Best printer: 16 top inkjet and laser printers

The best inkjet and laser printers around

1. Samsung ML-1665 - £70

Samsung ml 1665

Laser printers have a lot going for them. They're cheaper to run than inkjets, they produce sharp, dry, smudge-free printouts, they're civilized and they're quiet. They've also got a reputation for being too expensive for anything but office use, but the the ML-1665 changes all that.

You might expect a cheap laser to be crude and slow, but the Samsung is neither. It also has a really smart 'screen print' button that outputs whatever's on your computer screen at the time - perfect for grabbing a quick hard copy without all the fuss of print dialogs and page setup.

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2. Brother DCP7030 - £115

Brother dcp7030

With the Brother CCP7030 you get the advantages of a laser printer combined with the flexibility of a multifunction device. The printer might be mono, but the scanner is full-colour, which means mono prints and copies but colour scans.

You get good-quality 600dpi output and the running costs are about average for a mono laser, so the low purchase price doesn't doesn't mean more expensive consumables. It won't be as quick as a more expensive office laser, but given the price, the print quality and the multi-function capability, it's a great buy.

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3. Xerox Phaser 6125 - £133

Xerox phaser 6125

How much? For a colour laser? The Phaser 6125's low purchase price is by far its strongest selling point, though, and while the print quality and print speeds are acceptable for light and undemanding home/SOHO use, it could soon prove out of its depth in a busier environment.

And as with many other cheap printers, you face higher running costs, thanks to the cost of replacement cartridges. But if both your printing needs and your budget are modest, the Phaser 6125 is a steal.

4. HP LaserJet P2055d - £157

HP laserjet p2055d

If you want colour printouts, networking and built-in scanning and copying, you're going to have to look elsewhere, because the HP P2055d is an old-school mono laser built solely for quality, speed and efficiency.

It can churn out pages at up to 33ppm, it has an 'instant on' feature which means you don't have to wait for it to warm up, and it offers automatic duplex printing too. The 1200dpi resolution generates super-sharp text, and the 250-sheet feeder means you're not constantly having to shovel in more paper.

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5. Samsung CLX-3185FW - £290

Samsung clx 3185fw

The CLX-3185W is a multi-function printer that combines a colour laser, scanning and copying and faxing, and includes networking capability via Ethernet or wireless network - it even comes with a 15-sheet document feeder.

For a machine which does so much, it's surprisingly compact. If it has a flaw, it's the single-drum design, which means that colour documents have to go through in four passes, and this has an impact on the colour print speeds, but you have to set this against the Samsung's features and sheer value for money.

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6. Brother HL-4150CDN - £380

Brother hl 4150cdn

Colour lasers were once very expensive, but the HL-4150CDN shows just how far prices have fallen, even for well-specced business models. You get a lot for your money, here, including very good print quality (though photos aren't quite so good), decent print speeds, duplex printing and Ethernet connectivity.

This is ideal for small offices or workgroups, and the Brother also has a neat PIN protection scheme that means sensitive documents won't be printed until you go over and enter a PIN on the printer itself.

Read our Brother HL-4150CDN review