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Best All In One Printers

Best All in One Printers - Wireless Printer Reviews, Comparison

After carefully examining hundreds of printed pages over several months, we’ve found the best all-in-one printers for homes and small businesses. The HP Officejet Pro 8740 combines the highest print quality with the most features, like its large capacity paper tray and wireless connectivity options, making it our top choice for all-in-one printers. We were impressed with the device’s durability and precision when we ran the printer through our barrage of testing, which makes us think it’s the best available.

ProductPriceOverall RatingOutput QualitySpeedOperating CostsPaper HandlingVersatilityHelp and SupportRecommended Month UseDuty Cycle Cost Per Page (High Capacity) Cost Per Page (Standard)Photo Print QualityDocument Print QualityMax. Print Resolution (DPI)Scan QualityCopy QualityAutomatic DuplexPaper Capacity Secondary Input TrayDocument Feeder CapacityWarrantyLive ChatOnline ManualFAQsPhoneSocialTroubleshooting GuideForumsEmailBlack Print SpeedPhoto Print SpeedColor Print SpeedScan to WebApple AirPrintProprietary AppMopria CertifiedPrint from USB StorageNetworking (Wi-Fi)NFC Capability Print from Media CardNetworking (Wired)Integrated Fax Print from CameraGoogle Cloud Print
HP Officejet Pro 8740 All-in-OneView Deal4.5/58.3108.88.5892,00030,0000.100.12CB2400x1200A-B-250250501 YearAA-A+
Canon Pixma MG7720View Deal4/510655.867.3No ClaimNo Claim0.150.18A-A9600x2400BC+12520 (Photo)1 YearC-A+C
Brother Business Smart Plus MFC-J5330DWView Deal4/57.59107.510102,00030,0000.020.03Not TestedNot Tested4800x1200Not TestedNot Tested250100502 YearsA+DB+
Canon Pixma MG6821View Deal4/59.86.835.547.3No ClaimNo Claim0.18AA-4800x2400A+C-10020 (Photo)1 YearB-A+C
Epson Workforce WF-3640View Deal4/,30020,0000.110.19BC4800x2400C+B500250351 YearB+A-C
Epson Expression Premium XP-830 Small-in-OneView Deal4/59735.8107.8No ClaimNo Claim0.200.18A+C+5760x1400DA10020 (Photo)301 YearB-A-C+
Brother MFC J680DWView Deal4/58.86.565.887.81,0002,5000.120.16C+B+6000x1200A-A-10020 (Photo)201 YearCC-B-
Brother Work Smart MFC-J885DWView Deal4/58.368.85.510101,0002,5000.070.12B-B-6000x1200BB+10020 (Photo)12 YearsCC-C+

Best Overall

HP Officejet Pro 8740

HP Officejet Pro 8740

Built to last, this model uses durable materials in its construction.
It has an extra paper tray and a plain paper capacity of 500 sheets.
Both black-and-white and color printing on this machine are fast, at an average of about 15 pages per minute.
Photo printing takes a little longer.
If you’re looking for a home office printer for occasional use, you won’t need all the extra features this printer has to offer.
This printer takes up a lot of desk space.

The HP Officejet’s performance in our tests makes it the best overall all-in-one printer, especially for those looking for a high-volume model. With a recommended printing capacity of 2,000 pages a month, the HP Officejet Pro 8740 is a real workhorse.

In addition to being able to produce a large quantity of printed documents, the Officejet Pro also has great print resolution of 1200 x 600 dpi (dots per inch) in black and white and an impressive 9600 x 2400 dpi in color, which means that the images you print will be sharp and clean. Speed is always a factor when using an at-home printer, and the HP Officejet is fast, printing at over 15 pages per minute in both black and white and color.

With two printing trays that each hold 250 pages, this printer can stock a standard-size ream of paper, which means replacing your paper less frequently. It also offers many wireless connectivity options so that you can print from mobile devices.

The only real downside is its size. At 15.6 inches high, 19.4 inches wide and 18.1 inches deep, this printer takes up a lot of valuable desk space.

While this printer has the best combination of speed, quality and capacity of all-in-ones available right now, it might be a little overkill for the average family. To get the best value, you’ll only want to go with this printer if you use it daily and for a large volume of documents.

Best Photo Printer

Canon Pixma MG7720

Canon Pixma MG7720

The Canon Pixma's photo print time and quality are better than any printer we reviewed.
It comes with two additional color inks that help make the print quality richer than other all-in-ones.
Despite having more ink colors, the price per page is still reasonable at about 0.18 cents.
It lacks fax capability.
It is missing a direct USB connection.
For copies or scans, there’s no document feeder on this printer, which can be a hassle if you’re trying to scan a larger document.

The Canon Pixma MG7720 is a great choice for a desktop family printer. Its smaller size and superb print quality make it great for high-quality print projects in households where it won't get constant use.

While both the black and white and color page speeds on this printer are on the slow side at 1.5 pages per minute with a resolution of 9600 x 2400 dots per inch, the Canon Pixma reproduces high-resolution photos faster and better than any of the other all-in-one printers we tested. The superior print quality comes from the Canon Pixma’s six cartridges, which includes gray and photo-black ink and makes the print contrast more accurate.

Because of these additional cartridges, we found the cost would come to about 0.18 cents per printed page, slightly higher than other devices but still a good value.

The printer also includes multiple ways to connect to your device. It has wired and wireless options, including cloud, Wi-Fi and app printing, as well as via ethernet cable. The printer is missing a USB connection, which is bit of a letdown if you’re looking to directly connect a laptop or other device.

Although this printer is a great value for a home printer, it’s missing some features that would be helpful if you’re looking for a printer that can handle a heavier office workload, such as a larger paper tray; the Pixma only has room for 125 sheets in its primary tray and another 20 pages in its secondary tray. The Canon Pixma is also missing a document feeder for copies and a built-in faxing capability.

Best Value

Brother Business Smart Plus MFC-J533DW

Brother Business Smart Plus MFC-J533DW

For a lower price, you get many of the same connectivity options as our best picks.
At 15 pages a minute, the printer’s speed is as good as some of the best printers out there.
It works with both A3 and A4 paper.
The design isn’t as streamlined or enduring as other printers.
The print quality isn’t as clean or as vivid as some of the best photo and all-in-one printers.
When an ink cartridge runs out, you must replace it. You can’t change the settings to use whatever is left over to continue to print.

This bulky printer is great for those looking to get all the basic features of an all-in-one printer without the price tag. While it means missing out on some luxuries, like six different color ink cartridges and a streamlined look, the Brother Business Smart Plus MFCJ5330DW offers wireless or wired connectivity, a large paper tray, and enough features to satisfy a small-business owner.

Our research showed this printer didn’t have the clear and clean printing of some units we looked at, so you’ll want to take that into consideration if you’re planning to use the documents you print for presentation or display. The colors also weren’t as precise, but we don’t expect more from a four-cartridge printer.

This printer doesn’t seem as durable or as well built as some of the others we reviewed, but it does offer good functionality for a decent price. Many all-in-ones don’t offer multiple paper size options, but this printer can do both standard-size 8.5 x 11-inch paper and 11 x 17-inch paper from different trays.

Over the life of the printer, you can save some additional money because of the printer’s Energy Star certification and its ability to use higher-capacity ink cartridges.

While it might not have the lasting power of our best overall printer, it has all the connectivity options of a top-of-the-line printer, so we’d recommend it for those with a tighter budget.

Best for Offices

Epson Workforce WF-3640

Epson Workforce WF-3640

Robust feature set makes it a good choice for offices
Middling print quality

The Epson Workforce WF-3640’s impressive feature set makes it stand out from the other printers we tested.

For example, it has lots connectivity options that make it easy to send and save documents to a variety of locations in the cloud. It isn’t the fastest printer we tested, but it’s still fast, printing seven pages per minute in color and 14 pages per minute in black and white. The one downside is it didn’t perform as well as other models in our print tests. Ultimately, the Workforce WF-3640’s print, scan and copy quality are passable but not excellent. Its ongoing costs for ink are average compared to other printers, and it accepts high-capacity cartridges that drop the per-page printing price even lower. The paper tray holds 500 sheets, which is huge, and the printer includes a secondary tray with space for another 250 sheets.

Best Photo Print Quality

Epson Expression Premium XP-830 all-in-one

Epson Expression Premium XP-830 all-in-one

Outstanding photo print quality
Missing connectivity features and produces lower-quality documents

This was the only all-in-one printer we reviewed to score an A+ in photo print quality during our testing. The photos it printed were consistently more detailed and had better color quality than those its competitors produced.

This is thanks to its five-color ink cartridge design. It includes a special, deeper black in addition to the standard black, cyan, magenta and yellow. The superior results in our tests speak for themselves.

However, the ink setup and increased usage also make the printer more expensive to operate, and the ink costs more as well. All told, you’ll pay about 18 to 20 cents per page you print. The all-in-one printer with the lowest printing price was the Brother Business TK – it only costs about 2 cents per page. Additionally, the Epson Expression Premium XP-830 Small-in-One's paper tray holds only 100 sheets, so you have to refill it more frequently than other printers'.

Another trade-off is its subpar results when it prints regular documents. It scored a C+ in our test because we found ink spotting and alignment issues.

Also, this machine lacks several of the connectivity features we look for. It isn’t compatible with Google Cloud Print or Mopria. In addition, while Apple users can print with the AirPrint app, Android users have to use Epson’s proprietary app.

This tabletop printer takes up much less space than its standing counterparts. If all you need is an all-in-one printer with basic features, such as a scanner, copier and fax machine, the Epson Expression Premium XP-830 Small-in-One is a very good option. That is, if you can tolerate the flaws in the documents it prints.

Best Scan Quality

Canon Pixma MG6821

Canon Pixma MG6821

Makes outstanding digital files through its scanning features
Substandard copy quality

We ran a scanning quality test on every all-in-one printer we reviewed. The Canon Pixma MG6821 was the only product to score an A+. So, if you have a lot of paper documents that need digital archiving, this is the printer you want to buy.

In addition to excellent scanning capabilities, this printer also makes great quality photo prints. Only the Epson Expression Premium XP-830 scored higher in our photo print quality test.

This is also a great budget printer. At the time of this writing, you can pick it up for about $90, making it the least expensive all-in-one printer we reviewed. For contrast the most expensive is the Canon Pixma MG7720, which will run you a bit more than $360.

Of course, it’s not a perfect printer. It scored the lowest of all the printers we reviewed in copy quality. But a good way around this would be to scan the files you want to copy and print those off since it's much better quality, but that’s a workaround that should be unnecessary in an all-in-one printer.

It’s also missing some of the features we look for in this category such as an integrated fax machine and the ability to print directly from a USB device, but those are some of the trade-offs for a nicely priced printer.

Why Trust Us?

At Top Ten Reviews, we’ve been testing all-in-one printers for about 10 years. Using our research, we selected 10 of the best wireless printers on the market right now, which were either loaned to us by manufacturers or purchased independently for our review. Manufacturers and retailers had no input on our testing, and our results were not shared with any manufacturer prior to publication. We tested the devices by printing both documents and photos, using generic plain printer paper for all printing tests and a common name-brand glossy photo paper for all photo prints. Since new printers usually come with sample-size starter ink cartridges, we also procured full-capacity ink cartridges for each printer to guarantee our testing conformed to normal use.

In our search for the best wireless all-in-one inkjets, we found some of the top models on the market today and tested their many functions. We combed through dozens of products, sifting through specifications to find models that come with all the right features that go beyond printing, including scan and copy capability, wireless networking and mobile compatibility. In today’s world of laptops, tablets and phones, it’s more important than ever for manufacturers to make it simple to connect to a printer.

After looking at the printer’s output quality, we evaluated the printers in other areas to make sure they limit frustration: printing speed, cost of ink, paper handling and versatility.

For an outside perspective, we reached out to Brian Westover, the editor at Tom’s Guide over printer coverage. We asked him about the most important thing to look for in an all-in-one printer. “The same with any tech, the first question is what you want to do with it, and that will determine what you end up getting,” Westover said. He added that “with an all-in-one printer, you’re looking at multiple functionality options. In addition to printing, you’ve got scanning, copying, sometimes fax capability, sometimes photo printing … use case is really the first thing to figure out.”

Westover also pointed out other considerations that people often overlook. “One of the big things to watch for is cost per page. A lot of people don’t think beyond the purchase price of the printer. But printers, more than perhaps any other piece of tech, have ongoing costs associated with them.

How We Tested

We ran each printer through a battery of printing tests, going through nearly 80 pages of documents. We then examined every page of these print samples, evaluating text clarity and color blending and watching for errors like ink spotting, streaking and print head misalignment. We also printed photos, using high-resolution images to test image reproduction and color quality.

If you’re looking to digitize documents to move toward a paperless office, scan and copy quality is paramount. Whether you’re duplicating pages from a book or doing some digital scrapbooking, printers with top-rated scanning do the job quickly without losing any important details.

You may not care about all of these, but they’re worth considering as you make your buying decision. Whatever your specific use case is, we’re here to help you find not only the best wireless printer on the market but the best wireless printer for you.

Features to Look for When Choosing 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. For more information about these devices, check out our articles on inkjet printers.

Our print quality scores put most of the focus on document printing, but many printers actually do better with photos than they do with basic documents. If you want a printer that prints high-quality photos, look at any of our reviews that have an A or B rating for photo print quality. These printers stood out in our testing with near-professional-quality photo prints that had sharp detail and good color reproduction.

Frustration-Free Devices
Printers can be tricky devices. There will always be at least a few setup steps between you and your first printed page, so we look for printers that make that process as frustration-free as possible. We look for high-capacity trays so you don’t need to change the paper in your device as often. We also look at speed so you don’t have to stand around waiting for something important to print. So that you can keep a handle on future and not just upfront costs, we calculated the average price of ink for each of the printers we tested. Pay attention to these cost comparisons when assessing your short-term and long-term budget.

Connectivity & Features
Top-rated wireless printers have mobile compatibility for your smartphone or tablet, connectivity that plays nicely with Wi-Fi or wired networks, and a variety of built-in features that once required a specialized device such as a scanner or copier. Pair all of this capability with inkjet technology for affordable printing and refills and you’ve got a multifunction device that covers all of your document needs.

Scan Quality
Making digital copies of physical documents is a critical feature of any all-in-one printer. A high quality scan makes all the difference when you pull a document out of the archive. A subpar scanner will produce documents that are fuzzy and distorted, which can make documents hard to read and in some cases, completely unusable.

We used each printer we reviewed to scan black-and-white as well as color documents and examined the results. We took image resolution, detail capture and color reproduction into account and assigned each mode.

A Few Things to Keep in Mind

We’ve covered the main concerns, but there are other details to keep in mind when shopping for a wireless all-in-one printer. Does it support photo printing? What’s the scan and copy quality like? Is there easy access to support services? These may not be everyone’s focus when buying an all-in-one printer, but all are significant concerns if they speak to what you need.

Should You Get an All-in-One Printer?

Even though we’re printing less and storing more digitally, there’s still reason to have these devices in your home and office settings, especially for their scanning and copying abilities and their ability to print photos and projects.

Printers aren’t stuck with one or two functions anymore, as once-exotic functions like color printing, photo printing, scan and copy capability, and mobile connectivity have gone mainstream and can be found in the top all-in-one printers. At this point, finding a printer without these functions takes some real hunting, and multifunction designs are the name of the game as printing becomes less prevalent. But not all printers have the same capabilities, and quality differs from one model to another, so keep your eye out for the features you need.

Portable Photo Printers 

If you want a more portable option than those in our comparison, so that you can print photos from your phone or social media feed, a portable photo printer is a better option. Here are some portable printers that can connect wirelessly to your mobile devices.

Polaroid Zip
This is the most compact photo printer available. It’s small enough to fit in your pocket and works with iOS and Android devices. The Zip prints 2 x 3 inch, full-color photos with a sticky back to attach to any hard surface. The Polaroid companion app allows you to perform simple edits and print the finalized photos in less than a minute. The unique zero ink design means you never have to replace a cartridge, and the replacement paper is readily available at popular retail websites.

HP Sprocket 2nd Edition
This portable photo printer is a bit larger than the Polaroid Zip, but it has a better companion app and allows several people to connect and print at the same time. It uses the same sticky-back, 2 x 3 inch paper as the Zip, and the companion app is available for Android and iOS mobile devices. The HP app has custom stickers with emojis, fun frame options and a photobooth feature that takes four photos to create a collage on a single sheet. There’s a Sprocket Plus edition with all the same features as the Sprocket, but it prints 30 percent larger photos.

Best Compact Printers 

The all-in-one printers we tested are best for copying, scanning and faxing documents, in addition to normal printing duties. If you don’t plan to use the extended functionality of an all-in-one printer, a compact printer is a more cost-effective option. We used the same protocol as we did with all-in-one printers to test print quality and functionality. Here are our favorite compact printers.

HP OfficeJet Mobile 200
This was the best performer in our print quality test. It has a small footprint and rechargeable battery for printing up to 500 documents without plugging into a wall socket. At a cost of 16 cents per page, the OfficeJet Mobile is also one of the most cost-efficient printers we tested. Inkjet cartridge replacements are readily available at big-box retailers and on HP’s website, or, if you want to save some money, remanufactured cartridges are in stock at our favorite discount ink cartridge stores.

HP DeskJet 3755
If you want a printer for under $100, this is the best option. It didn’t perform as well as the best printers we tested in terms of speed and print quality, but the wireless direct printing features and compact design make it a good candidate for apartments and small dorm rooms. The DeskJet 3755 is compatible with the HP Instant Ink service that automatically orders ink and ships it to you before you run out. The HP ePrint app allows you to connect mobile devices and print documents from your email or photos from your social network feed.

How to Know If an Ink Cartridge Is 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. When we searched for our HP Envy 4520, we found that it accepts HP 302 Black and HP 302 Tri-color 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 the best discount ink cartridge stores.

Does 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.” Westover said.  He added that 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.

How Much Does an All-in-One Printer Cost? 

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 we tested cost just over $150, though there are printers with basic features that cost even less. We recommend models that cost above $100, since those that cost less usually work out to be expensive over time.

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 we tested. 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.

Best Places to Buy or Refill Ink Cartridges 

Replenishing ink is the most expensive part of maintaining a printer. The fastest, most cost-effective option is to have empty cartridges refilled at one of the big box retail stores that offer the service. If you aren’t in a hurry and want a remanufactured or OEM cartridge that’s guaranteed to work and delivered to your doorstep, try one of the best online discount ink cartridge stores we reviewed. Here are our favorite places to replace an empty ink cartridge.

This discount ink cartridge website has the best selection of replacement cartridges of all the services we reviewed. Its prices are lower than average –about 3 cents per printed page for remanufactured cartridges and 7 cents per page for OEM cartridges. You can also add paper, cables and other printing supplies to break the free shipping price threshold. Shipping is fast and free for any order over $50. 4inkjets has a two-year guarantee for remanufactured cartridges and discounts for buying in bulk. After buying the ink cartridge you need once, you can use the service's reorder button to quickly place the same order again.

With more than 3,000 brick-and-mortar locations in the U.S., Walgreens is the best same-day option for refilling ink cartridges. It costs $13 to refill black or color cartridges, and the process takes less than an hour. You can call ahead to check on wait time for your preferred location. Walgreens uses the same high-quality ink you get in remanufactured cartridges and offers a money back guarantee if it doesn’t print at the same quality as a new cartridge. Printer maintenance professionals suggest refilling a cartridge a maximum of four times for optimal results.

OEM vs. Third-Party Ink Cartridges

When buying an all-in-one printer, it’s good to know about the machine's ongoing costs. The biggest part of that cost is ink. You can visit discount ink cartridge stores to save some money when it’s time to refill the tank. Most discount ink cartridge stores sell both OEM and third-party ink cartridges.

We asked Westover to explain the difference between the two types of ink cartridges. “An OEM ink cartridge is one made by the manufacturer of the printer. So, if it’s an HP printer it’s going to be HP ink. The alternative to OEM is third-party, which just means it’s made by someone else,” said Westover.

Refillable Ink Tanks vs. Refillable Cartridges

Some all-in-one printer manufacturers make models with refillable ink tanks rather than replaceable cartridges. We asked Westover about the benefits of buying a tank model. He said, “The biggest benefit with refillable ink tanks is that you’re paying for ink rather than the cartridge,” adding that, “More of your money is going to the liquid that lands on the page.”

Some third-party companies create refillable cartridges that are compatible with printers that don’t use tanks. Of those Westover said, “It will be cheaper – it may not always be as high of quality.” He emphasized that, “You don’t have the manufacturer’s quality control, and that’s part of what you give up in order to get those savings.”

Further, he said 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. “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,” said Westover.

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.


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 come with an installation CD with the necessary drivers. You should always install drivers before you connect your printer to your computer.

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 Fastest Printer?

When we tested the printers in this category our top overall pick, HP OfficeJet Pro, scored the highest. It printed out black-and-white documents at 16 pages per minute and color documents at 20. When testing was completed we graded this printer an A+ for color print speed, an A for black-and-white and an A- for photos.

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," Westover said. "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.” 

Contributing Reviewer: J. D. Chadwick