Which Is The Best Type Of Printer For Home Use
Inkjet printers are the most popular for simple home use. Some of them scan and copy others let you print photos from an SD card.
Most inkjet printers use ink cartridges, which spray hundreds of tiny dots of ink onto the paper. For the best print quality, look for a high dots per inch number.
Printers that use ink tanks are usually more expensive, but their ink is refillable and lasts much longer than cartridges. Some wont need refilling for up to three years, making them more cost-efficient and eco-friendly.Laser printers produce much higher quality prints than inkjets. They print with static electricity, which transfers fine toner powder from the cartridge to the page using heat. They print very quickly, making them a smart choice if you do a lot of bulk printing.
Laser printers are more affordable than they used to be, with cheaper cartridge replacements than inkjet printers.Instant photo printers connect to your smartphone or tablets camera roll. Theyre an easy way to print out your favourite photos in under a minute. Theyre the size of your hand and usually print credit card-size photos, but some print in Instagram-style squares.
The glossy paper that instant photo printers use is embedded with ink crystals, which are activated by heat to print your photo. Bear in mind that the cost per print can range from 50p to over £1.
Read more: Our expert guide to buying a printer
Also Great: Brother Mfc
*At the time of publishing, the price was $200.
If you work from home, run a home business, or simply want the flexibility of a laser printer that can also scan and copy, we recommend the Brother MFC-L2750DW. This powerful machine marries the basic utility and reliability of our Brother HL-L2350DW budget pick with the versatility of a flatbed scanner and a single-pass duplexing automatic document feeder. Its dependable, quick, cost-effective, and reasonably compact, and it can handle everything except color print jobs.
The MFC-L2750DW is even simpler to set up than its little sibling because you can connect it to Wi-Fi using the color touchscreen control panel. The interface is easy to navigate, if not quite as user-friendly as the one on our top pick, the HP M255dw. It comes with a number of handy built-in apps, including Dropbox and Google Drive, so you can walk up and print directly from your cloud accounts. It also has a scan-to-email app thats refreshingly simple to configure the app timed out on us a few times when we were trying to scan very large jobs, but otherwise it worked quickly.
Inkjet Vs Laser: Whats The Difference And Which Is Best
Inkjet printers work by shooting out thousands of tiny dots across the entire page. These dots compose the image or text that youâre printing. The resolution of inkjet printers is measured in dots per inch the higher the dpi, the higher the resolution.
Inkjet printers are typically slower than laser printers because the heads need to move around the page more and the ink needs to dry, which will slow you down further if you need to print double-sided.
Laser printers are more high-tech they work by negatively charging a light-sensitive surface called an optical photoconductor drum. The laser then draws an image onto the surface of the drum and negatively charged toner is released onto the surface of the drum. This process needs to take place on all four colour drums â for cyan, magenta, yellow and black â to make up the final colour image. The paper is then heated to melt the toner onto the page itself, and voila- you have your finished result.
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Why You Should Trust Us
Wirecutter has covered printers for seven years, and Ive written about them since 2016. My editors and I have kept an eye on feedback from comment threads, email, and Twitter to better understand our readers real-world needs. Weve considered reviews from other editorial sources, including CNET, Computer Shopper, and PCMag. Weve scanned thousands of customer reviews to pick out recurring issues with specific models. And weve lived with many printers as long-term test units, learning how they can fail and disappoint in the long run.
For this guide to laser printers, weve considered 157 different printers and tested 19 of them since 2011. And for this particular update, we put in about 25 hours of research and testing, looking at 15 models and ultimately testing three.
Best Photo Printer: Canon Pixma Mg3620
- No touchscreen LCD
- Doesnt offer separate color ink cartridges
If youre a photographer but cant afford an expensive single-function printer, you might consider buying this inexpensive all-in-one . As the best photo printer its quite easy to use and intuitive, and offers features found on pricier models, such as an auto-duplex printing feature, to print on both sides of the document. It also has a flatbed scanner, which some budget models lack. In fact, it scans documents quickly, which can be useful in both home and office settings. Its also very easy to set up.
If you live in an apartment or you just dont have a lot of extra space, this printer may also fit the bill since its compact and can fit into many small offices or home settings. Its wireless, too, so you can print from just about anywhere in your home. You can also download Canons PRINT mobile app, which makes printing from mobile devices easyyou can print and scan photos and documents directly from iPads or iPhones via AirPrint or from Android devices via Mopria and Google Cloud print.
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Hp Laserjet M209dwe Wireless Monochrome Printer With Built
- 6 FREE MONTHS OF INSTANT INK for lasers with HP+ Print up to 1500 pages a month for 6 months.
- INCLUDES HP+ SMART PRINTING SYSTEM HP+ makes your printer Smarter with advanced features that make it easy to print from any device or app.
- BEST FOR SMALL BUSINESSES AND HOME OFFICES Print high-quality black & white docs like forms, reports and business documents.
- FASTEST TWO-SIDED PRINTING IN ITS CLASS Black & white precision laser printing and wireless connectivity.
- ULTRA-FAST PRINT SPEEDS Print up to 30 pages per minute single-sided, up to 19 pages per minute two-sided.
- DUAL BAND WI-FI With self-reset that automatically detects and resolves connectivity issues
- HP SMART APP Print, scan and copy from your phonefrom anywhere.
- STRONG SECURITY Built-in security features help protect your printer from potential attacks, plus get enhanced cloud-based security features with HP+.
- TONER DELIVERED BEFORE YOU RUN OUT Never run out of toner with an optional Instant Ink subscription for laser printers.
The Best Places To Shop For A Cheap Printer
Whether you have a specific printer in mind or not, youll most likely be able to find a deal at Amazon, Office Depot, Staples, Best Buy or Walmart. In fact, you can find the top three best buy printers according to Consumer Reports at these stores.
Customers have rated and reviewed the printers based on predicted reliability, owner satisfaction, speed, quality of text, graphics, photos, ink use and ink cost. Here are the top three most affordable, highest-rated regular printers based on Consumer Reports data, along with prices, as of January 2021:
Each store carries a huge selection of printer brands and models both online and in-store. Check out the stores below for more information on shipping, pricing and brands. Also, its a good idea to familiarize yourself with each stores return policy before you make your final purchase.
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Inkjet Printer: Epson Expression Home Xp
- Epson Expression Home XP-2100,£97.99 at Amazon buy here
A solid, all-round budget option, the XP-2100 can print, scan and copy, via cable or Wi-Fi. It works with envelopes and glossy photo paper and supports both standard and extra-large cartridges. The printer is also quite compact and weighs only 4kg.
Best Ink Tank Printer: Epson Ecotank Et
- Lacks Ethernet connectivity.
- No memory-card slots.
Like all ink-tank models, this Epson EcoTank wireless all-in-one provides you with easy-to-fill, supersized ink tanks, which Epson says will provide you with ink for up to 2 years. The printer uses 4 different colored inks: black, cyan, magenta and yellow.
Since its a budget model, it does lack some important features youd find on other modelsfor instance, theres no ADF or auto-duplexing, and it also doesnt allow you to connect via an Ethernet cord. And it lacks memory-card slots. It does have a small display screen. Whats nice is that its ink-tank design not only saves you money, but it produces less waste, since youre not always buying ink cartridges. Since its an all-in-one, you can also copy and scan, in addition to printing.
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Boost Your Print Quality Using A Color Laser Printer
- Print format: Color Laser Printer
- Print speed: 29 ppm / 22 ppm
- Duty cycle: 1,500 pages per month
- Capacity: 250 sheets
- ADF capacity: 50 sheets
Color laser printers are more expensive than inkjet printers to purchase and maintain, but they offer faster print speeds and significantly higher print quality when it comes to documents. Keep in mind, color laser printers are not designed to create framable prints from your favorite digital images.
The toner that comes with this printer is enough to print about 1,000 pages. After that, youll need to replace the black and color toner cartridges separately. The drum unit for this printer will last about 18,000 pages before needing replacement.
In addition to offering wireless printing, double-sided printing, scanning and photocopying, the printers built-in 2.7-inch full-color touchscreen makes using the printer easy and straightforward.
The Brother MFC-L3750CDW Digital Color Multi-Function printer will easily meet the needs of a home office, but for a family, there are less expensive inkjet printer options that also offer the ability to print digital photos.
Canon Selphy Cp1300 Wireless Compact Photo Printer
If youre prioritizing top-notch photo print quality, the Selphy CP1300 from Canon is the printer for you. The ultra-sleek photo printer can print images as squares, rectangles, and even photo booth-style strips of pics. Since you can edit the photos directly on the printers screen, you can be sure every image will print exactly the way you want it to. Print candids from your phone using the printers Bluetooth and Wi-Fi connectivity, or straight from your favorite camera using its multiple memory card slots and USB port.
Pros: Affordable, compact, mobile printing capabilities, wirelessCons: Only prints photos
The Tango X might be small, but that doesnt mean youll have to replace its ink cartridges on a regular basis. The printer is compatible with special high-yield cartridges, which require far less frequent replacement than typical cartridges and will save you money long term. Equipped with both Wi-Fi and Bluetooth, its easy to set up, and you can even tell it what to print via a voice-activated system. When its not in use, store it in the provided linen cover to keep it looking brand new.
Pros: Easy setup, protective cover, mobile printing capabilities, voice-activated printingCons: Expensive, no photo tray
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What About Paper Handling And Print Volume
Some home offices not only print a lot, but also print on different types and sizes of paper. What if you print most of the time on plain paper or letterhead, but suddenly need to output a spreadsheet on legal-size paper? Or a sheet of labels, or a check? What if you just print all the time, and you need a machine with deep paper trays that dont require constant reloading?
While most cheap printers dont offer high-volume trays and multiple input sources, pay attention to the machine’s input configuration options. Many printers come with, in addition to a main paper input source, a simple one-sheet override tray for printing one-off envelopes, forms, or labels, or perhaps a 10- or 20-sheet alternative tray for photo paper or envelopes.
Note that a printer’s input capacity tends to scale with its rated “print volume,” which manufacturers usually express as the number of pages the machine is good to print per month. The two most common such measurements are the duty cycle and the maximum suggested print volume . Some makers of cheap printers don’t rate their models.
What To Look For In An Affordable Printer
- Ink efficiency
The more ink-efficient your printer is, the cheaper itâll be for you. Why? Because even though some printers may have a low pricetag, you might end up shelling out more for the cost of ink and toner over the years.
So what makes an ink-efficient printer? The simple answer is: cost per page.
How do you work out cost per page? Different ink cartridges can produce a maximum number of pages before they run out. The number of pages a cartridge can print is called a page yield.
To get the cost per page, simply divide the cost of the cartridge with its page yield:
Cost per page or CPP = Cartridge Price / Page Yield
The smaller your cost per page, the more efficient your printer is in the long run.
- Cartridge Sizes
Ink cartridges typically come in standard and high yield sizes. A high yield cartridge can usually print about twice the number of pages than a standard cartridge, so theyâre more expensive.
But when you print regularly, buying a high yield ink cartridge will save you time and money in the long run. It goes without saying that ink cartridges that can print more pages usually result in a lower cost per pageâwhich is our main metric to measure efficiency.
- Ink compatibility
- Know your monthly printing requirements
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Other Printers We’ve Considered
When initially deciding what we believe to be the best printers currently available, we spent hours testing and researching. No matter the subject area, we always consider a range of factors when it comes to recommending devices – and apply the same process before a new device enters our top five selections. We don’t just take into account our own testing, either, but also consumer reviews, brand quality and value.
In all of our roundups, there are also many products we test that don’t make the final cut. Since they may be the right fit for some people, however, we’ve listed them below.
Why Trust Our Journalism
Founded in 2004, Trusted Reviews exists to give our readers thorough, unbiased and independent advice on what to buy.
Today, we have 9 million users a month around the world, and assess more than 1,000 products a year.
Editorial independence means being able to give an unbiased verdict about a product or company, with the avoidance of conflicts of interest. To ensure this is possible, every member of the editorial staff follows a clear code of conduct.
We also expect our journalists to follow clear ethical standards in their work. Our staff members must strive for honesty and accuracy in everything they do. We follow the IPSO Editors code of practice to underpin these standards.
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What Kind Of Printer Do You Need: A Single
Single-function printers do just one thingprint, of coursewhile all-in-ones can also copy, scan, and fax documents. In terms of design, most AIOs couple the printer with a flatbed scanner on top.
Sometimes all you need is a device that prints, and paying extra for a bigger printer with imaging features you don’t need doesn’t make sense. That said, most home offices will benefit from copying and scanning now and then, and therefore choose an AIO. Even if you dont copy frequently, in todays climate, where one of the reasons for buying a printer is safety , spending a little extra for a model that can makes sense.
An important distinguishing characteristic of an AIO is whether its flatbed scanner comes with an automatic document feeder . An ADF is an apparatus for handling multipage documents without user intervention. When copying or scanning a stack of documents, the simplest and cheapest AIOs, lacking an ADF, require you to place pages on the scanner bed one at a time. With an ADF, you drop the stack in the feeder, press Copy or Scan, and walk away. That’s an obvious time saver if you’ll often scan or copy a bunch of pages in one sitting.
Auto-duplexing ADFs are not common on machines under $100. As you move closer to $150 and upward into the $200 range, youll see not only auto-duplexing ADFs but also higher-capacity feeders. The ADFs on most lower-cost machines hold around 20 pages, while the ADFs on higher-cost AIOs can hold as many as 50 pages, sometimes more.
Save Space: Hp Deskjet 3755
All-in-one laser printers generally take up a decent chunk of space, so if you’re setting up in a small room, you might want to check out HP’s DeskJet 3755. It prints up to 19 pages per minute, it can scan and copy, and it has a 60-page feeder tray. Full black and color ink replacements from HP cost about $29.
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Fax Included: Hp Officejet Pro 8710
This wireless laser printer is the most expensive on this list, but it includes a fax feature that will help round out your home office. A color touchscreen allows for easy control, and you can print about 22 black-and-white pages per minute. Third-party ink replacements for black and color can be had for about $29.