Back to school 2015: all the best tech supplies for the year ahead

Back to school

The ideal back-to-school printer is small enough to fit on a desktop covered in empty Cheetos bags, easy enough to use after an all-nighter and smart enough to work with the latest technology, like NFC and cloud printing.

It can range in price, from the more expensive Canon Pixma MG7520, which is ideal for photography majors and selfie-snappers; or as inexpensive as the HP DeskJet 1010, an ideal printer for running off last-minute assignments before class.

The five printers we've chosen aren't the best printers on the market – those are upwards of $1,000 (about £650, AU$1,300) and almost half the size of a twin-size college mattress. These models are nevertheless perfectly suited for basic high school or college coursework.

Back to School

Canon Pixma MG7520

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Great for photos and images

The Canon Pixma MG7520 produces marvelous black and white and color images. At 15 black and white pages per minute, and 10 color pages per minute, the Pixma MG7520 is fast enough for basic student needs.

Photography students will appreciate the 9,600 X 2,400 dpi prints this baby produces, and everyone will appreciate its small 17-inch-wide footprint. While more expensive than our other recommendations, the Pixma MG7520's image output is well worth the extra coin.

Read the full review: Canon Pixma MG7520

Back to School

HP DeskJet 2540

Easy setup, solid performance

The HP Deskjet 2540 isn't built for speed. It takes three and a half minutes to print a 20-page text-only document. But if you need a solid device that's easy enough to use so that you won't want to pull out your hair, this is your printer.

It comes with only two ink cartridges, so you won't have to order a bunch of different packages. Plus set-up is done via USB cable, so you don't have to stumble along through a dozen annoying wireless prompts.

Read the full review: HP DeskJet 2540

Back to School

Epson XP-420

A budget printer without much compromise

The Epson XP-420 does everything moderately well. If you don't need professional-level prints, and you don't mind an extra few seconds for every document, then you should buy the XP-420 for school.

The printer performs just a bit less remarkably than models 300% more expensive. It takes 13 seconds to produce one black and white document, and color images are produced at a maximum dpi of 4,800 x 1,200. This is an ideal device for people who demand a bit more from a printer than just text-based documents.

Read the full review: Epson XP-420

Back to school

HP LaserJet Pro P1102w

A profound printer, deeply discounted

At only 13.7 inches wide, the P1102w is one of the slimmer, professional-level printers on the market. Priced down from its original MSRP, the P1102w is capable of doing what most modern printers do, including wireless, smartphone and network printing.

Being an older model, it's a bit slow at 19 pages per minute, and maximum print size is 8.5 x 11 inches. But regardless, this is a great device for big, text-based jobs.

Back to School

HP Deskjet 1010

A bare-bones, inexpensive printer

If you need a printer and money is tight, the DeskJet 1010 is your go-to device. It'll produce black and white text-based documents in 17 seconds. And, if you need to shuffle it from workspace to workspace, you'll be happy to learn it weighs just more than 4.5 pounds.

Unfortunately, this model won't produce gorgeous images, and it won't connect to anything wirelessly. But if you just need something to print out your book reports, this will more than suffice.

Read the full review: HP Deskjet 1010

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