Which inkjet printer is best? 

Even though most of our lives have moved over to digital, there are still instances where we need to print something on paper. Whether it’s important documents or a memorable photo, having the correct printer is essential for the job.

There are plenty of printers to choose from, but if you’re looking for a device that can handle almost anything, the Epson EcoTank ET-2760 is an excellent choice. Not only is it fast, but it can also save you a lot of money on ink costs.

What to know before you buy an inkjet printer

Inkjet printers work differently from laser printers

Inkjet and laser printers are generally the two most common types. A laser printer uses toner and heat to bond the pigment onto the paper. Inkjet printers have tiny nozzles that spray ink particles onto the page. Laser printers are best suited for large quantities, while inkjets are preferred for highly detailed photos.

Ink can be expensive

Whichever type of printer you buy, the ink will be expensive. Because the manufacturing of the printers is cheap, makers turn profits from the sale of consumables. As a result, your printer won’t work without ink. When deciding on a printer, keep this in mind, as you might be shocked at how much it costs to keep the device running smoothly. 

Consider how the printer will be used

Another factor that should be considered is how the printer will be used. For example, do you require a device to print more black and white documents or something that can provide hyperrealistic images? If you’re mainly using it for office documents, check whether it can be used with black ink only. Some printers lock up if a color cartridge isn’t installed, even if you only want to print black and white.

What to look for in a quality inkjet printer

Connectivity options

Printers are usually supplied with a USB cable, but that’s incredibly restrictive; you need to be close to the device to get any work done. A good-quality printer should have a range of connectivity options. The most common in modern printers is Wi-Fi so that all devices on the network can use it. Some gadgets also have Bluetooth options, which are great for mobile devices. Uncommon connections can include an SD card slot or a port for a thumb drive. 

Dots per inch and pages per minute

The printing quality is one thing, but how fast the printer can do it is another. The speed of a printer is measured in pages per minute, and it can get a bit complex. Since printers can do color and black and white, they usually have two separate PPM specifications. A good-quality printer can do 20-40 black and white pages per minute, and 5-8 full-color pages per minute. The dots per inch also play a role. It measures how many ink drops are deposited on a 1-inch square. The more DPI, the better the visual quality, but the printer might take longer.

Double-sided printing

It isn’t common to find printers that can do double-sided printing, but it’s a great option to have. Typically, you need to manually turn the page over and reinsert it to print on both sides. Printers that can do double-sided (sometimes called duplex printing) complete the task automatically.

How much you can expect to spend on an inkjet printer

The average price of an inkjet printer largely depends on the manufacturer and the device’s capabilities. An entry-level printer perfect for home use or in a small office can retail for $160-$200. A larger printer for professional jobs can cost $300-$600.

Inkjet printer FAQ

Can you use refillable ink cartridges with an inkjet printer?

A. In most instances, you can, but some manufacturers like HP and Canon have started to clamp down on third-party cartridge providers. Therefore, it’s best to check your printer’s documentation to see if it’s compatible.

What’s the difference between dots per inch and pixels per inch?

A. The only difference between the two measurements is the wording used. A dot is essentially a pixel; hence, the quality measure is the same. Both refer to the amount of ink that’s placed onto the page.

What’s the best inkjet printer to buy?

Top inkjet printer

Epson EcoTank ET-2760

Epson EcoTank ET-2760

What you need to know: The EcoTank is one of the first printers that doesn’t use standard ink cartridges. Instead, the liquid is in refillable ink tanks that can easily be topped up when needed.

What you’ll love: Epson claims that you’ll save up to 90% on ink costs with the refillable bottles, but that’s not all the printer can do. It has auto-duplexing, a high-resolution flatbed scanner and a large display with easy-to-use buttons. In addition, it can connect to Wi-Fi and print through voice activation. As for printing speed, it can do 10 black and white pages per minute.

What you should consider: It doesn’t support cardstock like postcards, as it can only print on regular plain paper. 

Where to buy: Sold by Amazon

Top inkjet printer for the money

HP ENVY 6455e

HP ENVY 6455e

What you need to know: If you need a small printer that’s fast with tons of intelligent features, this one is an excellent option.

What you’ll love: Shipped with a bonus of six months’ Instant Ink with HP+, this zippy printer can also copy and scan. It has an automatic document feeder, can print borderless photos and connects to Wi-Fi and mobile devices. It can do 10 black and white pages per minute and seven color pages per minute.

What you should consider: If you don’t do a lot of printing in a month, the Instant Ink with the HP+ program is optional. 

Where to buy: Sold by HP and Amazon

Worth checking out

Brother MFC-J995DW

Brother MFC-J995DW

What you need to know: There’s little worry about the ink with this printer, as it ships with up to a year’s worth of liquid. The printer can also tell you how much ink you’ve used and how much is remaining after each job. 

What you’ll love: This printer can connect to devices through AirPrint, Google Cloud Print, Brother and Wi-Fi. It can handle 12 black and white pages per minute with automatic double-sided printing. In addition, the printer features a large color display in the front with easy-to-press buttons.

What you should consider: It’s larger than most printers and weighs just over 19 pounds. If you have limited space, it might be too big.

Where to buy: Sold by Amazon

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Charlie Fripp writes for BestReviews. BestReviews has helped millions of consumers simplify their purchasing decisions, saving them time and money.  

 

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