There was a time - and for many, this is still the case - when a PC was the be-all and end-all of the office space, with the printer serving merely as its servant; a physical extension unable to break free or fend for itself.
Whether you wanted to print documents from the internet or pictures from your camera, you would need these devices to play nice with the computer if it was to grant access to your printer.
But in the last few years, printers have increasingly found a voice of their own. First, we had devices that could connect to a network independently of any one PC, then came machines capable of speaking to your camera, or even the internet, directly.
Newer ranges from manufacturers such as Samsung are even able to communicate with smartphones and tablets, Apple's staple of trend-leading products included.
With the mobile revolution shifting focus away from desktop PCs and even laptops, many small businesses are starting to flirt with the idea of using an iPad or a smartphone to take care of their computing needs.
And if the PC no longer has a stranglehold on productivity in your workplace, it makes sense to select a printer that can communicate directly with the devices that you might want to use.
Maybe then, you could forget the middleman altogether.