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 MP495 Wireless Inkjet All-In-One Photo Printer$59Outstanding Value. Print & Scan Resolution is adequate for home use at 4800dpi & 1200x2400dpi respectively. Tone cartridges are under $20 each Black & Color.
HP Photosmart Premium All-In-One Printer (CD055A#ABA)$110Great choice if you need better resolution & two-sided printing. It is close-out pricing – there is a new replacement product CN503A at $125.
Kodak ESP 5250 All-in-One Printer$999600 DPI high resolution printer, but scanner is just adequate at 1200 dpi. 24 bit and there is no duplex printing support.
Epson Artisan 710 Wireless Color Inkjet All-In-One$169.99Two year warranty. Fast high-resolution color photo feature. Duplex support. There are six toner cartridges (one black and 5 colors) and replacing them can easily set you back around $80.
Brother Black Compact Inkjet All-in-One with Fax and Wireless (MFCJ265W)$70Fax support. 1.9 inch color LCD display. Fast color (27ppm) & black (33ppm) printing. Prints photos directly from media cards.




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-3070CW (LED) $32017ppm in color or black. Up to 600x2400 dpi resolution. USB Direct Interface. There is an incorrect ‘toner out’ problem that can be corrected using a manual procedure whereby the toner is reset.
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 ImageCLASS MF8050Cn All-in-one$425All-in-one but is bulky and slow.
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 chose to go for a laser printer - currently we own a Samsung CLP-315 Color Laser Printer. The best printer we 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.




Last Updated: 07/2016.

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