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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 today, 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 is Best for You?

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. Here are some factors to consider.

Only Print Occasionally?

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 less than $50.

Need To Fax, Scan and Copy?

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.

Are You Printing Photos?

Want to print photos? Many all-in-one printers can also print photos, but the quality varies pretty widely. If you’ll be printing a lot of photos, you may want to consider a specialized photo printer.

Inkjet or Laser?

Inkjet printers are more versatile than laser printers. 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. Laser printers are better for crisp black and white documents and printing speed.

Wireless Printers

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.

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.

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.

Now, on to our best printer reviews!

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

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
  • Good photo printing quality
  • Wireless printing (with HP App)
  • Auto double-sided printing
  • Speedy for an inkjet
  • LED touchscreen
  • Phone support during 1-year warranty period
  • Printer size is bulky for a home printer

Amazon List Price & Tech Specs

  • $110 printer
  • $22.99 black ink cartridge
  • $59.99 three-color ink cartridge bundle
  • Ink yields: 1,000 pages (B&W)
  • Print speed: 19 pages per minute (B&W)
  • Resolution: 1,200 dpi
  • Printer dimensions: 19.7 x 11.8 x 18.5 inches
  • Supports Windows and Mac
  • 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; L; Photo 2L; Envelope (#10, Monarch, 5.5bar); Card (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

HP Laser Jet ProView on Amazon

Although many experts don’t recommend color laser printers over inkjet color printers, 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 on the market. It’s expensive compared to inkjets, but for a laser jet, it’s an affordable option. And its size is extremely compact for a laser printer. You’re not going to get photo printing with this model, but as we stated earlier, laser printers just don’t cut it when you’re trying to print quality photos compared to inkjets.

Pros

Cons

  • Print, copy, scan, fax
  • Direct wireless printing
  • Double-sided printing
  • Very compact size for a color laser printer
  • 3″ color touchscreen
  • Printer itself is expensive
  • Four ink cartridges are expensive ($500+ total)
  • No photo printing capability
  • Not as speedy as black-and-white laser printers
  • One year warranty but only 90 days of support via phone

Amazon List Price & Tech Specs

  • $429.00 printer
  • $119.00 black toner cartridge
  • $132.00 each 3 color toner cartridges
  • Tonor yields: 2,800 pages
  • Print speed: 18 pages per minute (B&W)
  • Resolution: 1,200 dpi
  • Printer dimensions: 16.4 x 16.5 x 12.7 inches
  • Supports Windows and Mac
  • Paper sizes: Letter, Legal, Executive, 8.5 x 13 inches, 3 x 5 inches, 4 x 6 inches, 5 x 8 inches; Envelopes (No. 9 & 10, Monarch)

Best Home Printer: Brother MFC-J870DW

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 vs the HP OfficeJet Pro 8710 largely based on the Brother’s compact size, which makes it more ideal for a home printer. But both inkjet printers are an excellent choice for either a home printer or a best all-in-one printer. Although the printer speed is about average, which 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

Amazon List Price & Tech Specs

  • $149.99 printer
  • $45.99 2-pack black ink
  • $41.49 3-pack color ink; 1 of each color
  • Hi-yield ink: 600 pages
  • Print speed: 12 pages per minute (B&W)
  • Resolution: 1,200 dpi
  • Printer dimensions: 16.1″ x 14.7″ x 7.1″
  • Operating systems: Windows and Mac
  • 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

Canon Pixma IP7220View on Amazon

At a list price of $99.99, which is often discounted by 20% or more, 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

Amazon List Price & Tech Specs

  • $99.99 printer
  • $121.67 printer & ink bundle
  • Ink yields: only replace individual ink at a time (# of pages unlisted)
  • Print speed: 15 pages per minute
  • Resolution: 2,400 dpi
  • Printer dimensions: 17.8 inches (W) x 14.5 inches (D) x 5.1 inches (H)
  • Paper sizes: 4″ x 6″, 5″ x 7″, 8″ x 10″, Letter, Legal, U.S. #10 Envelopes
  • Operating systems: Windows and Mac

Best Photo Printer: Canon Pixma Pro-100

Canon Pixma Pro-100View on Amazon

If you 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
  • Larger size so won’t fit in tight spaces

Amazon List Price & Tech Specs

  • $499.99 printer
  • $124.99 eight-color ink bundle
  • Ink yields: unavailable
  • Print speed: estimated 51 seconds for 8×10 print
  • Resolution: 4,800 dpi
  • Printer dimensions: 27.2″ (W) x 15.2″ (D) x 8.5″ (H)
  • Paper sizes: 4″ x 6″, 5″ x 7″, 8″ x 10″, Letter, Legal, 11″ x 17″, 13″ x 19″
  • Operating systems: Windows and Mac

Best Wireless Printer: Epson Expression Home XP-420 Wireless

Epson Expression Home XP-420 View on Amazon

The Epson Expression Home XP-420 printer is 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. Score!

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

Amazon List Price & Tech Specs

  • $99.99 printer
  • $12.99 black ink cartridge
  • $25.00 three-color ink cartridge pack
  • 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 inches
  • 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
  • Operating systems: Windows and Mac

Best Inkjet Printer: Epson WorkForce Pro WF-4630

Epson Workforce Pro WF-4630View on Amazon

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

Amazon List Price & Tech Specs

  • $299.99 printer
  • $87.05 black & multi-color pack ink cartridges
  • Ink yields: 900 pages (B&W)
  • Print speed: 20 pages per minute (B&W)
  • Resolution: 2,400 dpi
  • Printer dimensions: 20.8 x 24.3 x 21.8 inches
  • 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)
  • Operating systems: Windows and Mac

Best Laser Printer: Canon imageCLASS MF227dw

Canon imageCLASS MF227DWView on Amazon

If you’re a laser printer die-hard and only need black and white printing, we recommend the Canon imageCLASS MF227DW. You can print or copy up to 28 pages per minute, and you also get scanning and faxing functions 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

Amazon List Price & Tech Specs

  • $495.00 printer
  • $111.00 toner cartridge
  • Ink yields: 2,400 pages
  • Print speed: 28 pages per minute
  • Resolution: 1,200 dpi
  • Printer dimensions: 14.6 x 15.4 x 14.2 inches
  • Paper sizes: Letter, Legal, A4, A5, B5, Executive, Statement
  • Operating systems: Windows and Mac

Ready for the Next-Gen Printers?

Yes, we’re talking about 3D printers, which are now available for general consumers (for a hefty price tag). Although we’re not reviewing them in this article, check out the following video from Consumer Reports about 3D printers. Are they the consumer wave of the future? Not yet, say analysts. But Photizo Group predicts that “the market for personal, low-cost 3D printers will grow to become a $1.79 billion opportunity by 2018 through strong continued growth in the sale of sub $5,000 printers and consumables.”

Printers Have Come a Long Way, Baby

Printers are advancing leaps and bounds in terms of functionality and affordability. Although you can still purchase a basic printer that doesn’t do much else, the cost of all-in-one printers (for photo printing, scanning, copies, wireless, etc.) 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 make or model of printer are you a huge fan of, and why?

We are a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for us to earn fees by linking to Amazon.com and affiliated sites.


About Sally Jones
Sally has coupled her passion for writing with her (slight) obsession for the latest high tech gadgets. While she’s not daydreaming about the beach, she’s taking advantage of all the activities her hometown has to offer in the Blue Ridge foothills.
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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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