Best ink tank printers of 2024

PRICE
VERDICT
REASONS TO BUY
REASONS TO AVOID
VERDICT
REASONS TO BUY
REASONS TO AVOID

The best ink tank printers are a lot like your standard inkjet printer, but instead of changing a cartridge, you refill the printer's ink reservoirs with bottled ink. Our team of reviewers compared the top models, from Epson EcoTanks to Canon MegaTanks, to see which ink tank printers fare best for documents, photos, and big print jobs. 

Ink tank printers are a popular choice for anyone who wants to make their ink last longer, their money go further, and cut down on waste. Many models have similar feature-set to the best inkjet printers, like ADF, auto-duplex printing, so it's worth looking out for these if you need extra printing capabilities. There are a few downsides. If you're mostly printing documents, we'd still recommend exploring the best laser printers. However, while being cheaper in the long-run, they can be more expensive to buy. And even the best ink tank printers need regular use or cleaning to prevent blockages. 

Our review team have hand-tested the best printers and the best small business printers, comparing print speeds, DPI, resolutions, extra features, and running costs to find out which ink tank printer is worth taking up space in your office or studio. 

The quick list

Best ink tank printer overall

Epson EcoTank ET-4850 during our tests

(Image credit: Epson)
Our top choice for most people

Specifications

Category: Color AOI inkjet ink tank printer
Print speed: 15ppm (mono)
Paper capacity: 250 + 30 sheets
Paper size: up to A4
Weight: 6.7kg

Reasons to buy

+
Lots of ink in the box
+
Touchscreen
+
Strong print quality

Reasons to avoid

-
No USB Host or NFC
-
No dual scan
-
Photos can look flat

The Epson EcoTank ET-4850 is our pick for best ink tank printer for most people - a mid-range EcoTank model that for us struck the right balance of price and features for the home office. It’s an all-in-one, so you can print, copy, scan, and fax. 

Print speeds are fairly good at 15ppm in mono, with our test document print-outs showing great color and detail across for text, photos, and images. Paper capacity is 250 sheets and 30 sheets in the ADF. This makes it ideal for home offices or micro-businesses, but won’t withstand the heavy day-to-day use of a large office. The printer supports up to A4 paper size and 300 g/m² in weight. 

A generous five ink bottles are included in the box, and Epson estimates that should yield up to 14,000 black and white pages and 5,200 color pages. What we liked most about this printer design is that through clear windows to the right, you can see how much ink you have left in each cartridge. 

Overall performance was very good, printing was relatively quickly for an inkjet model - and even includes a best quality mode. However, we found this mode slow, softening previously sharp images, so we’d recommend sticking to the default mode. Speaking of slow speeds, we also felt the scanning wasn’t exactly fast either, nor can the ADF handle auto-double-sided printing. Where the EcoTank ET-4850 excels is in pumping out monochrome text and mixed color documents, making it the best ink tank printer for almost everyone. 

Read our full Epson EcoTank ET-4850 review 

Best budget ink tank printer for home use

Canon PIXMA G3270/G3570 main product image

(Image credit: Future)
A cheap MegaTank printer for the home

Specifications

Category: Color AOI inkjet ink tank printer
Print speed: 11ipm (mono)
Paper capacity: 100 sheets
Paper size: A4
Weight: 6kg

Reasons to buy

+
Budget ink tank
+
Affordable ink
+
Broad support for paper types
+
Lots of ink in the box

Reasons to avoid

-
No auto-duplex
-
No front paper drawer
-
Low paper capacity
-
No ADF or USB Host port

If you just need the best budget ink tank printer for your home, the Canon Pixma G3270 (also known as the Canon Pixma G3570) is a modest little MegaTank for the masses. 

It’s an entry-level all-in-one home ink tank printer, with print, scan, and copy functionality - all of which performed well in tests, although it’s not exceptional by any means. Both print speed (11ipm mono) and paper capacity (100 sheets) is about standard for ink tank printing at home. However, we would’ve liked to see auto-duplex mode for quick double-sided printing. Test pages we printed during our review process showed bright, colorful, consistent color prints that didn’t smudge under the finger. 

It’s not ideal for professional photo printing - we found the resolution was fine, but the colors were lacking vividity - but will be more than suitable for printing snaps at home. It also lacks some of key extra features, like a touchscreen or ADF. For a cheap home ink tank printer, there are a fair amount of trade-offs here, but at least the Pixma G3270 won't break the bank. 

Read our full Canon Pixma G3270 / G3570 review 

Best Epson EcoTank ink tank printer

Epson EcoTank ET-8550 printing our test documents

(Image credit: Future)
Awarded TechRadar Editor's Choice

Specifications

Category: Color AOI inkjet ink tank printer
Print speed: 32 ppm (mono)
Paper capacity: 100 sheets
Paper size: Up to A3+
Weight: 11.1kg

Reasons to buy

+
Motorised out tray
+
Vivid print quality
+
Large, easy-to-use touchscreen

Reasons to avoid

-
Expensive
-
Slow duplex printing speed
-
No A3 support for scanner

The Epson EcoTank ET-8550 is a premium A3 ink tank printer that features an impressive six ink tanks for higher quality photo printing. It’s an expensive machine, but comes packed with features including touchscreen controls, SD card and USB Host ports, and loads of ink included in the box. 

We’ve hand-tested plenty of the best ink tank printers, and the ET-8550 may be one of the fastest inkjets yet - 32 ppm (mono) for an A4 print, although it took considerably longer for photo printing. However, it’s very quiet in use, so won’t cause disturbances in the home office or studio. Print quality is outstanding, with colors popping off the page, and even black-and-white images look more eye-catching. 

It also performs most functions people are likely to need, including scanning, copying, and the ever-useful auto-duplex mode. Alongside this, the printer can enlarge photocopies from A4 to A3, can print on blank media, supports up to A3+ paper sizes, and via a rear tray, can print 2m banners. However, the 100-sheet paper capacity and lack of ADF means it won’t be for those running a lot of high-volume jobs (unless you want to keep refilling the paper tray). 

Read our full Epson EcoTank ET-8550 review 

Best ink tank printer for the home office

Epson EcoTank ET-3850 unboxed

(Image credit: Future)
Built for the home office

Specifications

Category: Color AOI inkjet ink tank printer
Print speed: 15 ppm (mono)
Paper capacity: 250 sheets
Paper size: A4
Weight: 6.7kg

Reasons to buy

+
High ink capacity
+
Lots of ink in box
+
Excellent print quality

Reasons to avoid

-
No touchscreen or USB Host port
-
No dual scan
-
Build quality feels flimsy

The Epson EcoTank ET-3850 is specifically geared towards the home office - and in our tests, it certainly proved its merit. 

In our own tests, we found the ET-3850 wasn’t the fastest, nor the slowest, but a reliable performer, pumping out pages at around 15ppm (mono). Shift to auto-duplex mode and speeds slow down to 6ppm. However, throughout operation, printing was quiet and smooth, ideal for working in shared spaces. In both color and monochrome print-outs, results were good, with photos on glossy paper bright and text satisfyingly bold and dark. Elsewhere, scans came out accurate, and the ADF will be useful for anyone printing a lot of documents at home. 

It’s not perfect, of course. We felt the build quality was slightly flimsy, and it’s missing duplex scanning, USB Host port, and a touchscreen. But most home office users will likely not miss these - especially when using the excellent companion app. 

Read our full Epson EcoTank ET-3850 review 

Best ink tank printer for business

Canon MAXIFY GX7020 1

(Image credit: Future)
An ink tank printer that means business

Specifications

Category: Color AOI inkjet ink tank printer
Print speed: 24 ipm (mono)
Paper capacity: 500 + 100 sheets
Paper size: A4
Weight: 13kg

Reasons to buy

+
Compact design built for office
+
Two deep paper trays
+
Feature-rich

Reasons to avoid

-
Slow printing speed
-
Expensive-
-
Small touchscreen

A good business ink tank printer needs to be well-constructed, built for day-to-day wear, with fast speeds and sheet capacity for printing at high-volume. Usually, that demands a laser printer. But the Canon Maxify GX7020 (known as the Canon Maxify GX7050 in the UK) is a very capable refillable ink tank alternative. 

For full business potential this Canon MegaTank all-in-one lets you print, scan, copy, and fax. It features monochrome print speeds of 24ipm, with a 500-sheet paper capacity and a 100-sheet ADF. In use, performance was perfect, with no issues setting up and using the many features on offer. 

In our tests, the GX7020 was best at printing and copying monochrome and color text documents - results here showed crisp, dark, consistent characters on the page. Glossy paper photographs, however, felt flat, grainy, the colors not popping off the paper. Overall This fits with the overall business purpose of this ink tank printer - sleek enough to fit into the home office or headquarter, the Canon Maxify GX7020/GX7050 is ideal for mixed text/image documents and presentations, but we wouldn’t recommend it for brochures and photograph printing. 

Read our full Canon Maxify GX7020 / GX7050 review 

Best ink tank printer for small offices

Canon MAXIFY GX4020 header image

(Image credit: Future)
Well-balanced for small businesses

Specifications

Category: Color AOI inkjet ink tank printer
Print speed: 18ppm (mono)
Paper capacity: 250 + 100 sheets
Paper size: A4
Weight: 9.5kg

Reasons to buy

+
High ink and paper capacity
+
Can print on card
+
Lots of ink included
+
Three paper trays

Reasons to avoid

-
Expensive
-
Not fast
-
No USB Host port or NFC

Known as the Canon Maxify GX4020, GX4050, or GX4060, depending on your territory, this compact MegaTank printer is one of the best ink tank printers for small offices who need reliability, good performance, and cost-efficiency. Rounding out the small-business potential, the Canon’s ink tank printer features print, scan, copy, and fax.

During our own tests, the GX4020 showed a FPOT (first print out time) of approximately nine seconds (mono or color), which is very prompt. However, at 18ppm (mono), overall print speeds aren’t super-quick, and the 250-sheet paper capacity means it won’t suit larger workplaces. But it’s fast enough and big enough to tackle print jobs in small offices where employees won’t be queuing to print multiple pages. 

It prints text documents well, with on-page characters coming across sharp and dark - although not as rich as you’d get from a laser printer. While photos printed on glossy paper were lacking, the printer excelled at mixed color documents, with maps in particular highlighting the brightness, detail, vibrancy the Canon Maxify GX4020 can deliver. 

Read our full Canon Maxify GX4020 / GX4050 / GX4060 review 

Best cheap ink tank printer for business

Epson EcoTank ET-2850 ink tank printer during our testing process

(Image credit: Epson)
A refillable printer that won't break the bank

Specifications

Category: Color AOI inkjet ink tank printer
Print speed: 10ppm (mono)
Paper capacity: 100 sheets
Paper size: A4
Weight: 5.4kg

Reasons to buy

+
Large ink tanks
+
Lots of ink included
+
Very low running cost

Reasons to avoid

-
No paper tray
-
Small LCD
-
Not great for photos

If you’re looking for a cheap ink tank printer for your business that's also cheap to run, the Epson EcoTank ET-2850 is an affordable, if basic option. A no-frills device, this is a standard A4 all-in-one EcoTank printer with a pleasingly simple design, but very few built-in features. There’s plenty you’re not getting here. No touchscreen. No ADF, no front paper tray, no USB Host Port or NFC or Ethernet port. On the plus side, it can print, scan, and copy, with auto-duplex features making it an affordable all-rounder for personal and business use. And it excels if you want to save on printing costs.

What really makes the EcoTank ET-2850 stand out for us is the cost-per-page. This is one efficient printer - cheap to run, even if you’re dealing with high-volume printing. The Epson ink tank printer also bundles enough ink in the box to print almost 20,000 pages. Replacement ink bottles cost approximately $51 (£40), yielding up to 13,500 pages per bottle. By our calculations, that’s about the lowest cost-per-page of any printer you can get. 

In our tests, performance was ok. We experienced no paper jams or misprints, while print-outs were acceptable, but not finely detailed. Print speeds are modest, clocking in at 10.5ppm in black-and-white, although auto-duplex printing was very slow - at least twice as long in our tests. For standard budget ink tank printing at home, the Epson EcoTank ET-2850 is worth consideration. 

Read our full Epson EcoTank ET-2850 review 

Best ink tank printer for photos

Photo and graphic designs by Mark Pickavance

(Image credit: Mark Pickavance)
An A3+ EcoTank printer designed for photographers

Specifications

Category: Color AOI inkjet ink tank printer
Print speed: 8ppm (mono)
Paper capacity: 100 sheets
Paper size: Up to A3+
Weight: 8 kg

Reasons to buy

+
Six colour dye
+
Fair printing speed
+
Ideal for wide-format photo printing
+
Borderless A3+ and A4

Reasons to avoid

-
Not available in US
-
Uses dye-based inks
-
No Borderless A5

There’s a lot to like about the Epson EcoTank ET-18100 A3+ photo printer, which features an impressive six color dyes for greater coverage and accuracy.

Inkjets are always ideal for photographs, making colors vibrant and eye-catching. If you print a lot of detailed images, then a photo ink tank printer is a must to save on ink costs. What separates the ET-18100 from many EcoTank or photo printers is the ability to print on A3+ paper sizes. For photographers and designers, you should also be able to calibrate the ET-18100, syncing it with the controlled color metrics of your computer displays. 

It’s not the fastest ink tank printer we’ve tried, but it’s easily fast enough for limited photography runs, generating color proofs, and so on. During our tests, printing a full-page graphic on A4 took just 75 seconds, while a high-quality A3 graphic on glossy paper was timed at around 165 seconds. 

So far, the Epson EcoTank ET-18100 is only available in Europe and the Middle East. That’s a shame, as we’d like to see this come to the US. It is an expensive bit of kit, too. For an affordable ink tank alternative with global availability, see our Canon Pixma G620 / G650 review

Read our full Epson EcoTank ET-18100 review 

Best wide-format ink tank printer

Epson EcoTank ET-14100 A3 printer undergoing our testing process

(Image credit: Epson)
An affordable A3 printer for wide formats

Specifications

Category: Color AOI inkjet ink tank printer
Print speed: 15ppm (mono)
Paper capacity: 100 sheets
Paper size: Up to A3
Weight: 6.4kg

Reasons to buy

+
Support for A3 paper sizes
+
Low cost ink
+
Plenty of ink included
+
Fine photo print quality

Reasons to avoid

-
No auto duplex
-
No Ethernet or USB Host ports
-
Capacity is just 100 sheets

The Epson EcoTank ET-14100 is a wide-format ink tank printer that’s priced more affordably than the likes of the ET-18100 photo printer. Making a lot of A3 print-outs is a quick way to blaze through all your ink, so with the cheaper, high-yield ink bottles, an ink tank printer like the ET-14100 is a good option.

With a 15ppm print speed, it’s not an especially quick machine, and in our tests, these speeds drop to 8ppm when printing photos on glossy paper. However, the wait is worth it, with excellent image quality. It’s not the brightest, but details are stellar. For text, we found blacks were acceptable, but had a habit of soaking into the paper, leaving softer edges than we’d like.

You won’t find a touchscreen on this unit, but in our experience, this didn’t make it any harder to operate the printer. Meanwhile, the 100-sheet capacity makes this more suitable to homes and home offices rather than bigger businesses making wide-format A3 prints. 

In short, the Epson EcoTank ET-14100 is fine for monochrome printing, but excels at color documents and photographs - exactly what you’d want from a wide-format ink tank printer. 

Read our full Epson EcoTank ET-14100 review 

Best Canon MegaTank ink tank printer

Canon MAXIFY GX6050 Review Listing

(Image credit: Future)
A Maxify with maximum features

Specifications

Category: Color AOI inkjet ink tank printer
Print speed: 24 ipm (mono)
Paper capacity: 250 + 100 sheets
Paper size: A4
Weight: 11.6kg

Reasons to buy

+
Well-designed
+
Low running costs
+
Touchscreen
+
Great all-round performance

Reasons to avoid

-
Expensive
-
Photo quality can be grainy
-
No fax or NFC

The Canon Maxify GX6050 all-in-one supertank printer boasts just about every feature you could ask for in a printer. With a high 250-sheet capacity, alongside 100 sheets in the rear tray and 50 in the ADF, this is a good option for the home office or small business that demands detail, speed, durability. If it included fax capabilities, it might just be the best ink tank printer out there. 

As it stands, the Maxify GX6050 is a three-in-one, letting you print, scan, and copy documents at a fair rate. In our own tests, we clocked the GX6050 print speeds at 24ipm (mono) - and for those working in a shared space, you’ll be pleased to know it does so quietly, too, at just 49dB. Print quality is good, particularly for black-and-white documents. While photographs and images in our test documents were clean and vibrant, they could sometimes appear grainy even when printing at the highest quality. 

Construction is excellent here, with the printer feeling sturdy, ready to handle plenty of higher-volume print-jobs, with all-round good performance for home office and small business users. 

Read our full Canon Maxify GX6050 review 

Best ink tank printers: Frequently asked questions

What are ink tank printers and how do they work?

Ink tank printers are a type of printer that utilizes a large ink reservoir or "ink tank" rather than traditional cartridges. These tanks are refilled with ink, allowing for a larger volume of ink to be used before needing to be replaced. Ink tank printers are known for their high print volume and low cost per page, making them a popular choice for businesses and individuals with high print needs.

How long do the ink tanks last in an ink tank printer?

The lifespan of an ink tank depends on the specific printer model and the volume of printing being done. On average, an ink tank can last anywhere from a few months to over a year before needing to be replaced. It's important to refer to the manufacturer's recommendations for ink tank lifespan and to monitor ink levels to ensure that the tanks are being replaced when necessary.

Are ink tank printers more cost-effective than traditional cartridge printers?

In general, ink tank printers are more cost-effective than traditional cartridge printers due to their lower cost per page. Because the ink tanks can be refilled and have a larger volume than cartridges, users can save money on ink over time. It's important to consider the upfront cost of the printer, as well as the cost of ink and maintenance, to determine the overall cost-effectiveness of an ink tank printer

What are some things to consider when choosing an ink tank printer?

When choosing an ink tank printer, there are a few key factors to consider:

  • Printing volume: Consider the volume of printing that you will be doing with the printer. Ink tank printers are ideal for high-volume printing, so a traditional cartridge printer may be a more cost-effective option if you have moderate or low print needs.
  • Ink cost: Compare the cost of ink for different printer models to determine which one will be the most cost-effective in the long run.
  • Connectivity: Consider the connectivity options important to you, such as WiFi, Bluetooth, or NFC.
  • Additional features: Think about any additional features you may want in a printer, such as automatic duplexing (double-sided printing), scanning and copying capabilities, or the ability to print from a mobile device.

How to choose the best ink tank printers for you

Given you're already interested in finding out about the best ink tank printers, there's a good chance you already know of the significant economic (and environmental) benefits of owning an ink tank printer over the traditional cartridge models.

So the first, and most important, thing to consider is your likely usage. If you're on the lookout for a light, compact yet dependable printer that will sit in your home office for only a single user, your requirements will be drastically different to those needing a large and robust printer that will meet the needs of a team of ten in a small business. Because of their lower running costs, cheaper ink, and vibrant picture quality, ink tanks make some of best photo printers. For solo studio use, they can be ideal. 

Get a rough idea as to how many pages you'll be printing per month, then factor in whether you'll be happy with black and white prints, or whether you'll also need color. Both factors will play a big part in the overall cost of your printer.

You'll also want to consider how important print speed is to you - not all of these printers are the quickest to turn out a fresh page. Another consideration should be whether you need to print only A4, or will you be requiring A3 or even a variety of sizes? Lastly, consider how you'd like to connect to your printer from your device. If you're keen to avoid wires, prioritise those printers that offer cloud or Wi-Fi options.

Another issue you may face is your laptop or computer - some printers will only work with Windows devices. In these circumstances, the best printers for Mac will be a better choice. 

If you have a preferred manufacturer, our team has tested out the best Epson printers, the best Brother printers, and the best HP printers to help you find the right one for you. 

How we test the best ink tank printers

Our expert team of reviewers have tested a massive range of printers, including the best sublimation printers, the best 3D printers and the best all-in-one printers. Whether it's inkjet, laser, or ink tank model, we take the same rigorous approach during our testing process.

In running the rule over the best ink tank printers, we've whittled our choice down to the ten printers we feel excel in critical areas.

Although ink tank printers are typically more expensive than cartridge-based printers, the long-term savings can be vast. So we've listed where printers come included with starter ink quantities and calculated which provides the best protection. Some, for example, provide enough ink to last up to two years before they need to be replaced.

Next up, we've looked at the design of each printer, noting size, weight, and any notable bulky features that need to be considered about where the printer will sit. We've tested printing speeds and whether color printing is included.

Lastly, we've listed where printers offer other features that might prove especially useful in a home office or business environment, including scanning, photocopying, and even faxing.

Collin Probst

Former TechRadar Pro B2B Hardware Editor, Collin has been in journalism for years, with experience in small and large markets, including Gearadical, DailyBeast, FutureNet, and more.

With contributions from