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Welcome to our pick of the best small business printers of 2020. On this page you'll find top picks for printers that are perfect for any small - yet growing - businesses.
Perhaps you're looking for a compact all-in-one that can handle photocopying and faxing while also saving you space in your office, or you're after a single function printer that excels at print quality, we have some great picks for you.
The best small business printers need to be able to cope with the demands of a small office. This means it will need to be able to produce printouts quickly and from a number of different sources.
It should also be able to scale as your business grows as well, so it can cope with the growing demands of your office.
It should also find the right balance between affordability, features and performance. You want something that doesn't cost a lot to buy or run, but you don't want it to sacrifice quality, speed and extra features either.
The best small business printers should also be economical to run – so they won't cost a lot in electricity bills or going through ink or toner cartridges – and they should also offer fast print speeds that's not at the expense of image quality.
All in One printers: Yes or no?
The small business printers on this list can also cope with handling multiple tasks from multiple people throughout the day. Even the smallest of businesses will be sending documents from networked PCs all day – and if they can also offer photocopying, faxing and scanning features as well, that's even better.
We've got some brilliant multi function printers on this list which are space and money saving devices for the smallest of offices. All-in-one printers that offer photocopying and scanning not only can save your small business money compared to buying the devices individually, having them all in one compact device will save space as well.
If you're not sure about what type of small business printer you need, head to the bottom of our guide, where we explain the best ways to find and buy the best small business printer that suits your needs.
- These are the best printers from an overall perspective
So where do you need to start? Even the most modest office will likely be networked, and sharing a resource as useful as a printer is an essential. So you should only be looking at printers that are capable of networked use. Wired offers speed and robust function for a fixed office. Wireless is flexible, cheap to deploy but not as fast in use.
Here are the best 10 printers for businesses - as chosen by the Techradar Pro team - large and small, from a basic monochrome lasers suitable for a small business and a home office through to a small departmental multifunction printer.
We've also featured these business printers:
- Best all-in-one printers
- Best A3 printers
- Best large format printers
- Best photo printers
- Best workgroup printers
- Best home printers
Best small business printers - at a glance
The minimal design of this mono A4 printer looks smart and feels well made, as you might expect, given the premium price tag. It lacks a flashy touchscreen, or even inbuilt Wi-Fi but it can turn out very high quality black and white prints quickly and economically. We calculated the per page cost to be as little as 0.4p per page. And with a paper tray deep enough to hold a whole ream of paper and a maximum print speed of 55ppm, this high-capacity printer is ideal for servicing a small office with high print demands.
Read the full review: Kyocera Ecosys P3155dn
Aimed at the busy SMB, the VersaLink C400 offers features not seen on your average A4 laser printer. For instance, the interface is a smartphone-style touchscreen to which you can download apps that add functionality. It prints fairly quickly and there’s room for 550 sheets of A4 in the main paper tray. And thanks to its modular design, you can add further paper trays and a wheeled base unit. It is not particularly cheap to buy, or run, but the print quality is excellent, especially its Pantone-approved colour performance.
Read the full review: Xerox VersaLink C400DN
This premium mono printer is compact enough to slot into a small office, but is also easy to upgrade with extra paper trays as your print demand grows. You can fit 500 sheets inside as it comes, or up to 2,600 with all the options added. It prints very quickly at 40ppm, and offers useful duplex and draft modes. The display and circular button keypad aren’t as convenient as a touchscreen, but with Kyocera’s lifetime drum and a high-capacity toner cartridge fitted, this is a cost effective way of printing a lot of high-quality pages.
It looks rather drab and unassuming in its battleship grey livery, but this little mono printer can really churn out the paper. The print speed is fast at 40ppm and duplex pages are not much slower. Despite the deceptively small size, you can fit 500 sheets of A4 paper inside. It is rather light on features with no Wi-Fi or a front USB port, but the quality is consistent and the per page print cost is attractive making it a good choice for the small to medium-sized business.
Read the full review: Brother HL-L5100DN
At 55 pages per minute, this is the fastest printer we have tested so far, which makes it a good choice for the busy SMB. It is a premium machine and for a monochrome print-only device might seem expensive. However, the per page cost is competitive because the price of Xerox’s high-capacity toner cartridges is so competitive. The intuitive five-inch touchscreen is high quality, just like the printed pages it puts out.
Read the full review: Xerox VersaLink B600DN
A3 printers that can meet the needs of a small to medium-sized business usually demand their own corner of the office, but not this miniaturised laser printer. And despite its impressively small footprint, its appetite for paper is considerable. You can fit 300 sheets in the main paper tray, 100 more in the multi-purpose tray and another 535 if you buy an additional tray. It’s also possible to add up to four of these and a paper roll accessory for printing long banners. This Oki isn’t the fastest laser out there, but it is the smallest A3 printer and one of the most flexible.
Read the full review: Oki C844dnw
This three-in-one printer/scanner might seem expensive for an inkjet, but as with its other cartridge-free solutions, Epson includes a generous amount of ink. The bottle of black ink in the box is good for 11,000 pages and Epson recons you’ll make savings of around 90% compared with cartridges. You can fit 250 pages in the main paper tray, scan at high resolution and print crisp duplex pages with a very quick first page out time. The fairly large LCD screen makes it easier to use and the distinctive design picked up a Red Dot award.
HP’s PageWide technology uses inkjets, but because the print head is the full width of the paper, your documents don’t need to stop and start like a normal inkjet. Instead they glide through like more a laser. Because of this, the quoted print speed of 55 pages per minute is no exaggeration. Bing an inkjet, it can handle photo paper and deliver vibrant colour images up to A4 size. It can also copy duplex pages by scanning both sides of the paper automatically. The paper capacity is a generous 500-sheets with upgrade options available, but even without them, this fast and innovative four-in-one will suit a busy small to medium sized business.
HP claims that this 4-in-1 colour laser printer has the smallest footprint of any in its class, so if space is an issue in your office, this could be the answer. It is also competitively priced with relatively low running costs if you switch to the high capacity toner cartridges. It has your printing, scanning, copying and faxing needs covered with Wi-Fi and Wi-Fi Direct built in, so that you can access all of this functionality via HP’s excellent companion app on your smartphone. It prints fairly quickly (18ppm) in black and white, but note that this model is only able to print on one side of the page.
Read the full review: HP Color Laser MFP 179fnw
At a competitive price point, Ricoh has kitted out this colour laser printer with all of the key features, including Wi-Fi connectivity, auto duplex mode and essential security features such at PIN identification when picking up your print job. It looks a little dated with that tiny display and the print speed is somewhat slow for a laser, but the print quality is strong when it comes to both mono and colour pages.
Read the full review: Ricoh SP C261DNw
How to buy a business printer
Multi-function features can be found across the board and at all cost scales. Basic features start with USB Key and card readers for PC-free printing, moving to scanner and copier functions. At the higher end, automatic document feeders (ADF) can manage 50 copies in a single go and produce booklets including duplex printing, stapling and folding. Often the basic ADF features will accommodate most medium-sized offices.
In the past there has been a marked difference in Cost Per Page (CPP) between lasers and inkjets but in recent years, inkjets have managed to drop their prices to compete. Either way it's important you carefully assess the CPP of each device.
Manufacturers measure the toner or cartridge yields with an industry standard ISO rating. So you can safely assess the total price of replacing all the cartridges or toners divided by the print yield across all the potential models.
The total volume of prints you're going to make also needs to be taken into account. Devices often quote a "duty cycle" monthly maximum and recommended figures. These are the total number of prints it's designed to handle per month. If possible assess the number of prints per employee for the office and ensure the device is capable of meeting your current and future demands.
Finally in the past colour especially for laser printers has demanded a premium, that's not so much the case these days. However these models are still more expensive due to the additional materials required for the toners and printer manufacture. There's still a big enough differential that if you don't need regular colour you should opt for a mono model, perhaps using a cheaper inkjet or even out-of-house printing for occasional colour requirements.
- We've also featured the best business card printing services.