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Best black and white laser printers of 2020: for home and for business

(Image credit: Canon)

Welcome to our guide on the best black and white laser printers of 2019. It’s not always necessary to print in color and opting for a black-and-white model can save you money on both the initial purchase and reduce your general printing costs in the long run.

For everyday printing – from forms and gig tickets to those all-important eBay postage labels – the best black and white laser printers listed below are more than up to the task.

If you’re having a tough time deciding between colour and monochrome and want to browse printers that are capable of both, check out guide to the best colour and mono laser printers in 2019.

(Image credit: Brother)

1. Brother Compact Monochrome Laser Printer (HLL2395DW)

Comes with long-lasting toner cartridges

Print speed: 36ppm | Paper sizes: Up to A4 | Paper capacity: 250 sheets | Size: 15.7 x 16.1 x 10.7in | Weight: 10.3kg

Toner lasts a long time
A bit chunky
Drab design

It won’t win any style awards, but this fast-printing model from Brother gets the job done. After you’ve stripped off the tape keeping its panels in place, setting up the printer is a cinch. Its colour LCD is large and responsive enough to make functions – from printing to copying and scanning – simple to carry out, and the supplied toner cartridge will last for ages before needing to be replaced. The Brother might not be the most compact in its category despite its moniker, but on the plus side it’s wireless giving you the freedom to plonk it anywhere.

(Image credit: Canon)

2. Canon imageCLASS MF247dw

Offers connection options aplenty

Print speed: 28ppm | Paper sizes: Up to A4 | Paper capacity: 250 sheets | Size: 14.7 x 15.4 x 14.2in | Weight: 12.2kg

Good print quality
Multiple connectivity options
No USB port for thumbdrive
No optional paper tray

It’s not quite as a speedy as the HLL2395DW, but this imageCLASS model is no slouch. Designed for high-volume use, it sports a large automatic document feeder (ADF) and duplex (meaning both sides) prints onto paper by default. The Canon offers a plethora of connection options including USB, Ethernet, Wi-Fi and Wi-Fi Direct, and it supports Google Cloud Print, in addition its maker’s Canon Print Business and Google Mopria Print Service apps. It’s compact enough to fit onto a desk, which on the downside means there’s internal no room for optional paper trays - a negative if you’re thinking of printing on multiple paper sizes.

(Image credit: Future)

3. HP Laserjet Pro M15w

The world’s smallest budget laser printer

Print speed: 19ppm | Paper sizes: Up to A4 | Paper capacity: 100 sheets | Size: 6.2 x 13.6 x 7.4in | Weight: 3.8kg

Footprint is a little larger than a sheet of A4
Strong app support
No dual-side printing
Low print resolution

The tiny and portable Laserjet Pro M15W combines the practicality of a mono printer with the footprint of an inkjet model. Perfect for those who work from home or in a cramped office and aren’t fussed about high-quality prints (its resolution is a meagre 600 x 600dpi), it prints quickly and reliably. Initial setup is a breeze despite its lack of an LCD display, which means you can’t tweak settings on the printer itself. However, this is made up for in HP’s excellent (and free) Smart app, which lets you scan and print documents wirelessly, in addition to printing from the cloud with support for Google Docs, Dropbox and Evernote.

Read the full review: HP LaserJet Pro M15w review

(Image credit: Future)

4. Brother HL-L5100DN

A compact speed demon

Print speed: 40ppm (10ppm duplex) | Paper sizes: Up to A4 | Paper capacity: 300 sheets | Size: 14.6 x 15.3 x 10in | Weight: 10.7kg

Very fast duplex print speed
Sharp and consistent printing
Lacks Wi-Fi
Tiny LCD is hard to read

If you lead a busy life (and let’s be honest – who doesn’t these days), Brother’s compact HL-L5100DN is a solid option. Its 40 pages-per-minute printing speed puts other monochrome models to shame. And, despite its small footprint, it holds a decent amount of paper and toner – so you won’t be constantly replenishing supplies. Despite lacking built-in Wi-Fi, the Brother makes wireless printing easy courtesy of its maker’s iPrint & Scan, which lets you print documents stored in the cloud. It’s a reasonably-priced model with pleasingly sharp print quality thanks to a relatively high dpi of 1200.

Read the full review: Brother HL-L5100DN

(Image credit: Future)

The fastest mono printer on the block

Print speed: 55ppm | Paper sizes: A4 | Paper capacity: 700 sheets | Size: 16.8 x 18.3 x 17.4 | Weight: 22.3kg

Modular upgrades available
High paper capacity
Low running cost
Intuitive touchscreen interface
High initial outlay
Wi-Fi module costs extra
Noisy in operation

If you think the Brother model above is fast at printing, the Versalink asks you to hold its beer. With a duplex print speed of 55ppm, it’s one of the fastest laser printers in the business and stores a massive number of sheets while supporting high-capacity toner cartridges, which ultimately brings down the running cost over time. It’s larger, noisier and more expensive than the HL-L5100DN – not to mention twice the weight – which makes it more suitable for a busy SMB or large workgroup than a household.

Read the full review: Xerox VersaLink B600DN review

(Image credit: HP)

6. HP Laserjet Pro M118dw Wireless Monochrome Laser Printer

Offers modern and classic configuration interfaces

Print speed: 30ppm | Paper sizes: Up to A4 | Paper capacity: 250 sheets | Size: 8.8 x 16 x 14.5in | Weight: 6.9kg

Fast print speed
Built-in web server
No USB port (for thumbdrive)
Average paper capacity

HP touts this as its best value model for duplex (two-sided) laser printing when used with the 1000-page black toner cartridge and 23,000-page imaging drum that come pre-installed. It features a clean and attractive design making it suitable for home or office. HP’s free ‘Smart’ app lets you copy, scan and print documents from a phone or tablet; and if you’re working from a desktop, it’s possible to log into the printer’s Web Server Configuration Page and perform actions such as checking supplies, managing security (and energy) settings, and even printing documents over the cloud using HP’s ePrint Web Services server.

(Image credit: Lexmark)

7. Lexmark B2236dw laser printer

Fast and efficient

Print speed: 36ppm | Paper sizes: up to A4 | Paper capacity: 250 sheets | Size: 14 x 13.1 x 8.4in | Weight: 6.8kg

Excellent print quality
Robust security options
Separate toner and drum
Expensive in its class

Offering decent print quality and a slew of features, this Lexmark printer is an attractive model that doesn’t skimp on security. Logging into its web server lets you restrict printing and admin access to certain users and departments, making it ideal for use in office or shared accommodation scenarios. Duplex printing is enabled by default and print quality itself is stellar considering the B2236dw’s initial affordability. It has a separate drum (rated for up to 12,000 prints) and toner (up to 6,000), which together result in acceptable (but far from best-in-class) running costs over time. Heavy users are advised to sign up to Lexmark’s Cartridge Collection Program for best bang-for-buck when it comes to replacing ink.

(Image credit: Brother)

8. Brother HL-L2350DW

Cheap and fast

Print speed: 32ppm | Paper sizes: Up to A4 | Paper capacity: 250 sheets | Size: 13.27 x 8.66 x 7.01in | Weight: 7.2kg

Fast printing for the cost
Good output quality
Average graphics quality
Small LCD display

Suitable for home printing, this speedy model from Brother is suitable if you’re looking to occasionally burst print a bunch of pages while initially looking to spend as little as possible. Setting up the HL-L2350DW isn’t fun on its tiny LCD screen, but once completed the printer is compact and light enough to move into position. It’s also pleasingly inexpensive to operate in the long term and features connectivity options aplenty – including compatibility with Airprint, Google Cloud print and Brother’s own iPrint & Scan app. Turning our attention to quality, the Brother produces text with above average sharpness – certainly enough for everyday printing tasks – but we were less enamoured with its graphics quality.

(Image credit: Pantum)

9. Pantum P2200W Wireless A4 Mono Laser Printer

Compact, sleek and affordable

Print speed: 23ppm | Paper sizes: Up to A4 | Paper capacity: 150 sheets | Size: 13.27 x 8.66 x 7.01in | Weight: 5.6kg

Compact size
USB and Wi-Fi connectivity
Average graphics quality

The P2200W is the most affordable printer on our list, which gets you the smallest paper capacity and an average (but not terrible) print speed. Despite its small price tag, the Pantum still comes with features such as wireless networking and mobile printing, USB and Wi-Fi connectivity, and a 700-page starter toner cartridge. Its text or graphics print quality won’t set your world alight, but as a personal or home office printer for occasional printing, the Pantum’s low cost and decent feature set makes it a viable wallet-friendly option.

(Image credit: Future)

10. HP LaserJet Pro M227fdw

A big unit that produces high-quality output

Print speed: 28ppm | Paper sizes: Up to A4 | Paper capacity: 250 sheets | Weight: 9.4kg

Amazing print quality
Smooth and quiet printing
Long-lasting toner cartridge
Bulky unit is initially expensive

Despite being a few years old, this HP model is worth picking up in the sale for its exceptionally sharp print quality and whisper-quiet operation. It’s not quite as fast at spitting out pages as smaller rivals, but that’s forgiven when you clock the quality of the black text that it produces (at a resolution of 1200 dpi). If you can look past its bulky frame, this LaserJet model also offers low running costs (HP reckons you’ll get 30,000 pages from one toner cartridge), scanning capabilities and mobile-based wireless printing.

Read the full review: HP LaserJet Pro MFP M227fdw