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If you need uncompromising print quality, the best inkjet printers can deliver. Unlike their laser-based siblings, these printers rely on tanks of ink to deliver vivid prints and colors but can occasionally be more expensive to maintain.
Just like laser printers, there are sizes and shapes for just about every setup, whether you need large-scale commercial printers that can spit out thousands of prints without stopping, or a more portable, sensible option for your home office.
If you're looking for even more printer options, check out our hub for printer reviews and buying guides.
Low operating costs
Extensive paper capacity
Excellent print quality
Large and heavy
The Brother MF-J6935DW printer is a hefty piece of machinery, capable of handling large printing jobs, but also weighing 51.8 pounds. With a 500-sheet capacity and a printing speed of 22 pages-per-minute (ppm), this model is a must-have for busy offices. Additionally, the high-yield ink cartridges reduce overall maintenance costs, roughly producing 3,000 black-and-white pages for under $30 or 1,500 color pages for under $20; this translates into less than one cent per page for black-and-white prints and less than a nickel for color pages. Additionally, the Brother MFC-J6935DW offers the convenience of Amazon Dash’s automatic ink replenishments. Once activated, you’ll never have to worry about running low on toner ever again, as the system will always track your printer’s levels and place orders when necessary.
In addition to its low running costs, one of this model’s biggest draws, the Brother MFC-J6935DW is also equipped to handle any possible printing task. It supports up to 11 x 17 sized prints and offers multiple paper compartments for different sized papers. The upfront costs may be a bit high, but ultimately, this model is a long-term investment.
Light, compact design
Amazing quality photo prints
Document feeder for copying
Tri-color cartridge drains quickly
Small control panel
The OfficeJet 3830 is an older HP model, but that doesn’t make it an outdated one. The price is irresistibly cheap, yet the product still delivers superb quality. It’s a compact device, measuring 14.3 x 17.7 x 8.5 inches long and 12.37 pounds, making it well-suited for small office spaces. The OfficeJet 3830 only uses two ink cartridges (for black and color ink), which reduces waste and subsequent replenishing costs. HP also offers delivery subscriptions, which ensures that you’ll never run low on toner and also saves you 50 percent with each purchase.
Additionally, the OfficeJet 3830 is wireless, allowing you to send files from your laptop or mobile device. Our tests showed that its printing speeds reach 8.5ppm and 6ppm (for black-and-white and color pages, respectively), which are modest rates—all things considered, these smaller devices are not known for being speed demons. Again, this OfficeJet is not the largest printer on the market, so it only holds 60 sheets at a time, but it supports multiple paper sizes: 4 x 6 inches, 5 x 7 inches, 8 x 10 inches, and No. 10 envelopes.
"It’s the perfect price for people who only print and scan occasionally, or anyone on a budget that needs a cheap, dependable inkjet printer." — Jeffrey Chadwick, Product Tester
Top-notch print quality
Inconvenient ink storage
The HP Envy 5055’s wireless connection is one of the most reliable we’ve seen thus far, promising strong, hyper-fast processing speeds between your network and Bluetooth-enabled devices. This new upgrade, released in 2018, boasts significant improvements to its printing speeds and Wi-Fi connectivity. Setting up is a simple process, simply download the HP Smart app and follow the prompts. Once the printer is up and running, you can send documents from your phone, laptop, or iCloud/Google Drive account. Additionally, this model is compatible with Amazon Alexa, adding another level of convenience to your daily work life.
This all-in-one device is equipped for any printing job, but photo prints are its specialty. Borderless photographs are reproduced with sharp, almost life-life color. The Envy also supports paper sizes from 4 x 6 inches to standard letterheads to No. 10 envelopes, allowing you to print almost anything. Additionally, HP offers an optional Instant Ink subscription, which saves you the hassle of replacing empty cartridges yourself at a discounted rate.
SD Card support
No NFC or Ethernet support
Slow document printing
Going through this list, you’ll notice that several of these printers also qualify as AIOs (all-in-ones). So, what makes this particular model the best? The Canon TS8220 strikes an optimal balance between four deciding factors: design, performance, running costs, and upfront price. First off, models within the Canon Pixma TS-series are known for their streamlined design, which is why they are a preferred choice for small offices or personal use. The TS8220 proves that you can find a versatile, high-quality printer that doesn’t take up a ton of space, unlike a Brother MFC-model. Additionally, the low running costs are a major plus; the Pixma’s 6-individual ink system is highly efficient, producing vibrant color pages and photographs without draining the cartridges.
The TS8220 supports several different paper sizes and is equipped to handle unconventional projects, like borderless 7 x 10-inch greeting cards or 5 x 5-inch glossy photographs. It also boasts a reliable, wireless connection, allowing you to send documents from a Bluetooth-enabled device or through an SD card. Its one downside is the speed: TS-models tend to have slow ppms, which can be a deal-breaker for demanding office environments. However, for personal use, the TS8220 fits perfectly for almost every lifestyle, making it the most well-rounded product out of the AIO competition.
Inkjet printers, as a whole, shine when it comes to photo printing, so it is a big deal that the Canon TS9521C has prevailed above the rest to snag this particular title. The printer uses Canon’s ChromaLife100 ink, which famously produces vivid color photos and preserves them for a minimum of 20 years (or a maximum of 100 years, when stored carefully in a photo album). This all-in-one device is quite versatile, capable of supporting a variety of different projects: you can create booklets, pamphlets, greeting cards, photo collages, etc. It’s compatible with an array of paper sizes, from 3.5 x 3.5 inches to 12 x 12 inches, and also offers oversized scanning and borderless printing. The printing speed leaves something to be desired, with a rate of 10ppm for color pages and 15ppm for black-and-white.
Additionally, the Canon TS9521C is a wireless printer, making it a one-step process to send print jobs from any Bluetooth-enabled device, using AirPrint, Mopria Print Service, or a standard SD card. The printer features a 4.3-inch, easy-to-navigate touch screen display, and is also compatible with Amazon Alexa.
Excellent photo quality
Small and lightweight
Running costs are high
Slow print speeds
Compared to other models, the Expression Photo HD XP-15000 printer is fairly small for its class. It measures 30.9 x 18.7 x 16.2 inches and weighs 18.7 pounds, which is light compared to other heavy-duty wide-format printers. This particular model is 30 percent smaller than its predecessor and fits easily on your personal desk space. There are two paper handling trays: a 200-sheet compartment in the front for standard letterhead, and a 50-sheet input in the rear for specialty prints, like card stock or photo-paper. The Expression XP-15000 supports paper sizes from 4 x 6-inch to 13 x 19-inch lengths, and of course, offers borderless printing. Its individual six-color Claria Photo HD Ink cartridge-set comes with red and gray inks, which leads to stunning colors and detailed black-and-white photographs. The printer features a modest speed of 9.2ppm, but delivers quality prints that are on par with more expensive models.
Fast printing and scanning speeds
USB cable not included
Relatively big and bulky for a mobile wireless printer
The HP OfficeJet 250 weighs barely seven pounds measures 15 inches long, so this device can fit into any office space, home or hotel room. The OfficeJet 250 was designed as a mobile device, built to withstand long travels and execute print-jobs while on the road. It comes with an efficient battery: a 90-minute charge roughly translates into an impressive 500-page output. Additionally, its 10-page automatic document feeder allows you to print, scan, and copy files, without lifting a finger.
At first glance, the price for this particular model seems very steep. For such a small device, you wouldn’t expect to pay more than $100. Also, the OfficeJet 250 isn’t known for being particularly fast, with an 8ppm average—a modest rate considering its size, but still quite slow. However, the device makes up for its shortcomings with the remarkable quality of its prints, which are comparable to those associated with larger, more expensive products. Boasting a print resolution of 4800 x 1200 pixels, the OfficeJet 250 consistently produced clean, spot-free colored pages in our testing. It may be small, but this printer packs some sophisticated hardware that can match its full-sized competitors. If storage space is your top priority, then it’s worth splurging on this tiny package.
"The OfficeJet 250 has one of the fastest wireless printing speeds we’ve seen, even when running on the battery." — Eric Watson, Product Tester
Low running costs
Good overall print quality
Graphical printing is a bit muddy
The Brother MFC-J6930DW is one of the few products that can keep up with a hectic office. Brother MFC models tend to have high printing speeds, and this one is no exception. It boasts an average rate of 22/20ppm for black-and-white and colored pages, respectively. Additionally, the Brother’s high-yield ink cartridges give you more back for your buck, decreasing overall running costs. The printer holds three trays: two 250-sheet compartments for standard letterhead, and an extra 100-sheet section for specialty paper, such as card stock or envelopes.
The MFC-J6930DW also comes with a scanner and fax, both of which are equipped for heavy-duty office work. The copier features an automatic document feeder with a 50-sheet capacity, and the fax machine is compatible with oversized documents, up to 11 x 17 inches. Looking at the printer itself, it’s clear that you’re dealing with a robust piece of equipment. The MFC-J6930DW weighs over 50 pounds and stands 22 inches tall, and is built to take on the most daunting printing tasks you can send.
Two 100-sheet paper trays
Lots of connectivity options
High run cost
College students need a printer that strikes that fine balance between quality, price, and sizing. The Canon Pixma TS9520 checks off all those boxes. Its compact design highlights what consumers love about the TS-series: a slender, lightweight model that fits easily on a bookshelf or desk. Setting up your printer is also a hassle-free process, just insert the included DVD into your PC and follow the instructions.
The built-in wireless connection allows you to print from your tablet, phone, or computer. The Pixma’s five-color individual ink system produces crisp black text pages and detailed colored pictures. Additionally, since this is an AIO device, it also comes equipped with useful features, like oversized scanning capabilities and a multi-page, auto-document feeder. Just keep in mind that Pixma models are notoriously slow, so it won’t be winning track races anytime soon. Keep that in mind, when you’re rushing to print out your latest assignment 10 minutes before class.
Unless you need to pick up your printer and take it with you, the clear winner is the Brother MFC-J6935DW Inkjet Printer. With its massive paper capacity and top-notch print quality, this printer is second to none for commercial applications. However, if you're doing smaller-scale jobs, the HP OfficeJet 3830 is a far better choice for home offices and the like.
Our top picks for the best inkjet printers undergo thorough bench tests from our team of trusted experts. Looking for print quality, color accuracy, and endurance by pushing through bulk documents and high-resolution photos as well. All the while, paying attention to how simple it is to set up particular models and fine-tune their print jobs.
Jeffrey Daniel Chadwick has published hundreds of articles, reviews, and videos on Top Ten Reviews. His most recent position was Multimedia and Home Improvement Editor, where he reviewed products related to video editing, computer security, and media players, as well as home improvement gadgets like power tools and robot lawnmowers.
Eric Watson as more than five years experience as a professional freelance writer for numerous tech and gaming-related websites and magazines. He attends trade conventions, interviews developers and designers, researches news articles, and reviews the latest games and tech products.
Print speed - If bulk printing is on the menu, print speeds are going to be a huge consideration. However, this largely depends on whether you're using this printer for commercial or personal use.
Running cost - Inkjet printers are responsible for some of the best prints available at a consumer level, but occasionally require costly ink cartridge replacements. Pay attention to the cost-per-page associated with a particular printer if you
Connectivity - Having additional connectivity options means having more versatility in where and how you can have your printer set up. If your set up can't support a wired connection to your printer, you'll want to pay close attention to this one.