If the thought of shopping around for printers doesn’t fill you with excitement, you’re not alone. Comparing the relative merits of Canon versus HP and working out the benefits of an MFP (that’s a Multi-Function Printer to non-printer geeks) over a standard printer isn’t the most glamorous way to fill your time.
But cutting corners and ‘taking a punt’ can end up being a costly mistake. Getting strapped with a printer that doesn’t suit your needs can result in scrappy looking documents, poor quality images and a long term bill that doesn’t suit your budget.
So we’ve decided to take the hard work out of buying a printer, by whittling last year’s printers down to a top three. Each of the following has been stringently tested and found to come out on top. Read on to find your dream printer and spend that shopping around time doing something more stimulating!
Ideal for: Versatile home use.
Bonus: It comes with a price tag of less than £100.
This is an MFP that’s been tailored to home use. Canon have put all their efforts into a plethora of impressive features and housed them all in a sleek, squat little box. It can scan, copy and print and includes an automatic duplex printing capability (printing on both sides of the sheet) to save on paper costs and help you do your bit for the environment.
Through WiFi the Pixma is compatible with cloud storage services and mobile devices, so you can print from and scan to cloud services such as Google Drive with relative ease. The LCD display smooths this process, allowing you to select your chosen images from a specific photo album.
In terms of running costs, compared to other home inkjet printers, they’re impressively low. The expensive chore of replacing colour cartridges is kept to a minimum thanks to Canon’s signature five-ink print engine. So, if you tend to print a lot of basic black and white documents you’ll not find yourself forking out for colour cartridges unnecessarily.
Ideal for: Picture-perfect glossy prints.
Bonus: It boasts a pretty nifty scanning functionality.
Honestly, if you’re looking for a printer for a lot of documents and office printing, this is not the machine for you (read on for that). But if you’re a keen photographer, or you produce documents that are full of colour and imagery, then the XP-760 is going to bring your work to life.
High quality Claria photo HD inks are part of the XP-760’s secret in producing such beautiful results and even come with the promise that your photos will last up to 300 years in an album. The six colour inkset combines to create smooth, tonal gradations, natural-looking blacks and colours that are both rich and vibrant. The resulting photos are of a such a high quality that you’d be hard pushed to tell them from those produced in a professional developing lab.
As well as boasting dual paper trays, a speciality media feed enables you to print onto thick card, photo paper and even CDs and DVDs. And usability is made easy with an interactive LCD touchscreen.
This printer connects to WiFi automatically and it comes fitted with a selection of software that makes printing a breeze wherever you and whatever device you’re using. Epson iPrint, connects it to your smartphone or tablet, Epson Creative Print, allows you to print photos directly from Facebook, and Epson Email print – as the name suggests – allows you to email photos and documents for printing directly.
Ideal for: Offices after a no-nonsense inkjet.
Bonus: It’s cheap to buy and inexpensive to run too.
This competitively priced HP printer is a real workhorse of a machine. Follow the simple set-up and you can use it to produce a reasonable volume of documents in no time. Connectivity can be either wired or wireless, making it a smart choice for an office environment, and it is also compatible with various smartphone printing aps.
Automatic duplex printing adds to its stellar credentials as a budget-friendly printer. The payoff is that you don’t get a screen or a USB port, but for the amount you’re paying, this is still a total bargain.