Fax technology isn’t new, and although they were ubiquitous in offices around the world during the 1980s, fax machines tend to disappear in favour of internet communication. However, new technologies in printing such as laser or inkjet have kept fax machines relevant and useful. The range of products is wide, but as far as printing colour documents go, the best and most cost-effective option may be the inkjet fax machine.
Choosing the right inkjet fax machine
Many different fax machines are available on the market, but the basic principle remains the same: a sending unit digitizes the document the user wishes to transmit, and the data travels through a phone line to a receiving unit which processes data and prints a reproduction, or facsimile of the document. However, as the price range varies considerably, it’s important to understand how the different models work in order to get the one best suited to your needs.
Different models for different users
For home users, or small business owners, a regular, entry-level fax machine is likely to be enough. Although most models still use thermal technology and carbon paper, modern inkjet fax machines exist. They are perfect for small volumes of printing, can also be used as copiers and are fed with regular paper which won’t turn brown or curl up like thermal paper. They are of course equipped with a telephone handset, and sometimes a built-in answering machine. Mid-range to high-end models mostly use laser technology, but inkjet units are usually cheaper for identical features. Multi-function printers (MFPs) can print, scan, and copy altogether, and they often come with an integrated fax machine. Therefore, while a reasonably priced laser MFP can only copy or print in black and white, an inkjet MFP will also process colour documents for a lower initial price. Of course, these more expensive units are often intended for professionals and large companies who send and receive a lot of faxes daily.
A look on prices
Small inkjet fax machines for domestic or occasional use are usually affordable, starting at around £100 in the Brother or Philips range for instance. However, most manufacturers like Canon or Samsung only use inkjet technology for more elaborate products, like the Brother FAX-1860c which can copy or print in colour, send faxes, be used as a phone, all for less than £500. Higher-end models typically reach well-above £1,000, but they’re only suited to professionals needing to process large volumes of colour documents.
Specifics of inkjet technology
It appears that inkjet fax machines are not widespread on the market, as users tend to favour thermal machines for occasional use, or laser MFPs for large volumes. However, inkjet technology certainly has its advantages.
Quality and speed
Inkjet units are recommended when the expected volume of faxes is under 40 a day. They can generally process around 20 colour pages per minute, with good resolution, up to 600 x 1200dpi.
Printing in colour with an inkjet fax machine
The biggest asset of inkjet fax machines is their ability to print in colour. Of course, inkjet cartridges tend to be more expensive than laser toner, but colour MFPs are cheaper, and ink-saving facilities are available to ensure you only use colour printing when needed, without any waste.
Versatility and document preservation
Inkjet MFPs can carry out a multitude of tasks such as printing invoices, scanning photos, copying memos or faxing manuscript letters. They are suited to homemakers and 100+ staff alike, depending on the model. They guarantee good quality colour printing, and long-lasting documents, while keeping costs down.