If you're looking to create a full home office set-up, you need one of the best all in one printers in there. These printers are designed to be versatile, all in one devices, which can not only print to a high quality in both color and black and white, but also perform a variety of other tasks. Scanning items, copying documents, and faxing are the other primary features these printers can perform, but most have additional features to round-out their offerings.
While the best all in one printers tend to take up more space than, say, compact printers, they tend to be faster and more versatile machines. You'll also get higher quality prints from them too, and only specialized photo printers will give you better print outs. What's more, these all in one printers tend to have higher page volumes, so they can be used in small offices too, if you need a printer for your business. Modern printers usually offer the ability to print wirelessly, or from USB or other devices, so you won't always need a connection to a home computer to use these. However, as portability is less of an issue for all in ones, this is more for convenience than anything.
What's even better is that all in one printers tend to be a little cheaper than compact or photo models. While they can handle more varied workloads and have more on-printer features, they are larger and less reliable on smaller, portable components. Essentially, you pay more for smaller printers. Our price comparison software will find the cheapest printer prices for you, per model, so you know you're getting the best prices today.
1. Canon PIXMA TR8620: Best all in one printer overall
The Canon PIXMA TR8620 is our top pick for the best overall all-in-one printer as it offers the perfect blend of functionality, print quality and style. It looks superb and manages to stay compact while still offering lots of powerful features – making it perfect for a small home office.
The print quality is exceptional, whether you’re printing regular black and white or color images, or using it as a photo printer. It’s not the fastest printer out there, but it’s respectable when it comes to speed at around 15 pages per minute for black and 10 pages per minute in color.
What impressed us the most about the Canon PIXMA TR8620 is that it offers the complete package at a very reasonable price. It prints all types of documents well, it scans and copies efficiently, and it comes with extra features including an ADF and wireless printing from your mobile device. It’s not quite the best at any one thing, but it does everything to a high standard with no major weaknesses.
2. HP OfficeJet Pro 9015e All-in-One Printer - Best for small businesses
The HP OfficeJet Pro 9015e All-in-One Printer straddles the line between being a home printer and a full-blown office printer, which makes it ideal for either home offices or small businesses which can make the most of its fast printing speeds. It looks great and is packed with smart features including remote printing via the mobile app and even voice controls.
When we say fast printing speeds, we mean fast. The HP OfficeJet Pro 9015e All-in-One Printer can print at a rate of 16 pages per minute for black and white documents, and 14 pages per minute for color. This is easily the fastest home printer we tested. It also has a recommended monthly page volume of 1500, which means it should easily be able to handle the workload of a small office.
The only major weakness of the HP OfficeJet Pro 9015e All-in-One Printer is that it’s not great when it comes to photo printing. It’s not awful mind you, but if you’re looking for a home printer for your family photos then you can do better elsewhere.
3. Brother MFC-J995DW: Best for ink replacement
When you’re buying a printer, the upfront cost is only one part of the equation when considering how much it will cost you. Ink refills can be pricey, so if you’re looking to save money in the long run then the Brother MFC-J995DW is the best all-in-one printer for you thanks to its INKvestment system.
Cringey name aside, we’re very impressed with INKvestment, which allows the Brother MFC-J995DW to print pages at an average cost of less than 1.2 cents per page. That’s far cheaper per page than the industry average, at 7.6 cents per page, and it makes the Brother MFC-J995DW the most economical printer by far.
There are some downsides though. For one thing, and there’s no nice way to say this, the Brother MFC-J995DW is ugly. It looks like something you’d see in a late 90s office with it’s off white coloring and chunky keypad. It’s also utterly glacial when it comes to photo printing, taking over eight minutes to print a single glossy photo. Other reviews noted much quicker times than that (around a minute and a half), but it’s still slower than the competition by a long way.
4. Epson EcoTank ET-2720 All-in-One Printer: Best budget printer
The Epson EcoTank ET-2720 All-in-One Printer is a great option for really low running costs thanks to that huge capacity ink tank technology. Yet this is also affordable up front, especially when you consider how long all that free ink will last you.
But while this can hold lots and lots of ink, the paper capacity it a little lacking for a home office option at 100 sheets per cassette.
This does offers decent quality prints and that's across the range from monochrome to graphics to full-on photo printing. Connectivity to get prints is also fantastic with support for the likes of Apple AirPrint and Google Cloud Print wirelessly but also USB 2.0 for flash drive printing using the color screen and interface.
This might not be the fastest printer, but it's not slow either, at 10.5 pages per second in monochrome and five per minute in color. But with top quality, a 3,000 print duty cycle and an auto duplex for two-sided printing, this has lots of powerful features that make it a hardy home office assistant.
5. HP Envy 6055 review: Best all-in-one for ease of use
The HP Envy 6055 all in one printer is a minimal looking and equally simplistic printer to use. It really is straightforward and perfect for anyone that wants an office level printer that just works and does what you need when you need, without you having to put in effort.
This can be setup easily in 10 minutes then will print, scan and copy as you need. Expect to get six pages per minute in monochrome or four in color. So not the fastest but quality is high and this does a good job with photo prints too. The 100 sheet input feeder helps keep this compact, as does the lack of screen and ADF.
This is an affordable option that comes with a one year warranty and works out at $0.124 per page in black and white, $0.261 in color and $0.629 for photo prints.
6. HP DeskJet 3755 review: Best compact all in one
The HP DeskJet 3755 is a superb option for anyone that doesn't print regularly but still wants all the features of an all in one printer. That mean not only printing but also scanning and copying are available here – for a low price in a compact form.
Unlike many printers that offer a flatbed scanner, this uses a 60-page document feeder to get your scans and copies, without taking up the room a flatbed does. As such this is ideal for slipping to the back of a desk, taking up little room, but being ready for those times you do want to print.
Print quality isn't the best at this price, that's to be expected. It's still very capable with clear text printing at a reasonable 7.8 pages per minute and rich color prints at 3.7 pages per minute. Ink isn't cheap with HP, but since this isn't for regular use that shouldn't be too much of an issue and when you consider the low upfront cost it can work out well.
- Read the full HP DeskJet 3755 review.
How should you choose an all in one printer?
The best all-in-one printers produce high-quality documents and photos, have easy-to-use functions, and are easy to connect. Aside from price, you should pay close attention to each printer’s list of features, since specific functions like fax capability and compatibility with certain mobile devices varies from one model to the next. Some are built with businesses in mind, with extra-durable designs and high-capacity inks, while printers for the home often have sleeker, compact designs and more media features.
At the end of the day, you want a good quality print out. After all, you can save all the money you like on ink and the printer itself, but if the end results you're getting are sub-optimal, you've wasted your time and money. While most all in one printers deliver good quality printed material for regular black and white text, they do vary when it comes to color and photo printing. We'd always recommend you use a proper photo printer for printing your photographs, but we have considered the quality of image print outs with these all in one models.
Anyone who owns a printer will know that the initial outlay for the device itself is only half the story. Ink and paper are costs that build up fast, especially if you're running a small business or using your printer frequently while working from home. So, like we did, when you're choosing the right printer for your needs consider how ink efficient it is, and the cost of the ink and paper you'll be feeding into it. Some ink is far cheaper than others, and you can always turn to discount ink cartridges if you want to save money with bulk orders.
Features and ease of use
All in one printers need to perform a wide variety of tasks. So while printing and maintenance is vital, most will be shopping for a printer that is capable when it comes to things like scanning, copying, and faxing. While fax may seem dated, many in the legal and medical professions still rely heavily on it, so you need to consider it if you're dealing with these types of industries on a regular basis.
While things like wireless printing, personal assistant connections, and the ability to print from smart phones are nice to have features, we wouldn't say they are vital when it comes to all in one printers. What is important is that your printer is easy to set-up, and simple to install via a Windows PC or laptop.
Scan and copy clarity
All in one printers are designed to act as scanners and copiers as much as printers, and can eliminate the need to have separate devices. So consider the scan quality when buying a specific model. Often you'll be scanning important documents, with vital information on them, so you need this to be as clear as possible. You should also consider the size of the scanning area. A4 is standard on all in one printers, but some offer larger areas.
If you're doing a lot of printing, then you don't want to wait ages for a document to be printed out (especially if you need multiple copies). All in one printers are the quickest out there, but always look at the printers ppm (pages per minute) rating if you need to know how fast it can print. About 15-17 is normal for all in ones in our list.
What ink cartridges are compatible with your printer?
Before you buy an ink cartridge, you need to make sure it’s compatible with your all-in-one printer. If you get the wrong type, you’ll be stuck with an out-of-commission printer while you deal with the return and exchange process.
First, you need to find out what model printer you have. The model name and number are usually displayed on the front panel of your printer. If it’s not there, check the top of the printer, then the cartridge access area or inside the ink access door. In the rare case you can’t find it anywhere on your printer, it will definitely be printed in the owner’s manual.
Then go to the manufacturer’s website. Big names, such as HP, Canon and Epson, all have complete lists of all the printer models they sell. Searching for your printer is easy when have the model number. Once you’ve found your model, you’ll see a list of compatible ink cartridges. Once you know the type of cartridge your printer takes, you can buy directly from the manufacturer or Amazon or search for deals at discount ink cartridge stores.
Can printer ink go bad?
When you purchase an ink cartridge, make sure you check the expiration date. Most ink cartridges will be usable from 18 to 24 months after you install them. If you use your printer regularly, this shouldn’t be a problem. But if you’re only an occasional user, old/dry ink can potentially harm your printer.
Often the problem is not the ink in the cartridge but the ink in the outlet valve to come out of the cartridge. It can dry and create a blockage. HP printers stand a greater chance of clogging due to dry ink because the cartridge also has the print head in there. So, just like your car needs an oil change, your printer will need fresh ink, even if there’s plenty left in the tank. The difference is that you only have to do it once every year or two.
What are the running costs of all in one printers?
Inkjet printers tend to be less expensive than their laser counterparts. The low upfront cost makes them an ideal choice for a home office, and all-in-one models come with convenient features like a copier, scanner and fax machine. On average, the machines will cost just over $200, though there are printers with basic features that cost even less. We recommend models that cost above $150, since those that cost less usually work out to be expensive over time. You can easily spend up to $400 on a high quality all in one printer, though.
We also considered the ongoing costs of maintaining an all-in-one printer. Inkjet cartridges tend to cost more than those used in laser printers. On average, it costs 12 cents per page to print with the printers on our list. The per-page printing cost often goes down when you purchase high-capacity cartridges – they cost more upfront, but they drop the printing price to about 9 cents per page.
Paper is a marginal cost, as you'll get reams for about $3 each (usually in boxes of eight or more at a time). These are stocked at most major retailers, and unless you're printing photos, regular grade A4 paper is fine.
Original equipment manufacturer (OEM) vs. Third-Party Ink Cartridges
Generally speaking, original manufacturer ink cartridges (OEM) are higher quality than third-party ink carts. What this means in reality is that you'll pay a little more for them, but they will last a little longer. While the amount of ink in each of them is likely to be identical, there are other factors that increase the efficiency of a cartridge.
OEMs tend to have better ink distribution, so are more efficient, and their parts can be tougher wearing. However, as long as you shop among the more reputable third-party ink cartridges, the difference will be small. And don't forget that third-party inks are cheaper - often significantly so - which means the lower efficiency could be less of a concern, if you make a big enough saving.
Some third-party companies create refillable cartridges that are compatible with printers that don’t use tanks. As a warning on these, though: you don’t have the manufacturer’s quality control, and that’s part of what you give up in order to get those savings.
Refillable ink tanks vs. Refillable cartridges
Some all-in-one printer manufacturers make models with refillable ink tanks rather than replaceable cartridges. The biggest benefit with refillable ink tanks is that you’re paying for ink rather than the cartridge. So, more of your money is going to the liquid that lands on the page.
You can get away with cheaper ink if you print more text than anything, but it is harder to get away with when attempting to print higher quality images. Remember that ink isn’t just a liquid – it’s the end result of just as much engineering, if not more, than the rest of the printer.
Can you use expired ink?
Ink cartridges made by printer manufacturers all have expiration dates. It works like any other expiration date, and if you choose to use expired ink, you run the risk of damaging your printer. Ink that’s too dry can clog the printer’s parts and cause flow problems, resulting in inferior print quality.
A good way to avoid this problem is to not buy more ink than you generally use. You may want to stock up to save time, but if you don’t use your printer very much, you could end up with nothing but expired cartridges when the machine runs out of ink. However, most printer ink cartridges expire about two years after they’re manufactured. So, it should be easy to figure out how often you should order more.
Do you need printer warranty and aftercare?
As with any expensive electronics purchase, you want to check out the warranty before you buy an all-in-one printer. Printers made by the four top brands almost always come with a one-year warranty. The exception is Brother – its printers have two-year warranties.
Although you can probably count on any printer made by these brands to go the distance with few problems, there’s always a chance you’ll get a defective one and have to exchange it.
Some printer manufacturers sell augments to their warranties with services such as HP’s Printer Care Packs. These packs offer perks like telephone and chat support along with replacement parts and prepaid shipping for your printer in case it breaks down or needs to be replaced.
What are printer drivers?
Just like a car, without a driver, a printer just won't go. The difference is that instead of a human driver, your printer needs a software one. Drivers are the bit of software that allows your computer to communicate with your printer. Most printers will automatically download the driver when they're connected to the internet, but many still come with an installation CD with the necessary drivers.
If you don’t have an optical drive on your computer, you can go to the printer manufacturer's website to download the appropriate ones for your model. Drivers periodically update, and you need to make sure you stay on top of them. Some may update automatically, but you should check every few months to make sure you have the latest drivers so you can take full advantage of all the features your printer has to offer.
What’s the difference between ink and toner?
If you’re unfamiliar with printers, you may accidentally pick up toner instead of ink, or vice versa. Because ink and toner represent the major ongoing costs of having a printer, you should check which one your printer uses before you buy.
So, how do they differ? The difference between ink and toner, primarily, is that one is a liquid and one is a powder. Ink is used in inkjet printers, which physically deposit the ink onto the page. Toner is used in laser printers, where it is statically adhered to the page and then usually thermally bonded to the paper – slightly different printing processes, different physical characteristics, the end result being the same: letters on the page.