It’s a new semester and, let’s face it, your printer is probably not ready to print out an essay in a smudge-free manner that’ll make teachers, professors, or even bosses happy. Today’s printers, even many cheap ones, come loaded with conveniences like wireless connectivity, mobile app controls, ink-saving technologies, and far superior output quality to the rickety inkjets of years past. No matter what your needs and budget may be, however, our roundup of the month’s best printer deals is sure to have something that’s a good fit for your home office.
- HP Deskjet 4155e —
- HP Tango —
- HP LaserJet MFP M234sdwe —
- Epson EcoTank Photo ET-8550 —
- Epson EcoTank ET-4950 —
HP Deskjet 4155e — $100, was $125
- Color printing
- Print, copy, scan, and mobile fax
- Mobile/wireless printing
- FREE 6 months of HP Instant Ink
If you haven’t shopped around for printers in a long time (they do tend to last several years and aren’t the most exciting piece of gear to upgrade) then you’ll really be blown away by what is offered at the hundred dollar mark these days. The HP Deskjet 4155e is an all-in-one printer that the average person can enjoy, with just one caveat. You can 100% do both color and black’n’white printing with the HP Deskjet 4155e, including from your phone. Scan? Check. Copy? Check. It even has six months of HP+’s Instant Ink program, which delivers ink to your door based on your usage. It’s not an unlimited supply of ink, but should get typical users through most of the next half year without worrying about constantly going out and buying ink. Speaking of which, remember that one caveat? The HP Deskjet 4155e is designed to only work with HP ink cartridges, but that’s what you’re getting with the Instant Ink program anyhow, so it is a only small drawback for now.
HP Tango — $100, was $160
- Color printing
- Cloud-based printing and scanning network
- Some free photo printing
- FREE 4 months HP Instant Ink
The HP Tango is another printer that will fully surprise you when you compared features to cost. Once again, it isn’t lacking in any obvious way like so many budget printers are, with the first casualty usually being color. But instead, the HP Tango has a full range of colors and is probably on your personal list of best photo printers if you need something that’s both budget and can print full sized photos, too. In fact, HP is banking on you doing quite a bit of photo printing with the HP Tango. They’re offering free printing pages when you print photos 5″ x 7″ or smaller from your iOS or Android phone. Speaking of phones, the HP Tango uses cloud printing and scanning so you can integrate it more closely with your smart devices. It even has voice activated controls, so if the thought of yelling at your printer to make it work gives you joy, look no further than the HP Tango. Much like the previous printer, it must be used with HP inks, but you probably wanted them anyhow.
HP LaserJet MFP M234sdwe — $149, was $249
- Budget laser printing
- Compact size
- Speedy 2-sided printing
- FREE 6 months of toner with HP Instant Ink
With the HP LaserJet MFP M234sdwe we see the first example of a printer that makes the typical sacrifices that we expect in the budget arena. What do I mean? The HP LaserJet MFP M234sdwe works fantastically well, but lacks color. Currently, the best color laser printers are out of range for this price level. However, if you’re a budget lover, you may have never been exposed to such a friendly printer as a laser printer. Why? Toner, a laser printer’s “ink” equivalent, doesn’t dry out and ruin cartridges when it is unused in the same way inkjet printers’ ink does. You end up saving money in the long run. Plus, the HP LaserJet MFP M234sdwe has a nice, space-saving cubic design, paper-saving speedy 2-sided printing, and money-saving half year of that Instant Ink (read: toner) program. It’s still only compatible with HP ink, but we’re sure you’ll like it!
Epson EcoTank Photo ET-8550 — $700, was $800
- No cartridges
- Reduced photo printing cost
- Borderless wide photo printing
- Specialty media printing
The Epson EcoTank Photo ET-8550 definitely has a higher price tag than the others on the list, but that’s not the last word on how budget it is. First of all, we have to explain that this is neither a laser printer nor a cartridge style ink printer. Instead, it is an ink bottle printer, which introduces an interesting idea for reducing waste in your color printing. Why? Each ink color gets its own bottle, not one cartridge that has to get replaced whenever one of the colors runs low. According to Epson’s own estimations, this reduces the cost of printing a 4″ x 6″ photo from 40 cents (cartridge) to 4 cents with the Epson EcoTank Photo ET-8550. There are lots of cool things you can do with it, too. With its ability to go wide and print borderless 13″ x 19″ inch color photos or mini-posters this could be the best printer for a college student if you’re looking for a gift for creatives. Plus, the Epson EcoTank Photo ET-8550 can handle tons of media types, include stock paper and CD-ROM’s.
Epson EcoTank ET-4950 — $400, was $550
- All-in-one style
- Great for home office or small business
- Convenient to print in bulk
- Money saving no cartridge ink system
If you were excited about the no cartridge ink system of the printer above but were turned off by the price, be sure to check out this deal in more detail. The Epson EcoTank ET-4950 is billed as Epson’s “best home office printer ever” and it is certainly one of the best printers for small businesses. For one, it offers that all-in-one style that you really need with printing, copying, scanning, and faxing. While it can do the wireless printing that printers of this paygrade all do, you can also go old school and plug it in via ethernet as well. When you need to get a ton of fliers or forms printed out fast, you’ll love its 250-sheet tray and auto 2-sided printing. Like the individual ink bottles but worried they’ll slow you down? Don’t! With the Epson EcoTank ET-4950 you’ll still be able to get out 15.5 pager per minute in black and white or 8.5 pages per minute in color.
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