The best printer
Home printers have become almost as essential to a functioning household as a coffee maker or a dishwasher -- they are useful every day. With the rise of telecommuting and technological advances in education, our home printing needs increase every year.
If you're looking to find the right printer for your family's needs, read on -- we've assessed the printer options available. You can also find the best way to go about choosing your next printer by reading our helpful buying guide. Our top choice is from Canon, a trusted brand in electronics for many years.
Considerations when choosing printers
Color vs. black and white
While the cost of color and black-and-white printers is almost the same, the convenience differs. The obvious advantage of a color printer is that it prints in color, but it doesn't win in many other categories. When it comes to speed, size, cost of operation, and overall convenience, black-and-white printers take the lead. If you have a need for color printing, get a color printer. If you don't, however, then give serious consideration to a black-and-white alternative.
Inkjet vs. laser
Although laser printers were once far superior in quality to the standard inkjet, things have changed. They are now on equal footing in terms of cost and quality. The decision between the two is now more about personal preference than anything else. Although laser toner is expensive, it lasts far longer than inkjet cartridges do.
While the accepted norm for the last couple of decades was to connect a home printer via cable to the computer, that has also changed. Many printers now have their own WiFi sensors and can print wirelessly through any number of online connections.
This is the perfect feature for the photobug in the family. Borderless printing is a great way to print pictures that look professional and clean every time.
Automatic feeding is helpful for people who need to print items of different sizes at the same time. It cuts down on loading time when doing a mail merge or similar complicated task.
This feature allows quick printing of both sides of the paper simultaneously. Convenient for flyers, brochures, and other info-heavy projects, automatic duplexing can cut your work time in half.
The majority of home printers cost between $50 and $300. Although it's easy to find models that cost less than $50, they likely cost you more in the long run due to poor design and manufacturing.
Q. Is it difficult to set up a home printer myself?
A. Absolutely not. Most home printers are sold with easy-to-follow instructions, and it takes little effort to get it up and running.
Q. Do I need extra peripherals to print wirelessly?
A. Maybe. Although most printers now have the ability to print wirelessly, some still don't. For these printers, it's not difficult to connect them to a hub which allows you to print wirelessly.
Q. Can I place my printer on the ground to keep it out of the way?
A. Although you can place your printer on the floor, it's actually not ideal. First of all, it's inconvenient to access. Secondly, it's at risk of getting kicked and damaged. Try to find an open space on your desk or adjacent table so your printer has its own dedicated space.
Printers we recommend
Best of the best: Canon Office and Business MX-922 All-In-One Printer
Our take: Neverending functionality meets professional-quality printing.
What we like: The fully integrated 35-sheet duplex auto document feeder makes large projects more manageable. There's an option for every project need on this printer.
What we dislike: Some have complained that the machine can misprint without offering an error message.
Best bang for your buck: Brother Wireless All-In-One Inkjet Printer
Our take: A serviceable workhorse at a reasonable price.
What we like: The easy setup and diminutive size make this printer a customer favorite. The wireless printing options are merely the icing on the cake.
What we dislike: The noise level on this printer is higher than some are comfortable with.
Our take: Never before has it been so easy to make professional-grade prints on the go.
What we like: The accessibility of this printer to print from mobile devices makes it one of the most intriguing and tech-savvy printers available.
What we dislike: Setup feels too complicated for some users.
Adam Reeder is a writer for BestReviews. BestReviews is a product review company with a singular mission: to help simplify your purchasing decisions and save you time and money. BestReviews never accepts free products from manufacturers and purchases every product it reviews with its own funds.
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