Best printers of 2016: our recommendations for inkjets and lasers

Techradar's first picks for your next printer

Best printer

Although the need to print isn't as dire as it once was due to the advent of the smartphone, physical documentation is still essential in many cases. Printers themselves, meanwhile, are more versatile than ever.

Some allow you to print from your ample collection of devices, while others add both scanning and copying to the mix, negating the need for a fax machine.

On the other hand, if you don't need anything fancy, traditional inkjets still exist and are actually more affordable than ever before, making them the right choice if you only need to print here and there. They're also more compact in case you're tied for space.

Moreover, you should take into consideration whether you need an inkjet or a laser printer. While inkjets are optimal for casual use at home, laser printers 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.

Inkjet printers

Best printer

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

Dual ledge paper trays
Economical print costs
No borderless A3 printing
Small tray capacity

Brother's INKvestment technology helps the MFC-J6925DW deliver economical prints with low up-front ink investment costs. Smart Cloud Apps, the ability to scan and print 11 x 17-inch projects and a simple touchscreen UI make this printer a versatile multifunction business printer.

Read the full review: Brother MFC-J6925DW

Best printer

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

Fast print speeds
Economical print costs
Large size
No built-in stapler

For many small businesses, more affordable print costs alone should be enough to make the Officejet X576dw a top contender when shopping for a new printer, but this inkjet delivers exceptional performance at tremendous value, if you can afford its high up-front cost of ownership.

Read the full review: HP Officejet X576dw

Best printer

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

It's really cheap
Decent quality and speed
Looks and feels flimsy
Shop-bought cartridges are expensive

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

Best printer

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

High paper volume
Connectivity
Photo & graphic printing
Poor resolution

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

Best Printer

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

Fast print speeds
Cloud-connected
Loud
Uninspiring design

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