The best small business printers are ideal for offices that may not have a lot of space, but still need to print out lots of documents.
But, how do you choose the best printer for your small business? There's a huge amount of choice out there, and you don't want to end up spending money on a printer that's not right for your needs. To make things easier, we've rounded up what we think are the best printers for small businesses, including links to in-depth reviews for each product. Our built-in price comparison tool will also link to the very best deals on the internet, helping you save money as well.
So, what should you look for in a printer for your small business? Every business is different - you may be looking for a compact all-in-one that can handle printouts, scanning, photocopying and faxing while saving you space and money, or perhaps you're on the lookout for a dedicated printer that excels at print quality - and can handle the demands of an office. This means it will need to be able to produce printouts quickly and from a number of different sources.
The best small business printers, be they all in one (AIO) and multi function printers (MFPs) for SoHo and SMBs should also be able to scale as your business grows as well, and can keep up with the increasing demands of your office.
It should also find the right balance between affordability, features and performance without needing to drop to the best cheap printer level. 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.
- 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 small 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.
You may also be interested in the other printer related buying we have produced: best all-in-one printers, best A3 printers, best large format printers, best photo printers, best workgroup printers, and best home printers.
This four-in-one laser printer is a compact, but hardworking device that can easily keep up with the needs of a growing business. Lexmark confidently claims a maximum monthly duty cycle of 50,000 pages. There’s room for half a ream of paper on board, plus another 50 sheets in the ADF (automatic document feed) and it can churn out single side pages at a rate of 24 per minute. There’s an auto duplex mode, a handy USB Host port at the front and Wi-Fi with Wi-Fi Direct and AirPrint built in. To hit this competitive price point, the touchscreen is on the small side and there’s no dual-scan capability, but we think this printer has got the balance between features, value and print quality just right for the small business.
Read our full Lexmark MC3326i review.(opens in new tab)
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 (opens in new tab)(opens in new tab)
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 (opens in new tab)(opens in new tab)
This hefty color laser printer is Kyocera’s entry-level model aimed at the small business, though it looks and performs like a premium printer. The print rate is quick at 21ppm for both color and mono pages. It can auto duplex and Wi-Fi is built in. It also offers the connectivity needed to join a workgroup with Ethernet and USB ports at the rear. There’s a second USB port conveniently located at the front for walk-up printing from a thumb drive. Kyocera’s high yield toner cartridges will keep you printing at a reasonably competitive per page cost, while the bundled starter cartridges provide enough toner for 1,200 monochrome prints and 2,200 color.
Here’s a sturdy LED printer that would do well in the office of any small business. It’s not expensive and yet it comes with almost every feature you could want in your four-in-one. It can duplex print, scan a stack of 50 pages using its ADF (automatic document feed) and has Wi-Fi with Wi-Fi Direct and AirPrint covered. There’s a touchscreen interface and USB Host port at the front so the only things missing are dual side scanning and an NFC module. It prints quickly and has room for 250 sheets of A4 in its main tray so it should meet the needs of a fairly busy workgroup.(opens in new tab)
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.(opens in new tab)
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 (opens in new tab)(opens in new tab)
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 (opens in new tab)
If all you need to do is print, then a decent single-function laser printer will offer the most efficient and secure way of doing so. The Brother HL-L3210CW is a simple device with no touchscreen display, or even an auto-duplex mode. Instead, it concentrates on churning out consistently crisp pages with rapid and quiet efficiency. Although small enough to sit on your desk, it can hold 250 sheets of paper and four high-yield toner cartridges that give you low per page running costs. So long as you don’t mind manually turning over the page to print the reverse side, this basic Brother printer presents a cost-effective solution.
The crisp design of the Canon i-SENSYS MF742Cdw (opens in new tab) would not look out of place in the office or the home office and it comes with all of the features you could need for either situation. There’s duplex printing, a fifty-sheet ADF and a front USB port for walk-up printing printing from a thumb drive. The print speed and print quality are good enough for any small to medium-sized business and the running cost is competitive. You can load 250 sheets of A4 paper in the main tray and add further paper trays if required. It’s also very easy to use thanks to the excellent touchscreen interface.
- Read our full Canon i-SENSYS MF742Cdw review (opens in new tab).
Canon’s feature-packed four-in-one comes with all the functionality you need in a business printer aimed at the home office or SMB. With room for more than a ream of paper and extra-large ink tanks, it can keep pace with high print demands, whilst being compact enough to suit those of us who work from home. It prints quite quickly for an inkjet and though it’s not ideal for photographs, it delivered crisp and colorful documents during our test.
Sitting at the premium end of Canon’s MegaTank product offerings, this model is somewhat expensive for an inkjet, but the price includes enough bottled ink to print 32,000 pages. If that doesn’t justify the asking price, the exceptionally low ongoing consumables cost will soon see a saving over any cheaper laser printer. If you need a compact hard-working all-in-one with low maintenance and running costs, this appealing printer should be on your list.
Read our full Canon MAXIFY GX7020/GX7050 review (opens in new tab).
Are all-in-one printers any good?
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.
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.
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