The best budget printers

When printers first became popular, many were offered at exorbitant costs. Today’s greatest printers cost a fraction of what they used to, allowing you to print images, papers, and everything in between for a fraction of the price. They even do away with the tether in favor of a wireless connection, making setup and use a snap.

Anyone can now purchase a low-cost printer, but which one is best? Which offers the most value for your money? Here are some of the most affordable printers available in 2022.

The best budget printers
Best affordable printer for budding photographers
Pixma iP8720 Canon Pixma iP8720 Canon Pixma iP
  • Print sizes range from 13×19 inches to 13×19 inches
  • Outstanding output quality
  • This printer is ideal for photo and everyday printing
  • Skin tones that are slightly darker
  • Large and hefty

Why should you buy it: Standard photos can be printed in wide formats on Canon’s Pixma iP8720 for larger prints.

It’s intended for aspiring photographers and home crafters.

The Canon PIXMA iP8720 was chosen because:

The Pixma iP8720 is a fantastic home printer that offers a lot of capabilities at a reasonable price. The quality is adequate for photo printing, and it can take prints up to 13×19 inches if you require larger formats. The paper tray holds 120 sheets, and our tests revealed that black-and-white printing speeds were about 13.3 pages per minute (ppm), while color printing speeds were up to 10.4 ppm, according to Canon.

Overall, the Pixma iP8720 is a fantastic printer and an excellent choice, particularly for individuals who need to print flyers and other slightly larger documents. However, if you’re a serious amateur or professional photographer, you’ll want a printer with better image quality.

This printer also supports USB and Wi-Fi connections, as well as Apple AirPrint and Google Cloud Print.

The best budget printers
Best affordable compact printer
HP DeskJet 3755
  • Small and portable, it may be used anywhere
  • Excellent print quality for a low-cost printer with Wi-Fi
  • Slow
  • Cartridges with a low yield
  • The controls are not easy to use
  • Paper feed is really loud

Why should you buy it: The HP DeskJet 3755 is a color printer with Wi-Fi connectivity that comes in a small, cheap form.

Who it’s for: College students, home users, and anyone else who doesn’t want a big printer in their way.

The following are the reasons why we chose the HP DeskJet 3755:

The HP DeskJet 3755, one of the most economical printers in this review, may appear less stunning and imposing than its competitors. However, because of its small size and outstanding print quality, it is one of the best low-cost printers available today. It’s Wi-Fi enabled for wireless printing and weighs only 5.13 pounds, making it easy to fit into almost any location.

With such a high price tag, you must make certain compromises, the most notable of which are the copier and scanning resolution restrictions. The DeskJet 3755’s onboard display and button controls aren’t the most extensive, but you don’t buy it for its ability to do anything better than the competition. It can do what most others can do, and it does a decent job at it, but it’s far from being the best in its class.

However, in our own testing, we were impressed with the detail and color reproduction of the photo printing. The HP DeskJet 3755 isn’t speedy, and it’s a touch loud, but it’s a great value. It’s a wonderful alternative for compact workstations if you need to preserve space.

The best budget printers
Best affordable workgroup printer
MFC-J4535DW (Brother MFC-J4535DW)
  • Printing at a low cost per page
  • For an all-in-one solution, multifunction capabilities are required
  • Cartridges with a large capacity will last a long time
  • At smaller fronts, text printing may be a little crisper

Why should you buy it: To make volume printing more cost-effective, Brother’s MFC-J4535DW uses big cartridges.

It’s for: Home users who don’t want to spend a lot of money on each color print.

The Brother MFC-J4535DW Tank Printer was chosen because:

Brother’s MFC-J4535DW Tank All-in-One Color Inkjet Printer may seem pricey at $220, but keep in mind that this printer comes with up to a year’s worth of free ink included in the box. Despite the word “tank” in its name, the Brother MFC-J4535DW uses cartridges rather than ink tanks, therefore replacements are required rather than refills to keep it going. However, if you choose the high yield XL-branded INKvestment cartridges, which provide higher outputs at reduced costs, printing remains inexpensive. You won’t run out of paper in the middle of a job thanks to two trays that hold up to 400 pages each. Automatic duplex printing is also offered to extend the life of your paper supply.

With built-in Wi-Fi and NFC wireless protocols, the printer has a 2.7-inch touchscreen for control and allows cloud printing as well as smartphone printing. This multifunction printer also supports faxing, scanning, and copying. A front-facing USB connector makes printing from a flash drive simple.

The best budget printers
Best affordable home printer
XP-6100 Epson Expression Home
  • The footprint is small
  • Affordability
  • Excellent print quality, especially when it comes to images
  • There is no ADF

Why should you buy it: The Expression Home XP-6100 from Epson provides duplex printing to the home in a cost-effective solution.

Who it’s for: Home users looking for a versatile printer.

The following are the reasons why we chose the Epson Expression Home XP-6100:

Epson’s Expression printers are developed specifically for homes where printing isn’t as common, yet some documents or images still need to be printed. Anyone can operate these printers thanks to their extremely simple controls. The Expression Home XP-6100 keeps the same simple buttons and controls as its predecessor, but in a more compact package. The Expression Home XP-6100, a “small-in-one” printer, is capable of printing images and documents, as well as copying and scanning with its flatbed scanner on top.

This variant foregoes an automatic document feeder in favor of a more compact design to keep the price low and conserve room for the seldom home printer. The printer has good printing speeds for household customers, with monochrome work printing at up to 16 pages per minute and color jobs printing at up to 11 pages per minute. The Expression Home XP-6100 may not be a good choice for families with larger printing needs due to its slightly higher running costs, but if you only need to print the occasional vacation photo, tax form, or marketing flyer for work, this printer is a simple, easy-to-use solution in a compact package that saves desk space.

The best budget printers
Best affordable workgroup laser printer
Ecosys P5026cdw Kyocera
  • Printing using a laser printer is quick and accurate
  • Paper trays that expand
  • Operation that is quiet
  • Control panel with a poor LCD display

Why should you buy it: The Ecosys P5026cdw color laser printer from Kyocera is a fast and cheap color laser printer for the business.

Who it’s for: Small and medium businesses have a lot of printing to do.

Why the Kyocera Ecosys P5026cdw was chosen:

If you run a marketing firm, a charitable organization, or another form of business from your home, you may need a printer that can print huge tasks quickly and efficiently. This Kyocera printer is cheaply priced and will give you with a degree of printing that is adequate for a business.

This Kyocera printer can print at up to 27 pages per minute, has color and black ink, and can handle a variety of paper types. It works with Google Cloud Print, AirPrint, and Kyocera’s Mobile Print service. The USB interface, wireless printing, and Wi-Fi direct for large files allow users to print on the fly.

The best budget printers
Best affordable eco-friendly printer
ET-2800 Epson EcoTank
  • Tank refills that are environmentally friendly save money
  • Ink refills at a reasonable price
  • Photos and prints with a lot of color
  • Families will appreciate the flatbed scanner
  • To print from storage, there is no USB or memory card reader

Why should you buy it: With refillable ink tanks, Epson’s EcoTank ET-2800 makes huge printing projects more cheap.

It’s intended for: Offices in the home who wish to save money on ink.

The following are the reasons why we chose the Epson EcoTank ET-2800:

Saving money on ink cartridges is vital whether you use a printer frequently or perhaps sometimes. If one of your main worries is the printer’s long-term ink expenses, you’ll need a super-efficient printer with long-lasting cartridges. Epson has responded with the eco-friendly EcoTank, which comes as no surprise.

The EcoTank all-in-one printer is designed with ink efficiency in mind, as the name suggests. It employs refillable ink tanks instead of typical ink cartridges, allowing you to add extra ink from the bottles as needed. This is one of the most cost-effective ways to manage a printer, and while it might not work in a busy commercial environment, it’s a good option at home.

If you’re a frequent user, the EcoTank ET-2760 printer comes with two years of ink. Epson’s ink technology produces crisp text and vibrant images, making this a flexible all-in-one for budget-conscious homes and offices who don’t want to spend a fortune on ink cartridge replacements.

Other features include automatic two-sided printing to save paper, a memory card port for direct uploads, and Alexa and Google Assistant voice command compatibility.

The best budget printers
HP LaserJet M209dwe Wireless Black & White Printer with HP+ Instant Ink for 6 months (6GW62E)
HP LaserJet M209dwe Wireless Black & White Printer with HP+ Instant Ink for 6 months (6GW62E)
  • Laser clarity is excellent
  • Documents benefit from fast print speeds
  • Duplex printing that is quick
  • Scanning companion smartphone app that is simple to use
  • There is no support for color printing

Why should you buy it: The HP LaserJet M209dwe foregoes color in favor of quick, cost-effective monochrome laser printing.

Who it’s for: Low-cost homes and companies that want to print mostly black-and-white papers.

The following are the reasons why we chose the HP LaserJet M209dwe:

The monochrome LaserJet M209dwe from HP has a small footprint, making it ideal for use at home or in the business. Don’t be fooled by the printer’s small size; it boasts the quickest two-sided printing in its class, at 30 pages per minute for black-and-white tasks. The first page is ready in 6.9 seconds, so you won’t have to wait long for your document to begin printing. You may print on a range of media types, including envelopes, labels, yardsticks, postcards, and even velum paper, and use duplex printing to save paper.

The printer comes with a six-month Instant Ink membership, which includes free ink toner for the first six months. After that, you can either cancel your subscription and buy replacements as needed, or you can depend on the company’s worry-free subscription to ensure you have enough toner for your print tasks. This printer is compatible with HP’s HP Smart smartphone software, which allows you to securely send faxes, print documents from cloud services like Dropbox, and even scan directly to Google Drive or email.

Should I get a laser printer or an inkjet printer?

That is entirely dependent on your individual printing requirements, tastes, and budget. Inkjet printers have traditionally had a lower initial cost than laser printers, although replacement ink cartridges on inkjet printers can be more expensive over time than toner for laser printing systems. Inkjet printers, on the other hand, thrive at color printing, pictures, and artwork, whilst laser printers excel at papers, spreadsheets, and black-and-white print tasks. However, the price and performance differences are closing these days: inkjets with tank cartridges have a lower cost per page, and laser printers are improving their ability to print documents with color graphics.

What if I require the use of a scanner?

If you need scanning and copying capabilities, look for a printer with a scanner. A flatbed scanner is included with some printers, allowing you to scan papers of various sizes. Others will include an automatic document feeder, or ADF, which will feed through what needs to be scanned or copied automatically. Duplex scanning will be available on more expensive multifunction printers, which means the built-in scanner will be able to do double-sided scans.

What factors influence a printer’s price?

If you’re on a restricted budget, you should consider two options. To begin, select a printer with a lesser initial investment. Inkjet printers are the most common type. Second, you’ll want to know how much each page will cost, which is especially significant for larger print jobs. The cost per page is calculated by dividing the total cost of the toner or ink cartridge by the yield specified by the manufacturer. For instance, if a cartridge of ink costs $10 and produces 10 prints, your cost per page is $1 each printed sheet. When it comes to color printers, you’ll usually see two or three cost-per-page calculations: one for monochrome prints, another for color/mixed printing, and a third if the printer is utilized for photo printing. The cost per page for photos is usually the highest, as the printer must use a lot of ink to produce the image.

What is the expected lifespan of my toner or ink?

That will depend on how frequently you print, how much you print, and what kinds of things you print. Toner for a laser printer is normally more expensive than ink for an inkjet printer, but it will last longer. Inkjet cartridges will last a few months or perhaps a year if you use your printer seldom, even with regular use. Investing in a printer that supports high-yield cartridges (typically labeled with an XL logo) or a tank will result in higher yields and cheaper long-term costs.

Is it possible to print from a smartphone or tablet?

Most modern printers offer a number of wireless protocols, whereas earlier printers required a cable USB connection between your printer and a Mac or PC. Select a printer that supports Bluetooth printing, Wi-Fi Direct, or NFC if you need to print from your smartphone or tablet. The majority of these printers will also include a smartphone app that can be used to start printing, with iPhone versions supporting Apple’s AirPrint standard.

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