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Best printers for students in 2022: top picks for printing out coursework

PRICE
VERDICT
REASONS TO BUY
REASONS TO AVOID
VERDICT
REASONS TO BUY
REASONS TO AVOID
Student in lecture hall
(Image credit: Pexels)

The best printers for students are still a crucial part of any household, even if most have physically returned to school. Homework and coursework still end up being done at home and you need something that won’t quit in the middle of an important print job. But, that printer has to also offer a good deal of value for its performance and features.

Thankfully, the budget printers we’ve included here are more than up to the task. They’re also a great resource for your studies, whether that’s printing outsources so you don’t have to go to the library or assignments so you can skip the internet café and get right to work, saving you a ton of stress, time, and, possibly, even money.

However, you don’t have to grab the most expensive printer out there. Since this is a printer for students, it needs to be reasonably priced. But, it needs to be able to give you a decent number of printouts before replacing the ink, since ink cartridges will be the biggest expense in the long run.

The printer needs to offer good quality printing as well, capable of providing sharp and clear printouts in a range of document types. And, since students will be limited on space, it needs to be compact.

We've compared the best printer for students across various aspects, from their printing speed and pricing to the build quality and size. We also considered the type of connectivity options the printers featured, their interface, and the quality of the prints, among other things. 

With our list of the best printers for students, we've put together our top picks that will suit a student's needs, no matter what educational institute they are at. If you're also looking for a laptop, make sure you check out our best laptops for students or our best student Chromebooks guides.


The best printers for students in 2022 in full

HP DeskJet 2755

(Image credit: HP)

1. HP DeskJet 2755 printer (2710 in UK)

An affordable all-in-on printer for students

Specifications

Category: All-in-one color inkjet printer
Print speed: 20ppm (draft mode)
Paper sizes: up to A4
Paper capacity: 60 sheets
Weight: 3.42kg

Reasons to buy

+
Great value
+
Appealing design

Reasons to avoid

-
Expensive cartridges
-
Limited paper capacity

The HP DeskJet 2755 (known in the UK as the DeskJet 2710) is an affordable color inkjet aimed at the home office and comes with key features such as auto duplex printing and dual-band Wi-Fi built in. 

It can print on photo paper, envelopes, and any size of plain paper up to A4. With AirPrint and Google Cloud Print compliance, it’s easy to print via your smartphone, and HP’s companion app for iOS/Android is particularly strong. 

There’s not much room for paper in the main tray (just 60 sheets of A4), but the conveniently compact design goes a long way to make up for that. There is a flatbed scanner at the top to convert documents and photos, but the print quality of pictures is not great. Although the ink cartridges are cheap, their yield is fairly low, so the running costs are bound to increase.

Epson EcoTank ET-2720

(Image credit: Epson)
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2. Epson EcoTank ET-2720 (ET-2715 in the UK)

The supertank printer for students

Specifications

Category: Color inkjet all-in-one printer
Print speed: 33ppm (mono)
Paper sizes: up to A4
Paper capacity: 100
Weight: 4kg

Reasons to buy

+
Very low running cost
+
Plenty of ink in box

Reasons to avoid

-
Limited paper capacity
-
Small display

Epson’s supertank range proved that cartridge-free printing is the way forward for inkjets, though they were somewhat expensive. Thankfully the prices have come down and the Epson EcoTank ET-2720 is both cheap to run and relatively cheap to buy. 

It’s also well-equipped with scanner bed, a color LCD screen and inbuilt Wi-Fi including Wi-Fi Direct. The main attraction for students will be its low running cost and the generous amount of ink included in the box — enough to keep printing through three years of study (or 4500 color pages). 

Since bottled ink is around 80% lower than cartridge ink, you can rest assured knowing that the running costs won't be too high — perfect for students that need to print color photos often. The image resolution is also high, making this printer good for printing on glossy photo paper. 

Canon PIXMA G1220

(Image credit: Canon)

3. Canon PIXMA G1220 (G1520 in the UK)

A simple supertank printer for students with enough ink to last till graduation

Specifications

Category: Color inkjet printer
Print speed: 9ipm (mono)
Paper sizes: A4
Paper capacity: 100 sheets
Weight: 4.8kg

Reasons to buy

+
Great for documents and photos
+
Enough ink to see you graduate

Reasons to avoid

-
Slow print speed
-
No scanner or Wi-Fi

This print-only device is the simplest and cheapest model in Canon’s current MegaTank lineup, making it ideal for students who want to print a lot and not worry about ink. 

You get enough bottled ink in the box for 6,000 mono A4 pages and 7,700 color, which may well see you through to graduation. It can print crisp coursework on plain paper and high-resolution photos on glossy photo paper. 

There’s no auto-duplex mode, scanner, display, or Wi-Fi, and the print rate is slow (9 pages per minute), but if you’re in no hurry, this simple supertank will deliver high quality prints at the lowest per page cost. Along with regular plain paper, it can print on envelopes, glossy photo paper, and print banners too. 

The printer isn't cheap, but by purchasing inexpensive bottled ink instead of cartridges, you can reduce costs by 80 to 90%. 

Epson Expression Premium XP-6105

(Image credit: Epson)
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4. Epson Expression Premium EX-6100 (XP-6105 in the UK)

A compact and stylish all-in-one printer for the discerning student

Specifications

Category: 3-in-1 colour inkjet printer
Print speed: 23ppm
Paper sizes: up to A4
Paper capacity: 500
Weight: 12.1kg

Reasons to buy

+
Sleek design  
+
Great price

Reasons to avoid

-
Costly cartridges
-
No touchscreen

As the smallest member of Epson’s Premium range of home printers, the XP-6105 is well suited to student accommodation. Apart from a fax facility, it is fully featured with Wi-Fi, auto duplex printing, USB and SD card slots all built in, and the ability to print on any kind of media from blank CDs up to A4 photo paper. 

Along with Wi-Fi, it has Wi-Fi direct and AirPrint to make it hassle-free to connect to Apple devices without the need for Ethernet or USB cables. It lacks a touchscreen display, but there's a large color display (with buttons) that's easy to use, and for the money, the performance is impressive.

It's not the cheapest printer to run because of the ink costs, but the print quality's great and the printing speed is good even over wireless connections. 

HP Tango

(Image credit: HP)
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A fully wireless portable printer for students that want convenient mobile operation

Specifications

Category: 3-in-1 colour inkjet printer
Print speed: 11ppm
Paper sizes: up to A4
Paper capacity: 50
Weight: 3kg

Reasons to buy

+
Alexa enabled    
+
Seamless cloud services

Reasons to avoid

-
No USB port  
-
Expensive ink

Thanks to its two-way cloud-based network connection, you can operate this ‘smart printer’ from your mobile device with or without a Wi-Fi network. It has no USB or Ethernet ports and no scanner either. 

Instead it relies on wireless connectivity while the Tango companion app harnesses your smartphone’s camera to scan and straighten images for printing. All this allows the Tango X to be smaller than other inkjets and cheaper too. It’ll print on envelopes or photo paper of any size up to A4 and turn out pages at a reasonable rate of 11ppm. 

It is particularly user friendly, thanks to the excellent app, and can even be voice controlled with the assistance of Alexa. Replacement ink cartridges are rather costly, but you can sign up for HP’s Instant Ink program to make some saving while having replacements sent in the mail. 

Read the full review: HP Tango

Brother MFC-J1170DW

(Image credit: Brother)
A swift supertank printer for students

Specifications

Category: Color inkjet all-in-one printer
Print speed: 33ipm (mono)
Paper sizes: A4
Paper capacity: 100 sheets
Weight: 4kg

Reasons to buy

+
Good value overall
+
Fairly fast print speed

Reasons to avoid

-
Small inkjet cartridges
-
No Ethernet port     

Brother is aiming this compact and inexpensive inkjet at the home office and as such, it’s kitted out with the features a business user would need, but it would serve students equally well. 

There’s an A4-sized scanner bed with a flexible lid that’s capable of copying thick books and room for 150 sheets of A4 in the paper tray for when you’re ready to run off that dissertation. The US model comes with a 20-sheet ADF (automatic document feed), but the nearest equivalent UK model (Brother DCP-J1140DW) lacks an ADF. 

There's no front USB port and no Ethernet port, but it has a touchscreen interface and the print quality is good enough for sharing photos on glossy photopaper and it prints quickly for a budget model. The only catch is the usual one – costly replacement cartridges – but that doesn’t stop this all-in-one from being a very good all-rounder.

Read our full review: Brother DCP-J1140DW.

HP OfficeJet Pro 8035

(Image credit: HP)

7. HP OfficeJet Pro 8035 printer (8025 in UK)

Slick 4-in-1 printer for the student’s budget

Specifications

Category: Color inkjet all-in-one printer
Print speed: 20ppm
Paper sizes: up to A4
Paper capacity: 225 sheets
Weight: 8.2kg

Reasons to buy

+
Practical design
+
Great value

Reasons to avoid

-
High running cost
-
No front USB port

The HP OfficeJet Pro 8035 (know as the OfficeJet Pro 8025 in UK) is a smart-looking inkjet that seems to offer everything a student could need from an all-in-one, without breaking the budget. 

There’s ample room for paper in the main tray, a flatbed scanner and even an ADF (automatic document feed) for photocopying a stack of papers. It prints quickly in color and automatically prints both sides of the page — at the highest quality, it prints at 20 pages per minute. 

The print quality is decent, but it's not striking. The built-in self-healing Wi-Fi is useful for maintaining a stable Wi-Fi connection, and the printing process feels convenient thanks to Wi-Fi Direct and compatibility with AirPrint and Google Cloud Print. Replacement cartridges are not cheap, but an Instant Ink subscription will bring the print cost down a little.

Ricoh SP 230DNw printer

(Image credit: Ricoh)

8. Ricoh SP 230DNw printer

Entry-level laser printer for students

Specifications

Category: Mono laser printer
Print speed: 30ppm
Paper sizes: up to A4
Paper capacity: 250
Weight: 7.3kg

Reasons to buy

+
Low running cost
+
Rapid print speed

Reasons to avoid

-
Mono only
-
No front USB port

Laser printers generally cost more than inkjets to buy, but are cheaper to run. However, the entry-level Ricoh SP 230DNw manages to fall within the financial reach of students. 

It’s a simple mono print-only device, but it includes essential features such as auto duplex, inbuilt Wi-Fi and compatibility with AirPrint, Mopria, and Google Cloud Print. Connectivity options include USB 2.0 and an Ethernet port. 

Being a laser, it is very fast and efficient at printing pages of text. It’ll churn out a dissertation at 30 pages per minute, and the print resolution is 1,200 x 1,200 dpi for high-quality prints. There’s room for 250 sheets of paper in the main tray, and you can print on plain paper, envelopes, and even bond paper. 

The print has enough toner for 700 prints in the box and operates fairly quietly.

Canon Pixma G4510

(Image credit: Jim Hill)
A compact and low cost printer for students

Specifications

Category: 3-in-1 colour inkjet printer
Print speed: 10ppm
Paper sizes: up to A4
Paper capacity: 100
Weight: 5.4kg

Reasons to buy

+
Low ink cost  
+
Plenty of ink included

Reasons to avoid

-
High price point 
-
Small display 

By swapping ink cartridges for bottled ink, this printer has a far higher page yield and much lower per page cost. You can clearly see when the ink reservoirs are running low and with Wi-Fi built in, it’s easy to scan and print using your mobile device. 

The G4210 has a 10-sheet paper tray at the rear and can auto duplex print. Along with printing and scanning, it includes an automatic document feed and fax facility. The printer features AirPrint compatibility, making it easy to scan and print using your Apple device. 

It has a small two-line display that's not the most convenient to use, and the photo prints lack definition and detail. But the Pixma G4210 is pretty compact and comes with enough ink to print 6,000 mono documents and 7,000 color.

Read the full review: Canon Pixma G4210

Epson EcoTank ET-M1120

(Image credit: Epson)

10. Epson EcoTank ET-M1170 (ET-M1120 in the UK)

Refillable tank makes this a low running cost printer for students

Specifications

Category: mono inkjet printer
Print speed: 15ppm
Paper sizes: up to A4
Paper capacity: 150
Weight: 3.5kg

Reasons to buy

+
Very economical refills 
+
Simple/pleasing design

Reasons to avoid

-
Slow print speed
-
High initial cost

If you need to print a lot of black and white pages and space and money are limiting factors, this compact print only device has the answer. The up-front price might seem daunting, but it includes enough black ink for 6,000 pages. That’s because instead of a cartridge, you will be filling up a reservoir from the supplied ink bottle yourself and replacement bottles are far cheaper. 

Wi-Fi is built in, and it can turn out duplex pages at a somewhat slow, but steady rate of 15 pages per minute, and there’s room in this streamlined machine for 150 sheets of paper. 

It lacks a display, but the refillable reservoir for black ink is substantial, and thanks to the bottled ink it comes with, the cost per page comes out to be less than a laser printer. 


How to choose the best printer for students for you?

The best printers for students have lots to offer to their users, but you'll want to keep some key considerations in mind to select the right printer for your needs. 

First, based on your course, you'll want to assess your printing needs. For intensive printing, you'll want to select a heavy-duty printer that can churn out plenty of prints every month. 

You'll then want to consider whether your printing is primarily text or image-oriented. If your photo prints need to be detailed and clear, you'll want a high-resolution color printer and one that has low ink costs. Your running costs will be a lot lower if you're primarily printing black and white text. 

Make sure to evaluate other aspects of the printer that enhance convenience, like the printer's speed, multi-function capabilities, connectivity options, control panel, and lastly, the pricing.

The best printers for students: How we test

We test all our printers on our test bench and compare the findings against the other printer we've reviewed. 

To examine the printer's performance, we use a standard ten-page document. We print the same documents across all the printers to analyze their speed, quality, vibrance, sharpness, color fidelity, and contrast. These test pages have fonts of different sizes and colors, mixed texts and images, and just photos. 

We also check the printer's build quality, size, design, connectivity options, interface, and importantly, the running costs and pricing. 

Jim is a seasoned expert when it comes to testing tech. From playing a prototype PlayStation One to meeting a man called Steve about a new kind of phone in 2007, he’s always hunting the next big thing at the bleeding edge of the electronics industry. After editing the tech section of Wired UK magazine, he is currently specialising in IT and voyaging in his VW camper van.