As the cost of technology continues to drop, making it more and more affordable, it’s increasingly easy to get hold of high performance hardware at a reasonable price. This is obviously great news for everyone – tech lover or not – but the wealth of options available can make choosing the right device really hard.
When it comes to printers, the ‘budget’ marketplace (under £100) is full of great buys – but unfortunately it’s also full of confusing advertising, hard to follow specifications and a lot of machines that you’d never want to spend a penny on. To help you navigate these muddy waters, here are our top five budget printers available to buy in 2016.
In at number five, this laser Canon printer (one of two on our list) does a lot, and does it well. It has its shortcomings though, and – at £80 – it’s not the most budget-friendly device you’ll be able to find. The biggest challenges it faces concern user friendliness, so if you’re not particularly tech-friendly, you might well want to look elsewhere on this list for your budget printer.
However, it’s worth noting that many of the i-Sensys’ faults are common to the majority of affordable laser printers. What’s more, get over the initial user-friendliness bump, and any ongoing issues are minor niggles that are unlikely to cause you much, if any, pain on a daily basis. For its price point, this printer is affordable to both buy and run – a factor that many forgot to include in their research. It’s both fast and creates high quality prints, which means it will handle your daily workload with ease. And – extra bonus – thanks to its compact design, it won’t take up half of your desk either!
Canon’s second entry on our list of budget printers is the most expensive you’ll find here. However, you have to bear in mind that as a multi-functional device (MFD), for £90 you’re getting an awful lot of bang for your buck.
The Pixma MX535 is not the best dedicated printer on this list, but it is the most competent all rounder we’ve been able to find. It’s a sturdy, reliable machine that prints to a totally acceptable quality. If you’re running a home business and need a device that can scan and copy as well as print, this might well be the printer for you. If, however, you’re just interested in printing, you might well want to look at a faster or cheaper alternative.
This is just about as budget as it gets, but in this case – that’s not a criticism. For an incredibly attractive £59, the Brother HL-1110 is a reliable, no-frills printer that will get the job done. It’s not fast, it’s not particularly clever, but it’s cheap to run and its lack of extra features means it’s easier to use and harder to break than a lot of the competition. If you’re looking for something cheap that won’t start giving you problems just as you’re rushing into a meeting or running out the door, this is a great choice.
Samsung makes great printers. The Xpress M2022W is their smallest smallest mono laser printer and it delivers fast, good-quality pages that punch way above either its price point (a sweet £79), or size and weight. As well as its impressive performance, this device is beautifully designed to make its owner’s life as easy as possible. It has a wide range of connectivity options, and there are lots of settings to tweak to create your perfect printing experience. These include options for eco-friendly printing.
Our only significant criticism is that the Xpress M2022W is expensive to run. Most other models on this list will print pages for around two pence per page, or less, but this otherwise impressive machine costs more like five pence in ink per page – a difference that will surely add up if you intend to use it a lot.
A second printer at the £60 mark tops our list of budget printers for 2016. Anyone who knows anything about printers will not be surprised to see HP’s Officejet 3830 printer in at number one. This device has decent running costs – particularly when printing in colour. If you’re looking for a machine that can print documents or presentations with high quality colour images, or even a home computer for printing photographs, this is a great option.
If, however, you’re more interested in printing simple black and white text documents more than anything else, there’s little point in choosing a printer like this – there are alternatives on this list that can print more cheaply while also delivering the quality and speed you’re looking for.