The Best Printers You Can Buy Right Now


Even the best home printer will probably cause you a few headaches. These things are famously unreliable, since they need moving parts and cartridges in a way that other PC accessories don’t. It’s easy for a computer to move files around digitally, but much harder for it to print them into the real world. There’s ways to make that easier, like getting a fancy laser printer, but how much you’re willing to spend on optimizing your printing setup will also depend on how much you expect you’ll need to print. An inexpensive (aka loss-leading) inkjet printing setup can be finicky and get costly in the long term as you replace its cartridges, but do you expect to have to replace cartridges that often?

Whatever the option, the best printers can be relied on to give you good (or at least tolerable) service for a number of years, provided you stick to the recognized brands. Printers are also a relatively easy gadget to shop for, without too many specs that you need to wade through or compatibility issues to consider. Note that only some kinds of printers can do color, which we walk through below.

Here, we’re going to focus on all-purpose home office printers, but if you need something a little more niche, check out Gizmodo’s list of the best photo printers. Note that we’re going to quote prices on the web at the time of writing—you’ll often be able to get these models cheaper in deals.

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Photo: Canon

  • Dimensions: 15.9 inches x 14.4 inches x 8.2 inches
  • Color print speed: 6.8 pages per minute
  • Mono print speed: 13 pages per minute
  • Connectivity: USB, Wi-Fi, Canon Mobile Printing, Apple AirPrint, Mopria Print Service
  • Type: Inkjet
  • Available for: $160

When it comes to solid, dependable, low-cost home printers, the Canon PIXMA series is well worth a look—the brand has been around for absolutely ages, and while you don’t always get the best performance or professional print shop quality, you do absolutely get value for money. For many home users, something like the Pixma TR7020a is ideal.

We are going to specify that when we say “value” here, though, we mean upfront value. If you print a lot, the cost of inkjet cartridges might outweigh your initial savings.

There are other value propositions here, though. Being an all-in-one printer, the Pixma can take care of your scanning needs too, and will also produce serviceable copies if required (just don’t expect the speed or sharpness of an actual photocopier). On-board controls are here, which is always welcome, as they save you from having to do everything through software on your computer or phone.

Despite the low price, there are some appealing features here, including two-sided printing, an automatic sheet feeder, and a paper tray that can hold 100 sheets at a time. Most importantly, it’ll churn out pages with very respectable quality, and you get a host of different connectivity options, including wired and wireless ones.

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