This might sound totally ridiculous, but some people still prefer to get their hands on a physical copy of something. Yep, not content with access to a digital version of a photo, document, or whatever else, these people will pursue something they can actually touch.
In defence of this old school approach, there are occasions when only a physical copy will do. For example, it's bad form to turn up to an interview and show your prospective employer a copy of your CV on your phone. Contracts and other important documents also tend to be printed out, as there is still something more official about paper.
Physical copies of your favourite photos and posters are also superior to digital versions. That slideshow on your laptop or desktop might have hundreds of your best snaps on a never-ending loop, but it can't possibly compare to that massive poster hung up behind your bed. There are times when you simply must have a physical copy, and this is when you'll need a printer.
Fortunately, there are absolutely loads of impressive devices on the market from top brands like Canon, Epson, HP, and Samsung. You really are spoilt for choice, but there are a few things you need to consider before taking the plunge on a printer.
Printers generally don't come cheap, so it pays to properly do your research on what device is going to suit you best. Not everyone is going to require a huge device with all the bells and whistles. You might be better off with a smaller printer that can only handle a lighter workload. We're here to help you figure all this out.
The first and most obvious things to consider are the dimensions and weight of a printer. You need to select a device with your home in mind. Even though that powerful printer with a lengthy list of features is attracting you, the fact that it wouldn't fit through your front door cannot be ignored. Make sure you measure up before adding a printer to your home office.
You also need to consider the type of ink a printer uses. There are three common ink cartridge configurations: two ink cartridges, four ink cartridges, and inkwells. And then there are laser printers. These devices use toner instead of ink to produce sharper edges and crisper images. If you’re going to print lots of text documents with few colours, a two-cartridge printer will do the job just fine. Anyone who needs professional-grade printouts should consider a laser printer.
The last thing to think about is your budget, but that should be obvious. Don't spend beyond your means but don't go for the cheapest option just to save a few pennies. Spend some time researching your options and find the best deal on the best printer within your budget.
Most of the names that you'll come across when searching for a printer are pretty established. The likes of Canon, Epson, and Samsung will be well known to basically everyone, but that doesn't mean you shouldn't look elsewhere.
Smaller brands like Kyocera are also really popular with consumers, and even though you might not be that familiar with the name, the fact that these guys specialise in printers should be something to consider. The good thing is that you've got options. There is nothing worse that one brand having a monopoly on a certain type of product.
We're not going to tell you which way to go, but we recommend giving all the names on this list a chance. We've lined up some of the very best examples of compact, portable, and desktop printers to suit everyone, so that you can find something that works for you.
These are the best home printers in 2021.
Epson is one of the biggest names in printing, and the EcoTank ET-2750 is not the only Epson printer to make this list. It might be the best though.
The Epson EcoTank ET-2750 is one of the pricier printers on the market, but that's because it combines a bunch of impressive features to save you time and money in the long run. It has a high-capacity ink tank system that completely removes the need for cartridges, and can print up to 14,000 pages in black and 5,200 pages in colour. Epson claims this could save you up to 90% on ink costs.
It's not a particularly bulky device, so it should fit into most home offices without any problems. It's also versatile, and can print, copy, and scan, with the option to print double-sided.
HP is another brand that makes this list more than once, and that's because it has absolutely loads of different printers to suit everyone. The HP Envy 5030 printer is a low budget option that offers many of the same features as more expensive models.
This three-in-one printer lets you set up, connect, and print from your smartphone, and produce high-quality photos and documents. You can speed through multipage print jobs with automatic two-sided printing, and even create timesaving shortcuts.
As a bonus, you could save up to 70% on ink with HP Instant Ink. Your printer makes the order and it's delivered to your door. A three-month trial of the service is included with your purchase.
Canon has a great reputation for manufacturing top quality cameras, but its printers are pretty great, too.
The Canon PIXMA TS5050 offers high-quality colour printing from the comfort of your own home, with scan and copy functions, WiFi connectivity, cloud connectivity, and an attractive LCD display. All of that is housed in a compact design that shouldn't take up too much valuable space.
The PIXMA Cloud Link can be accessed through the Canon Print app on your smartphone or tablet, meaning you can even print from social network and cloud services including Facebook, Instagram, Google Drive, Dropbox, OneDrive, and many more. You can also upload scanned documents and photos to Google Drive, OneDrive, and Dropbox. It's all about staying connected.
Running a business is not easy, so do yourself a favour and invest in a printet that makes your life easier.
The Brother HL-L3230CDW saves you time and money thanks to the automatic two-sided printing, large capacity, wired and wireless connectivity, and the ability to print on the go from your mobile or tablet device. It's a great option for your home or business.
This robust device is easy to use and simple to set up, with massive toners giving you up to 1,000 pages straight from the box. You can also print your essential documents quickly with print speeds of up to 18 pages per minute. This is vital if you're trying to meet a deadline.
Samsung makes just about everything, so it should come as no surprise that it makes some popular printers.
The Samsung Xpress M2026 gets some great reviews, and most of the comments refer to how quiet it runs, its lightweight build, and how fast it can print. Some reviewers do complain that it can be a little difficult to set up, but this is the case with a lot of printers, unfortunately.
It's difficult to find many other printers at this price point with so many features. The M2026 is equipped with a 400 MHz processor and 8MB memory to print up to 20 pages per minute, and the advanced rendering technology improves image quality for more detailed and sharper prints.
Kyocera is probably the brand that the fewest people will recognise on this list, but that's not a bad thing. Most of the other names produce loads of different products, and whilst that is also true for Kyocera, it specialises in printers.
The Kyocera Ecosys P2040dn printer isn't the cheapest option, but it does offer a lot for your money. It combines quality and reliability to provide convincing results. With a print speed of 40 pages per minute and a print resolution of 1,200 dpi, this model produces sharp texts and rich blacks in a timely manner.
It's a great option for your home or business, and is made from long-life components. The only item that needs replacing is the toner, reducing your running costs and waste.
The second HP printer on this list is absolutely nothing like the first, and that's because this one is about the size of a phone.
The HP Sprocket 200 is a super portable printer that can quickly print your smartphone and social media photos through the free HP Sprocket app with Bluetooth. Everyone can connect to print and view shared photos, so this model is great for an event like a wedding.
The HP Sprocket app can be used to customise your photos before you print them, and you can even scan your Sprocket and Sprocket photos to view your queue in augmented reality and unlock content. The print quality is not the best, but that's the price you pay for portability.
This Epson printer proves that you don't need to spend hundreds of pounds to get a quality device. This cheap model is really popular with customers, and that's not just down to the price.
The Epson Expression XP-3100 is stylish, compact, and can print, scan, and copy. Prints are clear, vibrant, and cost effective thanks to individual inks and double-sided printing. It’s also flexible with WiFi and WiFi Direct for printing without a wireless network.
Printing away from a desktop is not a problem thanks to a range of compatible mobile printing apps and the easy-to-use LCD screen. The Epson Creative Print app can even print photos directly from Facebook.