?Before we had all in one printers we had a big mess. If you wanted to print, you needed a printer. If you wanted to scan documents and photos then you needed a scanner. If you wanted to fax something then you needed a fax machine! All of these devices could fill a small home office, costed quite a bit money, were a pain to maintain and used a lot of power. Something had to change... And it did. All in one printer scanner fax units started hitting the shelves a few years ago and the home office would never be the same again! You could take the printer, scanner and fax and combine them into 1 single device thus saving space and most importantly...money. All in one printers come in different sizes and in varying quality. Let's cover the basic all in one: Basic All In One Printer Scanner Fax: -Prints documents using inkjets. -Scans documents and pictures in black n' white or color. -Faxes documents in black n' white. -Connects to your PC via a USB cable. High End All In One Printer Scanner Fax: -Prints documents and photos using laser printing. -Scans documents and pictures using either a flat bed scanner or automatic document feeder. -Faxes documents and pictures using either the flat bed scanner or the document feeder. -Connects to your PC via USB cable, network card or wireless. Prices A basic all in one printer can cost as little as $50, however you'll need to buy a USB cable separately which can cost around $20-$30. You may want to pickup some extra inkjet cartridges too since the ones that co me with your all in one are just starter cartridges which have about half the ink (which means you'll run out quickly). Highend all in one printers typically run anywhere from %500 - $2000. In case you didn't know, printer ink is fairly expensive so you may want to look around online for the best deal instead of buying at a local store. Ink cartridges will usually cost ya about $40 total for the black and color. What You'll Need For a successfull installation of an all in one you're going to need to make sure that you have a few items, so consider this your checklist: 1. You need the all in one printer (that's key :) ). 2. Make sure you have a USB printer cable (even if you're going to set it up for wireless). 3. You need to be an administrator on the computer your installing the printer on. You probably already are though. 4. You need to be able to lift about 30 LBS. 5. Paper. Paper is used for test prints and scanner alignments. 6. Software installation disc that comes with your printer. 7. If you're going to be using your all in one on a wireless network, then you'll need the network name (SSID) and the key. 8. If you're going to fax you may need a long phone line depending on where you're going to place the printer. All in one printer brands People often ask me "what brand should I buy" and I'll usually tell them not to focus on brands but features. However for this article I'll go ahead and list the brands that have been very dependable for my clients: HP (Hewlett Packard) Lexmark Brother Epson About those protection plans If you decide to buy your all in one at a store (like Best Buy) then I highly recommend you purchase their 3 year warranty. Why? Printers typically only last about 2 years and that protection plan will allow you to excha nge your printer for about $20.00 (that's how much extended store warranties for printers usually cost). That's well worth it if you ask me. all in one printer scanner fax machines are a great way to save space and keep functionality. My favorite all in one is the Hewlett Packard All In One Printer.