3 things you can do with a touch screen on an all-in-one printer

Consumer Reports News: April 09, 2013 09:08 AM

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Touch-screen displays are ubiquitous on smart phones and tablets, and they're becoming more common on all-in-one printers, too. In fact, three of the four new all-in-ones in our recently updated ratings—the Epson Expression Photo XP-850, HP Envy 120, and Epson Workforce WF-3540—include LCDs with touch-screen capabilities.

Touch screens are useful for those who don't like to use a button or switch to select printer settings. The color touch screens on these printers are large enough to display sharp, clearly recognizable icons, and they're pretty responsive to the touch. A touch screen is also a nice option if you'd rather not use your computer or laptop at all.

Here are a few things you can do using your all-in-one's touch-screen LCD:

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Choose, edit, and print photos: On most touch-screen printer displays, you can select a photo you want to print, edit and crop it, and then print it. Some printers let you get creative with your photo—producing a greeting card or coloring book, say. And on some all-in-ones, like the Epson XP-850, you can even print directly on special CDs or DVDs.

Print directly from a memory card: All three new all-in-ones in our Ratings have slots that let you insert a memory card and print from it. When you insert the card, you'll see thumbnail images on the touch screen and can select which to print. (If your printer has a PictBridge connection, like both new Epson models, you can also connect your camera and print right off the camera using its menu to select and edit photos.)

Configure, check, and activate: A touch screen lets you configure your printer's networking feature—setting up wireless features, for example. You can also activate various maintenance functions, such as properly aligning the printer heads and checking if your ink cartridges are running low on ink. And you can activate the scanning and copying functions by pressing the appropriate icons.

Terry Sullivan

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