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The best budget printers

Les Shu   

The best budget printers
Tech2 min read
  • Today's budget printers don't skimp on features or print quality and come loaded with additional functions like copy, scan, and even fax.
  • For our guide to the best budget printers, we focused on models priced under a hundred dollars.
  • With its plentiful features, great print quality, and very low price, our pick for the best cheap printer is the Canon Pixma TR4520. Following close behind is our second favorite, the Epson Expression Premium XP-7100.

Whether you need to churn out pages upon pages of a college class essay, scan receipts, create graphics for a scrapbook, or make copies of a business contract, a modern printer is a handy computing peripheral to have around. Even if your printing needs are limited, many printers today can do more than just print, and they are relatively compact and operate wirelessly, so they can be tucked away in a closet or cabinet.

And don't let a small budget hold you back: For a low price, you can get a high-quality printer that produces crisp text and colorful photos. You'll also find that many affordable printers are multifunction units that can scan, copy, and even fax, and include useful features like an automatic document feeder, auto-duplexing (two-sided), and wireless connectivity. With these extras, a printer is a great tool for digitizing hard-copy documents, even if you never print a single page.

Budget models tend to use inkjet technology, but there are also good laser options. Affordable laser printers are generally barebones and print in only black and white, but our recommendation is fast and reliable, and makes great-quality prints.

Do keep in mind that while these printers aren't expensive to buy, they can be expensive to maintain, particularly inkjet models. This is the case if you print often, or you make a lot of high-quality color prints like photos or scrapbook printables. Heavy-duty users should look at the cost of ink replacement and the page yields before investing in a unit. Also, while we tried to pick products from reliable brands, printers are mechanical - with many moving parts, they can fail.

As a tech journalist who has covered printers for nearly 15 years, I have tested a variety of models, from single-function inkjet devices to wide-format photo printers and high-end, multifunction laser units. Considering pricing, features, ease of use, and reliability, these are the best budget printers.

Here are the best budget printers you can buy:

Updated on 12/10/2019 by Les Shu: Replaced all recommendations with newer options. Updated copy and formatting.

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