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The best inkjet printers for 2021

Inkjet printers are incredibly versatile. Besides text documents, many can also print photos — even museum-quality prints — labels, graphics, and other types of materials. Multifunction (all-in-one or MFP) variants add scan, copy, and fax functionalities, making them ideal for small offices and home environments.

After reviewing dozens of inkjet printers from across the market, we’re ready to make a few recommendations for the top spot. The best inkjet printer is the Epson WorkForce Pro WF-4830, but we also have a few other favorites you should take a look at.

The best inkjet printers at a glance

The best overall inkjet printer: Epson WorkForce Pro WF-4830

Epson WorkForce Pro WF-4830 printer with printed documents coming out of its front.
Epson/Walmart.com

Why we picked the Epson WorkForce Pro WF-4830:

The Epson WorkForce Pro WF-4830 is built for bustling offices that need to hit the ground running. If you need fast, high-quality prints frequently, this is the printer for you. Don’t let its size fool you; it has a total 500-sheet paper capacity that includes two paper trays that can accommodate 250 sheets of paper each. In terms of print speed, you can expect up to 25 black and white pages per minute and up to 12 color pages per minute. You’ll also get automatic two-sided printing, copying, scanning, and faxing, along with an auto document feeder with a 50-sheet capacity. Basically, you can do it all and get it done quickly with the Epson WorkForce Pro.

This all-in-one inkjet printer also features a 4.3-inch color touchscreen, Ethernet and Wi-Fi 5 connectivity, and support for mobile printing.

The best inkjet photo printer: Epson SureColor P700

Epson SureColor P700 Printer with a brightly colored photo print coming out of its front.

Why we picked the SureColor P700:

Epson’s newer SureColor P700 paints a pretty picture using a 10-channel, drop-on-demand printhead supporting colors ranging from cyan to black. That means each color has a dedicated nozzle, including Photo Black and Matte Black — no cartridge switching required. It relies on Epson’s UltraChrome Pro10 ink, promising colored print longevity of up to 200 years — or 400 years when only using black.

According to Epson, D-max is increased with this model, thanks to its new Carbon Black Driver mode for deeper blacks on glossy paper. The P700 can print up to a 5760 x 1440 resolution using a maximum printable area of 13 by 129 inches. It also prints on a standard 8.5-by-11-inch sheet in 89 seconds and on a 13-by-19-inch sheet in 143 seconds.

On the front of the SureColor P700, you’ll find a 4.3-inch customizable touchscreen. Support for iOS means you can print directly from an iPhone or iPad.

The best all-in-one inkjet printer: HP OfficeJet Pro 9025e

Front view of HP OfficeJet 9025e printer.
HP/BestBuy.com

Why we picked the HP OfficeJet Pro 9025e:

If you need a printer that lets you print from anywhere and can print quickly, the HP OfficeJet Pro 9025e is worth considering. This printer is all about reducing the amount of time you have to spend printing and scanning. There’s an auto-feeder that can handle up to 35 pages, automatic two-sided printing and scanning, a 500-sheet capacity, and a print speed of up to 24 pages per minute for both color and black and white prints. There are even special features (Shortcuts and Smart Tasks) that will help you speed up scanning tasks or create editable documents.

Plus, you can print remotely from any location using your cellular network or Wi-Fi and print from cloud storage services such as Dropbox or Google Drive. This is a great all-in-one option that’s designed to make your printing and scanning experience one less thing you need to worry about during your workday.

The best office inkjet printer: HP PageWide Pro 577dw

A person feeding a sheet of paper into a HP PageWide Pro 577dw printer.

Why we picked the PageWide Pro 577dw:

If speed is what you’re after, then your search ends with the 577dw. Technically, it’s not an inkjet printer in the traditional sense, but it shares certain traits like ink and quality.

Unlike an inkjet printer, which has a print head that travels back and forth across a sheet of paper, HP’s PageWide uses a stationary print head. This allows the machine to print up to 50 pages per minute in either black or color. However, like an inkjet printer, the 577dw uses a four-color ink tank system that’s easy to replace.

Besides Wi-Fi and Ethernet, the machine handles Wi-Fi Direct for peer-to-peer and NFC connections, as well as Apple AirPrint and Google Cloud Print. Security features let you monitor usage as well as ensuring it isn’t breached by unauthorized users.

Overall, the HP PageWide Pro 577dw is a multifunction device designed for office use and carries a price to match.

The best budget inkjet printer: HP DeskJet 3755

A teal and white HP DeskJet 3755 printer sitting on a white desk.
HP

Why we picked the HP DeskJet 3755:

This compact all-in-one printer combines affordability with an impressive feature set, high-resolution printing options, and easy cartridge management (only two cartridges, both fairly affordable). There are both USB 2.0 and Wi-Fi options and a simple set of onboard buttons for manual control.

It’s not the fastest printer around at eight pages per minute for black-and-white pages and five pages per minute for color, but at this low price, the printer has remarkable image quality, plus great versatility with copying and scanning options included. It’s rated for up to 1,000 pages per month, which should be no problem at all for a home printer.

If your printing needs are simple, you don’t need to spend a lot on a bulky or powerful printer when something like the HP DeskJet 3755 is already a perfect fit.

The most efficient inkjet printer: Epson EcoTank ET-3760

Front side of Epson EcoTank ET-3760 printer.
Epson/BestBuy.com

Why we picked the Epson EcoTank ET-3760:

The Epson EcoTank ET-3760 is our pick for the “most efficient” because it prioritizes efficiency in multiple ways: Easy-to-replace low-cost ink, duplex printing, support for mobile and wireless printing, and voice-activated printing with support for Alexa and Google Assistant. This printer makes the most of your time and ink.

One set of replacement ink bottles for this printer is expected to equal up to 80 individual ink cartridges. That means you could print for up to two years or up to 7,500 black and white pages or 6,000 color pages with one set of replacement ink bottles.

This inkjet printer also comes with a modest 150-sheet tray capacity, a 30-sheet automatic document feeder capacity, and print speeds of eight pages per minute for color prints and 15 pages per minute for black and white prints.

Research and buying tips

What is an inkjet printer?

An inkjet printer has one of the simplest printer designs, based on spraying fast-drying, wet inks onto paper. The printer is made of a print head that holds various ink cartridges and sprays that ink in tightly controlled patterns based on the printing job. The ink is directed through very tiny nozzles called jets. This ink is usually ionized, which allows it to be easily manipulated by magnetic plates for more accurate direction and control.

What are its advantages and disadvantages?

The simple design of inkjet printers makes them more affordable than many alternatives and quite durable. The wet ink is always ready to go, which means start-up times are very quick. With enough ink colors in the printer, it can produce very accurate photo prints. These features make inkjet printers very popular options for home printers.

However, inkjets have their limitations. Their ink can be expensive, and they aren’t very fast printers for large projects. Additionally, inkjet printers depend more on their paper for quality than other kinds of printers, so you need high-quality, heavier paper for the best results. They may also have restrictions of the kind printers are infamous for — such as only working properly with certified ink cartridges or requiring that all ink cartridges be full before working.

Which printer has the cheapest ink?

Printer ink prices can vary based on things like printer efficiency and ink delivery. Inkjet cartridges, for example, may be cheaper to buy one at a time, but they also run out (or dry out) faster than many other options. Laser printers, on the other hand, use bulkier and more expensive toner cartridges, but these cartridges are very efficient. Over the span of several years — assuming the printers are used equally — laser printers will have cheaper ink options.

If you are comparing only inkjet printers, look for recent printer models from brands famous for quality, and make a side-by-side spec comparison to find out more. Canon and Epson printers usually have some of the most efficient ink cartridges.

There are also remanufactured cartridges from third parties, but quality can be unreliable with these. These recycled cartridges can cause problems with printer operation.

Which printer brand is the best?

We find that Epson printers tend to be the most durable and have some great feature sets. HP also has some excellent printers, particularly for small businesses. However, it’s always a good idea to compare printer models one-on-one to see what the specifications are and how they differ.

Which is better, inkjet or laser printers?

It depends entirely on what project you’re doing. If you’re a small business or using a printer for your household, the inkjet printer is an excellent candidate, especially if you don’t mass-print. Some advanced inkjet printers feature top-notch DPI and color reproduction, making them perfect for photographers or photography enthusiasts. Laser printers are usually appropriate for offices or places that print mass amounts frequently.

Is it cheaper to buy a new printer than to keep buying ink for my old printer?

Unfortunately, we can’t offer a clear answer to this question. You’ll need to consider a few different factors, including how expensive a new printer is, how expensive cartridges are, and how many cartridges you normally use. For example, if in any given month you print around 200 pages in black ink, and if you print them at a rate of about 150 pages per black cartridge, you use 16 cartridges each year. If each cartridge costs $15, you’ll spend $240 a year. Buying a new printer with cheaper cartridges or improved ink efficiency might be worth it in this case.

Remember that this scenario only considers common printer use, rather than people who only use their home printer every so often. Ink prices aren’t as important for these cases.

How do I know if my printer is an inkjet?

If you’re looking at our best printer lists, we’ll be sure to tell you! Otherwise, you can usually tell by looking at the cartridges: Inkjet cartridges are typically smaller than your fist, while toner cartridges for laser printers are typically much larger. Likewise, laser printers use heat to bond toner to the paper, so their printed pages tend to come out feeling warm to the touch. Finally — and this is less common these days — newly printed pages from an inkjet printer can sometimes be smudged with a quick touch, while toner-printed pages won’t have that issue.

Can an inkjet printer print on glossy paper?

They certainly can, but the paper needs to be designed for inkjet printer use and needs to have the proper coatings to allow the ink to adhere and cure. When looking at paper stock, you should be able to find high-gloss options, including photo paper meant to replicate photographs. However, be sure to choose a model that can handle glossy paper, like our Epson SureColor P700 pick.

Can you print on cardstock with an inkjet printer?

Yes, as long as the printer is designed for it. Inkjet printers can handle photograph cardstock, business cards, and a variety of other thick stock as long as they are rated for it.

If you’re still confused about purchasing a printer, take a look at our Home Printer Buying Guide.

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