A Buyer’s Guide to Finding the Best Printer
Whether you need an upgrade or are starting up a new business, walking into your nearest office supply store to find the best office printer can be as confusing as it is expensive. While big box retailers may carry the best printer for college students, how will it hold up to the heavier use of a home office? Even though technology has advanced considerably, the old adage still applies: Use the right tool for the right job.
But what is the right tool? While printer prices have been dropping, top of the line models can still run hundreds, if not thousands, of dollars. The wrong choice could prove costly, whether you are using your family’s grocery money or the company credit card. One of the primary considerations when selecting a printer is how will you use it? The best printer for the MacBook Pro may not necessarily be the best office printer.
Here are a few key points to consider:
- How often do you print? This is the big question. If you print often, a printer with less ink capacity will require frequent cartridge replacement, so you’ll want to find a printer that holds high-yield cartridges.
- Do you need a scanner? While all-in-one printers are popular, if you don’t need one, a printer-only option may be cheaper.
- Do you need to print in color? Black-and-white is fine for kids’ activity sheets or recipes, but if you plan on printing photos or full-color documents, you’ll need a model with more features.
Once you answer these questions, your list of printers should narrow down considerably. As with any business decision, only you can determine which criteria are most important to your needs. Now, you just need to conduct a cost-benefit analysis between your top choices.
Let’s take a look at a few of the more common printer uses and some popular options in their respective categories.
Best Printers for Your Office
While preliminary questions need to be asked when choosing the best office printer for your company, printer durability and printing speed are crucial features to consider as well. Commercial printers should be rated with a maximum number of recommended pages per month to avoid equipment damage. You also need to evaluate printing quality versus printing speed. Additionally, the larger price point of office-grade printers makes choosing the correct machine more important.
Epson WorkForce WF-7620 All-in-One Printer
The Epson WorkForce WF-7620 All-in-One Printer offers a nice mix of features without forcing you to break into the office fund. This $200 option prints in color and black-and-white, handles wider copy paper, and is rated at up to 20,000 sheets per month. It efficiently multi-tasks as a fax machine and a computer-free copier. Combined with Epson 252XL ink cartridges, this printer’s razor-sharp definition puts it into contention as one of the best office printers for smaller workgroups.
Brother HL-L8350CDWT Workgroup Printer
The best office printer for larger needs is the Brother HL-L8350CDWT Workgroup Printer, which offers a brute force counterpoint to the WF-7620’s eager versatility. The $500 cost seems low until you realize that you’ll need to find a separate copy and fax solution because this machine specializes only in high-volume printing. This powerhouse churns out 32 pages a minute and is rated at up to 60,000 pages per month. The Brother TN336 toner cartridge series is pricier than most cartridges, but at up to 3,500 pages each, the cost is easily recouped and justifiable.
Best Printers For Your Home
This class of printer is, perhaps, the most common. It’s available in a wide array of styles and offered in department stores, electronics stores, and office supply stores around the country. In fact, there are so many styles and options, it can be difficult trying to decide which one is right for your family.
Canon Pixma MX922
One of the best all-in-one home printers on the market for the money is the Canon Pixma MX922. While it lacks the commercial-grade durability of an office printer, it also lacks the hefty price tag, sold at around $90 at most retailers. It has handy features, such as wireless connectivity and the ability to change its different colored Canon PGi-250XL and Cli-251XL ink cartridges independently, which can save you money if you require single-color printing. With the Canon Pixma MX922, you can expect 10-15 pages per minute depending on print quality and color.
HP Deskjet 1112
The HP Deskjet 1112 is a printer-only model that uses the economical HP 63XL ink cartridges and comes at the low price of just $30. What the HP Deskjet 1112 lacks in additional features, it makes up for in saved desk space. Although its print speed is slower at only 7.5 pages per minute, the image quality is good and the price can’t be beat.
Best Printers for Your Home Office
The ideal home office printer should meet requirements for a hybrid lifestyle. Home office printers need the convenience and economy of personal equipment with the rugged durability of commercial-grade machines.
Brother MFC-J5620DW Business Smart All-In-One Printer
The Brother MFC-J5620DW Business Smart All-In-One Printer offers a perfect compromise between business and pleasure. It provides the best office printer features, like duplexing and a generous 250 sheet paper tray, but with a reasonable $200 price tag. The Brother LC203 ink cartridges have a respectable 550 sheet capacity and are rated up to 30,000 sheets per month (though a more modest 1500 is recommended).
Dell E310dw Printer
For an economical printer-only solution, the Dell E310dw Printer offers affordable ease right out of the box. At $100, this is one of the most affordable laser printers on the market. It offers a very efficient 27 pages per minute with a footprint that won’t take up your entire desk. Rated at 10,000 pages, there is plenty of capacity for most home office needs. The Dell 593-BBKD toner cartridge gives you up to 2600 laser-printed pages.
Best Printer for Your Mobile Office
Sometimes “home office” means “motel office” or “car office” for mobile professionals. Whether you’re a traveling salesperson, an over-the-road driver, or a free spirit who needs convenient printing options, mobile printers are your answer. Equipped with rechargeable batteries and wireless connections, they offer printing to fit your on-the-go lifestyle.
HP OfficeJet 250 Mobile All-in-One Printer
The HP OfficeJet 250 Mobile All-in-One Printer offers professional results with the best office printer on-the-go experience. Speed is sacrificed for portability, offering just 10 pages per minute, but with a long battery life and easy wireless connection over WiFi and Bluetooth, this printer fills its niche perfectly. The HP 62XL ink cartridges’ high-volume ensure that you are not left high and dry away from home. Expect to spend around $300 to print wherever your work takes you.
Best Printers for Your MacBook Pro
Choosing the best printer for MacBook Pro users requires special attention. While many of the previous printers are compatible, experienced Mac aficionados understand that “compatible” is a word that can have wide and varied nuances in a predominantly Microsoft world.
While Apple does not currently make printers themselves, they do have a relationship with HP—going so far as to offer select HP printers through their online store. This partnering of trusted brands is your best bet when selecting the right equipment for your needs.
HP LaserJet Pro MFP M426fdw Printer
For office needs, the HP LaserJet Pro MFP M426fdw Printer offers a fast, energy efficient solution. Black-and-white pages print out at a smoking hot 40 pages per minute, and the 80,000 pages per month duty cycle gives your workgroup plenty of capacity. It comes with a standard 550 sheet paper tray, but an additional 550 sheet tray can be added as an easy aftermarket add-on to cut down on frequent paper loading.
The HP 26X toner cartridge will last around 9,000 pages between changes. This keeps upkeep costs down, and, when combined with the reasonable $450 printer cost, makes this unit attractive to your bottom-line. This could easily be one of the best office printer solutions, whatever the operating system.
HP OfficeJet 4654 All-in-One Printer
On the home front, the HP OfficeJet 4654 All-in-One Printer makes an affordable choice without sacrificing functionality. This sleek machine not only connects wirelessly to your MacBook Pro, but to your iPad, iPhone, and iPod Touch for a fully-connected experience. It boasts professional quality photo prints alongside the standard all-in-one functions at less than $100, making this an easy financial decision. Using HP 63XL ink cartridges lets you get the most out of your printer, while keeping the most in your wallet.
Best Printers for Your College Student
In many ways, finding the best printer for college students is similar to finding the right home office printer. After all, a college dorm room or apartment serves as both a home and office for four to eight years. College students need the size and convenience of a home model, commercial durability, and up-to-date features, all at a price point compatible with a ramen budget.
Canon Pixma MG7720 All-In-One Printer
The Canon Pixma MG7720 All-In-One Printer is a favorite across college campuses nationwide. While it shares the same size as standard desktop all-in-ones, it comes with a host of features to help your scholar excel. It accepts wired and WiFi connections, as well as adds NFC and USB options; and it also autoscan optimizes scan settings according to materials. With 6 separate ink cartridges, a single-color heavy print job will not force you to pay for the replacement of ink you have not used as it would with a single multi-color cartridge, making upkeep costs reasonable. The Canon PGi-270XL and Cli-271XL ink cartridges are a great way to lower both cost and waste.
HP ENVY 4520 All-in-One Printer
Another printer option for your college student is the HP ENVY 4520 All-in-One Printer. At $70, it is more affordable on a college student’s limited budget. It easily prints, scans, and copies over both WiFi and USB connections. Its 9.5 pages per minute is standard for its class, but it can accept documents and photos directly from smart devices via the HP app. Also, HP has one of the best compatibility experiences with Apple products, including the MacBook Pro. This printer uses HP 63XL ink cartridges, which are a popular and wallet-friendly choice for mid-range printing needs.
Best Return on Investment From Your Printer
One way to save money on your printing budget is with your ink. Remanufactured ink cartridges are professionally filled and restored, then made available at a fraction of the cost. At 1ink.com, we believe saving money should not mean losing quality—each ink or toner cartridge we supply goes through a stringent quality inspection and remanufacturing process to ensure that it works right in your equipment every time. We also offer a one-year, 100% satisfaction guarantee on every cartridge we sell, so if you’re unsatisfied with your purchase for any reason, return it for an exchange or full refund.
Whatever your printing needs, 1ink.com carries remanufactured and compatible ink and toner cartridges for all major printer brands. Whether you are printing bake sale flyers or legal contracts, we keep you printing for less. When you find the best office printer, call us at (866) 658-8125 or visit us online for the quality and customer service you deserve.