In choosing the right printer, your first decision should be whether to go for a normal printer, or a multifunction device that includes a scanner and that can also work as a standalone copier. These aren't much larger than regular printers, but they're a whole lot more versatile, especially when you need to keep a copy of a letter, a bill or any other important document.
You should also think carefully about whether to invest in an inkjet or a laser. Lasers are usually associated with office environments, where they produce sharp, smudge-free printouts quickly, quietly and economically, but this can be just as useful at home or in a home office. If you use a ton of ink, manufacturers like HP are offering services that mail you new ink cartridges every month.
With that being said, here are our picks for the best printers in each class.
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 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
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 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
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