Whether you need a printer for a small business, home office, or school, choosing a device that allows you to print quickly and easily is important. Choosing the best printer can be complex because of the wide variety of features available. You may be wondering what features are worth investing in and what specs to look for when comparing printer reviews.
Our guide to the best printers gives you a better overview of the features and innovations that suit your needs, starting with the best all-round model, the . This printer is our number one choice as it has endless printing options and is top quality.
If you're looking for something more specific, check out our guides on the Best Inkjet, Color Laser, and Photo Printers for 2020.
Best printers at a glance
The best all-round printer: HP OfficeJet Pro 9015
Why we chose this HP OfficeJet Pro 9015:
HP has spent many years slowly ironing out the kinks in the Office Jet line and updating the technology for the modern home or office. The result is the OfficeJet Pro 9015, an incredibly advanced printer that works very hard to reliably manage the printing, scanning, copying, and faxing experience, if not pleasant. It has a print speed of 22 pages per minute (ppm) (black and white), automatic two-sided scanning at up to 1200 dpi, an automatic document feeder of 35 pages and a 25-sheet paper tray.
On the printer, you can change settings and choose your tools with the great color touchscreen. You have plenty of options for sending scans to email, the cloud, or any device of your choice (with Alexa and Google Assistant compatibility, you can also work by voice an option). Or you can use the HP Smart app, which allows you to remotely control the printer and even monitor your ink levels. This is just the beginning if you want to dig into smart tasks that can help you optimize the printer for specific programs like QuickBooks.
Connectivity options include key Wi-Fi Direct features like Apple AirPrint: when you print over Wi-Fi, you also get a nice smart Wi-Fi connection that monitors connectivity issues and fixes itself if possible. Since it is HP, the printer also has a number of security features such as encryption and password protection.
Few printers have ever shown such quality from top to bottom. However, we will find that while it is a bit more compact than previous models, thestill takes up quite a bit of space so you'll need to make some space for it.
The best photo printer: Epson SureColor P400
Why we chose the Epson SureColor P400:
Photography is an expensive hobby. If you've invested a lot of money in a great camera, you might want a printer that will do your photos justice. While you can certainly save a thousand dollars with a premium photo printer, the Epson SureColor P400 offers great prints without having to access your retirement fund.
With its inconspicuous facadeIt may not look unusual, but it contains an eight-cartridge system (seven colors and a "gloss optimizer") that can produce prints with "excellent color accuracy and saturation," as we pointed out in our review. The P400's seven ink colors allow for a variety of tones, and the gloss optimizer gives photos a smooth finish that emphasizes color saturation.
Thecan hold paper up to 13 "by 19" in size, and while these sheets can take some time to print (a few minutes according to our reviewer), the results are impressive. There may be photo printers with a higher ceiling than the P400, but casual photographers or those still learning the ropes should get the most out of this entry-level animal.
Read our full Epson SureColor P400 review
The best little printer: HP Tango X.
Ted Needleman / Digital Trends
Why we chose this HP Tango X.::
For the average home, dorm or even business, the need for printing has never been rarer. Everyone has gone digital and PDFs can be easily signed on your computer. However, some printing is still required. The Tango X intervenes for these jobs: This tiny printer has no screen and hardly any buttons – it does everything via app and voice command and is compatible with Alexa, Google Assistant and Cortana.
The printer also offers great color accuracy for printing photos, and optional high-capacity cartridges for flexibility in what you want to print. However, this compact model does not have room for an automatic document feeder and is not exactly rated for its speed. However, it is safe to say that therepresents the future of printing and may be perfect for you right now.
Read our full HP Tango X review
The best office printer: Canon Maxify MB5420
Why we chose the Canon Maxify MB5420:
If you run a small business, you will likely have to print a lot of documents, and not every printer will do. You want a printer that works fast (so people don't queue up and grumble angrily) and that can handle the rigors of frequent printing without failing.
Enter the Canon Maxify MB5420. With its compact, cube-shaped body, thefits in any office or house, and while not the prettiest horse in the stable, it can pull a lot of weight. The printer can hold an impressive 500 sheets of paper (divided into two trays) and, as we found in our test, print monochrome documents at a speed of 22.2 pages per minute (10 pages per minute for color documents). Critically, it can also withstand a heavy workload. The printer's monthly duty cycle is 2,000 pages, which is likely enough for any small business.
As an all-in-one device, thecan do more than just print; It can also be faxed, copied and scanned. As we said in our review, "our scanned documents showed accurate color and fine detail." While the MB5420 isn't the cheapest printer in the world, it gives you tons of miles for the price.
Read our full Canon Maxify MB5420 review
The best laser printer: Brother HL-3170CDW
Why we chose the Brother HL-3170CDW:
If you want a laser printer for the home or office, this is itis a safe bet, a compact device that you can get at an affordable price. This printer can run through jobs at 23 pages per minute and holds 250 sheets of paper. Both of these factors make it a great choice for offices that may need to print a lot of documents without waiting for someone else to finish their work.
The printer isn't just fast. It also supports duplex printing for double-sided pages. Whatever you're printing, it will likely look great as it can print full color documents at 600 x 2400 dpi.
Setting up theis a breeze and supports wireless printing in addition to Ethernet and USB 2.0 connections. Users can connect to Android and Apple devices, among others.
The best cheap printer: Canon Pixma MG6320
Why we chose this Canon Pixma MG6320::
If affordability is your main concern, check out this Canon Pixma print / copy / scan model, which you can find for around $ 50. It offers full wireless printing options via app and services like AirPrint, Google Cloud Print, NFC, Canon Print, etc. We were also very impressed with the color accuracy of the printer in combination with Canon photo paper. While the printer is small enough to fit in many different locations, it also has automatic duplexing and a small touch screen for controls. There are two paper trays with a 125-sheet tray and a second tray for photo paper if required.
Whileis a good solution for the average home, it uses ink fairly quickly so it may not be the cheapest option for frequent printing tasks.
Read our full Canon Pixma MG6320 review
Research and buying tips
Which printer has the cheapest ink?
Affordable ink depends on several factors: how much the cartridges cost up front, how much ink the printer uses on average, and how long the cartridges last. Ultimately, it is best to look at specific models and check how much the cartridges are and how long they seem to last (usually measured in page yield). Even within the same brand, ink costs can vary significantly depending on the printing machine.
In general, you should look for printers that offer high page yields for their cartridges and cartridges that are cheaper when compared to alternatives. These two statistics together can tell you a lot. Inkjet printers with their liquid ink cartridges tend to cost more over time than laser printers with their large toner cartridges. All of our top brand picks like Canon, HP and Epson tend to be quite efficient. Our HP picks in particular might be a good choice if you're looking to save ink (however, we were a little disappointed with the ink performance of our Canon Pixma model).
Which printer has the longest-lasting ink cartridges?
Laser printers, with their toner cartridges, have a high initial cost to change toner, but the toner lasts longer than almost any other type of printer ink. However, if you want a home or small business printer, a laser printer is likely not on your list. In that case, we recommend you take a look at our top HP OfficeJet picks. HP offers very high quality ink cartridges for its OfficeJet models that last longer than most alternatives.
Which printer is the cheapest to run?
We have already found that laser printers, in addition to the high acquisition costs, are cheaper in the long term because they are so cheap to run. But let's say you are just looking at inkjet printers: what should you look out for?
Your best options are well-known, reliable brands that develop high quality printers for light office work. These are Epson Workforce models, HP Officejet printers and similar brand families.
Take a look at some of the best deals on cheap printers and laser printers we found ahead of Cyber Week deals.
Which printer brand is the best?
Everyone has a favorite brand, but it's no coincidence that names like Canon and HP keep popping up. They produce an impressive range of printer models and have something for every need and budget. Brands like Brother aren't quite as ubiquitous, but they also make high quality printers that are worth a look. Epson also makes some great photo-quality home printers these days, a departure from the corporate-level printers the company is known for.
What pages per minute (ppm) are good for a printer?
A higher page rate per minute is generally not as important as print quality. However, if you want a fast printer, you should still take a look at the specifications. Anything over 20 ppm for black and white is fine for the average inkjet printer. If you look at a laser printer, you can usually increase this number up to 20 ppm. 40ppm printers aren't that common and it's unlikely you will need to see this yield for a home printer.