely, when your jobs are focused on text printing, a laser printer will give you high-quality outputs. Their printing is specifically great for small fonts and characters as applicable in text documents.


Planning your budget and sticking to it is essential for every spending expense. The choice of a multifunction price will depend on the cost of the device. Once you’ve mapped out your budget, it will help you align your choice according.

Several printers come at different prices. Smaller all-in-one printers for home offices will cost as low as $100 to $300. The bigger multifunction printers are more expensive as their prices could be above $400. However, you must be careful not to compromise the functionality of a device for its price.

The average cost of inkjet printers is lower than those of laser brands. Besides, the maintenance for inkjet printers is less expensive due to their few consumables. But you will frequently be replacing the ink cartridge for the printer, which could accumulate the entire cost of having an inkjet printer over time.

A laser printer gives you a favorable investment choice on a long-term basis. Its larger scale leverage is a considerable advantage when the volume of the jobs is higher.


Smaller all-in-one printers require a connection to the USB port of a host computer for functioning. Moreover, you must turn the computer ON to use the printer. So, when choosing this device, remember that accessing the printer could only be from the connected PC.

However, larger multifunction printers have different connectivity. They require the use of the network. So, it’s possible to make a wireless connection with these devices. Moreover, they allow remote access through the internet for sending fax documents and other functionalities.

Bottom Line

To effectively run an office, one of the necessary devices you will need is a printer. When making your choice, you should know the type or brand that will give you what you want. We’ve considered both all in one and multifunction printers.

And we believe that now you know: what is the difference between all in one and multifunction printer? The simplest answer as we’ve also seen lies in the capacity and features.  By knowing the difference, you can ascertain the type of printers that suits your jobs. Additionally, making some considerable could serve as your guide for selecting the right printer.

Kyle Adam is a printer technician and the founder of this site. After completing his graduation in Computer Science and Engineering, he started work for a renowned printer manufacturing company as a printer technician. Besides his job, he also loves to do research and write about what he is dealing with in his everyday life; Printersguider is the result of that. Kyle created this site to educate those who need a specialized printer but don’t have proper knowledge about it.

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