Why should you pick one of the best laser printers over an inkjet? Inkjets might be better at printing photos and generally cheaper upfront, but top laser printers are much better for printing large volumes of documents quickly and quietly, which makes them a favorite for home office use.
The best laser printers also won’t demand a new ink cartridge every hundred or so pages; in fact they don’t use ink at all. They rely on toner cartridges that are capable of printing thousands of pages before they need replacing. In other words, laser printers are usually considerably cheaper to run.
And where inkjet nozzles can become blocked or dry up when you leave them for long periods, laser printers don’t care how often you use them. They need less attention in general and they’re always ready to leap into action, which brings us to the other key advantage, speed.
Perhaps best of all, laser printers are more affordable and flexible than ever before. This means they make great home printers as well as being used in offices. The best laser printers come in every shape and size, and we've listed our top recommendations so that you can find the right laser printer for your home or office.
The best laser printers of 2021
1. Xerox VersaLink B600DN: Best for heavy print loads
With a print speed of 55 pages per minute and room for a whole ream of paper on board, the Xerox VersaLink B600DN can keep a large work group printing continuously - more than justifying its place among the best laser printers around. The initial cost for a monochrome print-only device might seem high, but this premium machine is actually very economical to run and its consistent print quality justifies the price tag. The intuitive five-inch touchscreen interface will further cut down your operating time.
2. Brother HL-L5100DN: Best for busy SMBs
This little grey box can really churn out the pages and despite the size, it will hold a lot of paper too. This makes the Brother HL-L5100DN ideal for the small office with a high demand for black and white documents. The quality is consistent and the per page print cost is attractive. It’s light on features with no Wi-Fi or a front USB port, but what it does, it does very well.
3. Kyocera Ecosys P6230cdn: Best security features
Kyocera’s hefty print-only device feels well built and it has enough capacity for 500 sheets of paper and large toner cartridges, which makes it suitable for a big workgroup or a busy home office. The Kyocera Ecosys P6230cdn prints quickly in duplex mode and runs very quietly too. The display and buttons are rather small, but it is well armed with security features to prevent private documents going astray.
4. Xerox B215: Best touchscreen
By Xerox’s standards, this compact four-in-one laser printer is a modest affair, offering print, scan, copy and fax functions in a small and relatively affordable package. Despite the low price, however, the Xerox B215 still comes with a large tilting touchscreen for easy operation and a none-too-shabby print speed of 30ppm. You can fit 250 sheets of paper in the main paper tray and it comes with enough toner for 1,500 monochrome pages and has a fairly low per page print cost of around 2.2 pence per page
5. Canon imageCLASS MF743Cdw: Best for auto duplex printing
The Canon imageCLASS MF743Cdw (known as the i-SENSYS MF742Cdw in UK) comes with all of the key features such as auto duplex printing, a fifty-sheet ADF and a front USB port while offering a good enough print speed and print quality for any small to medium-sized business. There’s plenty of room for paper and the ability to add further paper trays if required. It’s fairly economical to run and that prominent touchscreen interface makes it particularly easy to use.
6. Ricoh P C301W: Best for simplicity
This simple cube of a laser printer can churn out colour or monochrome pages at a steady rate of 25 per minute. It’s simple to use too, and easy to connect with thanks to its inclusion of both Wi-Fi and Wi-Fi Direct. There’s even an NFC chip built in for added wireless convenience. NFC makes it possible for you to pull down individual print jobs by simply tapping your NFC-enabled smartphone so that sensitive documents are never left lying on the printer. The Ricoh P C301W’s high yield toner cartridges also ensure a low running cost.
7. Lexmark MB3442adw: Best for speed
It might look a little top-heavy, but this all-in-one laser printer gets the balance between price and specifications just right. It can print, copy scan and fax with the ability to both duplex scan and print. There’s plenty of room for paper inside and high-capacity toner cartridges available to keep you printing at volume. With a print speed of 42ppm, it’s one of the fastest available at this competitive price point.
8. Kyocera TASKalfa 4052ci: Best for different sizes
For very heavy workloads and a professional finish, this uncompromising laser printer will not let you down. The latest TASKalfa device has a huge capacity for any size paper from A6 to SRA3 and beyond. It prints and scans quickly and at very high quality with 1200dpi resolution and advanced colour technology. It can even staple your perfect printed pages together for you.
9. HP Neverstop Laser MFP 1202nw: Best for sustainability
The HP Neverstop Laser MFP 1202nw is the first to employ a refillable toner tank instead of a disposable cartridge. It’s a win for both the environment and your print budget, which could cost as much as 60% less than regular toner cartridges. This inexpensive all-in-one lacks an auto-duplex mode, but for basic monochrome printing and copying duties, this machine is hard to beat on total cost of ownership. There’s enough black toner in the box for 5,000 pages and refuelling is as simple as injecting the toner from syringe-type canister into the printer.
10. Ricoh SP C261DNw: Best for a small office
Ricoh’s colour printer comes with the essential features, such as Wi-Fi connectivity, duplex mode and secure printing built in. The Ricoh SP C261DNw may look a little dated with those wobbly plastic panels and its print speed is somewhat slow compared to other laser printers, but the print quality is particularly pleasing with both mono and colour pages and the price is competitive.
Best laser printers: How did we choose?
Best laser printers: How did we choose?
Of course, there is quite a range of laser printers now on offer for consumers to choose from. When compiling this review, this meant we had to narrow down the devices by taking into account speed, longevity, print quality - and cost. Another important consideration was what the printer might eventually be used for.
Will the printer be used at home or based in the office? Will it primarily be used to print the odd document or image for your child’s schoolwork, for example, or will it have to manage a more intensive workload? These were all important factors that we considered in order to provide a review that covered a broad spectrum of printers and use-cases.
Each laser printer we source for testing is measured on our test bench and the results are critically compared with every other model we have reviewed. Rather than relying on the manufacturer’s quoted figures, we time the first page out and print speeds in single sheet and duplex mode using a standard ten-page document and a stopwatch app.
To compare print quality, we print out the same set of test documents on every machine. These twelve test pages include text of varying font sizes and colors, mixed image and text pages, a set of photos and a series of test patterns designed to assess sharpness, color fidelity, contrast and grey scale.
We also calculate running costs, compare functionality and consider each product’s versatility, design and build quality. The overall score reflects all of these parameters and overall value for money.
- Check out our list of the best printers, no matter if they are ink jet or laser