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Published Sep. 29, 2021

Picking up a good printer is an investment you’ll never regret. While most business dealings and daily tasks can be accomplished digitally, there will still be times you need hard copies. That said, with so many options available on the market, deciding which printer to buy can seem like a daunting task. 

The printer you buy will ultimately depend on your personal needs and budget. Are you looking for a simple machine that just prints or do you want an all-in-one that scans too? Do you need something that produces excellent photo prints, or will you be printing mostly text documents? Whatever your needs, you’re sure to find something on this list.

How We Picked the Best Printers

Methodology

Most modern printers will get the job done but when putting together this list, we wanted to make sure to find printers that would not only get the job done, but get the job done well. Here are a few things we considered in the process:

  • Printer Type: There are several inkjet printers on this list and that’s because an inkjet printer will likely be the best option for most people. We’ll take it a step further to say an all-in-one printer inkjet printer will easily fulfill the printing needs of most users. While laser printers can offer faster print speeds, the initial upfront cost might not be worth it for the average user. However, it should be noted that laser printers usually offer lower running costs.
  • Print Quality: When it comes to print quality, we made sure to select printers that produced crisp text, eye-catching charts and graphs, and more accurate colors for those photos. This attention to detail was also applied to the quality of scanned images.
  • Size and Design: This may sound superficial, but the overall design of a product matters, especially if you’re planning to keep it around for a while, which we hope you will. Yes, function trumps style, but we were intentional about adding printers that weren’t too bulky and would enhance any space.
  • Print Speed: Most companies are quick to highlight the pages per minute (ppm) speed of their printers but it’s not as big of a factor. That said, we did pick printers with a wide range of speeds.
  • Value: While we didn’t put a premium on price, we wanted to offer printers that deliver value. Additionally, we took into consideration the overall cost to maintain, price of ink/toner, and whether companies offered promotional deals or subscription ink plans.

The Best Printers: Reviews and Recommendations

Best Overall: HP OfficeJet Pro 9025e

Reliable All-In-One

An awesome all-in-one color inkjet printer that’s easy to use and maintain. HP

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Why It Made The Cut: The HP OfficeJet Pro 9025e is an excellent choice for anyone looking for a reliable all-in-one color inkjet printer that’s easy to set up and use. It’s also compatible with most devices and produces great prints. 

Specs:

  • Printer type: Inkjet
  • Ink: Color
  • Features: Print, Scan, Copy, Fax
  • Connectivity: Wireless, USB, Ethernet
  • Print Speed: 24 ppm black and white, 20 ppm color
  • Weight: 26 pounds
  • Product Dimensions: 17.2 x 15.6 x 12.53 inches

Pros: 

  • Fast speeds
  • Quality prints
  • Compact design
  • Intuitive touchscreen

Cons:

  • More expensive than competitors
  • Smart Tasks can be finicky

The HP OfficeJet Pro 9025e will likely be a good option for most people, but it will be especially useful for busy households or home offices that need a fast and super-reliable machine with a host of features. 

The printer boasts print speeds of 24 pages per minute for black-and-white prints and 20 pages per minute for color prints. The HP OfficeJet Pro 9025e processes text documents and photo prints up to three times faster than many of its inkjet competitors while producing great quality. It supports auto-duplexing, which means the OfficeJet Pro 9025e can scan a double-sided page in a single pass, compared to the previous model, OfficeJet Pro 9015e, which required the page to be flipped over.

This automatic two-sided printing and scanning feature is a standout among competitors as well, with similar models, like the Brother MFC-J995DW and the Canon TR8520, both requiring users to manually flip documents to scan both sides. By eliminating the need to manually flip pages, the OfficeJet Pro 9025e’s duplex feature, therefore, reduces the amount of time it would take to complete tasks.

Another feature introduced to save users time is HP’s Smart Tasks. Users have the option of eliminating steps in routine/repetitive tasks by creating shortcuts. However, based on our research, the Smart Tasks don’t always sync across devices.

Finally, the HP OfficeJet Pro 9025e qualifies for HP+, which includes a two-year warranty and a six-month subscription to HP’s Instant Ink service.

Best Smart Printer: HP Tango X 

Pretty and Smart

The HP Tango X is an asset to any living area or workspace with its sleek design, small footprint, and smart assistant integration. HP

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Why It Made The Cut: The HP Tango X’s sleek and modern design, coupled with its voice command feature, which is compatible with Alexa, Google Assistant, and Cortana, offers future-proof appeal.

Specs:

  • Printer Type: Inkjet
  • Features: Print, Copy, Scan
  • Connectivity: Wireless
  • Print Speed: 11 ppm black and white, 8 ppm color
  • Weight: 7 pounds
  • Product Dimensions: 20.6 x 14.84 x 10.4 inches

Pros:

  • Voice-activated with Alexa/Google Home
  • Lightweight + sleek design
  • Easy setup

Cons: 

  • Scan/copy functions require smartphone
  • No USB or Ethernet
  • No duplex printing

The HP Tango X’s sleek and modern design sets it apart from its competitors, but it’s the smart capabilities that we’re more interested in here. HP defines Tango X’s “smarts” as the printer being easily accessible from anywhere via smartphone or laptop. The printer is also compatible with Alexa, Google, and Cortana, so you can quickly command it to print with a spoken word. 

While this is a great feature to have, there are limitations. For example, to use Alexa, users will need to install HP Printer Skill, which allows the printing of only certain types of documents. In other words, you’ll be able to print your to-do or shopping lists with the sound of your voice, but you won’t be able to ask Alexa to churn out that spreadsheet you’ve just completed for work.

Another limitation, depending on how you look at it, is the fact that the Tango X’s scan/copy feature hinges on the use of a smart device. Users will have to manually snap photos of the pages they wish to “scan” or “copy” and this could become tedious for hefty projects. This also means there is no possibility of duplex-printing, which would have been nice to have on a machine of this caliber. 

It may seem like HP opted for design over functionality in this one area, but that doesn’t mean the Tango X should be overlooked. With its great color accuracy and its smart capabilities, this printer would be ideal for anyone who values great design and just needs to print the occasional photo or document.

Best Laser Printer: Brother HL-L6400DW 

Ready for the Office

The Brother HL-L6400DW will make a fantastic addition to any office space with its fast speeds, quality prints, and competitive run costs. Brother

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Why It Made The Cut: The Brother HL-L6400DW is blazing fast monochrome laser printer that can easily tackle high-volume printing at an affordable rate, which makes it great for any professional work environment or office space.

Specs:

  • Printer Type: Laser
  • Ink/Toner: Monochrome
  • Connectivity: Ethernet, USB, Wireless, NFC
  • Print Speed: 52 ppm
  • Weight: 30 pounds
  • Product Dimensions: 15.75 x 15.59 x 11.34 inches

Pros:

  • Excellent print quality
  • Low maintenance cost
  • Blazing-fast print speeds

Cons: 

  • No USB memory drive support

The Brother HL-L6400DW is an absolute beast of a machine, clocking in speeds of 52 pages per minute (ppm), which puts it on the higher end of the spectrum for printers in its class. But that’s obviously not all, it also offers great print quality with a paper capacity of 570 sheets, which is split between a 520-sheet cassette and a 50-sheet tray. And if that’s not enough for you, there’s the option of adding multiple sheet drawers and/or cassettes for a maximum capacity of 2,650 sheets.

The HL-L6400DW’s design is deceptively simple and compact for its power. It measures 15.75 by 15.59 by 11.34 inches and weighs around 30 pounds, which makes it one of the smallest monochrome lasers available. In addition to its impressive speeds and expansion capabilities, the HL-L6400DW also offers robust security features, including a Secure Function Lock that allows you to do things like putting a limit on the amount of printing that can be done and when. There’s also Secure Print that lets you protect print jobs with a PIN or NFC card, which can be read by the integrated card reader.

Finally, based on our research, the HL-L6400DW delivers much lower running costs, compared to several of its competitors, including the HP LaserJet Pro M501dn and the Xerox’s VersaLink B400/DN.  

Best for Photo Printing: Epson SureColor P900 Photo Printer 

Picture Perfect

Perfect for professional photographers and photography enthusiasts alike. Epson

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Why It Made The Cut: The Epson SureColor P900 brings life to gorgeous photos and artwork with amazing color accuracy, which makes it perfect for photography professionals, artists, or anyone who is looking for a best-in-class photo printer.

Specs:

  • Printer Type: Inkjet
  • Ink: Color
  • Features: Print
  • Connectivity: Wireless
  • Print Speed: 1 page per minute
  • Weight: 44 pounds
  • Product Dimensions: 14.7 x 18.6 x 29.3 inches

Pros:

  • Outstanding image quality
  • Easy to use
  • Competitive ink costs

Cons: 

  • Additional cost for paper roll adapter
  • No direct printing from memory card/USB drives
  • Expensive

The Epson SureColor P900 is a great investment for anyone looking for a powerful photo printer with excellent print quality, competitive ink costs, a sleek design, and a small footprint. The 17-inch SureColor P900 replaces the SureColor P800 and continues the company’s tradition of putting out great professional level wide-format photo and graphic printers. The SureColor P900 produces exceptional images and artwork up to 17 by 22 inches, as well as banners up to 17 inches wide by 129 inches, about 10 feet, 9 inches, long. Much like its predecessor, the P900’s output is incredible and its productive software and low run costs are hard to beat. The P900 will have no issues efficiently handling just about anything you decide to throw at it, and will impress with its oversize photos, graphics, and banners. 

Epson has also managed to pack all this printing power in a body that is 30 percent leaner than its predecessor, a difference that is most noticeable when the machine is packed up and not in use.

One drawback here is that the smaller, 13-inch P700 comes with a paper roll adapter built in, while this larger model requires you to buy a separate adapter, which will set you back around $250. Additionally, what you gain in print quality, you lose in print speed on the Epson SureColor P900.

Best Value: HP DeskJet 3755 

Budget-Friendly Buy

For your most basic but necessary print jobs, there’s the HP DeskJet 3755. HP

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Why It Made The Cut: The HP DeskJet 3755 is the tiny all-in-one printer that you didn’t realize you needed. It’s powerful enough to handle most printing, scanning, and copying tasks without breaking the bank.

Specs:

  • Printer Type: Inkjet
  • Ink: Color
  • Features: Print, Copy, Scan
  • Connectivity: Wireless
  • Print Speed: 8 ppm black and white, 5.5 ppm color
  • Weight: 5.13 pounds
  • Product Dimensions: 15.86 x 6.97 x 5.55 inches

Pros:

  • Budget-friendly
  • Small footprint
  • Quiet mode

Cons: 

  • No flatbed scanner/copier

The HP DeskJet 3755 is a small, fairly portable, cheap, but sturdy printer that we think might be the perfect home printer solution for the average user. At this price point, the print quality is okay, but it isn’t amazing, and you shouldn’t expect it to be. This machine is not the most powerful printer on the market either, but it will deliver when you need it.

It is technically an all-in-one printer, and like the HP Tango X, you do have the option of wirelessly printing, scanning, and copying what you need quickly and easily via your smartphone or other compatible devices. You won’t find a flatbed scanner or copier bed here, but there is a foldable rear tray for paper, a scanner mounted to the top, and a small output tray.

The HP DeskJet 3755 also qualifies for HP instant ink subscription, which means you won’t have to worry about running out of ink.

Things to Consider Before Buying a Printer

When it comes to selecting the best printer for you, there are several factors to consider. For starters, you’ll want to consider what you’ll be using your printer for and how often you’ll be using it. If you’ll only be printing the occasional text document and you’re on a budget, then you’ll want to consider our budget-friendly pick. On the flip side, if you’re someone who prints a lot of documents, including ones that are filled with graphics and you need something reliable and fast, then our best overall pick would be ideal for you. 

Other factors to consider include whether you’ll need an inkjet or laser printer. Inkjets are solid options for typical home use, from school assignments to grocery lists, and they do a good job with printing colored copy. Lasers are better for those who print a lot of text documents and value faster print speeds. While monochrome laser printers are fast and produce great prints, they’re not great for color jobs. You do have the option of buying a color laser but those usually cost a lot more and can get complicated to use.

If you’re someone who requires high-quality photo prints, then you’ll want to pick up a printer created just for photos and graphics. While most printers can and will churn out the images you send to it, not all those images will be good enough to display. You’ll want to focus on printers that are optimized to print high-resolution images with better color accuracy.

Another thing to consider is whether you want an all-in-one device or something that’s just focused on printing. If you’ll need the option to quickly scan and copy documents, then an all-in-one could be right for you. There’s also the matter of print speed. While it’s not as big of an issue as you might think, if you’re someone who prints a lot then you’ll want to opt for a machine with a higher PPM (pages per minute) speed.

FAQs 

Q: Which brand is best for printers?

The best brand of printer for you will come down to personal preference since most people have a favorite or go-to brand. As for the most popular printer brands, over the years technology giants like HP and Canon have created solid reputations for themselves in the world of printing. Both companies produce well-built machines suitable for almost every printing task along with affordable prices for every budget. There are several other well-known brands, including Epson, Brother, and Lexmark, that also sell quality models worth considering.

Q: How many pages per minute (ppm) is considered “fast” for a printer?

For the average inkjet printer, about 18-20 ppm for black and white documents is considered good. The pages per minute will increase when talking about laser printers. That said, ppm isn’t as important as you might think. Unless you’re constantly printing pages and pages of documents and you need it done superfast, you should probably focus less on ppm and more on the quality of the prints being produced by your printer.

Final Thoughts

At the end of the day, every printer mentioned on this list will accomplish its most basic task, it will print. While determining which one is the best printer for you will depend on what you’re looking to print, the HP OfficeJet Pro 9025e is the perfect all-rounder. If you’ll only be printing the occasional travel itinerary or other text-focused documents, the HP OfficeJet Pro 9025e will be ready when you are. On the other hand, if you’ll be printing a lot of images or professional photos then it also offers great print quality, fairly accurate colors, and quick print speeds.

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