Many have asked what the letters at the end of a printer model mean. They have specific meanings and can help you find the printer you need or narrow down the search with out looking through the specifications of the thousands of different printer models out there.
Here’s some examples:
Dell Color Smart Multifunction Printer S3845cdn
HP PageWide Enterprise Color 556dn
It’s pretty difficult to find information on what each of those letters mean. There’s certainly no explanation of the printer letters on product pages.
Printer letters defined
The letters on the end of the printer model name are a short hand way of showing the feature set the printer supports. Each letter is a feature and can quickly help you know if the printer will support a feature you need or want.
Most features are just one letter, but other 2 letter combinations can mean something specific too. This list will guide you through the meaning of each printer letter and combination.
b = Battery
Printers with battery backups will have this letter. It means the printer is portable and can be used without plugging it into the wall.
bt = Bluetooth
Bluetooth printers were in favor a few years ago, but this is something you’ll see less often today. Wireless printers usually operate on WiFi so you’ll see that below.
c = Color
This feature is pretty obvious. It just means the printer prints black and white or color.
d = Duplex
Duplex printers will print on both sides of the page without requiring you to manually feed the paper again. It automatically turns the paper over, but it can print on just one side too.
f = Fax
Fax is an aging technology so you’ll see some multi-functions printers than no longer support fax. Look for this letter to make sure it is a complete multi-function if you need fax.
h = Hard Disk
A printer hard disk is there for storing extra features and information. This is generally only used by larger work groups. You can make user profiles to control and track usage, schedule print jobs, save faxes, and others.
i = Card Slots (Imaging)
This means the printer has a slot to read media cards. This is becoming such a common feature that the letter is not being used as much so it is likely the card reader is present even if this letter is not in the printer suffix.
MFP = Multi function printer
You generally won’t see this as a suffix, but it’s necessary to know what it is when searching for a printer. Multi function printers are printers that capabilities of other machines. This could be copy, scan, and fax. Traditionally these had all 3 of these features, but with faxing being an aging technology this has started to be left off even though the machine may still be called multi-function or all-in-0ne.
m = Metered
This is for enterprise class devices where user usage is desired. This can also help with management of supplies to ensure you never run out of toner.
n = Network
Network support generally means an ethernet port is included on the machine to connect to a network. It can also have wireless capabilities. There is also nw for network wireless. Machines with an nw suffix may or may not have a physical ethernet port.
s = Stacker or Stapler
There are 2 different features s may refer to. It can be a stapler to automate stapling or a stacker to automate stacking for high volume print jobs. Many enterprise class printers may have these as add on features so it not necessary for the printer to include these by default.
sk = Stacker and Stapler
This is the 2 letter code that includes a stacker and stapler are included.
t = Extra Tray
This indicates an extra paper tray is included with the printer. Enterprise class printers can have multiple different paper tray options.
w = Wireless
Wireless function indicates WiFi capability for wireless networking over a local network.
x = Multi-feature
x can mean different things, but the most common feature set it represents is duplex, additional tray, and networking. In a series of printers this means this model contains all the features available in that series.