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Best printer for students in 2021: top picks for printing out coursework

Included in this guide:

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

The best printer for students is 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 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 out sources 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.

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. With Black Friday and Cyber Monday coming soon, you’ll hopefully find them cheaper than ever. If you're also looking for a laptop, make sure you check out our best laptops for students or our best student Chromebooks guides.

HP DeskJet 2755

(Image credit: HP)

1. HP DeskJet 2755 printer (2710 in UK)

An AIO every student can afford

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 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. 

Epson EcoTank ET-2720

(Image credit: Epson)

2. Epson EcoTank ET-2720 printer

The supertank 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.

Canon Pixma TS5351

(Image credit: Canon)

3. Canon Pixma TS5351 printer

Stylish all-in-one printer for the small student digs

Specifications
Category: colour 3-in-1 inkjet printer
Print speed: 13ppm
Paper sizes: A4
Paper capacity: 100
Weight: 6.3kg
Reasons to buy
+Small, stylish design +Wi-Fi ad Bluetooth 
Reasons to avoid
-Costly cartridges      -Small paper tray  

This neat three-in-one printer provides virtually every feature a student is likely to need and a few more besides. Colour printing, scanning and photocopying are a given, but you also have an auto-duplex mode so that you won’t waste paper and both Wi-Fi and Bluetooth built in for easy wireless connection to a laptop and/or smartphone. It can print on a particularly wide variety of media up to A4 in size and that includes Canon’s own magnetic photo paper and fabric iron-on patches. It’s an impressively compact unit, so there’s only room for 100 sheets of A4 inside and it’s not the cheapest inkjet out there, but by upgrading the cartridges to XL-capacity carts you can bring down the running cost to a competitive level.

Epson Expression Premium XP-6105

(Image credit: Epson)

4. Epson Expression Premium XP-6105 printer

A compact and stylish AIO 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. It lacks a touchscreen display, but it’s easy to use and the for the money, the performance is impressive.

HP Tango

(Image credit: HP)

HP’s smart printer adds voice control

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 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 to HP’s Instant Ink program to make some saving while having replacements sent in the mail. 

Read the full review: HP Tango

Brother DCP-J1100W

(Image credit: Brother)

6. Brother DCP-J1100W All-in-box printer

Includes enough ink and service to cover a 3-year course

Specifications
Category: colour 3-in-1 inkjet printer
Print speed: 12ppm
Paper sizes: A4
Paper capacity: 150
Weight: 8.8kg
Reasons to buy
+3yrs of ink included +Touchscreen interface
Reasons to avoid
-High initial cost     -Slow to print

By providing three-years worth of ink and three years service in the price, Brother’s unique proposition would suit students on a three-year course well. The printer itself is a capable three-in-one inkjet device that can print, scan and copy at a fairly high resolution and turn out crisp and colourful duplex pages at a reasonable rate. It’s not as fast as Brother’s other business-oriented printers, but with four such high capacity ink cartridges installed it is way more economical to run. It comes with Wi-Fi Direct connectivity and a colour touchscreen interface for easy operation.

Read the full review: Brother DCP-J1100W All-in-box

HP OfficeJet Pro 8035

(Image credit: HP)

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

Slick 4-in-1 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. Self-healing Wi-Fi is built in with 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 that makes sense 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 and Google Cloud Print. Being a laser, it is very fast and efficient at printing pages of text. It’ll churn out a dissertation at 30 pages per second. There’s room for 250 sheets of paper in the main tray and enough toner for 700 prints in the box.

Canon Pixma G4510

(Image credit: Jim Hill)

Canon cuts ink cost with its cartridge-less solution

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. It can auto duplex print and includes an automatic document feed and fax facility. 

Read the full review: Canon Pixma G4510

Epson EcoTank ET-M1120

(Image credit: Epson)

10. Epson EcoTank ET-M1120 printer

Refillable tank is the secret to affordable pages

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 limitning 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 15ppm and there’s room in this streamlined machine for 150 sheets of paper. 

  • Check out our list of the best printers, no matter if they are inkjet or laser


Matt Hanson

Senior Computing editor

Matt (Twitter) is TechRadar's Senior Computing editor. Having written for a number of publications such as PC Plus, PC Format, T3 and Linux Format, there's no aspect of technology that Matt isn't passionate about, especially computing and PC gaming. If you're encountering a problem or need some advice with your PC or Mac, drop him a line on Twitter.