When printers first hit the consumer market, many came with high price tags. Today’s newer printers hit the market at a fraction of the cost of prior models. Now you can print photos, documents, and everything in between, and you don’t have to sacrifice features.
Some of the best cheap printers offer a wireless connection. Anyone can now buy a cheap printer, but keep reading to find out which one is best for you.
Canon Pixma iP8720
The Pixma iP8720 is an excellent showing by Canon, a home-friendly printer that combines excellent features with an affordable price. The printing quality is good enough for photo printing if necessary, and the printer can accommodate 13×19 prints if you need to work with 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.
The printer supports both USB connections and Wi-Fi, with added support for Apple AirPrint and Google Cloud Print if you use those services. Overall it’s a remarkable printer: If you’re a professional photographer or earnest amateur, you’ll probably want to pick something a bit higher up in the image quality department, but for everyone else, this printer is a great pick, especially those who need to print flyers and other slightly larger materials.
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 this printer is very affordable, and if you need to save space, it’s a great choice for smaller desks.
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 for navigating and changing the printer’s settings with just a finger. It includes a fax component too 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.
As we noted in our full review, this Brother scan, copy, fax, and printer model offers plenty of great features at an affordable price and a nicely compact form, ideal for fitting under a desk or on a shelf (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 printer provide an easy-to-use 2.7-inch LCD touchscreen. Printer speed is around 12ppm in monochrome and 10ppm in color.
Epson Expression Home XP-4100
The 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 out instead of managed digitally. With extra-simple controls, anyone can use this printer, but it still has welcome tech features like automatic 2-side printing, Wi-Fi Direct compatibility for mobile devices, and voice activation (which can do neat tricks like instantly printing shopping lists that you have made). The 10ppm speed isn’t very impressive, but this low-cost printer isn’t designed for heavy workloads. It does require instant-dry Clarian ink cartridges, so be careful when buying replacement ink.
Kyocera ECOSYS P5026cdw
If you run a marketing business, nonprofit, or similar organization from home, then you might need a different kind of printer–a heavy-duty model capable of handling larger printing jobs at high speeds. This Kyocera model will give you business-level printing at an affordable price with 27ppm speeds in both black and color with multiple paper types supported. There are wireless printing and Wi-Fi Direct for larger files, as well as USB host interface options for print on the go. AirPrint, Google Cloud Print, and Kyocera’s own Mobile Print options are all supported.
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