Best Home Printers 2020 – Detailed Guide

With evolving global demands, printing jobs have started to dominate households. What used to be considered an office equipment now has a special place on people’s desks at home or in what they refer to as their home office. However, this is not a recent trend. In fact, home printers have been popular for several years now, with several models already into their nth modification or upgrade. Now that we’ve entered into a new millennium, we’re faced with newer demands, thus the need for better functioning equipment versatile enough to cope with our ever changing needs. If you do not, yet, have your own printing device, then it is important that you first scour the internet for the best home printer for 2020 before buying one. This article will guide you into every nook and cranny of printer shopping to make sure you choose only the one that best suits your lifestyle and printing necessities.

 

The Need for a Home Printer

There is one imperative question you must pose before going hunting for printers online. Why do you need a home printer? Are you one of those people who need physical copies of documents rather than keeping digital ones? Are there printing jobs that can only be done at home? Are you constantly in the process of submitting documents, such as resumes or CVs? Are you publishing a manuscript? Do you have children who need a printer for their school projects? Or do you, yourself, have pending projects that involve printouts? Are you a photo collector who needs to print hard copies of your image collection? Do you have a card printing business? Are there documents that need scanning and printing? If you answered “yes” to at least one, any, or all of these questions, then you definitely need a home printer.


The Type of Printer That You Need

The type of printer that you need to purchase depends on the amount of printing job it will be required to accommodate. Determine what types of documents you are going to print and how often you will be printing them. You must also consider the tasks at hand and think whether you will only be printing, or is there a need for other functions such as scanning as well. Here are a few key points you must consider when looking for a home printer:


Inkjet Printer vs. Laser Printer

Basically, there are two types of printers available in the market: inkjet or laser. The main difference lies in how these two transpose text or images on paper. Inkjet printers use liquid ink that are sprayed through micronozzles, while laser printers use coloured powder stored in cartridges and are heat-fused onto the paper. Each type has its own pros and cons and preference will depend on the required printing job.

Inkjet printers are reliable in terms of multiple functionality as these are good all-rounders. They also have less expensive up-front prices but have higher running costs. For people considering space constraints, inkjet printers may be the preferred type as these come in more compact versions than laser printers. In terms of printing quality, inkjet printers are better at printing photos.

Laser printers, on the other hand, produce better quality when printing documents. They are more expensive than inkjet printers but also have a low cost per page when considering long term operation. One downside to owning a laser printer is its bulkier build. Laser printers are bigger in dimension and, therefore, take up bigger spaces at home.


Single Function Printer vs. All-in-One Printer

If you think that the promises of convenience an all-in-one device presents would push single function printers out of the market, then it’s time to take a look at the market options again. As all things have pros, there must also be cons. Hence, some people still prefer the former over the latter.

When talking about single function printers, these are equipment that have a function dedicated solely to one thing – that is, printing; whereas, all-in-one or multifunction printers are devices that allow you to print, scan, copy, and even fax. What advantages do single function printers have and why do people still buy them? For one, these printers are offered at a significantly cheaper initial price. If you know that you won’t be doing any scanning, faxing, and copying, then why spend more for these functions? If you know that you are only going to shelf these features, then there is totally no point in shelling out extra for them. Another thing is, by focusing only on one task, single function printers tend to perform better at their job. This means better print quality and faster printing speed. For people who are into printing businesses, this means higher productivity. Also, in case the device does suffer a malfunction, there will be lower maintenance costs because only one utility is affected. Now, for the downside. What could convince you to go for the single function printers could be the same thing that convinces you not to – its singular functionality. While this promises better performance, this also means that the printer’s function is limited. Nobody wants limited capabilities, unless, of course, there’s a really good compromise. In this case, it could be an outstanding printing output or a really good bargain price. Along the course of events, in any case, you realize you need extra functions such as scanning or faxing after buying a single function printer you will have no choice but to purchase additional equipment and allot additional space for these new devices. Therefore, it is important to have your mind made up before deciding to go for this option.

Let’s go to multifunction printers or those that have all-in-one functionalities. These printers are equipped with printing, scanning, copying, and faxing mechanisms. However, these added features do come for free as AIOs are sold at a much heftier up-front price. One disadvantage, though, is that you have all these functions cramped up into one device, thereby saving you space and valuable cash. Imagine buying one printer, one scanner, one copy machine, and one fax machine and lining them all up in your home office. How impractical is that? In terms of connectivity, multifunction printers or MFPs are actually at an advantages. Most MFPs nowadays support Ethernet, Bluetooth, Wi-Fi, and USB connections, making printing easier and more convenient. This also allows people to print directly from their mobile devices without having to open and set up a computer. With this, MFPs are more suitable for people on the go. However, there are underlying drawbacks to choosing an MFP. If one function needs repair, this means that the whole unit becomes unusable. This also means that there will be higher maintenance costs because it’s all-for-one and one-for-all after all. The same is true if you ever want to have one feature upgraded. You either upgrade the whole printer unit or you don’t upgrade at all.

After considering all the pros and cons, it is equally important to also have foresight and think about how you want your printer to serve you in the long run. If you’ve resolved to have the printer focus only on printing and that you won’t need it for any other purpose, then purchase a single function one. However, if you think that your needs might expand into scanning and copying, then a good decision would be to buy an all-in-one printer.

These considerations will guide you into identifying the features you want in a printer and the best type of printer to purchase. There are other factors to consider, but these will be discussed in detail later on in the article.

Best Home Printer 2020

1. Epson EcoTank ET-3750

 

Specs

  • Dimensions: 34.7 x 23.1 x 37.5 cm
  • Weight: 6.7 Kg
  • Paper Capacity: 150 sheets per tray
  • Print Speed: Black: 15 ISO ppm; Colour: 8 ISO ppm
  • Connectivity: Ethernet, USB, Wi-Fi

Pros

  • Low running costs
  • Laser-quality text printing
  • Above-par graphics printing

Cons

  • High up-front cost
  • No fax capabilities
  • Slightly poor photo print quality

Review:

A printer that promises a 90%, on average, reduced running cost, Epson EcoTank ET-3750, is one of Epson’s additions to its EcoTank series. And although other printer models have recently made it to the market, EcoTank ET-3750 has managed to stand its ground, largely due to having one of the most ink-efficient algorithms. As with other EcoTank models, ET-3750 does not use ink cartridges, and instead have refillable ink tanks that do not get used up until you’ve actually put them to good use. It does not only deviate from traditional printing by introducing cartridge-free printing, but it has also become more eco-friendly.

What makes EcoTank ET-3750 a good choice over more high-end, recently-manufactured printer ranges? Well, despite having a high up-front cost, this printer has maintained a competitive and relevant set of functionalities that remain attractive to users even today. First is the highly advertised cartridge-free printing feature that, again, not only makes refilling easier, but reduces long term operational costs significantly. Upon purchase, it already has an initial ink load that could print 14,000 pages of black and white, and 11,200 pages of colour documents. If you think this printer will be utilized more than occasionally in your household, or if a good amount of text document printing awaits, then you could look forward to years of saving up on cartridge costs. If this isn’t convincing enough, think about the ink bottles that have been repackaged, making them more spill-proof in the process of changing or refilling. Each bottle is sealed with a plastic dock and all you need to do is secure the bottle in the slot and into the tank. This model has also done away with the bulky ink tank by ingeniously incorporating the tank into the body, making for a more compact design.

When it comes to connectivity, ET-3750 supports Ethernet, USB, and Wi-Fi. It also works with Apple’s Airprint for iOS devices. Those using Android devices can download the Epson iPrint app for free. This means that people can print directly from their smartphones. If there is one more feature that could have improved ET-3750’s connectivity features, it would be a memory card slot.

With dimensions of 34.7 x 23.1 x 37.5 cm, ET-3750 has a single front paper tray that can hold 150 sheets of A4 paper, and is equipped with an automatic document feeder (ADF), making printing more hassle-free. For even more convenience, it is capable of auto-duplex or automatic double-sided printing that could save you so much time.

Print speed is another appealing feature of this model. While some of its competitors stand at 11.5 pages per minute for black, ET-3750 can print 15 pages per minute for black text and 8 pages per minute for colour.

Print output could either be a deal-breaker or deal-maker. But in the case of ET-3750, both are actually true. When printing basic text documents, this EcoTank model yields above-par results, even producing laser-quality document prints. PrecisionCore and its pigmented black ink technology allow for smoother, sharper text. However, a possible deal-breaker comes with its photo printing quality, which is not as impressive. Photo prints have a tendency to lack discreet detail, have banding in some areas while other sections look bright and bold, possibly because this printer uses only three coloured inks – cyan, magenta, and yellow. Nonetheless, if you are not so much into photo printing, then this should not be a cause for concern.

Considering the specifications that come with this impressive printer tank, a £349 up-front price might put some buyers off, but it is actually already a good bargain. Remember, ET-3750’s low long-term operational costs make it ideal for buyers who are looking for an everyday printer that will serve them for years. If a high initial buying price equates to reduced expenses in the long run, then that printer is worth considering.

2. HP Envy 5030

 

Specs

  • Dimensions: 36.7 x 44.5 x 12.8 cm
  • Weight: 5.41 Kg
  • Paper Capacity: 100 sheets per tray
  • Print Speed: Black: 10 ISO ppm; Colour: 8 ISO ppm
  • Connectivity: Wi-Fi

Pros

  • Low up-front cost
  • Crisp quality photo prints
  • Good Wi-Fi Connectivity

Cons

  • Costly ink replacement
  • Poor black text printing
  • Slightly slow print speed

Review:

HP is known for setting a certain standard in printer quality. This is why it should come as no surprise when at least one from its Envy series makes it to lists of top printers. This 2020, HP Envy 5030 is listed as one of the best home printers because of its affordability and versatility.

Despite utilizing the age-old cartridge type ink, HP Envy 5030 has loads of functions and features that are enough to convince buyers that it deserves a space in their home office desks.

First, home printers need not consume much space at home, making HP Envy 5030 an ideal printer model with its sleek and compact dimensions. Standing at 36.7 x 44.5 x 12.8 cm, this printer is so slim that it can effortlessly squeeze into homes with limited spaces. Weighing only 5.41 Kg, it is also lightweight that it is easy to move from one location to another in the event the necessity arises. Even with this compact design, HP Envy 5030 has a paper tray that can accommodate 100 pages, has an automatic duplex printing feature and allows borderless printing.

HP Envy 5030 is also equipped with Wi-Fi connectivity and is compatible with most gadgets such as smartphones and tablets running on Android, iOS, and some Windows versions. It has AirPrint functionality making printing from one’s iPhone or iPad a lot easier.

Setting up the printer also comes easy because of its 5.5 cm high resolution touch screen display with an incredibly reliable touch sensitivity. This means users don’t have to strain their fingers just trying to get the screen to detect the options selected.

What poses a challenge to using this printer is the use of ink cartridges. Because inks are contained in combined colour cartridges, the whole cartridge must be replaced even if only one color has run out. Replacements also do not come cheap, posing an even bigger challenge. However, if buyers think of the printer’s relatively inexpensive up-front price, then buying replacement inks should not be a problem. More so because HP probably anticipated this problem that it devised a subscription program where HP can be notified once the ink cartridge is almost empty. This is HP’s Instant Ink Program that claims that users can save up to 70% on ink and always have available ink even before they realize they need it. How does the Instant Ink Program work? All users need is an internet connection that will allow the printer to send a message to HP once it detects that the cartridge is almost out of ink. HP has flexible subscription options and even offers 3-5 months of free instant ink trial.

Another important consideration to look into is print speed. As an ideal home printer, HP Envy 5030 is not really made for industrial use. To put it another way, HP Envy 5030 runs at a decent speed when printing, but, to be honest, it is not the fastest printer out there. It is best for home use and, if you’re looking to finish printing tons of documents in the shortest time possible, then this might not be the best option for you. HP Envy 5030 can print 10, or a maximum of 15, pages per minute of black text, and 7 pages per minute of colour documents, which is not bad at all. But if there is one thing that could pull its reputation up, it is its amazingly fast scanning feature, which also produces good quality scans.

In terms of print, copy, and scan quality, HP Envy 5030 has a competitive edge with its crisp quality colour print outputs and high scan resolution. This printer can produce 4800 x 1200 dpi in colour documents and up to 1200 dpi of scan resolution. However, black texts have a tendency to fade, especially when the cartridge is already running low on ink. In fact, it can only print 1200 x 1200 dpi resolution in black and white. This means that HP Envy 5030 is better at printing photos than black text, and it might not be the best go to model for printing piles of legal or official documents.

With a £70 initial price, HP Envy 5030 is one of the best choices in the line of home printers. With this affordable price, buyers can get all the features and functionalities necessary for a printer suited for household use.

3. Canon Pixma MG2550S

 

Specs

  • Dimensions: 42.6 x 14.5 x 30.6 cm
  • Weight: 3.5 Kg
  • Paper Capacity: 1.28 inch 416 by 416 AMOLED
  • Print Speed: Black: 8 ISO ppm; Colour: 4 ISO ppm
  • Connectivity: USB

Pros

  • Low up-front cost
  • Vividly coloured photo prints
  • Good scan and copy resolution

Cons

  • High running cost
  • No wireless connectivity
  • Slow print speed


Review:

Buyers looking for a budget printer with sufficient functionalities for household use should seriously consider Canon’s Pixma MG2550S. With a low-up-front cost, a promising career in photo printing, and the addition of being a multifunction printer with print, scan, and copy features, Pixma MG2550S is another standout in 2020’s roster of best printers.

First off, its unbelievably low up-front price should already grab buyers’ attention. Next, knowing Canon’s reputation for quality prints should be enough assurance that this model won’t be out in the market if it weren’t competitive enough to actually sell. Although there are issues with print speed (which will be discussed later), other features, and, again, its incredibly affordable price, should make it a good contender for printers that are perfect for use at home.

Canon is known for stylish printers and Pixma MG2550S is no exception. In fact, its compact and sleek exterior and lightweight material make it a perfect home printer. When we say compact, the entirety of its 42.6 x 14.5 x 30.6 cm and 3.5 Kg body should easily find its dedicated spot in the household.

At a very affordable price, one would not expect to have multiple connectivity features from this model. Canon Pixma MG2550S does not have wireless printing functionality. Nonetheless, one lacking connectivity option does not mean this printer is not worth a try. It does have an energy-saving feature because of its automatic power on/off. This simply means that, just by hitting print from the source computer, the printer will automatically turn on – an eco-friendly functionality that not all printer models possess. This desk-friendly printer also has a LED display, bearing its control panel, making setup a breeze.

Now, let’s look into how it fares in terms of print speed. It has been mentioned that Canon Pixma MG2550S is best designed for household use, not industrial. To put it bluntly, it is a slow printer and is only meant for low-use and simple, infrequent printing tasks. For black text, this model can print 8 pages per minute, 10 at the maximum, and, for colour documents, it can produce 4 pages per minute. The slow colour printing is said to be due to one of Canon printers’ “special” drying feature where, after printing coloured pages, the printer pauses to allow the page to dry. This sounds totally unnecessary, but Canon thinks otherwise. So, if you’re not in a hurry to print bulks of colour pages, this feature should not bother you at all.

Despite its slow printing mechanism, the print quality somehow makes up with accurate prints for both black and colour. Well, accurate and surprisingly good for the price that is. Printing 4800 x 600 dpi colour photos, Canon employs what they call the FINE Cartridge technology which is what helps the printer translate scanned or copied images into finely detailed and vividly coloured prints on paper.

What users may also find useful are Canon’s Creative Park Premium and My Image Garden app that allow users to download content and printing materials or designs that can be used for printing postcards, greeting cards, calendars and other design projects. These features make Canon Pixma MG2550S more than just a basic multifunction printer. It is actually pretty reliable in terms of print quality and print options.

4. Brother DCP-1610W

 

Specs

  • Dimensions: 34 x 38.5 x 25.5 cm
  • Weight: 7.2 Kg
  • Paper capacity: 150 sheets per tray
  • Print speed: Black: 20 ISO ppm
  • Connectivity: USB, Wi-Fi

Pros

  • Light and compact
  • Swift print speed
  • Has wireless connectivity

Cons

  • Expensive up-front price
  • No auto-duplex function
  • No LCD screen


Review:

The Brother DCP-1610W printer is an all-in-one device that is both affordable and reliable. It is a compact mono laser printer that delivers above average print quality at an impressive speed. For home users who are fine with printing in monochrome, DCP-1610W is a top-of-the-line printer available at a very affordable price.

It may come as a surprise how a small, mono laser printing unit can offer so much. However, knowing Brother’s footprint in printer quality, it becomes easy to understand why their models always make it to the top recommended printers. In the case of DCP-1610W, this unit almost literally spells simplicity and affordability. With dimensions of 34 x 38.5 x 25.5 cm and weighing only 7.2 Kg, this model is perfect for home office use. It does not require much storage space and it is also easy to set up or move.

If, with all that has been mentioned so far has already impressed you, wait until you find out about what this small unit can do. It is actually quite amazing how a compact device can fit so many amazing features. For one, DCP-1610W is energy-efficient. It is reputed to save about 30% of energy during usage. Its duplex printing feature also allows users to save on paper and toner costs making this printer economical and practical for everyday household use. Its paper tray can accommodate 150 sheets saving users from the time-consuming task of replenishing the tray every now and then. It comes with a 700-page toner, which can be easily replaced with a 1000-page toner cartridge. Complementing its compact design is a slim and flexible scanner lid. And similar to what most printers today have, the DCP-1610W is equipped with an LCD screen, albeit small, that contains its control panel displayed in simple black and white. This Brother printer has a built-in Wi-Fi and supports printing directly from mobile devices. The Brother iPrint and Scan app allows iOS users to print directly from their phones or tablets.

Another feature that not all printers currently offer is the anti-jam technology. If you think Brother could have done away with this feature, wait until you find your paper stuck in a jam. We’re glad this wasn’t part of the problems we encountered with this printer. This anti-jam feature is one helpful innovation that clearly considers users’ convenience, showing how Brother puts consumers’ best interest at heart. It is added conveniences like these that take printer manufacturing to a whole new level.

Incomparable print speed is another trademark of Brother printers. Even with its diminutive size, the Brother DCP-1610W printer is able to accomplish the 20 pages per minute print speed standard. Since it is a mono printer, it is best used for printing and copying pages with black print. The scan function, however, comes in colour and produces impressive scan results. Not bad if you’re only purchasing it for simple documents and monochromatic images, and not so much for colour photo printing.

DCP-1610W is a practical all-in-one solution to home office printing needs. It would be wise to invest in a compact and affordable printer without compromising quality. With a 2400 x 600 dpi resolution for print, 600 x 600 dpi for copy and a 600 x 1200 dpi scan resolution, a printer of this caliber is hard to come by, especially for its price of £200. There are only a few negative feedback about this printer. Overall, its performance and output are satisfactory and even exceed most expectations. A big thumbs up for Brother DC-1610W.

5. Canon Pixma TS5050

 

Specs

  • Dimensions: 31.5 x 37.2 x 12.6 cm
  • Weight: 5.5 Kg
  • Paper capacity: 100 sheets per tray
  • Print Speed: Black: 12.6 ISO ppm; Colour: 9 ISO ppm
  • Connectivity: USB, Wi-Fi

Pros

  • Has light and compact design
  • Economical ink system
  • Has Wi-Fi connectivity

Cons

  • Expensive
  • No auto-duplex function
  • No LCD screen

Review:

This smart-looking all-in-one may look like a sleek piece of audio equipment at first glance but it delivers excellent output and can do more than just printing jobs. The Canon Pixma TS5050 is one of Canon’s releases in its Pixma series with print, copy, and scan functions.

Generally improved in terms of aesthetics, Pixma TS5050 is about 40% smaller than previous versions and is modified to suit the needs of a creative home user. It is so compact that it only has dimensions of 31.5 x 37.2 x 12.6 cm and only weighs 5.5 Kg. Unlike most of its rivals today, this model does not use an LCD screen for its controls. Instead, it stuck with the classic multi-coloured joystick fitted in a 3-inch display interface. The rear paper tray can hold 100 sheets, which of course is a welcome convenience. One feature we definitely wanted to see is double-sided printing. Unfortunately, Pixma TS5050 does not have an auto-duplex printing mode. We had to reinsert the paper manually in order to print on the other side. If only Canon had thought to include this much needed feature on this model, then this Pixma unit would have fared better.

Canon Pixma TS5050 is also designed to be more economical, applying a 5-ink cartridge system. This simply means that you only need to replace the cartridge of the ink color that runs out. It also uses 2 black inks where the first black dye is used for printing black text and the second one for printing graphics. This not only allows the printer to save on ink usage, but also helps produce high-quality prints.

Additional connectivity options always make a good deal. For Canon Pixma TS5050, not only is it equipped with Wi-Fi connectivity, but it also supports printing through Cloud apps and memory cards. Devices running on Android or iOS can easily connect to the unit and execute printing jobs directly from the mobile device through the Canon app, Apple Airprint, Windows 10, Google Cloud Print, PIXMA Cloud Print. A built-in SD card slot also allows printing directly from a memory card without the need to connect to a PC, laptop or any other device. Who knew that printers today can work as standalone equipment?

With creative printing in mind, Canon made sure to incorporate special features such as the My Image Garden app and Creative Park Premium. These services allow users to download printing materials that can be used for projects such as designing greeting cards and calendars, or printing photo collages.

Canon claims a 12.6 pages per minute print speed for this model and actual tests prove that this equipment does deliver, printing around 12 pages of black text. Colour printing is at 9 pages per minute. Not only does Pixma TS5050 meet print speed expectations, but it also does not disappoint in terms of print quality. Definitely keeping up with Canon’s standard, this printer has a 4800 x 1200 dpi print resolution and 1200 x 2400 dpi scan quality. Even more impressive is how TS5050 is able to meticulously preserve contrast between light and dark shades, especially noticeable in vividly coloured images. Printing a sample campaign material shows crisp captions and even intricate details in graphics are maintained. All these capabilities for a £93.00 price tag. It sounds fair enough, but had it been a little lower, Pixma TS5050 would have garnered a better spot in the list. But, that’s what you pay for quality and versatility, and, honestly, it’s not bad at all.

6. Epson Expression Home XP-3100

 

Specs

  • Dimensions: 45.4 x 40.8 x 25 cm
  • Weight: 4.3 Kg
  • Paper capacity: 100 sheets per tray
  • Print speed: Black: 33 ISO ppm; Colour: 15 ISO ppm
  • Connectivity: USB, Wi-Fi

Pros

  • Has auto-duplex printing
  • Economical and cost-efficient
  • Has Wi-Fi connectivity

Cons

  • Low ink capacity
  • USB cable sold separately
  • Not designed for heavy use

Review:

Another entry from the Epson group is the Expression Home XP-3100 which carries with it Epson’s standards in quality printer models. This 45.4 x 40.8 x 25 cm compact multifunction printer only weighs 4.3 Kg but is loaded with features that offer highly reliable printing solutions, and with a £75 average market price at that. This is a good deal considering that the running costs are not that high as well. Epson allows users to invest in a reasonably priced inkjet and not have to worry about high operational costs.

For an easier printing experience, Epson Expression Home XP-3100 supports mobile printing through Apple AirPrint and Google Cloud Print. Wireless connectivity is enabled and it is also compatible with Windows 10. Like most recently released Epson models, this unit is made to be more economical and uses separate ink cartridges for different ink colours. This means that when one colour is used up, only that colour needs to be replaced. This makes the printer both eco-friendly and cost-efficient, saving users from unnecessary expenses in the long run.

Epson Expression Home XP-3100 is easy to set up and operate with its 3.7 cm colour LCD screen. And as what most users look for now in printers, this unit supports automatic double-sided printing, saving on resources and time. It also allows borderless printing. The only thing that might be holding this unit back is its cartridge’s low ink capacity, which only stands at 130 pages. Although Epson has made available XL cartridges that can produce 500 pages, still, the printer might not be ideal for heavy-use.

Another feature that Epson thoughtfully added, which might particularly delight users who have a creative flare, is the Epson Creative Print app. This is one of those additional applications that let users design and print greeting cards, postcards, stationery and other similar projects. The wide array of choices will surely give artists-at-heart a fun time designing and printing.

Now, let’s try to look at what impression this Expression Home XP-3100 leaves us in terms of print speed. When we tried printing documents with plain black text, we got an amazing 33 pages per minute. Trying to print out a colour image, the printer produced 14 pages per minute. Epson really does take print speed seriously, of course without cutting back on quality. A 33 ppm print speed still guarantees sharp black texts and well-maintained tones in the colour prints with no feathering or faded, bright colours in any of the printouts. Since Expression Home XP-3100 is a multifunction printer, Epson made sure that scan quality is just as reliable with 2400 x 1200 dpi scan resolution. Even copying produces excellent results with no dark gray backgrounds coming out from black text on white pages. Just as the Epson brand promises, Expression Home XP-3100 delivers in terms of quality, affordability, and versatility that it’s perfect for moderate household use.

7. Epson Expression Premium XP-6100

 

Specs

  • Dimensions: 34.9 x 34.1 x 14.2 cm
  • Weight: 6.6 Kg
  • Paper capacity: 100 sheets per tray
  • Print speed: Black: 15.8 ISO ppm; 11.3 ISO ppm
  • Connectivity: USB, Wi-Fi

Pros

  • Impressive text and photo prints
  • Wide range of connectivity options
  • Budget-friendly

Cons

  • High running costs
  • No automatic document feeder
  • No touch LCD screen

Review:

From a line of printer models that run at an impressive print speed and produce premium quality photo prints, Epson Expression Premium XP-6100 makes it to the list of the best home printers for 2020. An upgrade from XP-6000 and a predecessor to XP-7100, XP-6100 takes the best of both worlds and fuses them into one amazing, compact, all-in-one device.

At 34.9 x 34.1 x 14.2 cm, Epson Expression Premium XP-6100 can be easily placed on any desktop in home offices of any size. Like most home printers today, this one is also lightweight, weighing 6.6 Kg, for easier transport. But, this is one of those devices that are not to be judged based on size. Despite its compact design, XP-6100 has versatile print algorithms that easily meet the printing requirements of household users.

As a modern printer made to suit the modern lifestyle, Expression Premium XP-6100 has a wide range of mobile connectivity options so users can print directly from their mobile phones. It works with Apple AirPrint, Google Cloud Print, Mopria, and Fire OS. Also, a feature that not all printers are equipped with is voice activation. XP-6100 can be operated using voice commands through Google Assistant, Amazon Alexa, and IFTTT. Direct print is also supported as this printer is equipped with an SD and USB memory slot.

On using the printer, the paper tray can conveniently hold 100 sheets. This does not seem much but it is better than a 50-sheet tray. That’s just the standard paper feeder. It has an auxiliary paper tray specifically for holding glossy photo paper. Although XP-6100 does not have an automatic document feeder, it does allow auto-duplex printing, a much needed convenience these days. Settings can be configured using a 2.4 inch color screen and a multi-button colour panel. Expression Premium XP-6100 does not have a touch sensitive LCD screen.

While Expression Premium XP-6100 is loaded with all those features and specs, one possible dealbreaker for this unit is the high up-front price paired with steep running costs, all thanks to the price of replacement inks. There are, however, ink subscription schemes that allow users to, somehow, save on ink costs. It’s only a matter of deciding whether you’re willing to compromise price for quality.

When Epson quotes a 15.8 ppm for its mono prints, expect to get similar results. Trying it out with basic letter prints, the output came close to 15 pages per minute. Not only was the print speed impressive, but looking at the pages, the black texts looked sharp.

When it came to photo, it became clear why Expression Premium is highly recommended for printing images. With an 11 page per minute print speed for colour images, outputs show vividly coloured photos, with strong contrasts and solid tones.

Epson engineered an ink mechanism that allows for these exceptional print qualities. Deep black areas are maintained because XP-6100 does not only use one but two black inks. Text documents on plain paper use the pigment black ink while photo prints use the dye-based black ink. These help maintain the vividness and solidity of the graphics. These features all make for a mid-range printer that’s highly reliable especially for average volume household use, such as printing homework and business documents.

8. HP Tango X

 

Specs

  • Dimensions: 38.9 x 24.6 x 9.1 cm
  • Weight: 3.4 Kg
  • Paper capacity: 50 sheets per tray
  • Print speed: Black: 20 ISO ppm; Colour: 11 ISO ppm
  • Connectivity: Wi-Fi

Pros

  • Compact and stylish
  • Produces high quality prints
  • Supports mobile connection

Cons

  • Slow actual print speed
  • No USB connection
  • Needs good Wi-Fi connection in order to work

Review:

If you’re one of those people who want to have a printer that you can easily tuck away when it’s not in use, then HP Tango X is the perfect “all-in-one” printer for you. Basically similar to HP Tango, Tango X comes with a charcoal or indigo coloured linen that serves as a wraparound or carrying case for the printer unit. This piece of fabric completely hides the printer away and makes it look like a piece of furniture or a binded reading material during its idle time. This may seem like a luxury but when you get to look at it neatly tucked on your shelf, you’d appreciate HP for coming up with this innovation.

With dimensions of 38.9 x 24.6 x 9.1 cm, HP Tango X is not only stylish but is also compact, making it even more suitable for home users.  Its portability and size make it easy to store and carry from one room to another. It only weighs 3.4 Kg which means it is very easy to move around. However, upon using it, make sure to consider that the wraparound linen cover serves as an output tray. So, unless you want your printouts to just fall freely on the floor, or if you want to catch printed pages yourself, you would want to make sure your output tray is well-supported by placing the printer unit on a desk, instead of the shelf when using it. I personally am not a high-volume printer and I wouldn’t mind waiting for the printed page to fall on my hand instead of having to transfer the printer to a table, only to return it to the shelf once I’m done using it.

Apart from its stylish, compact, and portable design, HP Tango X is the perfect home printer for avid mobile technology users. Without the option to connect to a computer via USB, Tango X only works with mobile devices through Wi-Fi. Though it may seem like a setback, it actually is consistent with who Tango X was designed for – smartphone users who are always on the go and want to be able to print from anywhere using their devices.

Perfectly suitable for modern home users, HP Tango X works with iOS devices using Apple AirPrint. It can also be synched with Dropbox and Google Drive. However, file formats that can be printed from these databases are only limited to PDFs and JPEG files. As an additional feature, HP engineers thought it brilliant to incorporate voice command functions. Now, through Amazon Echo, Google Home, or Microsoft Cortana, users can instruct the unit to find and print files. I am not sure whether this is a necessary addition, but I think it’s exciting to see how printer technologies are leveling up.

One drawback about HP Tango X is the lack of an LCD screen or a multi-button control panel. This is because the printer settings are accessed through a browser either on your phone or on your laptop or PC. Setting up, especially with an iPhone, is fairly quick and easy, however, compared to just pushing a few buttons on the printer, modifying settings through a web-based interface seemed more taxing. There are basic function buttons on the printer, such as the cancel and resume print job buttons, as well as the button used for printing status sheets. Apart from these three, everything else needs to be configured using the browser.

Another thing that might come as an issue for Tango X is the pricey ink replacement cost. Fortunately, HP already has an existing ink replacement program, Instant Ink, that allows users to subscribe to an ink replacement scheme with set number of prints per month. With Instant Ink, the printer, as long as it’s connected to the internet, sends a notification to HP that your ink is running low, after which HP sends you the ink quantity that you subscribed to (e.g., 50 pages per month).

Just to be straightforward, HP Tango X is not the fastest printer out in the market. And although HP claims a 20 pages per minute print speed, print tests prove otherwise. But this does not make Tango X the worst printer. In fact, a 7 ISO ppm is not that bad, especially for an occasional user. Since Tango X is meant for low-volume prints, such as homework, 7 is not that bad a number. But that’s just for black text. Colour prints can produce 5 pages per minute, which, again, is not the worst we’ve seen. What is important is the printer somehow makes it up with excellent quality. Pages printed with black text look sharp and crisp. Colour prints look vivid and detailed. This is because HP invested on a 4800 x 1200 dpi print resolution for this model. Tango X also uses a three-ink colour cartridge, allowing for more vivid and clearer graphics. I wish I could say the same for scan and copy, but, sadly, scan outputs are not as exceptional. But it has to be clear that this is partly due to the fact that Tango X does not really have a built-in scanner. The scan function is used by pairing the printer with your phone, and “scanning” or taking a picture of the document using that phone. In other words, scan quality depends highly, or solely, on the photo quality of your phone’s camera. Based on test scans, documents scanned using an iPhone looked better and less blurry than the ones scanned using an Android phone. This also means that in order to scan documents or images, you need to have your phone with you. For an up-front price of £179.00, you would have expected that the printer is equipped with more convenient scan and copy options. But then again, where else can you find a printer that looks stylish, delivers excellent print quality, and doesn’t become an eyesore when not in use? If only for all these, and if you’re one of us occasional printer users, then HP Tango X is a perfect fit for your lifestyle.

9. Samsung Xpress M2026 

 

Specs

  • Dimension: 35.1 x 33.1 x 17.8 cm
  • Weight: 3.95 Kg
  • Paper capacity: 150 sheets per tray
  • Print speed: Black: 20 ISO ppm
  • Connectivity: USB, Wi-Fi

Pros

  • Produces crisp text prints
  • Not too expensive running costs
  • Has wireless connectivity

Cons

  • No auto-duplex printing
  • Only prints in monochrome
  • Unimpressive photo prints

Review:

Another option for a lightweight printer that leaves a very small footprint is Samsung’s Xpress M2026. Measuring 35.1. x 33.1 x 17.8, it is one of the smallest printer units that are very reliable for home office use. What makes it perfect for small home office spaces is its compact design. Its smart, minimalist look makes it so appealing that it doesn’t draw unnecessary attention when placed on desks.

Despite its rather diminutive size, Samsung Xpress M2026 is packed with surprising features and functionalities that meet the printing needs of a household. This monochrome laser printer is built for heavy use and can work on bulks of print jobs. However, this is on the level of household use. For business or office print tasks that involve even higher volumes of printing, then you might consider another printer model. As mentioned, this is a monochrome printer, which means that if you’re looking to print photos or graphics on a regular basis, it would be wiser to invest on something else. But if you’re into printing basic text documents or letters, then Samsung Xpress M2026 can easily do the job for you.

In terms of connectivity, Xpress M2026 has wireless connection and can be paired with mobile devices and platforms for a more convenient printing experience. It supports Apple AirPrint and Google Cloud Print. It is also very easy to set up using plug and play. However, it does not come with its own USB cable so you’ll have to purchase your own.

With a paper tray that can hold up to 150 sheets, Samsung Xpress M2026 really is made for low to moderate use. Samsung also quotes a 1000-page cartridge capacity which means that users do not have to spend too much on running costs.

As laser printers are proven to outpace inkjet printers in terms of print speed, Xpress M2026 delivers 20 pages per minute, thanks to its 400 MHz processor and 64 MB RAM. This is not really exceptional when compared with other laserjets in the market, but still, matching it with inkjets, this is definitely a notch higher, especially for users who need to execute print jobs more than occasionally. If you are to print tons of documents, you would not want a printer to take time printing 1 page in order to guarantee quality. Xpress M2026 is perfect for this kind of task because quantity and quality work perfectly together in this unit.

When talking about print quality, this printer can guarantee prints that are more than just readable. Black texts are clear, dark, and crisp. However, printing mono images or graphics may produce pages with slightly darker tones. Nonetheless, a 1200 x 1200 dpi print resolution is workable, even impressive for a printer within this price range.

10. HP LaserJet Pro M15

 

Specs

  • Dimensions: 18.89 x 15.89 x 34.59 cm
  • Weight: 3.8 Kg
  • Paper capacity: 100 sheets per tray
  • Print speed: Black: 18 ISO ppm
  • Connectivity: USB, Wi-Fi

Pros

  • Affordable up-front price
  • Compact and lightweight
  • Has Wi-Fi connectivity

Cons

  • High running costs
  • No auto-duplex function
  • No LCD screen

Review:

One of the most compact and lightweight single function home printers, HP LaserJet Pro M15 is anyone’s dream for their home office. Simple yet elegant looking at 18.89 x 15.89 x 34.59 cm, it literally fits almost anywhere, making it ideal for homeowners who have limited home spaces and want to be able to carry a printer wherever needed. Though single-function and only prints in mono, this sleek piece of equipment is super reliable in terms of quality and speed. Not to mention, it comes with a whole package of features that may be a little too generous for its up-front price.

For one, HP LaserJet Pro M15 supports mobile printing and can work with HP Smart App, Wi-Fi Direct, Google Cloud Print, Apple AirPrint, and Mopria. By connecting the printer to these platforms, users can scan and print straight from their mobile phones.

Though LCD screens are the thing in printers these days, and touch functions do seem more convenient, LaserJet Pro M15’s three-button control panel makes it surprisingly easy to operate.

Unlike other printers that run like a factory when executing a printing job, HP LaserJet Pro lets users focus on no frills and noise-free printing. It is so quiet that it’s also ideal for use in dormitories or other shared spaces.

Print tests on the HP LaserJet Pro M15 show remarkable results. For a basic, low-duty home printer, it has an impressive print speed of 18 pages per minute of black text. That is pretty fast for its size and price. This printer might actually work if used for business purposes and given that it is only used for printing in monochrome. Even mono graphics are printed at 8-9 pages per minute.

In terms of print quality, most users would probably prefer something better. HP claims a 600 x 600 dpi print resolution for this unit. A laser printer producing laser quality print, the texts are crisps and no banding is evident. Printed charts, graphs, sheets, and even fine prints look clear and readable. It looks like a “you get what you pay for” case, but for users who are only looking for a basic printer that can accomplish printing tasks within a short amount of time and for a very reasonable price, there’s no better option that HP LaserJet Pro M15.

Buyer’s Guide

Before taking the leap into buying a new home office equipment it is important to arm yourself with the knowledge of what to consider when purchasing one. For printers, specifically, there are a few aspects you would want to look into to make sure you choose the one that offers the best printing solutions. Let us look at five of the most important points to consider when buying a home printer.

  1. Features
    First thing to keep in mind is you are buying a printer for household use. You’re not scourging the market for a bulky piece of equipment packed with high-end features that you don’t actually need. But, you also wouldn’t want to settle with a unit that has very basic functions that you might as well just look for someone else to do the printing or, worse, manually write your document. Remember your keywords “home” and “printer”. You’re looking for a printing device that you can use at home. This means that you will probably be printing homework, basic text documents, family photos, ticket copies, or whatnot. Considering the amount and type of print job you require, decide whether you want a mono printer or one that can print in color. If you’ll basically be printing documents, you can save by purchasing a mono laserjet printer. But if you see yourself printing a lot of graphics or images, then it would be better to invest in a colour printer.Although this sounds tempting, you don’t need a printer with a tray that can hold 250 sheets of paper. Apart from being bulky, which is not very practical unless you have a huge home office space, one that can accommodate 100-150 sheets per tray should suffice. You can then look into whether the printer has an auto-duplex function or an automatic document feeder, if you think you need these luxuries.Most home printers today also have 3-in-1 functionalities – scan and copy go with printing. Again, depending on the tasks at hand, choose a printer with functions that you can benefit from. You don’t need scan and copy functions if all you need your unit for is to print business letters. If you have children who might need to scan or copy learning materials occasionally, then consider going for all-in-ones.
  2. Print Speed
    Print speed is another important aspect to look into especially when you’re a high volume user. Think of how much output you require on a daily or weekly basis. If you’re seeing loads of print jobs, then better purchase a model with good print speed, at least on the 15-20 pages per minute range. However, you must also keep in mind that there is a possibility to have a slight decrease in image quality if you choose to prioritize speed, unless you’re willing to pay extra for printer units that guarantee both good quality and fast print speed. Most of the time it’s either one or the other. Most printers built with these exceptional features are along the line of office printers, which again, cost a whole lot more. So, if you’re fine with having considerable speed and considerable quality, there are a whole bunch of options in the market.
  3. Print Quality
    If you want quality prints, look for a printer with at least 1200 dpi print resolution. This value ensures readable black texts and photo printouts with solid colours. One other thing to consider to make sure prints are of good quality is ink configuration. Printers with more ink colours or multiple ink cartridge systems produce better results.You must also be aware that some printers have better mono text prints, while others have better photo quality. Again, this has a lot to do with the ink colour system utilized. Always think of what kind of documents you will be printing most of the time and start from there.If you are planning to purchase a multifunction printer because, let’s say, you also need to use it for scanning or copying. Then make sure to check the printer’s scan and copy resolution.
  4. Connectivity
    Connectivity is an important feature these days. It’s a luxury that a lot of consumers would pay extra for. Especially with people being on their mobile phones most of the time, it is important for a printer to have a wide range of mobile connectivity options. Fortunately, most printers now support wireless and mobile connection and work well with different operating systems. For instance, enabled connectivity with Apple AirPrint and Google Cloud Print are popular in modern printers. This means that users can print documents or images straight from their Apple or Android phones. This is both time and cost-efficient. Other printer models allow direct printing from USB or SD cards. Instead of logging on to the computer or laptop, which, as we all know, could really take time, why not print directly from where your files are stored.Another cool feature that some printers are equipped with is voice activation. Now, printers have joined the ranks of smartwatches, smartphones, and smart homes. With voice command support, some printers can be activated with Amazon Alexa, Google Assistant and other virtual assistants. If you see yourself literally asking your printer to do something, then this connectivity feature is for you.
  5. Ink Capacity and Ink Costs
    Some people fall into the trap of low up-front prices, not realizing that they’re in for scary running costs. Yes, it is important to consider the price. However, printers have maintenance expenses that people sometimes take for granted. So, how do you decide on this?If you’re buying a home printer for the long haul, it is better to invest in ones that are a little too pricey. This way, you can save on ink replacement costs in the long run. This is also the better option if you are looking to accomplish high amounts of print jobs.On the other hand, if you’re only going to print occasionally, then cheaper printers would work. Why this logic? This means that, although ink replacements cost a dime, it will take some time before you actually use your ink up. Printers with lower prices often have lower ink capacities. But if you’re only going to print every so often, running out of ink is something you should not be worried about.The bottomline, if you have plans of buying your own home printer, you first have to make sure you understand your needs – what you’re going to use it for, how often you’re going to use it, how long you’re going to use it. Your needs must be met. And while there are a lot of options to choose from, you can always compare different brands and models keeping in mind the criteria above. Analyze the pros and cons and check the printer features against your own standards. I hope this guide has somehow enlightened you on how to make better decisions when it comes to buying a home printer.

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