Copier/Scanner/Printer Comparison for Law Offices Essay

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Further, although whenever one device tries to accomplish more than one "thing," one of those "things" typically suffers; however, innovations in recent years have made these all-in-one approaches competitive with stand-alone units and occupy a concomitantly smaller footprint in a crowded law office but these devices will still likely underperform their separate unit counterparts. As one authority emphasizes, "All-in-one devices are typically smaller desktop units that have relatively low speed and volume capacity" (Need All in One Copiers?, 2008, p. 3).

Some popular major brand all-in-one machines are described further in Table 4 below.

Table 4.

Popular all-in-one copier/printer/scanner (fax) machines.

Copier/Printer/Scanner (Fax)



Sharp AR-208D Copier / Printer/Scanner

Desktop model with 20-page-per-minute copying / printing and integrated color PC scanning; 50-sheet document feeder provides standard 2-sided scanning for extra efficiency, as well as duplex printing and copying. Converts black & white and color documents into digital files that can be shared, archived, or e-mailed; 2 MB memory, holds up to 120 pages.

799.00 from Copyfaxes Inc. Also offers flexible options to add Super G3 faxing, networking and web-based management. Most appropriate for sole practitioner.

Ricoh Aficio MP 1600 SPF Copier/Printer/Scanner/Fax

16-ppm, drum unit, Standard Ethernet 10/100 Base T, 11" X 17" Maximum Paper Size, Auto Paper Selection, Auto Reduce/Enlarge, Auto Start, Auto Tray Switching, Black & White Scanning, Embedded Scan-to-Email, Image Rotation, Network TWAIN Scanning, Scan-to-Folder.

1,462.99 from Copyfaxes Inc. Comes standard with network printer, scanner and fax machine ready out of the box. Suitable for medium-sized law offices.

Copystar CS-2550 Copier/Printer/Scanner

Desktop Digital Multifunctional with Standard Network Print and Interface. Standard 300 Sheet Paper Drawer and 50 Sheet MPT. Optional 50 Sheet Document Processor, Duplex, Paper Handling and Internal Finisher. Optional Scanning and Fax/Network Fax.

25-page per minute, 600 dpi, monochrome laser printer/copier with 64MB of standard memory (expandable to 190MB) and a 300 MHz PowerPC 750 CXR processor. PCL6, KPDL3 (PostScript Level 3 emulation) and four other printer emulations are supported.

2,499.99 from Comes with drum developer. The CS-2550 features environmentally friendly and low cost per page printing. Additional enhancements are available, such as a finisher, scanner, fax, separator and more. Suitable for large law offices; may require more than one unit.

Sources: As indicated.

Maintenance Agreements. The need for a maintenance agreement again depends on the law office. A large law office with a substantial capital investment in copiers, scanners and printers will likely need a maintenance agreement to ensure they avoid significant amounts of downtime and have ready access to technical support when it is needed. By sharp contrast, a new sole practitioner may be able to get along just fine with the basic equipment that typically comes with a computer package today, such as the PC itself, as well as a printer and in some case a copier as well. If something breaks in these cases, replacements are inexpensive and may even cost less than the price of a maintenance agreement. Furthermore, there are some major differences in the types of warranties that are available on different devices as well as according to which manufacturers and vendors are involved. For equipment with a decent warranty, a maintenance agreement may not be needed in the short-term but the warranty details should be carefully reviewed to determine what is covered and what is not so that maintenance agreements can be arranged if necessary.


The research showed that the administrative needs of the modern law office are much like any other office where large amounts of paper are used and reliable equipment is needed. The same types of factors that apply to other types of businesses also come into play in the selection of copiers, scanners and printers, such as volume, intended use and space limitations. The research also showed that investments in these devices is not that mysterious, but does require some careful analysis to ensure that the devices selected satisfy the needs of the law office and that it they are sufficiently easy to use and reliable. For this purpose, maintenance agreements might be the best choice, but this depends on what is covered in the manufacturer's warranty and how much the device cost in the first place. It would make little sense to arrange for a long-term maintenance agreement on a $99 scanner, but law office managers would probably look long and hard at a capital investment of $7,000 for a copy machine and maintenance agreements may just make good sense in these cases. In this author's personal case, initial career plans for establishing an office as a solo medical malpractice attorney. Based on the anticipated needs of such a small office, a good beginning choice of these devices would be the Sharp AR-208D all-in-one copier/printer/scanner since it satisfies all of these needs, precludes the need to purchase all of these devices separately and will occupy a smaller footprint than three comparable standalone devices.


Copystar CS-2550 copier/printer/scanner. (2008). [Online]. Available:

Dell Computer. (2008). [Online]. Available: & s=bsd&~ck=anav.

Direct Source Copiers. (2008). [Online]. Available:

How to buy copiers/printers/scanners. (2008). Interaction Media Group. [Online]. Available:

Need all in one copiers? (2008). BuyerZone. [Online]. Available:

Ricoh Aficio MP 1600 SPF copier/printer/scanner/fax. (2008). Copyfaxes Inc. [Online]. Available:

Pasini, M. (2008). Scanner reviews. Imaging Resource. [Online]. Available:

Sharp AR-208D digital copier/printer/scanner. (2008). Copyfaxes Inc. [Online]. Available:[continue]

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