Sending a fax is as fast as a simple phone call, it’s really handy in situations where no computer or internet connection is available, and it’s cheap. Most models use thermal paper, which is not always the best choice for document conservation. That’s why in recent years, new types of machines have adapted the “old” technology to the 21st century, giving birth to multi-function printers (MFPs) that can scan, print and copy as well as receive and send faxes. Laser fax machines are a popular type of MFP, particularly appropriate for intensive professional use.
Presentation of laser fax machines
Fax machines enjoyed their hour of glory in the 1980s, when their good resolution and fast transmission made them essential features in every office.
How does it work?
It’s important to understand this key point: laser fax machines are today able to do much more than just send faxes. As MFPs, they can carry out many tasks such as printing, copying, or scanning. As a matter of fact, their scanner is used as the document digitizing tool on the sending unit, while the printer will process texts and pictures on the receiving side. Once a document has been digitized, the operator only needs to dial a phone number to which data is instantly sent. In the old days, fax machines needed to be fed one sheet at a time, and took between 10 and 20 seconds to transmit a single page.
A few prices
Traditional single-function units using thermal paper are today very affordable, around £60. Laser fax machines, however, are a bit more expensive. Basic models start at around £150, but are limited to low resolutions and modest printing speeds, around 20 pages per minute. Mid-range units typically cost around £200-300, and are suitable for most situations, making them true MFPs capable of carrying a multitude of tasks in your office. High-end models can reach over £1,000, are totally versatile, and generally equipped with a lot of optional features. However, it should be noted that laser fax machines are most of the time of the “mono” type, meaning they only print in black and white.
Benefits and interesting features
Laser fax machines have truly benefited from recent technological advances in the field of data transmission and document reproduction. Some might view them as outdated pieces of equipment, but that’s not the case at all. For all intents and purposes, a modern fax machine will never be out of place in the business world.
Why use a laser fax machine?
Laser technology is better suited to professional use than ink-jet technology. It’s considerably faster, cleaner, and although resolution is better with inkjet, it’s still more than acceptable with laser. Likewise, inkjet units tend to be cheaper to buy, but their consumables are expensive, so on the long run a laser machine will prove more interesting as a toner cartridge is cheap and lasts for a long time.
Interesting features to look for
The most interesting innovations are those which don’t use the fax printer at all. Laser fax machines are equipped with hard drives and can store incoming data, or even forward it via the internet to an email account or convert documents into PDF files. Sending an email via a fax machine is also possible. These units are also easily networked to multiple workstations, allowing one unit to serve as the central printing resource for your entire building.