Best Overall Printer
Canon Color imageCLASS MF741Cdw
Printer Type: Laser | B/W or Color: Color
If you need a home printer that can deliver a variety of services at an elite level, look no further than the Canon Color imageCLASS MF741Cdw. This unit is exemplary in every metric, from image quality to speed and ease of use. In particular, we found that the speed at which this machine can print is jaw-dropping. Our nine-page composite color image and document test clocked an extraordinary 24 seconds per print. Despite the fast print time, each print produced stunning, high-resolution color images. It combines speed and quality at an unbeatable level. We were particularly impressed with the large touch screen, which has built-in adjusters that allow you to easily change the characteristics of your print jobs, such as sharpness and saturation.
Although this device boasts some of the best features and quality in its category, it comes at a high cost. The MF741Cdw is not a portable unit you take on a business trip. This behemoth of a printer weighs around 64 pounds, making it best suited for more permanent workspaces. If you are looking for a budget device that will not break the bank, you are better off looking elsewhere. Despite these drawbacks, this device is at the top of its class. A close second is the HP Color LaserJet Pro M255dw, which scores just a little lower overall but is more affordable and easier to use.
Read more: Canon Color imageCLASS MF741Cdw review
Best Value Home Printer
Epson Workforce Pro WF-4820
Printer Type: Inkjet | B/W or Color: Color
Earning one of our higher scores in our best home printers category, the Epson WorkForce Pro WF-4820 weds excellent performance with affordability. The WF-4820 can print high-quality photos with a great color display and wide textural range. This quality does not come at the price of printing speed, scoring relatively high in our speed test at ten duplexes/simplex pages per minute. This unit also boasts a large, intuitive display that allows users to navigate the menus and apps effortlessly. Additionally, the interface hosts an array of troubleshooting capabilities that allow the user to solve problems seamlessly.
The most pressing issue with the WF-4820 comes from a recent update that only allows Epson ink cartridges. These cartridges are more cost-effective when printing documents with color photos and text but not when printing large volumes of solely black-and-white text. Another minor gripe about this unit is the rather cumbersome WiFi setup. The setup was not difficult, but compared to other models, it was unintuitive. Notwithstanding these small complaints, the WF-4820 is an excellent device that can reliably print high-quality documents or photos for a small office. See the HP DeskJet 2755e below if this still doesn’t meet your budget. If you only print grayscale and black and white, consider the Brother Monochrome Compact Laser HLL2350DW, which had the best operating cost in our tests and one of the fastest speeds.
Read more: Epson Workforce Pro WF-4820 review
Best Home Printer on a Tight Budget
HP DeskJet 2755e
Printer Type: Inkjet | B/W or Color: Color
The HP DeskJet 2755e is a high-grade printer that delivers quality prints at a reasonable price. This unit rivals some of the best models in our home printer category in terms of print quality, ease of use, and speed despite having a low initial purchase price. The DeskJet 2755e produces prints with crisp text and a clean color profile. It is perfect for everyday printing, but we do not recommend this device for those who want to print images suitable for framing. Lastly, the DeskJet 2755e also has easy-to-follow instructions that make setup a breeze.
The initial price is the most attractive feature of this device; however, in the long run, operating costs are expensive relative to other products on the market if using HP ink. Even so, the DeskJet 2755e can be paired with other manufacturers’ ink cartridges, making this unit more cost-effective, especially for those who print often. The most glaring issue with the DeskJet 2755e is that it does not come with automatic duplex printing. We recommend that those who print large volumes of double-sided documents look elsewhere, as this unit might cause more frustration than relief. Overall, this device is excellent for those who want consistent quality print jobs at an affordable price.
Read more: HP DeskJet 2755e review
Best Black & White Printer
Brother Monochrome Compact Laser HLL2350DW
Printer Type: Laser | B/W or Color: B/W Only
If you are looking for a reliable and affordable black and white printer capable of fast printing speeds, has low operational costs, and produces good print quality, then the Brother Monochrome Compact Laser HLL2350DW deserves your consideration. This model has automatic duplex printing that will keep your jobs moving at an average of 13 pages per minute, so those last-minute adjustments to documents you need at your next meeting will get printed in time.
As a black-and-white printer, it has some limitations when printing high-quality photos and business graphics due to losing the fidelity that colors create in a representative grayscale. But overall, the Brother HLL2350DW is a great and economical choice for black and white printing that will satisfy most people’s home printer and small office needs.
Read more: Brother Monochrome Compact Laser HLL2350DW review
Best Overall Photo Printer
Epson SureColor P700
Cost per print: $0.37 | Maximum Resolution: 5760 x 1440 dpi
The Epson SureColor P700 is a top-notch photo printer that delivers high-class photo prints with unparalleled color accuracy and resolution. Easily the best in our photo printer review, the P700 gives much freedom and control to the user. Each print can be customized to fit specific needs, such as adjusting to the desired saturation or contrast level. The P700 can do much more than color photos — it can also print quality grayscale images that are on their own level. Each grayscale photo test showcased the P700’s technical ability to produce well-defined images that incorporate high attention to border definition, dynamic range, and neutral color renderings. At an astonishing $0.37 per 4″ x 6″ color photo, this device’s operating costs seal the deal. Nothing is better than having a reliable photo printer that can crank out high levels of photos at a small cost.
Not surprisingly, a high-performance photo printer like the P700 has its downsides, mainly the upfront cost. Casual users may benefit from steering clear of the P700 and choosing a more budget-friendly device. In addition to the cost, the P700 is an enormous machine and takes up a considerable amount of desk space. An overcomplicated setup process is a challenging part of a highly technical product. Fortunately, this device’s setup isn’t too bad, aside from lifting it out of the box. With these considerations in mind, we recommend this device for professional photographers, as you will likely not find a better unit on the market. If you want to save money, consider our second-highest scoring model, the Canon PIXMA Pro-200.
Read more: Epson SureColor P700 review
Best Mini Photo Printer
Canon IVY 2 Mini
Cost per print: $0.50 | Maximum Resolution: 400 dpi
In today’s smartphone-dominated world, most recorded memories end up confined to the digital realm, rarely revisited. The Canon IVY 2 is here to change that. This well-designed machine is capable of transforming your smartphone photos into tangible prints. Setting up the printer is straightforward: download the companion app, connect to the printer via Bluetooth, and you’re well on your way to printing bliss. The IVY 2 is compact and portable, making it easy to take with you wherever you go, and that’s the whole point. This printer was capable of delivering relatively high-quality prints, especially considering its compact size. One standout feature that we enjoyed is the ZINK instant film it uses. With its adhesive backing, you can turn your prints into stickers for simple decorations or to share with friends.
Not everything is flawless, though; there are some downsides. The cost of each print is a notable drawback, at around 50 cents per piece with no alternative options. This might lead to more selective printing choices, which can be disappointing. Most desktop printers offer greater capabilities and a lower cost per print. However, you can’t just toss a desktop printer into a bag and take it everywhere, and that’s why the IVY 2 is so compelling. If you are okay with a bigger form factor, consider the Canon SELPHY CP1300, which is not much more expensive and has a lower cost per print while allowing photos up to 4 x 6 inches.
What distinguishes the IVY 2 from its predecessor, the original Canon IVY, is the improvement in print quality and a significantly faster charging time. We already held a fondness for the original, and the IVY 2 surpasses it, providing a better experience, including a range of creative options for your prints through the user-friendly app. Regarding aesthetics, the color has also received an update, now featuring a blush pink instead of the previous white and blue. Overall, we consider this version a comprehensive improvement without compromising the enjoyable qualities that made the original device so good.
Read more: Canon IVY 2 review
Great Value for a Full-Sized Photo Printer
Epson Expression Photo HD XP-15000
Cost per print: $0.45 | Maximum Resolution: 1440 dpi
The Epson Expression Photo HD XP-15000 is the perfect middle ground between performance and price. The XP-1500 boasts a solid color profile that spans many printing dimensions, notably performing quite well with 13″ x 44″ prints. We felt the black and white renderings were respectable, with a few shortcomings. However, we were impressed with these renderings, given the generous price point of this unit. The capabilities of this product are also worthy of recognition. Some features include the ability to print glossy and adhesive paper and iron-on transfer sheets for making t-shirts. The XP-1500’s most attractive feature is its initial and long-term costs.
Overall, the print quality of the XP-15000 is solid, but we have a couple of critiques. Our criticisms primarily relate to the grayscale output, which sometimes produces images with poor transitions from light to dark. Even with these slight issues, the XP-15000 prints grayscale output better than most printers but not better than the top-shelf items. Lastly, we noticed this unit had more difficulty connecting with our device than other models. Considering these criticisms, the XP-15000 will satisfy most photographers.
Read more: Epson Expression Photo HD XP-15000 review
Best 3D Printer
Bambu Lab P1P
Build Area: 256x256x256mm | Max Extruder Temperature: 300°C
Are you looking for an FDM printer? The Bambu Lab P1P likely has everything you need and is the top-scoring model in our best 3D printer review. In almost every metric, it scored superbly. While not cheap, it offers great value, especially compared to other high-end competition. The setup could not be much easier, and the print quality was top-notch for an FDM model. Better yet, there are many upgrades available. Once you dial in the machine with what it ships with, there are several ways to increase its capabilities.
While the print quality is good, it can’t compete with Elegoo Saturn 2. However, the Elegoo had one of the lowest ease of use scores. The Bambu Lab also scored just above average for support, but most competitors scored lower, and its user-friendliness means you are less likely to need support. Overall, we recommend the Bambu Lab P1P as the 3D printer most people should buy.
Why You Should Trust Us
This comprehensive printer overview is the product of hundreds of hours of testing, comparing, and researching the best products in the industry. Our tests measure printers, operating cost, ease of use, image/text quality, and printing speed. This guide gives the reader a general overview of the market’s best printers and their respective strengths and weaknesses.
This guide is a collaboration between Research Analysts Matt Spencer, Genaveve Bradshaw, and reviewer Jared Eastlick. Matt brings many skills from 3D printing to testing other tech devices. Genaveve has also tested many of our top printers and crafts quality reviews that emphasize a high degree of attention to detail. Jared’s experience as a writer, bookworm, tech enthusiast, and quality assurance specialist has allowed him to write on a variety of tech products.
How to Pick the Right Printer
Picking the right printer to fit your needs may be quite daunting. They can be expensive and deserve prior research before committing to the purchase. Our experienced testers and researchers have done all the testing for you. All that’s left is to evaluate your needs and purchase accordingly. These devices can be separated into home, photo, and 3D. The following is a breakdown of each class of printer and its uses.
Home printers are the most versatile, satisfying a broad range of needs, from printing worded documents to scanning and copying. When picking a home printer, consider the volume of printing you plan to do. Some people need a printer on standby in case they need to print an important document or enable their children to print a class project.
Others may operate a small business and require a device to perform large workloads at a reasonable price.
Ease of use can also affect your decision. A printer that you cannot easily operate or quickly set up and connect to your WiFi can slow down productivity and cause unnecessary stress.
Photo printers are great for those who desire more than low-resolution Google images from their home printer. Some memories deserve to be printed, and these devices will ensure that your image comes out with the quality it deserves. Or, if you run a small photography business and want to reduce the trip to the photo lab, photo printers will save you loads of time and money.
3D printers allow printing out 3D physical objects from a digital file. The object is built by an additive process where successive layers of material are stringed together. 3D printers are perfect for hobbyists and artists looking to expand their creative boundaries while having fun. There are thousands of files online that can help you build all sorts of figures for your favorite tabletop games or help you build some basic household items. If you are creative, 3D printers can be a great way to bring your vision to life. Printing your creation can be a great way to give a meaningful gift to a loved one or a friend.
This guide aims to make the printer buying process as easy as possible. The first consideration before buying a printer is to assess one’s needs. Home, photo, and 3D printers have very different purposes, and the printers above are the cream of the crop for their respective categories. Our mission at GearLab is to provide top-quality reviews of emerging products. We will continue reviewing the best printers in today’s market so you can easily make an informed purchase.