Since you’ve begun working from home and your children are cranking out classwork at your kitchen table, there’s never been a greater demand for hard copies. The only thing that hasn’t changed, however, is that old, dusty printer you inherited from your parents. Not only will it dribble out paper at a snail’s pace, but you’ll be running up your expenses on ink and electricity while losing your few remaining wits. Face it: You’re going to have to find one of the best home printers available to handle this herculean load—and one that’s as economically minded as you’ve become.
You may ask yourself, Is “inkjet” still a thing? What’s the deal with laser printers? Then there are questions of its use, like whether you need papers in vibrant color (best for budding artists and tactile presentations) or a utilitarian monochrome. Regardless of your selection, today’s printer manufacturers have all created tank-like systems that both hold a higher volume of goo (read: more pages) and are cheaper and easier to refill than ever before. So let the kids go crazy with first and second and fifth drafts. Print that TPS report in triplicate. With the options we’ve assembled, you can now afford to print to your heart’s—and wallet’s—content.
More function than the Canon on this list and substantially cheaper than the Epson, HP’s option may be the best value with the lowest downside. It copies, scans, and faxes, and while it prints at around half the speed of the Epson, it still performs admirably from a max 100-sheet store. It also uses a tank system for its inks, which both hold more (the company predicts 6,000 black pages or up to 8,000 for color) and are cheaper to refill ($15 to $17 per bottle for four). All together, it’s a well-rounded package for a price that’s impossible to beat.
This black and white printer has a 520-sheet capacity paper tray, so it's ideal for those needing to print large quantities of stuff. It prints from your mobile device. Each toner cartridge yields roughly 12,000 pages and runs $125.
Already at a respectable 6,000 black-and-white pages and up to 7,700 color photos that have better tone than real life, this is a do-it-all best home printer. Compatible with the company's own proprietary wireless app, it also plays well with Apple's AirPrint and both Amazon and Google's home systems. Top its ink off with damn-near spill-proof bottles.
What's black and white and read all over? Your kids' homework, thanks to its 5000-page capacity right out of the box, along with a blisteringly fast 21-pages-per-minute pace for term papers, book reports, and more. Truly, this is one of the fastest and best printers with cheap ink if you're only concerned with monochrome text.
Small, it's not. But efficient? Hell yes. If you activate the Dash function, you'll automatically get a replacement toner when you're running low. Each $75 one yields 1,400 pages. The printer has a 250-sheet capacity paper tray. You can run the toner in save mode, for less important jobs, to reduce use.
Compact, sturdy, and no-frills, this is the workhorse of printers. This reliable laser printer churns out 27 pages per minute. A replacement standard-yield black toner for $40 lasts you for roughly 1200 pages. It has a print resolution up to 2400 x 600 dpi, so your printouts actually look professional. It has a 250-sheet capacity paper tray, and does two-sided printing when needed. If you're just printing out random document, switch to toner-save mode.
For those churning and burning through paper in their at-home workspace, we’re fans of the EcoTank by Epson. Scan, copy, fax, and print like a motherf— at lightning speed, with 15 black-and-white pages per minute or eight with color, making it the fastest printer on this list. It uses a tank-like system for its colors, meaning all that printing won’t have you tearing through as many cartridges. The big bottles of replacement ink (three colors and one black) are also reasonably priced between $13 and $20.
You get two years' worth of ink, reimbursed by Epson. That's just to start. This behemoth of a printer is voice-activated. It churns out 25 pages per minute. And each replacement four-piece ink set, which runs roughly $90, includes enough ink to print up to 6,000 pages.
Maybe your work is completely paperless and your kids are working entirely on their iPads. Maybe all you really want is a means of documenting unique moments taken with your smartphone. If that’s the case, the Polaroid Lab is the most ingenuity we’ve found in an old-new product. At its most basic, you place your smartphone over the device with your preferred photo pulled up. Push the button and presto, your pixels are now a Polaroid. Through its app, you can also split one photo into a collage of up to nine as well as augment reality when your artistic bug really starts to bite. The company makes both color and black-and-white film, the former of which runs $30 for 16 photos, so we advise you expose your sheets wisely. But for the analog lover, nothing beats a Polaroid when it comes to making memories.
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