The 2 Best Cheap Printers 2022 | Reviews by Wirecutter

The research

  • The best cheap light amplification by stimulated emission of radiation printer: Brother HL-L2350DW
  • The all-time cheap all-in-one printer: Brother MFC-J805DW
  • What about photograph printers?

Photograph: Rozette Rago

Our choice

Who this is for:
Anyone who needs a basic monochrome printer for straightforward print jobs.

Why nosotros like it:
Laser printers are well suited for people who don’t need to print often. That’s because toner cartridges don’t clog like ink tanks do, and so you lot tin become months between print jobs without whatsoever outcome. They also print faster and produce sharper text, and their output doesn’t run or smear if it gets wet, the way some inkjet prints might. The Brother HL-L2350DW is no exception here—information technology’s a unproblematic, straightforward printer that delivers great print quality reliably and quickly.

Setting up the printer is a breeze considering information technology has native Mac and Windows drivers. It works automatically with AirPrint on iOS, and you can add it with the Blood brother Print Service on Android. Print jobs start inside seconds of existence sent, and they print fast. Plus, at merely 7.2 inches tall, this model can hands fit on a bookshelf or in a tight desk-bound area.

The HL-L2350DW comes with a starter toner cartridge that yields about 700 pages and an imaging drum that yields around 12,000 pages. A new toner cartridge costs about $80 at this writing, and then the price per page, including pulsate wear, comes out to about three.3¢, right in line with the price per page for other laser printers nosotros tested. Out of the box, prints looked decent in our tests; with a little tweaking of the toner density and resolution settings, yet, we managed to get corking-looking prints that were sharp, contrasty, and readable all the style down to 2-signal font sizes. Its one-year warranty is unexceptional but standard for printers.

The control panel with buttons and a single line display on the Brother HL-L2350DW, our pick for best cheap printer.

The HL-L2350DW’s single-line monochrome display isn’t the easiest to work with, but information technology is standard for an inexpensive monochrome laser printer, and it gets the task done.

Photo: Rozette Rago

Flaws but not dealbreakers:
The display on the HL-L2350DW is just a one-line monochrome LED display surrounded past a few rubberized buttons, which makes irresolute settings (and especially typing in Wi-Fi passwords) a fleck of a hurting. Notation too that Brother uses cheaper plastic parts in this model: The printer nosotros received for testing was a footling banged up during aircraft, and we had to call customer service to get information technology stock-still. Thankfully it was a quick fix, and we were dorsum to printing in no fourth dimension.

The Brother MFC-J805DW, our pick for best cheap printer with all-in-one capabilities, on a desk in an office setting.

Photo: Ben Keough

As well dandy

Who this is for:
People who don’t require much from a printer and desire to keep their printing costs to a minimum, just who also need a scanner.

Why nosotros like it:
The Brother MFC-J805DW has some of the everyman maintenance costs of the all-in-one printers (print, re-create, and browse) that nosotros evaluated, yet it still delivered sharp text and good-enough images in our tests. Out of the box it comes with enough ink to print 1,080 pages in black-and-white or 720 pages in color. When you’re ready to replace the included cartridges, a new ultra-high-yield set will cost $120. Although that might seem a bit loftier (sometimes more than the price of the printer itself), that prepare gives you enough ink for 6,000 text pages and 5,000 pages in color, which works out to less than 1¢ per black-and-white folio and 4.7¢ for each color page. In our tests, text was dark, graphics were vibrant, and photos printed on glossy paper exhibited excellent sharpness but had a slightly warm and greenish await. This model is a solid choice for casual utilize, whether y’all’re printing documents or a photo to stick on your refrigerator.

The MFC-J805DW works with Brother’s iPrint&Browse app, which is available on iOS and Android, or with AirPrint (iOS) and the Brother Print Service Plugin (Android). The mobile app lets you print from Dropbox, Evernote, Google Bulldoze, and OneDrive, or you lot tin cull documents and photos stored locally on your device. This model too comes with a two-year warranty, double that of most other printers.

The control panel, including buttons and a small display screen, on the Brother MFC-J805DW all-in-one printer.

The MFC-J805DW’south push-driven control scheme feels one-time-school, but information technology’southward surprisingly easy to employ.

Photo: Ben Keough

Flaws but non dealbreakers:
Although we had no issues setting the MFC-J805DW upwards, the process was a flake clunky, as the printer comes with unintuitive installers that feel out of appointment. In addition, this model prints more slowly than near other printers, it doesn’t do duplex scanning on its ain (so if you want two-sided printing, you accept to flip the pages yourself), and in order to refill the paper you have to remove the tray from the printer. It lacks a USB flash drive port, and the sole browse-to-email function uses only third-party email servers, which aren’t terribly secure (then we don’t recommend emailing sensitive documents like tax forms). It also does poorly when the font is smaller than 6 points, though since most text is 12 points or larger, we don’t listen this and then much.

If yous demand to print a photo or ii to stick on your fridge, our all-in-one pick, the Brother MFC-J805DW, is more than capable of handling the job. If you lot’re looking to print art or photography and yous’re on a budget, consider sending your images off to a print lab, because you won’t find a photo printer that tin can requite you loftier-quality, color-accurate images in large format for less than $700.

This article was edited past Phil Ryan and Erica Ogg.

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