Over the past few years, Chromebooks and printers have both become ubiquitous tech products in the remote work and education world. This is also despite Google axing its Cloud Print Service in December 2020, which up to that point, was the only means of printing on any Chromebook. Gratefully, nowadays, users can easily connect to these printers via Wi-Fi, USB, or wired LAN (ChromeOS can't print over Bluetooth, however).
So, which is best for you? We've selected our favorite Chromebook printers, ranging from budget home models to more premium all-in-ones for your home, dorm, or office space. Either way, we've got you covered.
The best monochrome laser printer
- Good print speed
- Auto duplex printing in a small profile
- Lacks all-in-one features
- Included toner cartridge is only good for approximately 500 pages
If a printer was a tank, the Brother HL-L2350DW would be it. Made to output pages quickly and reliably, this monochrome laser printer can frequently be found in the top-seller list.
The shockingly affordable price hides a robust set of features usually found on higher-priced models. The blazing fast 32 pages per minute (ppm) output, deep 250-paper capacity, and automatic two-sided duplex printing are among the reasons why this should be on your shopping list. There's also a manual feed slot that handles a variety of papers and sizes, such as card stock, envelopes, etc.
You may want to skip this if your home or small business needs to scan, make copies, or fax — this printer is specifically made to print and handle documents wonderfully.
HP OfficeJet Pro 9025e
The best color inkjet printer
- Excellent print quality
- Fast print speeds
- Tilting touchscreen
- All-in-one functions
- HP Instant Ink not practical for low print volumes
- Small ADF tray for the class
The HP OfficeJet Pro 9025e all-in-one color inkjet printer is ideal for small-to-midsize offices, but it can easily fit the needs of a home office as well, thanks in part to its solid performance, capacity, and competitive pricing.
Packed with plenty of printer mod-cons, the 9025e sports 500 sheet capacity (split into two trays), borderless printing, high-resolution copy-scan-fax functions, copious connectivity and security options, top-loading automatic document feeder (ADF) — among others. The printer can produce good quality prints up to 4800 x 1200 resolution in color and can scan documents at 1200 dpi. Print speeds are average for this class at 25 ppm for monochrome pages and 20 ppm for color.
The 9025e comes with six months of HP's Instant Ink subscription service, which automatically sends you new cartridges when the printer detects that your ink levels are low. The price-per-page for this subscription service can be great if you print a lot, so if your weekly or monthly output is low, you may be better off purchasing replacement cartridges only as needed.
The best color laser printer
- Excellent print quality
- Additional one-sheet feeder tray
- Auto duplex printing
- Cost-per-page costs can be high
The Brother HL-L3270CDW is essentially an entry-level color laser-class LED version of the L2350DW mentioned above.
Brother laser printers are renown for their typesetter-quality text, and the L3270CDW is no different. It produces good detail, bright colors at a speedy 25 ppm for color pages. These qualities make this printer an ideal candidate for small business or workgroups that need to print a lot of documents (up to a recommended 1,500 pages per month). The only downside to be mindful of is the potentially high running costs, which is common to entry-level printers.
If you have no need for the onboard cloud apps, NFC connectivity, touch screen, and prefer a smaller and lighter printer, there's the HL-L3230CDW that offers Wi-Fi Direct printing instead.
HP DeskJet 3755
The best budget color inkjet printer
- Attractive design
- Low cost
- Slow print speeds
A stylish replacement of the HP Tango X line of printers, the DeskJet 3755 is a great addition for student dorms or even home offices where a compact, affordable printer is a must.
We think that the seaglass colorway and unique curves of the 3755 will suit the young student over the bland white or black boxes that seem to be the de rigueur of this class of printers. Looks aside, the 3755 offers up to 15 ppm in color and 19 ppm in monochrome, which is pretty decent for this category and size. Print quality is very solid, whether it is documents or photographs (the printer can output up to 4800 x 1200 dpi interpolated resolution), although the ink capacity can drain quickly, especially when printing photos. Still, unlike the other printers listed here, the two on-board ink cartridges are easier and cheaper to replace.
Other features of the HP 3755 include the ability to scan and copy and wirelessly print, plus a free 4 months supply of ink when you enroll in the HP Instant Ink program.
Epson EcoTank ET-3760
The best eco-friendly color inkjet printer
- No cartridge waste
- Refill ink as needed
- Good print quality
- ADF tray relatively small
- Slow print speeds
Don't want the hassle and waste of replacing ink cartridges? The Epson EcoTank ET-3760 inkjet might be just up your alley, allowing you to instead refill whichever ink chambers that are empty with ink bottles. This solution is great in a world where black and color ink are sealed in one cartridge, thus requiring costly replacement when any of the chambers deplete. With the ET-3760, you refill as needed!
The ET-3760 is ideal for a small business setup where print volumes and frequency is relatively average. It's not the quickest, offering up to 15 ppm in B&W and 8 ppm in color jobs. The ADF tray holds 30-pages for scanning and copying. Note: Even though the ET-3760 is listed as an all-in-one printer, it does not have faxing capabilities. Duplex printing is also available, as well as a respectable 250-sheet storage tray.
Frequently Asked Questions
Since Google's Cloud Print Service was phased out at the end of 2020, there has been confusion as to which printers ChromeOS supports. The general rule is most printers on sale today are Chromebook compatible by simply connecting via Wi-Fi, USB, or LAN. Some vendors have also been quick to roll out their own apps for ChromeOS to provide the same functionality that Windows and Mac users have come to expect. Bluetooth printing is still not supported by Chromebooks and ChromeOS, so be aware of that.
As you research or shop for a printer, keep an eye out for devices with the "Works with Chromebook" label. That means the printer is certified to work seamlessly with your Chromebook. Still, it's nonetheless prudent to cross-check the manufacturer's website to ensure that the printer you're planning to purchase is truly compatible with the operating system.
Each brand has their strength and renown set of features. For example, Brother prides itself on typesetter-grade prints, while Epson makes great photo printers. Whichever brand you choose, particularly the stalwarts like Canon, Kyocera, HP, and so on, you can be sure that they produce a wide variety of solid machines that cater to every printing need.
While choosing one over the other may seem daunting, in recent years, features and technologies have achieved a level of parity, which means, nowadays, it's quite hard to go wrong with almost any printer brand out there.
Absolutely, but with a caveat. The printer itself can be accessed from anywhere if you're on a mobile device with the vendor app installed. Ever since Google Cloud Print Service was taken offline, the only means of cloud printing through a Chromebook device would be to install third-party applications. These usually have limited print functions and require a paid subscription to access all the features.
Both of these have their pluses and minuses. Laser have a higher outright cost, both in the cost of the machine and toner cartridge, but they also generally have a much higher month output capability than other printer types. If your print volume is high, laser printers are cheaper to run in the long term.
Conversely, inkjet printers are cheaper to buy upfront, so it's ideal if you're on a tighter budget or you won't be printing a lot of documents. One area where inkjets generally excel over laser printers is photo print quality, unless you are willing to spend a lot on a high-end color laser model.
For more information, we suggest looking at our printer buying guide as well.
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