Here at the Strategist, we like to think of ourselves as crazy (in the good way) about the stuff we buy, but as much as we’d like to, we can’t try everything. Which is why we have People’s Choice, in which we find the best-reviewed products and single out the most convincing ones. (You can learn more about our rating system and how we pick each item here.)
And while we’ve covered tech accessories — including the best computer monitors, the best computer speakers, even the best computer graphics cards — here, we’ve rounded up the best home printers, as praised by the most enthusiastic reviewers on Amazon.
Best-rated home printer
Nearly 250 five-star reviewers of this printer describe it as fast, especially compared to inkjet printers. One reviewer says they’re “very, very happy and shocked at how fast this sucker shoots out prints from a dead power to ready mode, especially compared to my years of waiting and waiting for damn slow and noisy inkjets.” That’s echoed by another reviewer who notes that “compared to inkjets, it prints insanely fast and the text is much cleaner.”
What one reviewer refers to as an “extremely low-maintenance and very easy-to-use printer” also earns praise as “the easiest printer and scanner I have ever set up across such a wide variety of devices,” as another puts it. The printer also features a duplex mode that “appears to print on both sides at the same time … that’s how fast it works” another owner observes. In essence, “You won’t go wrong with this printer if you can do without color.”
Best-rated (less expensive) home printer
Lots of reviewers describe this black-and-white laser printer from Brother as “basic,” but it’s seen as a good thing. “I hate fancy color printers (like Epsons) with nine ink cartridges that run out twice a month, and won’t let you even print B&W until you buy all the colors of the rainbow of their expensive ink. Biggest scam ever. So I bought this printer, and couldn’t be happier,” one such reviewer writes. The low price is another selling point for many. “I couldn’t even buy new ink for my other printer for the cost of this machine. Money well spent,” says one buyer who “cannot believe how fast and quietly it prints.” And though this printer is simple, two reviewers call it their savior. “No matter the circumstance, I press print and what I need printed prints. It just works. It doesn’t sass me. It doesn’t error out. It doesn’t say that the toner has run out. I’ve had this printer for almost a year now and NOTHING has gone wrong, not even installation,” one of those reviewers writes, adding, “It won’t let you down.”
And now for some micro-picks of every type of home printer you might be looking for.
Best portable home printer
According to one professionally-minded reviewer, this portable printer from HP is “small enough to fit in a laptop bag,” while another calls it “part of my carry-on travel essentials kit.” Says another: “I work in remote locations, often with no internet service, and bought this for my business, so I could print on-site. I absolutely love the fact that I can print documents from my Dropbox through my phone with WiFi Direct.” That easy wireless functionality is another selling point, even for those who have no intention of bringing the printer on the road. “I love that I can just pull it out of the case I bought for it and as long as the battery is charged up, I can run off a couple print jobs quickly right on my craft table without worrying about plugging in cords or having to mess with anything,” one reviewer says.
Best all-in-one inkjet printer
“This printer doesn’t have cartridges, but built-in wells you fill with ink” says one reviewer of this Epson EcoTank model, which they describe as “a big plus for people who do a lot of printing.” As a reviewer explains, “It’s been six months after purchase with a decent amount of use, and all four tanks are still 80 percent-plus filled,” adding, “It’s worth every penny to pay more and not have to worry about ink cartridges that run dry whether you use them or not.” And in addition to being being relatively ecofriendly, it performs well, too. “This printer does everything I could possibly want,” says a reviewer who adds that “the edge-to-edge color printing of photos from my phone is very nice.” Another owner describes it as “easy to set up and use,” describing it as “the only printer I’ve ever had that scans and then lets me manipulate the document without a hassle and a Ph.D.”
Best color laser printer
“This is a beautiful printer at a price point that gives astounding value for the money,” writes one reviewer of this Brother color printer. “This thing is big, but it sits quietly and just does its job,” says another, a sentiment echoed by an owner who notes “it’s a big machine, but well worth the space it takes up.” And it can handle bigger color printing jobs, too. Another owner who “ran off quite a few brochures on heavy tri-fold stock” notes, “The printer had no trouble handling it. The color reproduction is very good.” (Several reviewers do warn that, for printing photos, it’s not the best, but one writes, “However it is good enough and for anything framed it’s easy to order prints from elsewhere.”)
Best all-in-one laser printer
This HP Laserjet printer seems to be most appreciated by those who don’t print very often. “My previous color inkjet printer saw infrequent use and seemed to require endless head cleaning and other maintenance,” recalls one reviewer. “This is a tremendous improvement.” Another reviewer lauds its “very nice, small footprint, which is what I’m looking for in an infrequently-used home printer.” Says another buyer: “My mom who, like many, doesn’t print very often, was getting tired of dried-out ink cartridges when she needed the rare page. I’ve found this printer has satisfied all of her needs very nicely. It’s compact, very quiet, has great print quality, and is very easy to use.” And though it’s an all-in-one printer, it’s still fairly easy to use: “It doesn’t have a ton of features but for basic occasional home printing I think it’s great. I’ve used the copy and scan features as well and they’re both very easy and produce good results. So far I’d highly recommend it if you don’t have a need to print large amounts of documents and don’t mind a fairly basic feature set in an all-in-one printer.”
Best all-in-one color laser printer
“The text and image quality is excellent,” says a reviewer of this Canon printer (who is also a photographer). “If I need high-end graphics and even a frameable photo image, I could get by with this machine.” Several reviewers also call out the edge-to-edge printing, which can be done from a phone. One reviewer describes the process as “really easy. Just select the photo and send it to the printer.” And it’s not just photos that this printer does well. “It prints text and pictures very very well and extremely fast,” one reviewer writes, while another says, “It’s a huge improvement over my previous three-in-one printer.”
Best compact photo printer
As a photographer/reviewer describes it, this “pretty fun and simple little printer” does “prints that are of surprisingly high quality, and the tonal transitions are very good.” Its print quality is mentioned in more than 100 five-star reviews. “This is the most wonderful product I have ever seen,” says one such reviewer who notes that “the first picture changed my mind about print quality. GREAT pictures.” Another similarly skeptical reviewer was “really happy with the simplicity, functionality, and quality of the prints,” with another saying that “it’s still fast and of the same quality as a drug-store print.” Also drawing praise from reviewers is the fact that there’s “no USB cord necessary to hook up the phone, just WiFi”, with another reviewer remarking in turn that “the WiFi setup is easy, and you can use it at a friend’s house to print the pictures trapped on their phone.” As another more off-the-grid owner notes, “You don’t need to be in a WiFi area to use it,” postulating that “it would work even in the middle of a desert or forest.”
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