Copier vs Multifunctional Printer – What Is the Difference

Copier vs Multifunctional Printer – What Is the Difference


If you’ve been in the market for a new printer, you may be confused by all of the choices out there. That’s why we’re here to help.

First, you need to know what you want to be able to do with your printer. Do you want to print, copy, fax, or do it all? Knowing the answer to this question will help you choose the right machine for the job. If you want to do it all, you may be looking at a multifunctional printer.

A multifunction printer has several key features that are worth looking into. We’re going to dive deeper into them so that you can decide if that’s the best choice for you or if you just simply need a copier.

What is a Multifunction Printer (MFP)?

Multifunctional printers have several functions. They not only print, but they also copy, scan, fax, and do other tasks as well. An MFP can scan to locations like email, USB drives, and cloud-based services. If you opt for an even fancier model, you may be able to do things like sorting, stapling, and hole punching.

When it comes to office equipment, many prefer an MFP because of all of the tasks it can perform besides copying. An MFP can also handle both monochrome and color printing technology. MFPs are designed to help businesses be as efficient as possible while cutting supply costs.

Is There a Multifunctional Copier?

A copier generally has a single focus which is to make copies. If you want to do more than that, then you’ll want to opt for a multifunctional printer. Many companies tend to go for an MFP versus a traditional copier because they can complete more functions with a single machine and have more technology.

What are the Key Features of Office Copiers and Multifunction Printers?

Many MFPs share some key features that make them optimal for home offices and traditional offices alike. Let’s explore some of the functions that may have you wanting a new device.


Many MFPs have an internal memory that allows them to retain many documents and scans. An internal drive is similar to any other computer hard drive.

Depending on the size of the copier, the RAM can range from 256 MB to 2 GB. The storage space can also range from 1GB to 1TB. If you have a high volume of images or printing jobs, you’ll want a machine that has a higher memory capacity. The more memory you have, the faster the machine can work.

Print Speed

When you’re looking at an all-in-one machine, print speed is one of the most crucial functions to examine. Print speeds are often listed on spec sheets as “ppm” or pages per minute. You want to look for a printer that’s fast enough to keep up with your workflow. At least 35 to 50 ppm is often recommended for a small business or midsize business with average printing needs.


If you want to have the ability to have scanned documents, you want to make sure that your printer has an automatic document feeder or duplex scanning abilities. Document feeders are essential if you want to be able to scan a large volume of documents. The duplex feature enables double-sided scanning.

Automatic document feeder

An automatic document feeder or ADF, as mentioned above, takes several pages and feeds the paper one page at a time into a scanner. This means you don’t have to manually replace each page. This is vital if your business does a lot of scanning of large documents.


Graphics are important when you’re talking about MFPs. Production printing and office printing have different graphics specs. Production printers have a much higher resolution than office printers, and typically are bundled with high-end graphics software; that allows the end user to achieve a wide range of specific Pantones.

Paper capacity

Look at the paper capacity or tray or cassette of a printer as well as the sizes of paper it can print on. You’ll want to have an idea of the types and paper sizes you’ll be using the most to get the right MFP.

What are the Differences Between Copiers and MFPs?

As you consider whether you need a copier or an MFP, it’s important to know the differences that exist.

Home vs. SMB offices

MFPs that are made for home offices are usually desktop size to save space. You can find some low-priced copiers, but they will likely not meet the needs of most small businesses.

Officer copiers are larger and often freestanding. These types of copiers can usually be networked and include a variety of printing, scanning, and faxing capabilities. You can even have the ability to use different types and sizes of paper.

Ink versus toner

Inkjet printers use liquid ink while laser printers use a powdered toner. Consider how much toner or ink you’re going to use to see which one is the most cost-effective. Find out how many pages you can expect to get out of each cartridge, as well as how much replacements cost.

The most cost-effective option will depend on how frequently you plan to use your printer. A laser printer will cost you more upfront but will be less expensive to operate. While an inkjet printer costs less upfront, it is typically more expensive to operate.

If you plan on printing often, you’ll want an MFP that uses toner. Toner cartridges have higher yields and a lower cost of operation. But, if you don’t plan on printing much, a low-cost ink cartridge should do the trick.

Monochrome versus color

Monochrome printers are usually cheaper because they only print in black. Color printers generally require four separate cartridges and cost more. Color images tend to be more appealing to customers, so you’ll want to consider whether you’ll need color or if black ink cartridges will be sufficient.


A production printer may be necessary if your business does high-volume printing or professional-grade graphics. These types of printers have higher resolutions and offer a wide range of finishing options.

Production printers can vary greatly in cost depending on specific features.

Maintenance and service agreements

When you’re looking at MFPs, you’ll want to check the maintenance and service agreement. The average service agreement may include toner, drums, parts, maintenance, and repairs. You’ll want to take a closer look at what “parts” entails because it means different things to different companies.

Contact CEI For All of Your Multifunctional Printer and Copier Needs

When it comes to multifunction printers and copiers, let CEI handle all of your needs. We can take care of copier and printer maintenance for a variety of brands. Our employees are experienced and can provide the best customer service so that your company is not without a vital piece of equipment. We work efficiently to troubleshoot problems and repair them.

Call us today at 919-781-8885 or reach out to us online and let CEI come up with solutions to reduce your downtime and keep your company running efficiently.

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