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Best printer

Printer and computer on desk
(Image credit: Evelyn Geissler on Unsplash)

You can’t beat the versatility of all-in-one printers. They can print, scan, copy, and even fax, making them indispensable to home offices. Compact printers are handy, too, but are much smaller to help save space in your home office. Whether you need an option for school, work, art, or for printing photographs, we’ve rounded up the best here.

Best overall

Canon G3260 all-in-one-printer

(Image credit: Canon)

Canon G3260 all-in-one printer

Printer, copier, scanner

This inkjet printer from Canon creates high-quality prints in both color and in black and white from your home computer or your mobile device. It also has a scanner and copier built-in. 

Pros:

  • Great wireless connectivity
  • Good photo prints
  • Well designed

Cons:

  • No battery pack included

This device holds 350 pieces of paper and prints quickly. It can handle producing borderless photos in multiple sizes and has mobile capabilities. Refilling ink is simple, too; they can be refilled with handy bottles. But the ink lasts, creating 6,000 pages in black and white or 7,700 pages in color before ink is required.

Best compact printer

HP OfficeJet All-in-One 250 compact printer

(Image credit: HP)

HP OfficeJet 250 All-in-One Printer

Wireless printing from mobile device

HP OfficeJet 250 All-in-One has an amazing print resolution and prints 250 full-colored pages in under 8 minutes. It comes with a scanner and Bluetooth connectivity that lets you print, scan and copy documents from a laptop or mobile device.

Pros:

  • Great performance
  • Large paper tray
  • Prints, scans, and copies

Cons:

  • Heavy for a compact printer
  • A bit pricey

This printer features an auto-feed that supports various paper sizes including legal paper, envelopes, index cards, and photo paper. It’s much quieter than the average printer, so you won’t disturb people around you if you need to use it in a busy office environment

Best wireless printer

Epson Wf-110 mobile printer compact

(Image credit: Epson)

Epson Workforce WF-110 Wireless Printer

Built-in battery for easy charging

The Epson Workforce printer has intuitive controls and an LED screen that doesn’t require a lot of setup to start printing. 

Pros:

  • Built-in battery for easy charging
  • Many connectivity options

Cons:

  • Slow print speed

The included rechargeable battery means you can print documents from anywhere including a hotel room, airport terminal, or in your car. The Epson Workforce prints clear in both colored and monotone, though its print speed is a bit on the slow side. It’s good enough to print 6 x 4 borderless photos.

Best photo printer

HP Sprocket Select photo printer

(Image credit: Amazon)

HP Sprocket Select

Print photos from your phone

The HP Sprocket Select printer uses zero-ink, or “Zink,” technology, which uses heat-activated paper instead of ink or dye when it prints. It links to your smartphone, so you can immediately print any photo you capture.

Pros:

  • Smartphone friendly
  • Super compact

Cons:

  • Photo quality not the best
  • Requires specialty paper

It’s small enough to fit your pocket or purse and use whenever and wherever. It holds 10 sheets of 5 x 3 paper, so you don’t have to feed the printer every time you print. However, it takes a speical type of paper and this can be a little costly.

Key features to look for when buying a printer

Output

Print quality is one of the most important considerations when buying any kind of printer, so we looked at documents printed by each machine under high magnification. Since you likely won’t compare sample documents side by side in person as you choose a printer, we suggest comparing their print resolutions, which is a good indicator of how much detail a printer can recreate in images. The higher the numbers, the better the resolution. Smaller, high-resolution printers usually cost more, so you may have to compromise on resolution and portability to find something in your price range. If you're printing pictures, we'd recommend a printer designed specifically for printing photos.

We looked for printers that can standard-size, 8.5 x 11 documents, but the more flexibility you have in your paper choice the better. While all the printers we considered handle standard-size paper, watch for special paper requirements. This is especially true for photo printers that may only take a specific size, type, or brand of paper.

Manufacturers list printer speed in the machines’ specs, but we timed the models we reviewed to approximate their speed in real-world conditions. Based on what you’re using the printer for, speed may be important to consider.

Ink & media

You want to check to see what types of cartridges your inkjet compact printer uses. If it takes high-yield cartridges, you can usually shave off a few cents per page. Or you might consider a printer that uses thermal print technology, though the specialty paper these machines use comes at its own expense.

Pay attention to the printer’s regular output specifications, including the maximum number of pages the manufacturer suggests printing per month, called the monthly duty cycle. Regularly printing above this number can wear the machine down faster and cause damage, so make sure the duty cycle matches up with your needs.

Connectivity

Printers that connect to a variety of online storage and cloud systems are more useful, especially now that so much is stored digitally. Check to make sure you’re preferred cloud storage program is supported by your printer.

Printer design

Generally, the lighter a mobile printer is the better. However, we looked for models that balance features and quality with their compact size. As you look at a mobile printer, check its dimensions to see if it’ll fit inside of the carrier you typically use, like a laptop bag or backpack.

Another important consideration is the battery life. Check to see how many documents you can print or days you can go before you need to recharge the battery. If you have to plug the battery in regularly, it impacts the printer’s overall portability.

Why trust us

At Top Ten Reviews, we recommend the best products to enhance your life. As experts, we handpick products based on quality and usefulness to positively impact your life. We take our responsibility seriously — testing products, reading reviews, and sourcing knowledgeable outlets to ensure our selections are worthy of your time and money. Our detailed product overviews balance objective information with subjective opinions, so making the best choice for your home and lifestyle is easy.

Luke is a veteran tech journalist with decades of experience covering everything from TVs, power tools, science and health tech to VPNs, space, gaming and cars. You may recognize him from appearances on plenty of news channels or have read his words which have been published in most tech titles over the years. In his spare time (of which he has little as a father of two) Luke likes yoga, surfing, meditation, DIY and consuming all the books, comics and movies he can find.