Printers - Best Values - A Comparative Review

Printers are fast becoming a household name that these days the market is saturated with choices. For a small incremental cost, all-in-one printers with scanning, printing, copying, and in some cases faxing capabilities is a valuable option.

Many households regularly print at home with the majority requiring the flexibility to print in both color and monochrome, ideally with scanning and copying options on the side. They print a sizable amount of color copies (photos, web pages, etc) as well. Inkjet all-in-one photo printers are a great choice for such users –the slightly higher cost per page than with laser printers is justified by the lower cost of the printer and the additional convenience of having both a scanner and copier handy.


Below is a comparison of the best values in this category:


ProductThumbnailBest PriceDescription
Canon PIXMA MG3620 Wireless All-In-One Color Inkjet
http://amzn.to/2ogDHJY
$50Outstanding Value. Mobile/Tablet functionality. Auto 2-sided. 9.9ppm black and 5.7ppm color.
HP Envy 5660 Wireless All-in-One Photo Printer
http://amzn.to/2ohIQzT
$55Mobile/Tablet functionality. Auto 2-sided. Up to 14ppm black and 9ppm color..
Kodak Verite 55 All-In-One Inkjet Wireless
http://amzn.to/2oVxKDp
$754800 DPI high resolution printer. 2Up to 20ppm black and 15ppm color. One-touch printing from Apple/Android. Ships with high-capacity color & black toners in the box (worth $50).
Epson XP-830 Wireless Color Photo All-In-One
http://amzn.to/2oVNxSn
$100Fast high-resolution color photo feature. 14 ISO ppm Black and 11 ISO ppm Color. Duplex support. 4.3-inch color touch-screen with gesture. There are six toner cartridges (one black and 5 colors).
Brother  MFC-J680DW Wireless Color All-In-One Printer
http://amzn.to/2ohBLiw
$90Fax support. 2.7 inch color LCD display. Amazon Dash Replenishment. 2-sided. 12ppm Black, 10ppm color printing.

In some households, printers get only intermittent use. Laser printers and LED printers are the practical alternative for such households since it is almost a cinch that with Inkjet printers dried ink will render the print heads useless sooner than later. The problem becomes profound when the intermittent use is spaced further. The pricing on Laser and LED color printers has dived significantly in recent years. For those on a strict budget and with the intention of keeping the on-going costs also down, a prudent decision would be to purchase a monochrome laser printer and avail of the services of a photo lab for color needs.

Below is a comparison of the best values in laser and LED printers:


ProductThumbnailBest PriceDescription
Brother HL-3170CDW LED Color Printer
http://amzn.to/2ohJOvQ
$27517ppm in color or black. Up to 600x2400 dpi resolution. Plain paper print.
Samsung CLP-315W$185Outstanding Value! The basic version without wireless can be had for an even cheaper price of around $150. Wireless setup is not intuitive, there is some paper warming & warping in some instance but even with these gripes it is an outstanding value.
HP Color Laserjet CP1215$139.99Slower (12ppm & 8ppm for black & color) and lower-resolution (600x600 dpi) for a slightly cheaper price than the Samsung.
Canon MF634Cdw Wireless Color All-In-One Laser Printer
http://amzn.to/2oh8czd
$4403-year warranty. Fax Support. Upto 19ppm. Single-pass duplex scan. 5-inch color touch.
Okidata 62426904 C3400n (LED) $230Color output at 16ppm & black at 20ppm. 1200x600dpi print resolution. No wireless. Designed for high volume.

As frugal consumers, it is no surprise that we chose to go for a laser printer - currently we own a Canon LBP-2900 monochrome printer but have previously owned a Samsung CLP-315 Color Laser Printer. The Samsung color laser was pretty good until the toner ran out - the cost of replacement was prohibitive and the printer reliability and performance went down as well. When replacing, we opted for a monochrome keeping running-costs and our usage pattern in mind - we use color only intermittently and for that a copier shop is a better alternative overall for us.

The best printer we have ever owned was an HP LaserJet 4+ that came gratis with one of our jobs. We held onto it until our relocation – it was still going strong and our neighbor accepted it to replace his old Inkjet printer. The worst printer purchase was made end of 2000 on an HP PSC500xi, an all in one Inkjet from Amazon for $299 – it was not suitable for intermittent use and every time we tried it, the dreaded clogging problem reared its ugly head. It served as a scanner for a while but ultimately was junked. A cheap HP Deskjet purchased a couple of years ago also came close - it never worked reliably...

Last Updated: 04/2017.

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