Printer Buying Guide – How to Choose? What Things To Consider?

printer buying guide

With technological advancement, every aspect of human lifestyles continues to easy and improve. The printing is an integral part of every unit, whether you’re a professional, businessman, or student. It is one of the must-have accessories for your laptop or computer.

Nowadays, whatever you need to print, there’s a wide variety of available printer options. They have become less expensive and progressively tricked-out over time. According to the requirement, you can pick up the best printer.

But you might have questions about how to choose a printer, what to look for, the best time to buy or what type of printer do you need.

To answer all these questions, we have prepared this comprehensive guide exploring the different types of printers based on available features and the latest printing technology. Let’s check out this printer buying guide.

What type of printer do you need?


When considering purchasing a new printing machine, you have many types of choices that could meet your needs. Inkjet and laser printers can be used by both home and market users to print high-quality text documents and photos.

Also, there are special-purpose printing machines that are most common to print invoices, receipts or even physical objects.

To understand which printer is right for you, let’s discuss them in details.

Inkjet Printers

Under $75

Between $75 and $200

Above $200

An inkjet printer can produce a copy with a resolution of at least 300 dots per inch ( dpi ). It can produce both crisp text and rich photo prints. They’re excellent for printing on a wide range of paper types and sizes, such as scrapbooking paper, business envelopes, labels and more.

Some models include other devices such as a scanner, photocopier, and dedicated fax machine along with the printer in a single box.

Inkjets print an image by applying a precisely controlled stream of tiny ink droplets from one or more cartridges to a variety of paper types. Each manufacturer uses imperceptibly various techniques, and the size of the droplets, the way they are applied to the paper, and the software algorithms for color mixing determine the image quality.

Moreover, All-in-one inkjet printers come in two varieties: a 3-in-1 that allows you to print, copy and scan documents, or a 4-in-1 that also lets you fax. Lightweight, compact inkjet printers range in price from less than $100 to as much as $800, depending on features, image quality, and paper-handling capabilities.

Laser Printers

Under $100

Between $100 and $200

Above $200

A laser printer is a popular type of personal computer printer that uses a non-impact photocopier technology, means keys don’t strike the paper. They are becoming popular because they combine fast print speeds, sharp output, and a low cost per page.

These printing machine uses a photographic drum to attract electrically charged toner and transfer it to paper. When a document is sent to the machine, the image is fused using a heated roller. A laser beam produces the document on a selenium-coated drum using electrical charges.

Many cost-effective laser printers are monochrome (black and white), best suited for printing text and simple graphics, and they’re budget-friendly, with prices starting at $100 and up.

A color laser printer is up to 10 times more costly than a monochrome laser printer. But there are now several models for less than $200, and these are viable alternatives to color inkjets for printing fliers, spreadsheets, and brochures.

Photo Printers or Instant Photo Printers

Best of the Best

Excellent print quality for a portable printer from a trusted name in printing.

Best Value

Fast printing through a WiFi or NFC connection. Uses an innovative dye transfer printing method.

Also consider

Specifically made for printing from iPhones. Will create small prints in as fast as 30 seconds.

You’ve probably stored your favorite digital photos virtually, but physical photo albums and frames still have their place.

The Photo printers are designed to produce high-quality photos similar to what you would get from a professional printing service, at a comparable or lower cost.

One of the biggest advantages of these printing machines is the convenience of printing photos immediately, without the hassle of making a trip to the store or waiting for them to arrive in the mail.

However, some inkjet printers use more than the four basic cyan, magenta, yellow, and black (CMYK) inks to produce high-quality photos, so if you spend a lot of time printing photos, you may like to pay a little more for a better-than-average inkjet, or opt for a second printer specifically for that purpose.

The quality level of the photo printer is comparable to that of a traditional photo print. Another big advantage is that they can usually print directly from the compatible digital camera via PictBridge and some models also accept CompactFlash or SD cards, or memory sticks. Many others even let you perform editing right from the printer, such as cropping, red-eye removal and more.

With this machine, one can print 4″ x 6″ photos to holiday cards, pictures for scrapbooking, CD and DVD covers and much more, a photo printer can help you explore your creative side. And compact, portable photo printers make it easy to share small photos on the go.

3D Printers

Best Overall

Earning the top score overall, the Ultimaker 2+ took home the Editors’ Choice award. This is the best overall 3D printer, producing top-notch prints while being easy to use.

Best for Tight Budgets

If you are looking to spend as little as possible for a new 3D printer, the Creality Ender 3 Pro is our top recommendation for anyone shopping on a skinnier budget.

Top Pick for Detailed Prints

If you are looking to create highly detailed models with a 3D printer, then the Anycubic Photon is definitely worth your consideration.

3D printers can process several layers of works in which material is joined or solidified under computer control to create a three-dimensional object with the material being added together, typically layer by layer. Using materials like plastic, powder, or resin a 3D printer melts the material and releases it into thin layers that stack on top of each other to build a 3D printout.

Today, 3D printers are more accessible to anyone from creative professionals to the average consumer. From kitchen gadgets to custom toys to cosplay props, you can watch your designs come to life with a 3D printer. Moreover, dissimilar to the behemoth machines installed in factories, modern desktop 3D printers are small, cheap, and easy enough to install to operate.

What to look for in a printer

Duplexing (two-sided printing or scanning)

The automatic duplexing is becoming a very important feature, and that we consider a big plus. Duplexing alludes to printing or scanning both sides of the page without requiring that you manually flip the page over.

These printers are both a time and paper saver because of its ability to print on both sides of a page.

The all-in-one printers with an automatic document feeder for the scanner also have duplexing, offering you to scan both sides of the page as the document feeds through the ADF. It’s big convenience if you frequently scan two-sided pages, like those torn from a magazine.

Networking capability

Nowadays, probably every printing device offers multiple connectivity options. USB has been the conventional interface for years, and every computer has several USB ports. But USB is generally a short direct connection so it requires the printer to be located near the PC or laptop.

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Now, many printers come with wireless connectivity. Wireless routers outfitted with USB ports, which you can use to connect to a printer and thus enable wireless printing on a home network. Most of the modern printers can now be shared by multiple devices via a network.

However, Wi-F is more common, which has become the most popular method of home networking, and just about every new printer sold for the home or small business has Wi-Fi capabilities. Some even offer one-button wireless setup, making network pairing a snap.

A new feature called Wi-Fi Direct also lets you connect your printer to a laptop that supports it, without having to connect the printer to a network first. Wi-Fi is also used to connect many new smartphones, tablets, and digital cameras by select printers that support mobile printing, such as Apple’s AirPrint protocol.

Furthermore, NFC is also available on some models, letting you connect your printer to a smartphone or tablet by simply touching the device to a specified area on your printer.

Memory Card slots, PictBridge, and the cloud

If you plan to print a number of photos, consider a printer with built-in memory slots, Bluetooth capabilities, PictBridge, or cloud-based support. These all will allow you to print photos directly from a camera or smart device, preventing you from having to transfer them to a computer fist.

On the other side, PictBridge-enabled cameras can be plugged into a printer with the same USB cable you might use to connect to a PC. While cloud-based connectivity offers you to send photos directly from Google Cloud Print, Dropbox, and other internet-based services.

Moreover, other fully-featured printers, now offer internet-based features that let you access photos stored on sites such as Facebook, Flickr, Dropbox, and Google Drive. Remember that if your printer isn’t connected to the internet, you won’t be able to access said services or print to it remotely from devices such as a smartphone or tablet.

Paper handling

Now, most of the printers include dedicated feed trays for printing on speciality papers with unusual sizes or different weights, which can make them easier to deal with them. Also, consider the size of the input tray. Smaller trays will require you to add paper all the time for instance, while a 250-page hopper can make it a once-a-month affair.

Some models are home office-oriented, offer an extra second tray, which lets you use a different paper stock, check stock, or just double the paper capacity so you don’t have to refill the paper supply as often.

Speed, resolution, and color claims

Today, nearly all printer companies use a standardized set of tests developed and licensed to them by the International Standards Organization. The ISO test protocols offer a level playing field. Remember that the paper you use makes a big difference. For example, most people use their everyday printing on the typical 20-pound plain paper, ink will bleed and wick, defeating the purpose of using high resolutions. On the other side, high-quality coated paper that can hold droplet shapes and sizes will benefit most from higher resolutions.

How relevant these results are to you will be is hard to judge when you primarily print photos and graphics, which slow down a printer significantly and burn through ink. So use these specs as a basis for comparing one device with another.

Choosing a Printer

For Home

The home user demands more from a printer. The device must tackle everything from a book report to a newsletter to the occasional snapshot in a common budget. This is why the best option is a versatile and affordable printer, such as a small-office/home-office color inkjet.

The cost of these printers, anywhere from $40 for a single-function inkjet up to $499 for behemoths with interactive touch panels, with features such as web connectivity, cloud printing, and other.

An all-in-one wireless inkjet printer is a traditional way to access multiple devices in one space-saving unit with features for everyone in the family. A 3-in-1 offers you to print school papers, copy recipes from cookbooks, and scan documents; while a 4-in-1 also allow you fax. Consider a time-saving supertank printer if you want to print more pages with fewer cartridge changes. Here, you can check out our list of best home printers-

PrinterPrint SpeedPaper capacityWeightBuy
HP Deskjet 3630depend on document60 sheets4.2kgBuy Now on Amazon
Canon PIXMA TR852015 ppm black, 10 ppm colour100 sheets17.5 lbsBuy Now on Amazon
HP Envy 5540 All-in-One printer22 pages per minute6.82kgBuy Now on Amazon
Epson Expression ET-2750 EcoTank33ppm150 sheets150 sheetsBuy Now on Amazon
Canon Pixma Pro-100S34 seconds150 sheets19.7kgBuy Now on Amazon
Canon TS912015ppm black, 10ppm colour120 sheets6.7kgBuy Now on Amazon
HP Deskjet 2130 All-in-One printer20 pages per minute3.52kgBuy Now on Amazon
HP Sprocket Photo Printer40 seconds10 sheets0.17kgBuy Now on Amazon

For a Small Business

Small businesses can from a jack-of-all-trades model like a multifunction or all-in-one printer. These space-saving devices come in both laser and inkjet types that also have features such as fax machine, copier, and scanner along with printing to round out the versatility.

Workgroup lasers are the obvious option for your small business or team within a larger organization. Designed to juggle various print jobs at a time, these systems have faster processors, more memory, and print engines that are capable of churning out more than 35 pages per minute.

Most of the models support network printing and wireless connectivity. Travel related work employee can find yourself hunting for a printer, many manufacturers still produce special mobile printers that make for useful accessories on the road. Here, we’ve designed a list of the some best business printers-

PrinterPrint SpeedPaper capacityWeightBuy
Ricoh SP-213w22ppm150 sheets7.2kgBuy Now on Amazon
Samsung Xpress M2835DW28ppm250 sheets7.4kgBuy Now on Amazon
Brother HL-L8360CDW31ppm300 sheets21.9kgBuy Now on Amazon
Ricoh SPC-240DN16ppm250 sheets23.8kgBuy Now on Amazon
HP PageWide Pro 477dw55ppm500 sheets22.2kgBuy Now on Amazon
Epson Expression ET-2750 EcoTank33ppm150 sheets7.4kgBuy Now on Amazon
Ricoh SG-2100N29ppm250 sheets9.5kgBuy Now on Amazon
HP Officejet Pro 8720 All-in-One37ppm150 sheets15.01kgBuy Now on Amazon
Brother MFC-L8650CDW28ppm300 sheets30.4kgBuy Now on Amazon
Brother HL-S7000DN100ppm600 sheets46kgBuy Now on Amazon

For the Photographer

If you’re into digital photography and plan to purchase a printer, you should consider a multifunction printer. These all-in-one printers have been working on updating photo output and scanning technology, and many use multiple ink cartridges that save you money in the long term by offering you to replace each color as it depletes, as opposed to buying a brand-new three-color cartridge every time one color runs out.

Any inkjet can produce photos in color, but if you want effects that propose professional photofinishing, you’ll need a printer designed to reproduce the dynamic scale of a conventional photograph. A letter-size inkjet is your reliable bet since it can also handle conventional printing tasks. If you examine the printer critical features of your digital darkroom, you need to look at the gamut and characteristics of the ink set, the supporting papers, the color-management tools, and the paper path choices.

Moreover, Snapshot printers can print directly from cooperative digital cameras, but the other end of the spectrum of high-quality medium format, or 13×19-inch, desktop models: can cost as much as $800.

Furthermore, some all-in-ones possess memory card slots and LCDs on which to preview prints and do light editing, in addition to connectivity features like Ethernet and wireless, with Apple AirPrint and Google Cloud Print characteristics in the upper layers.

PrinterPrint SpeedPaper capacityWeightBuy
Canon Pixma Pro-100S34 seconds150 sheets19.7kgBuy Now on Amazon
Epson PictureMate PM-40036 seconds for 4 x 6-inch borderless photo50 sheets1.81kgBuy Now on Amazon
Epson SureColor SC-P8003 pages a minute120 sheets19.5kgBuy Now on Amazon
HP Sprocket Photo Printer40 seconds10 sheets0.17kgBuy Now on Amazon
Canon PIXMA TR852015 ppm black, 10 ppm colour100 sheets6.5kgBuy Now on Amazon
Canon TS912015ppm black, 10ppm colour120 sheets6.7kgBuy Now on Amazon
HP Envy 5540 All-in-One printer12ppm black, 8ppm colour125 sheets6.82kgBuy Now on Amazon

For the Student

Writing your thesis reports, and other documents, you’ll need a printer that can crank out page after page of text double-time, and a monochrome personal laser printer should suit the bill. It gives copious crisp, legible text faster.

Personal laser printers start at around $100 or so, but toner usually print more pages per refill unit than ink cartridges, so you can save money while scratching your way out of debt. A multifunction inkjet is a viable choice for power users who will create the extra copy, fax, and scan options, plus it gives you the adaptability to print in color when needed, photo postcards for the family.

If you choose to head down this path, spend a few extra, meaning more than $100, for a suitable model that will be a little faster and won’t crush through costly ink and paper as quickly.

PrinterPrint SpeedPaper capacityWeightBuy
HP Deskjet 3630Varies depending on document60 sheets4.2kgBuy Now on Amazon
Epson EcoTank ET-455033ppm150 sheets7.4kgBuy Now on Amazon
HP Envy 5540 All-in-One printer22 pages per minute6.82kgBuy Now on Amazon
Brother HL-3140CW18ppm250 sheets17.4kgBuy Now on Amazon
HP OfficeJet 200 Mobile Printer18ppmBuy Now on Amazon
HP Sprocket Photo Printer40 seconds10 sheets0.17kgBuy Now on Amazon

Top Printer Companies:

  1. Canon Inc.
  2. HP
  3. Brother
  4. Seiko Epson
  5. Xerox
  6. Konica Minolta
  7. Qume
  8. Panasonic Corporation
  9. Lexmark
  10. Zebra

Top all-in-one Printer Models:

  1. HP Officejet Pro 8740 All-in-One
  2. Canon Pixma MG7720
  3. Brother Business Smart Plus MFC-J5330DW
  4. Canon Pixma MG6821
  5. Epson Workforce WF-3640
  6. Brother MFC J680DW
  7. Epson Expression Premium XP-830

With that, we come to the end of this article. Hope it helps.