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The best cheap printers for 2021

Back in the day when printers first went mainstream, many sold at extremely high prices. Today’s best printers sell at a fraction of the cost, allowing you to print photos, documents, and everything in between without shelling out insane wads of cash. They even ditch the old tether for a wireless connection.

Anyone can now buy a cheap printer, but which is the best? Which provides the most bang for your buck? Keep reading to find out!

At a glance

Canon Pixma iP8720

The Canon Pixma iP8720 printing a photo.

The Pixma iP8720 is an excellent, home-friendly printer that combines great features with an affordable price. The quality is good enough for photo printing, and it can accommodate 13×19 prints if you need wider formats. The paper tray holds 120 sheets, and our tests showed that printing speeds were around 13.3 pages per minute (ppm) for black and white, while Canon claims up to 10.4 ppm for color.

Overall, the Pixma iP8720 is a remarkable printer and a great pick, especially for those who need to print flyers and other slightly larger materials. If you’re a professional photographer or earnest amateur, however, you may want a printer with higher image quality.

This printer also supports both USB connections and Wi-Fi, with added support for Apple AirPrint and Google Cloud Print.

HP DeskJet 3755

The HP DeskJet 3755 sitting on a desk with a laptop.

One of the most affordable printers in this guide, the HP DeskJet 3755, might look less impressive and imposing than its contemporaries. However, its compact sizing and high print quality make it one of the best choices for a low-cost printer today. It’s fully Wi-Fi compatible for wireless printing and weighs just 5.13 pounds, making it easy to squeeze into pretty much any space.

With this kind of price tag, you do have to make some sacrifices, most notably in copier and scanning resolution limitations. The onboard display and button controls aren’t the most expansive either, but you don’t buy the DeskJet 3755 for its ability to do everything better than most. It can do what most others do and it does a passable job at all of it, but it’s far from class-leading.

When it comes to photo printing, though, we were impressed with its detail and color reproduction in our own testing. It’s not fast and it’s a little loud, but the HP DeskJet 3755 is very affordable. If you need to save space, it’s a great choice for smaller desks.

Epson WorkForce Pro WF-3720

The Epson WorkForce Pro WF-3720 sitting on a desk.

The WorkForce Pro WF-3720 is Epson’s take on the all-in-one printer in the sub-$100 bracket. This model packs a 35-page auto document feeder, automatic two-sided printing, and a 2.7-inch color touchscreen to easily navigate and change the printer’s settings. It also includes a fax component in case you still need that old-fashioned document transport technology.

What makes this printer stand out is its support for NFC technology. That means if your mobile device packs an NFC component (and it probably does), all you need to do is touch that device to the printer’s surface for a direct connection. Otherwise, you can print to the WF-3720 using a USB cable, through your wired/wireless network, or directly through Apple’s AirPrint or Wi-Fi Direct.

Brother MFC-J885DW

The Brother MFC-J885DW printing a document.

As we noted in our full review, this model offers plenty of great features at an affordable price. Its compact form makes it ideal for fitting under a desk or on a shelf  — but at the slight cost of a smaller 20-sheet automatic document feeder and 100-sheet main paper drawer. Our tests found the printer achieved around 14ppm for the average Word document, but speeds drop with more complex content.

Connectivity options vary from USB and Wi-Fi, and like our Epson pick, this model also includes NFC tap-to-print. There’s also a telephone jack for more traditional fax setups and a USB port/SD port section for fast file exchanges.

Controls on the Brother printer provide an easy-to-use 2.7-inch LCD touchscreen. Printing speed is around 12ppm in monochrome and 10ppm in color.

Epson Expression Home XP-4100

The Epson Expression Home XP-4100 control panel and printing options.

Epson’s Expression printers are specifically designed for homes where printing isn’t common, but there are still some documents or photos that need to be printed. Thanks to extra-simple controls, anyone can use these printers.

Despite its overall simplistic design, the XP-4100 offers welcome premium features like automatic 2-sided printing and Wi-Fi Direct compatibility for mobile devices. Voice activation allows you to instantly print shopping lists, for example.

10mm isn’t a mind-blowing speed, but Epson didn’t design the Expression Home XP-4100 for hefty work orders. When buying replacement cartridges, keep in mind that it requires a special type of cartridge with instant-dry Clarian ink.

Kyocera ECOSYS P5026cdw

Kyocera 1102RB2US0 ECOSYS P5026cdw.

You might require the type of printer that’s able to efficiently print large jobs at lightning-fast speed if you operate a marketing firm, nonprofit organization, or similar business from your home. This printer by Kyocera is reasonably priced and will provide you a business-appropriate level of printing.

This Kyocera printer boasts speeds as high as 27ppm, comes with color and black ink, and supports several paper types. It’s compatible with Google Cloud Print, AirPrint, and the Mobile Print service by Kyocera. Users can print on the fly using its USB interface, wireless printing, and Wi-Fi direct for massive files.

Epson EcoTank ET-2760

The Epson EcoTank ET-2760 and its ink bottles for refilling.

Whether you use a printer frequently or only depend on it now and then, saving money on ink cartridges is important! If one of your concerns is long-term costs for using the printer is ink, then you need a super-efficient printer that offers long-lasting cartridges. It’s no surprise that Epson has stepped up on this account, with the home-friendly EcoTank.

As the name suggests, the EcoTank all-in-one is made with a focus on ink efficiency: Instead of using traditional ink cartridges, it uses refillable ink tanks so you can add more ink from the bottles as needed. This one of the most cost-efficient methods of managing a printer, and while it may not work in a busy commercial setting, it’s an effective choice at home.
The EcoTank ET-2760 printer comes with two years of ink if you are a regular user. Other features include auto two-sided printing for saving on paper, a memory card slot for direct uploads, and compatibility with both Alexa and Google Assistant for voice commands.

HP LaserJet Pro M15W

Close view of the HP LaserJet Pro M15W.

HP is one of the best producers of compact, low-cost printers that are ideal for saving space and money, especially if you have relatively few printing occasions in your paperless life. HP calls it the smallest laser printer in its class (13.6-inches wide), but that doesn’t keep the model from having several advantages of laser printers, including the efficiency of using toner and a speedy startup time. It prints up to 19 ppm and works via the versatile HP app that can connect to common cloud services — or you can use Wi-Fi Direct connections from a specific device if you prefer.

The HP LaserJet Pro M15WHP LaserJet Pro M15W is the ideal printer option if you may need to print once every few weeks or so, but don’t have a high ongoing demand and are primarily interested in cost-savings and reliability.

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