We take a look at the best printers we have actually reviewed, searching our large archive of inkjet and laser printer evaluates on the hunt for the best printers for quality, running costs and features.
Printing is very much still alive, as is shown by the sheer variety of printers you can buy these days. There’s something for each budget plan, with our least expensive printer here beginning at simply ₤ 35. You get what you pay for and, as rates increase, so do the number of features.
As you’ll see from our purchasing guide listed below, you can mix and match the features you want and normally get a great deal. There isn’t a lot a ₤ 100 printer can’t do, so above that point you’re entering professional area with extraordinary print quality and more uncommon features.
Read on to see what turns an excellent printer into a fantastic one, and how to select the best printer for your needs.
The Best Inkjets And Lasers For The Home And Office
BEST PRINTER BUYER’S GUIDE
Laser vs inkjet– As has actually been the case for the many years, the single biggest factor to consider when purchasing a printer for a home or small workplace is whether it’s a laser or inkjet device.
With laser, the powdered ink (toner) is essentially melted into the paper, makings it even more resilient and resistant to running. Laser printers are likewise far quicker once they’ve warmed up, so are much better fit to high-volume work.
The disadvantage is that they’re more expensive than inkjets if you’re after a model that can print in colour. While you can get a colour inkjet for less than ₤ 30, you’ll struggle to discover a colour laser printer for less than ₤ 100.
Likewise, the quality of colour prints isn’t a patch on inkjet. As such, colour lasers aren’t really any great for pictures, however rather are useful for printing documents with colour charts and so on.
A brand-new tweak on the printer is the LED printer, which operates in essentially the same method however replaces the laser with an LED.
When it comes to inkjets, their huge benefit is that colour models are available for pretty affordable prices, as well as the cheap ones can printing decent photos. So if you’re planning to acquire only one printer for all your household needs then an inkjet remains the best bet.
Modern inkjets are likewise significantly faster than before. The previous few years has seen a rise in the market of office-orientated inkjets, which can print fairly rapidly without foregoing print quality.
Lastly, there are likewise the extremely most current models that use a paper-width print head, rather than a fine print head that scans backward and forward. Just readily available in high-end devices, they’re perfect for those requiring truly high print speeds and first-class quality.
Ink types– Inkjets likewise are available in a number of different types, with various jet innovations (piezo or thermal) and ink types (liquid color and pigment, solvent, UV-curable and dye sublimation). Nevertheless, what will matter for most home and small-business purchasers is the distinction between dye and pigment-based inks.
Dye-based inks tend to be more affordable and produce good-quality prints, however they’re vulnerable to fading with exposure to UV light. Similar to all liquid (water-based) inks, they’ll also run if wet.
While pigment-based inks will likewise run if wet, they don’t fade as quickly. As such, they’re often marketed as “archival quality”, and they’re typically more costly too.
The complication here is that it isn’t really always clear what type of printer uses what type of ink. For the many part, many black inks are colored, while most colours are dye-based. However, high-end image printers will use just pigment-based inks to guarantee lasting prints.
Print heads– Another thing to look out for with inkjets is whether the replacement cartridge consists of the print head or whether it’s just the ink.
With the former, there’s the advantage of guaranteeing that you get a new print head with every cartridge change. Nevertheless, such cartridges tend to be more expensive.
Cartridges that are just the ink are cheaper, however with this comes the risk that the fixed print head in the printer will ultimately block and image quality will drop as a result. In fact, you also need to consider that the head might eventually stop working entirely.
Canon, HP and Lexmark mostly uses cartridges with new print heads, while Epson models tend to use set print heads.
Committed picture printers– While normal inkjets can print pretty decent-quality photos, they have their restrictions. As such, there are likewise more specialised printers offered on the market. These use more than the typical 4 inks (black, cyan, magenta and yellow), with the extra shades permitting finer colour gradations and punchier colours.
Inevitably, such printers are more costly in advance, however they can be more affordable in the long-run given that they tend to have larger-capacity print cartridges. So, if photo-printing is high up on your priority list then they’re certainly worth thinking about.
All-in-one?– Once you’ve picked the type of printer you desire, the next concern to ask is whether you want it to be anything more than simply a printer. While there are a number of various additional features that specific designs may include, the three huge ones are duplex, scanning and fax.
Duplex is where the printer can print on both sides of the paper, so you don’t need to manually print just the odd pages then return the paper to the paper tray to print just the even pages. Some printers have duplex integrated in, while lots of offer it as an add-on. Either way, it tends to be a function that’s available only on the higher-end designs.
When it comes to scanning and faxing, they have the tendency to appear together in what are dubbed all-in-one printers. The scanner can either be a flatbed type that permits you to scan anything, from books to bottoms, or sheet-fed designs where you can feed in only relatively thin products such as single sheets of paper. In addition to a fundamental scan center, such printers may also have a “copy” mode.
Due to their scanning capabilities, numerous all-in-ones likewise include a fax facility, permitting you to scan and send off files straight, without the requirement for a computer system at all.
Additional features– The single most useful extra on a printer is network connection, whether that be via a cable television (Ethernet) or Wi-Fi. That said, many routers these days include a printer server center that permits you to plug any USB printer into the router and have it share the printer throughout your home network. Whichever method you make it work, it’s actually hassle-free to be able to print from any computer system in the home.
Another function to look out for is a card reader. These allow you to print directly from the sd card from your camera. Many of us constantly choose to tweak images prior to printing them, but if that does not interest you then an built-in reader is a simple method to speed things up. Likewise, some printers can even talk straight to certain video cameras by means of the PictBridge requirement.
Paper size– The huge majority of printers for home and small company offer only in A4 paper or smaller sized, so those wanting to print on bigger paper will have to seek out such performance. Even then, most larger format printers still just go up to A3 size, with even larger sizes needing you to purchase serious high-end machines.
Not remarkably, the larger paper format means that A3-capable printers are more pricey, although it’s still possible to select one up for just ₤ 50.
Paper type– A last little bit of basic suggestions for printers is to make sure that you purchase paper that’s suitable for what you’re printing. The fundamental things will do fine for churning out many black-and-white pages, however if you’re preparing to send CVs, for instance, then it’s worth using decent, thicker paper.
Meanwhile, photo-printing will only work well on correct, shiny picture paper. What’s more, it’s worth buying the right paper for your type of printer ink, too (manufacturers frequently recommend paper), because the paper is in fact formulated to match the combination of ink types used because printer.
1. INKJET– HP DESKJET 1510
- Ludicrously cheap
- Low running expenses
There was a time when getting a half-decent, basic colour printer for ₤ 30 was deal enough. However with the Deskjet 1510, HP has even handled to squeeze in scan and copy facilities for that price.
Not surprisingly, there are compromises. There’s no wireless connection and paper feeds straight in from the top, makings it less practical for keeping paper all set to print.
Also, print speed and quality are below the what you can manage parting with only a bit more money. For lots of users, however, the difference in quality will rarely be noticeable, and if it’s just for periodic use then the print speed is great too.
All told, with fairly low expenses per page of 3.8 p for mono and 9.2 p for colour, the HP Deskjet is a fantastic buy for those who require one easy machine to cater for their occasional print and copy requirements.
2. INKJET– BROTHER MFC-J4620DW
- ADF and flatbed scanner
- Wi-Fi connectivity
- Great photo print quality
This printer beings in Brother’s range of small workplace and home office printers and comes with all the features you ‘d anticipate for an office machine for a price that’s now under ₤ 100.
There’s a 20-page automated file feeder as well as a flat scanner, and you can print directly from cloud storage service such as Dropbox using just the printer, which links to the web over Wi-Fi.
It’s reasonably fast, albeit not the quickest printer around with a combined print speed of 7.3 ppm in our tests. Things decrease considerably if you up the quality. Black text is extremely nicely presented, although colours printed on basic paper do not look as good as they do on competing printers. Pictures on photo paper look excellent, though, with great colours and great deals of definition.
Something to note about this printer is that it’s noisy thanks to it’s “flutter” system to avoid jams. It works, however you absolutely know about it.
3. INKJET– EPSON STYLUS PHOTO R3000
- A3+ capability
- Colour LCD panel
- Direct wireless print
If you’re after top-notch photographic prints, and have a lot of money to invest, you need to purchase the Epson Stylus Photo R3000. It recreates photos from small to A3 size magnificently, specifically on glossy paper and art media. Colours are natural, with lots of information in light and dark areas of images, while greyscale photos are dazzling too.
What’s more, it’s quiet in operation, fairly quickly, and costs no greater than others of its type to run– 2.7 p for a black A4 text print and 9.4 p for a text and colour graphics print.
4. LASER– DELL S2810DN
- Mono laser printer
- 35ppm declared print speed
- Duplex print as requirement
The Dell S2810dn is an easy monster. It does something and one thing just, which is to print black-and-white pages truly fast.
With a claimed speed of 35ppm and in between 21ppm and 31ppm in our tests, it can churn through big volumes of A4 printing in no time at all.
What’s more, it consists of duplex so can print on both sides of the paper, without the have to eliminate the paper and turn it around.
5. Laser– HP Color LaserJet Pro M252dw
- Duplex print
- Colour touchscreen
- Top-panel USB socket
This printer isn’t really the least expensive colour laser around, but the HP Color LaserJet Pro M252dw has a number of advantages over its rivals, including running costs and duplex print. Pages will set you back 2.8 p for black and 10.1 p for colour, although we ‘d choose a higher-capacity paper tray to the 15-sheet affair available.
Print quality is normally exceptional. Black text comes out crisp and thick, with no spatter, while solid colours are brilliant and don’t suffer any banding. Colour photos are well detailed, if a little on the dark side. The M252dw looks clever, too, and features a versatile wireless connection.
6. LASER– KYOCERA FS-2100DN
- 40ppm claimed speed
- Life time drum, so low running costs
- Vehicle duplex print
This high-end, workgroup-orientated printer is everything about churning out pages as quickly as possible. With a 40ppm claimed print speed and a remarkable 32.4 ppm in our tests, it clearly has what it takes.
What’s more, it has full-auto duplex, a lifetime drum and a big 12,000-page toner cartridge. This likewise helps to keep the cost per page to just 1.37 p (presuming a 0.7 p charge for paper).
All this and the printer can likewise be stacked on top of multiple paper trays, so you can have all sorts of paper types all set to go.
7. INKJET– CANON MAXIFY MB2050
- Quick for an inkjet printer
- High-capacity cartridges
- Wi-Fi printing and scanning
This all-in-one inkjet is aimed at changing entry-level laser all-in-ones, thanks to its high print speed. With its inkjet print engine it can then also use good-quality colour images, all for simply ₤ 80.
A number of disadvantages are the lack of a single-feed tray for printing occasional, odd paper types. Instead, you’ll have to switch out all the paper and reconfigure the printer each time. Also, it cannot print borderless images.
Nevertheless, with print speeds of in between 12.5 ppm and 13.5 ppm for mono and 6ppm for colour, it’s plainly a step above entry-level inkjets and near entry-level laser models. What’s more, print costs are only 1.7 p for mono print and 3.7 p for colour.
8. INKJET– EPSON WORKFORCE WF-7110DTW
- Straight-through single-sheet feed
- 2,200 sheet XXL cartridge choice
- Expandable paper trays
If you need to find a printer that can handle A3-size prints, and still do whatever else you ‘d anticipate of an all-in-one, then the Epson WorkForce WF-7110DTW is perfect.
At ₤ 110, it definitely isn’t really inexpensive, but it boasts a lot of features for the money. In addition to a large-capacity 2,220-sheet cartridge and a single-sheet, straight-though feed for extra thick paper, it also has great print speeds and quality.
With speeds in between 11.5 ppm and 15.2 ppm for mono and 5.7 ppm for colour, it’s up there with the fastest inkjets, plus page expenses of 1.6 p and 3.1 p are decent too.
Picture print quality can’t rather match more dedicated image printers, but it’s excellent enough for numerous uses.
9. INKJET– HP OFFICEJET PRO X476DW
- Paper-width print head for high print speeds
- 37ppm for both mono and colour
- 500-sheet paper tray
The really latest in inkjet innovation is a print head that covers the whole width of the paper, indicating it can print constantly without having to scan backward and forward.
Thanks to this technology, the HP Officejet Pro X476dw can power through at 37ppm for both mono and colour, and even hit 55ppm in Office (draft) mode.
All this and you still get all the multi-function extras you ‘d anticipate– print expenses are low, too, at simply 1.5 p for mono and 4.6 p for colour.