Even in 2021, the best black and white laser printers are still wise choices for businesses who don't need to print out color documents. If your office mainly prints out plain text documents, for example, picking a black and white printer could save you money.
Not only are the best black and white printers much cheaper to buy than many color laser printers, but running costs are also lower, as you only need to buy black ink or toner.
Black and white laser printers are much more efficient as well, so they can print out documents incredibly quickly. This means they are ideal for busy offices.
However, if you’re having a tough time deciding between color and monochrome and want to browse printers that are capable of both, check out our guide to the best color and mono laser printers in 2021.
- Also check out the best cheap printers
The initial cost might seem high for a mono printer that doesn’t even have a Wi-Fi module built in. However, it looks and performs like a premium printer, turning out perfectly crisp mono pages at the very impressive rate of 55 per minute. It’s highly efficient too, thanks to a hardwearing image drum that lasts much longer than usual and a very low running cost of around 0.4p per page. There’s enough toner in the box for 10,000 pages and enough room in the main tray for a whole ream of paper. If you print demands are high, this quality machine will keep your print costs low.
Read the full review: Kyocera Ecosys P3155dn
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.
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
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
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
If you can be sure that you don’t need to print in colour, or on both sides of the page and you don’t require a wireless connection, then this stripped-down device could be just the thing. It prints quickly at 35ppm, and there’s room for a total of 350 sheets of A4 in two paper trays, making it suitable for a busy, yet small, office. A standard black toner cartridge also offers plenty of capacity with a promise of around 3,000 printed pages. The two-line display is just enough to make this an easy-to-use no-frills printer with an emphasis on speed and efficiency.
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.
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.
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.
It might seem expensive for a desktop device, but this colour laser printer comes with impressive specifications and a slick smartphone-style interface. It has a huge capacity for paper with a 550-sheet tray built in and the option of doubling that by adding a second tray. Xerox includes a generous amount of toner too, enough for 2,000 colour or 3,000 mono pages. The five-inch touchscreen makes setup and operation easier than most while it’s print quality is excellent, thanks largely to its bold Pantone-approved colour performance.
Read the full review: Xerox VersaLink C400DN
- Check out our list of the best overall printers