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The best printer brands

When you’re shopping for a new printer, researching the best printer brands can save you time and help ensure you get a high-quality, long-lasting printer with a good warranty, the supplies you need to keep printing, and reliable customer service. The best printers invariably come from the top brands.

That doesn’t mean printers from unknown brands are unworthy of consideration. A newcomer could appear with innovative features and exciting print technology to shake up the status quo. However, the biggest brands have research and development teams that are always looking for ways to improve quality and performance at an affordable cost.

That means well-known printer brands are usually the best choice. These are the brands you can rely on to offer the best printers in every category.

HP

The HP Color LaserJet Pro 4301fdw is sturdy super fast.
The HP Color LaserJet Pro 4301fdw is sturdy and super fast. Alan Truly / Digital Trends

Hewlett-Packard is almost synonymous with printers. Of course, the tech giant also makes computers, laptops, calculators, and more. HP stands out as the manufacturer of the incredibly durable LaserJet Pro series of monochrome and color laser printers.

HP’s Color LaserJet Pro 4301fdw earned our Editors Choice award as one of the best options for lightning-fast prints of color documents.

HP also makes some of the best inkjet printers available. The HP OfficeJet Pro 9015e is fast and versatile, handling everything you need for a home office, including documents, scanning, and photo prints.

HP printers come with great customer support, starting with an online support portal where you can download drivers and apps, get help with setup, look up troubleshooting guides, chat with the user community, and sign in to get direct support from HP.

HP’s Instant Ink subscription service makes sure you can keep printing with automatic shipments of ink or toner before you run out. Big brands can offer integrated services like this to add more value and make it easier to use your printer.

Canon

Canon's Pixma TS6420a is a great photo printer.
Canon’s Pixma TS6420a is a great photo printer. Tracey Truly / Digital Trends

Canon is best known as a camera manufacturer, but pictures are often shared on paper, so it makes sense for Canon to guide images along the path to your photo album, from high-quality single-lens-reflex cameras to high-quality printers.

Inkjets are best for color prints, and Canon makes the very affordable, yet high-quality Pixma TS6420a all-in-one printer. It’s relatively fast for a budget model, making this a great choice for camera enthusiasts who want to share physical prints.

Canon also makes laser printers, and the Canon imageClass MF275dw blasts through a stack of documents at 30 pages per minute (ppm).

Taking care of its customers is a high priority for Canon, and it’s easy to find drivers and manuals and get support from the company website.

Canon’s Auto Replenishment Service detects low ink or toner and ships you supplies to keep your printer working. Rather than subscribing, you pay only for what you use.

Epson

The Epson EcoTank ET-2800 is one of the narrowest printers I've tested.
The Epson EcoTank ET-2800 is one of the narrowest printers I’ve tested. Alan Truly / Digital Trends

Epson has a long history as a printer manufacturer, beginning with some of the most popular dot matrix printers of the 1970s. The company continued to innovate low-cost, high-quality solutions for personal computers.

As a leader in photographic-quality printing, Epson’s five- and six-color printers are among the best available. I was impressed with Epson’s EcoTank ET-8500, giving it a nine out of ten rating in my review.

You don’t have to get a premium photo printer to output great-looking pictures, though. The Epson EcoTank ET-2800 has great quality at a much lower cost.

Epson is eliminating laser printers, citing the greater sustainability of inkjet printing due to lower power use, so you can expect Epson to focus on improving the speed and durability of inkjet all-in-ones to compete with work-centric laser printers.

Epson stopped accepting new members to ReadyInk, an automatic ink-ordering program. Since it makes so many tank printers with ink supplies that last well over a year, you rarely need to replenish ink.

Brother

The Brother DCPL2550DW monochrome laser printer outputs 36 ppm.
Brother’s DCPL2550DW monochrome laser printer outputs 36 pages per minute. Alan Truly / Digital Trends

Brother began as a sewing machine manufacturer, but soon expanded to typewriters and printers. Now, it’s one of the leading inkjet and laser printer brands, with an excellent reputation for reliability and quality.

For example, Brother’s low-cost, all-in-one DCPL2550DW boasts 36-ppm monochrome laser printing. Brother has a wide range of laser printers and inkjets. The Brother MFC-J1205W is a tiny all-in-one inkjet that offers extra large cartridges as an alternative to tank printers.

Like all the manufacturers mentioned here, Brother makes online support simple with plenty of resources on the website and several options to contact the company for more help.

Brother’s Refresh EZ Print Subscription is similar to HP’s. You select the page count you anticipate using, but can always upgrade or downgrade as needed.

Other printer manufacturers

There are plenty of other trustworthy printer manufacturers, and you can find excellent printers with unique capabilities by digging deeper. If you have a need to print on T-shirts, rigid materials, or rolls, or in a larger size, you might find the exact solution by shopping around and checking what’s new.

However, if your printing needs are fairly standard, it’s hard to go wrong when you order from the most established and well-known printer brands in the world. Epson, Brother, Canon, and HP are more likely to offer good value and reliable performance at reasonable prices.

Commercial printers

A person holds the lid and places a document in a large office copier.
An example of a large office copier used in busy workplaces and large organizations. Centre for Ageing Better / Unsplash

Brother, Canon, Epson, and HP are the most popular and trusted brands for consumer printers. Enterprise customers have different needs, and there are other printer manufacturers that cater almost exclusively to medium and large businesses and organizations.

These are often more robust machines with multiple paper trays, rugged paper handling, and high speed for processing a heavy workload. The trade-off is a much more expensive machine that’s large enough to require a wheeled cart for movement.

For big offices that share printers, businesses need printers that can print reams of paper with no slowdown and keep running. At this level, names like Xerox, Kyocera, and Zebra compete with the enterprise divisions of the leading consumer brands.

By integrating hardware, software, and service plans, these productivity-focused printer companies and divisions meet the demands of large corporations and organizations.

Editors' Recommendations

Alan Truly
Computing Writer
Alan is a Computing Writer living in Nova Scotia, Canada. A tech-enthusiast since his youth, Alan stays current on what is…
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