Best home printer – at a glance
- Brother MFC-J6945DW
- HP Envy Pro 6420 printer
- Epson EcoTank ET-7750
- Kyocera Ecosys P5026
- HP Envy 5030
- Epson WorkForce ET-4750
- Xerox Phaser 6510DN printer
- Brother MFC-J6945DW
- Lexmark MB2236ADWE
- Brother HL-L2300D Mono Laser Printer
The Brother MFC-J6945DW is a monster printer. It’s incredibly efficient, being able to print for up to a year without having to change its ink cartridge. And, it’s also a feature-rich and intuitive machine perfect for any home or small business office. You can print to it from just about any device wirelessly and, for mobile, you don’t even need a network to do it, thanks to its NFC (near field communication) technology that connects directly to the printer. While interfacing with its 9.3cm color display, you can even print from and scan to the cloud.
The HP Envy Pro 6420 is a compact and inexpensive inkjet with all the features you could ask for from a home office printer. It can print, scan, copy and even fax via your smartphone. The print speed is slow, but it can duplex print and photocopy a stack of up to 35 pages with its inbuilt ADF (automatic document scanner). Instead of an Ethernet port, you have both Bluetooth and self-healing Wi-Fi built-in, making mobile printing via HP’s iOS/Android app particularly easy.
We were impressed by its ease of use and overall print quality, while its lack of an LCD display, the limited paper capacity, and slow print speed can all be overlooked if you’re printing on a small scale. Just bear in mind that the Envy Pro works best with HP’s ink subscription service, Instant Ink which ties you to a (low) recurrent monthly fee.
Whether you’re trying to run a more eco-friendly household or you’re just fed up with having to run out go get ink at the most inconvenient times – in the middle of printing your important documents, for example – you might love the Epson EcoTank ET-7750. It’s a multi-function printer that sits at the top of the EcoTank product tree and although the price is alarming, it’s worth every penny. The five-color refillable ink tank system is a huge improvement in image quality thanks to the addition of a dedicated photo black pigment ink, and the build quality is streets ahead. This machine can also handle A3/magazine-sized paper and boasts fast duplex print speeds and high-resolution photo printing.
This stout laser printer takes up relatively little space, given its high capacity for paper and toner. It means you can keep printing quickly and efficiently and with lower running costs than an equivalent inkjet. The display is rather fiddly, but in all other respects, this color printer is easy to use and can be relied upon for immaculate mono and color documents time after time.
When we tested it, this was the smallest laser printer around and likely to remain so. Being as small and inexpensive as an inkjet, yet with all the speed, economy and consistency of a laser, the LaserJet Pro M15w is in many ways the ideal home printer. It manages to hold one hundred sheets of paper and print on them at the respectable rate of 19ppm. There’s no duplex mode, sadly, and no display, but at this price, it’s hard to argue.
Known as Epson’s all-rounder, this all-in-one inkjet printer admittedly costs a pretty penny up-front but delivers low-cost performance, in the long run, thanks to its high-yield ink tanks and two years worth of ink included – according to Epson, you can get a total of 15,000 text pages (or 12,000 color pages) just from the ink that comes supplied in the box, which is an exceptionally great value.
If you’re looking for a great printer for your home office that will go the distance before needing to be topped up again, the Epson WorkForce ET-4750 is a great option.
You probably associate Xerox with office printers, but the brand’s entry-level range would suit a home office well, especially one with high print demands. The Xerox Phaser 6510DN has a rapid print speed of 28 pages per minute and room for 250 sheets of A3 in its main tray. This is expandable to 850 sheets and it ships with enough toner for 1,000 colours or 1,500 mono pages. It also has all of Xerox’s usual high build quality and security features. Choose the DNI model if you need Wi-Fi in addition to the Ethernet port.
This big Brother blurs the line between home and office printer by combining the fast print speed and high capacity of a laser machine with the superior photo finish of an inkjet. We would recommend it for both applications because although it is smaller than the laser equivalent MFC-L8690CDW, the inkjet MFC-J6945DW can handle A3 paper. There’s really nothing that this fully featured 4-in-1 can’t do and it carries out all tasks satisfactorily.
If you want all the functionality of a photocopier-style four-in-one, but can’t justify the expense of a premium machine, then the Lexmark MB2236ADWE is likely to fit well in your office. The smaller size is an advantage and the price is attractive. Printing is fast enough and so is the quality provided you stick to dedicated laser paper. It’s a pity there’s no Wi-Fi Direct facility, or an active front USB input, but that aside, you’re getting a lot for your money here.
The Brother HL-L2300D specs are impressive for the price: it promises 26ppm print speeds, has 8MB of RAM onboard, and delivers a maximum resolution of 2,400 x 600 dpi.
The paper tray holds 250 sheets, there’s a second single-sheet paper feed for labels, envelopes, and thicker media, and the printer can print double-sided without any human intervention. Of course, you won’t find any bells or whistles here, but honestly, its simplicity is refreshing.
With no overly complex Wi-Fi or cloud features to configure, installing the HL-L2300D is as simple as plugging a cable into it, and that means there’s no danger that it’ll go in a huff when you need to print something important. It’s compact, quiet, and impressively fast, and it offers a lot of bang for your buck. Double-sided printing is particularly good to have in a printer that costs so little to buy and run.