Though the need to print isn't nearly as dire as it once was, even with the advent of digital documentation methods, there are still circumstances, such as filing signed or edited PDF documents, that require a printer: inkjet, laserjet or otherwise. Or, you know, sometimes you just want to hang photos on the wall.
That being said, printers are more versatile than ever, despite their flawed security (an especially valid concern if you represent a business). Some allow you to print from cloud storage services, while others add both scanning and copying to the mix, negating the need for that clunky old fax machine.
When shopping around for a printer, you should take into consideration whether you need an inkjet or a laser. If you don't need anything fancy, inkjet printers like the Primera Trio are more affordable than ever before, making them the right choice if you only need the occasional printout. They're also more compact in case you're tied for space.
But, while inkjets are optimal for casual use at home, laser printers, such as the HP PageWide 352dw, are designed for populated offices where larger paper trays and ink cartridges are needed in addition to better quality and faster print times to keep things moving.
Whatever your needs may be, we've covered it in this concise buying guide aimed squarely at helping you determine your next printer, with review-backed recommendations.
1. Brother MFC-J6925DW
An inkjet that's cost-efficient
Print speed: 22 black ppm; 20 ppm color | Print resolution: 6000 x 1200 dpi optimized dpi | Paper sizes: Up to A3 or ledger | Paper capacity: 550 sheets | Dimensions: 21.8 x 17.0 x 12.2 inches (W x D x H) | Weight: 36.4 pounds
Brother's MFC-J6925DW, while a mouthful of a name, is actually all about getting the job one for less. This is a welcome change considering the soaring cost of printer ink and the diminishing need for high print volumes. Thanks to the company's INKvestment technology, the per-page print cost is kept microscopic at less than $0.01 (about £0.01, AU$0.01) per page using black ink or less than $0.05 (about £0.04, AU$0.07) for color. Other MFc-J6925DW features include scanning and printing via NFC, Smart Cloud Apps and even a touchscreen display.
Read the full review: Brother MFC-J6925DW
2. HP Officejet X576dw
An inkjet with laser performance
Print speed: 70 black ipm | Print resolution: 2400 x 1200 optimized dpi | Paper sizes: Up to A4 | Paper capacity: 50 sheets | Dimensions: 23 x 19 x 25 inches (W x D x H) | Weight: 61.65 pounds
For its high cost, you can take an educated guess that HP's Officejet X576dw is designed for small businesses. On the surface, it's an inkjet that'll get the job done at a premium. Sure, it comes with all the fixings; wireless printing, cloud-connected mobile apps, it's all there. What you miss by looking at specs alone is that the Officejet X576dw combines the speed and precision of a laser printer with the state-of-the-art functionality of an inkjet. You can expect blisteringly quick 70 page-per-minute prints complemented by a 500-page tray, a 4.3-inch adjustable touchscreen and even a lone USB port.
Read the full review: HP Officejet X576dw
3. HP Deskjet 3630
A great printer for occasional use, but ink can be pricey
Print speed: 8.5ppm black; 6ppm color | Print resolution: 1200 x 1200 dpi | Paper sizes: Up to A4 | Paper capacity: 25 | Dimensions: 18.6 x 7.6 x 13.8 inches (W x D x H) | Weight: 11.2 pounds
Although it doesn't ship complete with all the fixings of a luxury laserjet, the HP Deskjet 3630 will only set you back a reasonable £40 (about $80, AU$70) to conduct all the basic tasks you would require from a printer of this range. What's more, even without the inclusion of a touchscreen, you'll be able to print from your devices wirelessly with the help of either a router or a Wi-Fi Direct connection. Sure, the design isn't quite top-end and its functionality is barebones, but does it really matter when you only print a modest amount each month?
Read the full review: HP Deskjet 3630
4. Canon Maxify MB5320
The only All-in-One you'll need
Print speed: 23 black ipm | Print resolution: 600 x 1200 dpi | Paper sizes: Up to Legal | Paper capacity: 250 | Dimensions: 18.3 x 18.1 x 13.9 inches (W x D x H) | Weight: 28.8 pounds
The MB5320 is a wireless inkjet all-in-one printer that is available in the US only for $399.99. It comes with a stacked feature set and robust paper handling that should limit paper jams and spills. The price is a bit steep for the target market (small businesses), and users looking to get high-quality graphic and photo creation, might be disappointed by the quality.
However, the Canon MB5320 would be a sound addition to any small or home office looking for an efficient printer that can handle large volumes of paper without a ton of maintenance.
Read the full review: Canon Maxify MB5320
5. Epson WorkForce Pro WF-4630
Economical print costs for volume printing
Print speed: 20 black ipm | Print resolution: 4800 x 1200 optimized dpi | Paper sizes: value | Paper capacity: 330 sheets | Dimensions: 18.1 x 25.8 x 15.1 inches (W x D x H) | Weight: 31.3 pounds
There's a lot to love about this multi-function printer – it superbly handles office print jobs, and print quality rivals those of color laser printers. The automatic document feeder can handle double-sided scans and copies. Plus, a specialty rear paper tray offers added convenience to the front-loading 250-sheet tray. If you need massive amounts of ink, and don't mind slow print speeds, a similar version of this printer is available in Epson's EcoTank line.
Read the full review: Epson WorkForce Pro WF-4630
Gabe Carey has also contributed to this article