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Best Printers: Epson vs HP vs Canon vs Brother

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Printer cartridge: Best Printer ReviewWaiting in line at the printer again because it decided not to work today? Well, you still need to get your work done! Don’t let a bad printer stop you from making deadlines or finishing assignments. There are so many great printers on the market now, there’s no reason your work should have a crummy one. Printers have come a long way, and you can get a lot of functionality and many features for a relatively low price tag. But with thousands of printers on the market, how do you even begin to choose the best one for your needs? Never fear, we’re here to help. First, we’ll discuss factors you should consider when choosing the type of printer you’ll need, whether it’s for home or office use. Then we’ll give you our recommendations for best printers in a number of different categories to help you make an informed decision.

What Type of Printer Should You Get?

A majority of printers on the market today come with a number of built-in functions in addition to printing, but some of these features run up the cost. Besides the bells and whistles to look for, you’ll also want to evaluate the printing needs of your business (how often you’ll print, what types of documents you’ll print, the quantity of pages, etc.) before deciding on what type of printer is best for you.

Do you have a need for a copier, scanner and fax machine? All-in-one printers are commonplace these days, and they can perform all of these functions as well as printing.  Or do you only need to print documents occasionally? If so, a plain printer (one that only prints) could be your best bet. Obviously, the price of plain printers is significantly less than multi-function printers. You can get a decent plain printer for a fraction of the price.

Best Printers

Since there are so many different types of printers, we broke down our recommendations for best printers into the following categories. To jump to one that you’re interested in, simply click on a link below. (Note, all printers we review are compatible with both Windows and Mac computers.)

Best Printers Comparison

We know that’s a lot to digest on one screen, so we’ve compared all the top picks side by side so you can see them all at a glance.

PrinterPriceResolution (dpi)Ink TypePages Per MinutePages Ink YieldsDimensions (Width x Depth x Height) in Inches
HP OfficeJet Pro Check on Amazon1,200Inkjet19-221,00019.7 x 11.8 x 18.5 inches
HP Color Laser Jet Pro Check on Amazon1,200Laser192,80016.4 x 16.5 x 12.7
Canon Pixma Pro $379.994,8008-ink dye1.2unavailable27.2 x 15.2 x 8.5
Epson Expression $115.002,400Inkjet95015.4 x 11.8 x 5.7
Epson WorkForce Pro $189.992,400Laser2090020.8 x 24.3 x 21.8
Canon imageCLASS $149.991,200Laser282,40014.6 x 15.4 x 14.2
Brother MFC $159.301,200Inkjet1560016.1 x 14.7 x 7.1
Canon Pixma $79.992,400Inkjet15n/a17.8 x 14.5 x 5.1

Best All-in-One Printer Inkjet: HP OfficeJet Pro 8710 All-in-One Review

HP OfficeJet Pro 8710 All-in-OneView on Amazon

The HP OfficeJet Pro 8710 is an excellent choice for a home or small- to mid-sized office. The cost is hard to beat for the number of features it has. It also has good printing speed for an inkjet. Printing quality is superior for documents, marketing pieces and photos. And you get a generous one-year warranty with phone, email and chat support. The only potential downside with the HP Office Jet Pro 8710 is its bulkier size for a home printer.

Pros

Cons

  • Very affordable printer and ink costs
  • Print, copy, scan, fax all in one
  • Good photo printing quality
  • Wireless printing from smartphone or tablet (with HP app)
  • Auto double-sided printing
  • Speedy for an inkjet
  • LED touchscreen panel
  • Phone support during 1-year warranty period
  • 24/7 support
  • Printer size is bulky for a home printer

Price & Tech Specs

  • Price:  Check on Amazon
  • Ink yields: 1,000 pages (B&W)
  • Print speed: 22 pages per minute for B&W and 19 per minute for color
  • Resolution: 1,200 dpi
  • Printer dimensions in inches (W x D x H): 19.7 x 11.8 x 18.5
  • Paper sizes supported: Letter, Legal, Government Legal, Executive; Statement, 3 x 5 in; 4 x 6 in, 5 x 7 in, 13 x 18 cm, 8 x 10 in, 10 x 15 cm, Envelopes (#10, Monarch, 5.5bar) and Cards (3 x 5 in, 4 x 6 in, 5 x 8 in)

Best All-in-One Laser Printer: HP Color Laser Jet Pro MFP M277dw Review

HP Laser Jet ProView on Amazon

If you’re a laser lover and want to print a lot of color text and graphics, the HP Laser Jet Pro is the best all in one on the market. It’s expensive compared to inkjets, but for a laser jet, it’s an affordable option. Plus, its size is extremely compact for a laser printer. It has the highest ink yield of any printer we featured (double in some cases), so you’ll get a lot of bang for your ink buck. The HP Color Laser Jet Pro is an excellent option for companies that print a high volume of black and white (invoices, contracts, etc.) but also need to scan or send the occasional fax.

Pros

Cons

  • Print, copy, scan, fax all in one
  • Direct wireless printing
  • Double-sided printing
  • Very compact size for a color laser printer
  • 3″ color touchscreen
  • Ink cartridges are expensive
  • No photo printing capability
  • Not as speedy as black-and-white laser printers
  • One year warranty but only 90 days of support via phone

Price & Tech Specs

  • Price:  Check on Amazon
  • Ink yields: 2,800 pages
  • Print speed: 18 pages per minute (B&W)
  • Resolution: 1,200 dpi
  • Printer dimensions in inches (W x D x H): 16.4 x 16.5 x 12.7
  • Paper sizes: Letter, Legal, Executive, 8.5 x 13″, 3 x 5″, 4 x 6″, 5 x 8″ and Envelopes (No. 9 & 10, Monarch)

Best Photo Printer: Canon Pixma Pro-100 Review

Canon Pixma Pro-100View on Amazon

Many all-in-one printers can also print photos, but the quality varies pretty widely. If you’ll be printing a lot of photos or want to step up your photo printing, the Canon Pixma Pro-100 is an excellent mid-range choice. Unlike many other inkjet printers that have 4- or 5-ink systems, the Canon Pro-100 has an 8-ink dye based system to give you the most optimal and vivid color with every print. Its Optimum Image Generating System analyzes each area of your photo and chooses the best color mixture, so your prints look amazing. It also does excellent grayscale printing, so your black and white prints are high quality. It’s a great solution for the amateur or professional photographer (or if you just want professional looking family photos to hang on your walls).

Pros

Cons

  • Printer cost is reasonable for a professional quality photo printer
  • Ink costs are very competitive
  • Professional quality photo printing
  • Excellent wireless printing functionality
  • Built-in CD and DVD printing
  • Good print speed for photos
  • 1 year warranty and 1 year phone tech support
  • No fax, copy or scan capability
  • No touchscreen
  • Very slow output speed
  • Larger size so won’t fit in tight spaces

Price & Tech Specs

  • Price:  $379.99
  • Ink yields: unavailable
  • Print speed: estimated 51 seconds for 8×10 print
  • Resolution: 4,800 dpi
  • Printer dimensions in inches (W x D x H): 27.2 x 15.2 x 8.5
  • Paper sizes: 4″ x 6″, 5″ x 7″, 8″ x 10″, Letter, Legal, 11″ x 17″, 13″ x 19″

Best Wireless Printer: Epson Expression Home XP-420 Wireless Review

Epson Expression Home XP-420 View on Amazon

Don’t want to hassle with cables? Then a wireless printer is the way to go. A lot of today’s printers incorporate wireless printing technology, so you can easily send a print job from your laptop, tablet or smartphone without having to hook up to your printer. And wireless technology doesn’t add much to the printer’s cost. The Epson Expression Home XP-420 printer is our pick for best wireless which also happens to be another excellent inexpensive inkjet printer. It makes wireless printing a breeze, whether you’re printing documents or photos. You can quickly and easily print wirelessly from both Windows and Mac-based devices (computers, smartphones, tablets) using several different mobile printing solutions: Wi-Fi direct, Airprint and Google Cloud printing. The Epson XP-420 is also an (almost) all-in-one printer, so you can scan and copy as well.

Pros

Cons

  • Very affordable price for printer
  • Copying and scanning functions
  • Excellent wireless printing capability
  • Good photo printing
  • Very compact design
  • Large, hi-res 2.5 inch color LCD and touch panel
  • Good 1 year warranty and 1 year tech support
  • Printing speed is fairly slow compared to similar products
  • No faxing capability
  • Ink cartridges are priced well; however, users report low ink after only 50 or so pages in black and white
  • No auto double-sided printing

Price & Tech Specs

  • Price:  $115.00
  • Ink yields: Estimated 50 pages (B&W)
  • Print speed: 9 pages per minute (B&W)
  • Resolution: 2,400 dpi
  • Printer dimensions: 15.4 x 11.8 x 5.7
  • Paper sizes: 4″ x 6″, 5″ x 7″, 8″ x 10″, 8.5″ x 11″, 8.5″ x 14″, A4, half letter, user definable, 16:9 wide

Best Inkjet Printer: Epson WorkForce Pro WF-4630 Review

Epson Workforce Pro WF-4630View on Amazon

Inkjet printers are more versatile than laser printers. So, if you plan on printing color text and graphics in your documents or printing photos, inkjet is the way to go. There are some larger color laser printers, but they’re generally much more expensive than a comparable inkjet printer in terms of printing quality. The Epson Workforce Pro WF-4630 is one of the best, most sturdy mid-range inkjet printers on the market. If you’re a small- to medium-sized business, take a serious look at this printer. It has fax, copy and scan capability, speedy, laser-quality printing, and a 300-page paper feed capacity. The price, functionality and durability are hard to beat compared to similar printers. Its bulkier size may not work well for some as a home printer, but if you have space and do a lot of printing at home, consider the Epson Workforce series.

Pros

Cons

  • Excellent price for printer and ink
  • Quick printing speed
  • Copy, scan and fax capability
  • Good photo printing
  • Wi-Fi direct wireless printing
  • Auto double-sided printing
  • Intuitive 3.5″ color touchscreen
  • One-year warranty
  • Size is bulky and printer is heavy, which may pose space problems for some
  • Some consumer complaints about excessive paper jams as time goes on

Price & Tech Specs

  • Price:  $189.99
  • Ink yields: 900 pages (B&W)
  • Print speed: 20 pages per minute (B&W)
  • Resolution: 2,400 dpi
  • Printer dimensions in inches (W x D x H): 20.8 x 24.3 x 21.8
  • Paper sizes: 3.5″ x 5″, 4″ x 6″, 5″ x 7″, 8″ x 10″, 8.5″ x 11″, 8.5″ x 14″, user definable (3.5″ – 47.2″ in length)

Best Laser Printer: Canon imageCLASS MF247dw Review

Canon imageCLASS MF227DWView on Amazon

Laser printers are better for crisp black and white documents and printing speed. So, if plan to output lots of paper, we recommend the Canon imageCLASS MF2477DW. It has the fastest output of any printer we recommend and can print or copy up to 28 pages per minute. You can also get scanning and faxing functions, which is perfect for any smaller-sized business. The wireless technology makes printing from anywhere in your office a breeze. Laser printers are known for speed and excellent quality printing, and this Canon is no exception.

Pros

Cons

  • Reasonable price for a laser printer and toner cartridge
  • Speedy printing and copying
  • Copy, scan and fax functions
  • Excellent wireless capability
  • Auto double-sided printing
  • Very compact for a laser printer
  • LCD touchscreen
  • One-year warranty
  • Only black and white printing
  • No photo printing

Price & Tech Specs

  • Price:  $149.99
  • Ink yields: 2,400 pages
  • Print speed: 28 pages per minute
  • Resolution: 1,200 dpi
  • Printer dimensions in inches (W x D x H): 14.6 x 15.4 x 14.2
  • Paper sizes: Letter, Legal, A4, A5, B5, Executive, Statement

Best Home Printer: Brother MFC-J870DW Review

Brother MFC-J870DWView on Amazon

The Brother MFC-J870DW printer is one of the best printers on the market. We chose the all-in-one Brother as the best home printer versus the HP OfficeJet Pro 8710 largely based on the Brother’s compact size, which makes it more ideal for a home printer. Although the printer speed is about average, that shouldn’t be a major problem with most home printer needs, the cost and warranty are very attractive for home use.

Pros

Cons

  • Affordable printer and ink costs
  • Copy, scan, and fax capabilities
  • High quality photo printing
  • Excellent wireless technology
  • Automatic double-sided printing
  • Very compact size vs main competitors
  • Excellent 2 year warranty on printer
  • Lower print speed vs some competitors

Price & Tech Specs

  • Price:  $159.30
  • Ink Yield: 600 pages
  • Print speed: 12 pages per minute (B&W)
  • Resolution: 1,200 dpi
  • Printer dimensions in inches (W x D x H): 16.1 x 14.7 x 7.1
  • Paper sizes: Letter, Legal, Executive, Envelope (C5 Envelope, Com-10, DL Envelope, Monarch), A4, Photo 4″x6″, 3.5″x5″, 5″x7″, 5″x8″

Best Cheap Printer: Canon Pixma iP7220 Review

Canon Pixma IP7220View on Amazon

At a price of $79.99, the Canon Pixma IP7220 is hard to beat for its price and quality color prints. We’ve chosen it as our best cheap printer, but don’t be fooled by its inexpensive price tag. The Canon Pixma IP7220 is a sturdy inkjet printer that gives you some great features. In addition to printing high quality documents, it’s an excellent photo printer. If you’re looking to save money and don’t need faxing, scanning or copying functions, the Canon is a great choice for a cheap home printer.

Pros

Cons

  • Excellent price for printer and ink
  • Very high quality photo printing
  • Good wireless technology
  • Automatic double-sided printing
  • Compact size
  • Good print speed
  • One year warranty and one year tech phone support
  • No copy, scan or fax capability
  • No touchscreen
  • Some users complain about printer being too loud

Price & Tech Specs

  • Price:  $79.99
  • Ink yields: only replace individual ink at a time (# of pages unlisted)
  • Print speed: 15 pages per minute
  • Resolution: 2,400 dpi
  • Printer dimensions in inches (W x D x H): 17.8  x 14.5 x 5.1
  • Paper sizes: 4″ x 6″, 5″ x 7″, 8″ x 10″, Letter, Legal, U.S. #10 Envelopes

Laser vs Inkjet

Still torn between which type of printer to get when it comes to inkjet vs laser? This video is around seven minutes but worth a watch if you want to learn more about the pros and cons of these two kinds of printers.

Save Money On Ink Prices

What about ink costs? This is a huge factor, especially if you’ll use your printer (and print in color) fairly regularly. You can save a ton of money over the long haul by choosing a printer that either has reasonably priced ink (or toner for lasers) or that allows you to set your printing to only black and white. Another tip is to switch to eco-mode which uses reasonably less ink if you are just printing a draft or unimportant document.

Printers Have Come a Long Way

Printers are advancing leaps and bounds in terms of functionality and affordability. Yes, we’re talking about 3D printers, which are available for general consumers and businesses. Although you can still purchase a basic printer that doesn’t do much else, the cost of all-in-one printers is so attractive, it’s hard to pass up such features that used to break the budget just a few years ago. We hope we’ve helped you weed through your options to find the best printer for your needs.

What projects do you use your printer for?

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Sadie has acted as the email marketing coordinator and web designer for one of the world's largest travel companies and managed social media for dozens of major brands. She has a breadth and depth of web and marketing knowledge that reaches far and wide. She loves all things Mac and keeping up with all the latest web trends.

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1 Comment on "Best Printers: Epson vs HP vs Canon vs Brother"

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HRC123
HRC123

My printer at home broke and I was debating getting a replacement because I don’t print that often and the ink cartridges are so darn expensive but after reading this the Epson Expression looks like a decent price and the ink costs aren’t too bad. I like the fact that it’s wireless too. Could save me a few extra trips to Kinko’s and save me a few bucks in the long run too!

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