Most of us have a printer here, scanner there, fax machine and copier a few cubicles away. But the convergence trend is combining all these tools into one multifunction printer (MFP) that fits a desktop — and a budget — quite nicely. Here are three nice multis in the sub-$500 ballpark.


HP OFFICEJET D135, $500
PRO:
Top print quality, smart digital copying features, 150-sheet input tray — there’s little not to like. CON: May be more machine than you need, considering the price. BOTTOM LINE: If it fits your budget, this multi will get 2003 started off right. MORE INFO:www.hp.com
LEXMARK X125, $170
PRO:
Decent print quality, good scans, and that price isn’t a misprint. CON: The usual deal: low purchase price, high per-page printing costs. BOTTOM LINE: Not economical for heavy print jobs, but a bargain for light users. MORE INFO:www.lexmark.com
CANON MULTIPASS F60, $299
PRO:
CompactFlash adapter lets you print excellent borderless digital photos. Three separate color ink cartridges mean you can replace only the empty tank, saving money in the long run. CON: Lacks built-in fax; works only with PCs running Windows 98 and newer systems.
BOTTOM LINE: Speedy print and copy times make this a strong choice. MORE INFO:www.usa.canon.com/consumer