What Does an All-In-One Wireless Printer Do?
By Matt Koble
In the past you'd need a printer, fax machine, copier and scanner to do the things a single all-in-one printer could do. Aside from actually printing, these multi-functional printers offer a range of other features that give them the title of "all-in-one." Wireless models don't even need to be physically connected to your computer to communicate with it.
The "Wireless" title in the printer's description or name means it doesn't have to be physically connected to your computer to print. The option is typically still available when you need a hard connection, but it isn't necessary. Instead, your wireless network provides the means to connect the two. After connecting both your printer and computer to the same network, you'll gain the ability to print from anywhere within wireless range. This feature proves convenient when your computer area has limited space or you're using a laptop and want to move around. This convenience usually also applies to the printer's other functions requiring computer interaction.
Scanner and Copier
All-In-One printers usually come with a scanner for converting physical photos and documents into digital files accessed through an image viewing program. The scanner portion has a cover you lift to place your scanning material on a glass surface to be scanned by the printer and sent to your computer or stored on a removable storage device connected to the printer. The scanner area often doubles as a copier, enabling you to make physical copies of your documents or photos.
Many multifunctional printers also come capable of sending faxes. While this feature might be more useful in the office, it's often included in all-in-one printers designed for home use. Faxing documents uses the same glass surface you use to scan or copy images, as well as a physical or touch-screen keypad for entering the fax number. Received faxes can also be printed using the all-in-one's printer function.
While most standard all-in-one printers can print, copy, scan and fax, some go above and beyond to offer additional features. Such features include double-sided printing and photo printing. As of September 2013, some wireless models even offer apps. For example, some wireless HP all-in-ones provide apps to print directly from online news outlets and apps for novel purposes like printing coloring pages and paper airplane outlines.
Matt Koble has been writing professionally since 2008. He has been published on websites such as DoItYourself. Koble mostly writes about technology, electronics and computer topics.