What types of printers are the best
5 best printers tested in 2021
Printer comparison & purchase advisor
When looking for the best printer, there are many different things to be weighed up. So you have to deal with questions like: laser or inkjet, with or without scanner or fax unit, which connection and network connection options are required? However, if you do not have the time to deal intensively with the topic and decide on a model, but you still want to make a meaningful decision, you can stick to our recommendation. In particular, the HL-L2340DW from Brother was able to convince in the test, because as a laser printer with paper cassette, it not only works very quickly and is suitable for private and professional use, but also impresses with a good print image in black and white, is inexpensive and masters duplex printing . If you prefer an inkjet printer, the ENVY 4520 from HP can be recommended because it works with a high resolution, offers a very good price-performance ratio with low follow-up costs and has a scan and duplex printing function.
The HL-L2340DW laser printer is not only very fast, it also delivers a very good print image. In addition, it is very inexpensive for a monochrome laser printer, because it supports WLAN and USB, as well as duplex printing and a paper cassette with 250 sheets.
As a monochrome laser printer, it does not print in color, but only in black and white. As a result, it is of course not possible to print out colored graphics or photos. He also has a weak point when setting up via WLAN, because this is cumbersome.
The bottom line is that the device is ideally suited as an office printer, but also in the private sector, as the price-performance ratio is right. Thanks to extensive equipment, it can be used universally.
The compact ENVY 4520 from HP shines with a very good price-performance ratio, because as an inkjet printer with high resolution it delivers razor-sharp photos, but thanks to the scanner and duplex function it can also be used in small home offices, because the follow-up costs are low.
The printing speed is far behind the laser competition with only 6 pages in color, which makes it too slow for the professional sector, especially since there is no large paper cassette installed, which is a major disadvantage for large documents.
As a private printer at home, the device delivers everything you need. Good photo quality, duplex printing, low printing costs and a compact design. This makes it a real all-rounder for daily use with low to medium print volumes.
Printer purchase advisor
The best printer for you should always be the model that is tailored to your needs. Therefore, you will find different models of different categories among the best printers in 2021, so that there is a top model from every area. Before you decide to buy a printer, however, you should know which models are suitable for whom, which functions are useful for your desired areas of application and what the follow-up costs are like. Because when comparing prices, the running costs for printing should also be included in the calculation.
Which printer is suitable for whom?
To find out which printer is right for you, ask yourself how you plan to use the device mostly. This can be used to determine the most suitable printing method for your purposes that your new printer should work with.
For occasional printers: If you don't have a specific purpose, but just want to print letters, simple graphics or a photo every now and then, a cheap printer is the best choice for you. The recommendation here is to use an inkjet printer in the lower price segment, because these devices offer absolutely sufficient quality for your purposes at a low price.
However, the higher your demands on image quality - for example for photo prints - the sooner you should leave the finder away from the very simple device. With a cheap inkjet printer, you also have to accept compromises in terms of printing speed and follow-up costs. However, this is not a further problem with a small print volume. You'll get faster results with an inexpensive laser printer, which can also be an option if you don't print a lot and don't want to print photos. A simple black and white laser printer is also already very cheap. The durability of the printouts also benefits from the laser printing process.
For cross-border average printers: If you print regularly, but do not want to print out large quantities, but now and again want to put a photo from a camera on paper in addition to documents, a mid-range inkjet printer is the best choice. Special foils or CD and DVD labels can also be printed well with an inkjet printer, which is why the devices were able to prevail over the competition as all-rounders in the test.
However, you have to keep in mind that the cost of printing a high-quality photo is usually higher than that of the photo lab. On the other hand, you are extremely flexible and can produce high-quality printouts on paper, textiles or labels. A laser printer is not an alternative for this type of task, especially since it delivers significantly poorer results in the area of photo printing.
For hobby photographers and picture printers: If you want high quality printing of photos, you should always use a photo printer. High-quality inkjet models are just as possible here as portable photo printers, which usually print using the dye-sublimation process. Pay attention to the maximum possible final format, because especially with portable photo printers this is mostly limited to postcard format, while full-fledged photo printers allow printouts up to DinA3. Good inkjet photo printers often offer more than 10 individual colors, which leads to better color mixing and better results. A laser printer is out of the question for photo printouts because the resolution is too low, the colors cannot be mixed and glossy photos are not possible. You have to make compromises when printing documents, because photo printers often do not offer such razor-sharp results.
For multiple printers: The more you print and the more often documents and letters have to be printed or copied, the sooner you should resort to a laser printer. In the office in particular, the fast printers that deliver durable and sharp results in text and graphics are absolutely unrivaled. Thanks to the now low acquisition costs, even buying an entry-level color laser printer for private households is definitely worthwhile. Currently, more and more LED printers are coming onto the market that work like laser printers, but are a little cheaper and are just as suitable for home use as laser printers.
One for all: Multifunctional devices are equally suitable for use in the office and at home. They offer a scanner, copier, printer and often fax all in one. This saves you space and has everything in one device. They are available very cheaply as an inkjet version or as a laser version in black and white or color. The right choice also depends on the number of prints. Inkjet multifunction devices are usually less suitable for photos.
Useful additional equipment
If you want to print documents from sticks or SD cards, it is advisable to use a device that has an appropriate interface. Photo printers with a USB or SD card slot often allow the selection of images directly from the storage medium, sometimes even via an integrated display.
If you want to print from several computers, it makes sense to integrate the printer into your home network. Depending on where the device is set up, it may be worth buying a good wireless printer.
Depending on how much you are printing, it is also worth taking a look at the paper trays or cassettes. Some inexpensive laser printers do not have a paper cassette, so printing out a large number of documents or large files can be a bit of a hassle.
The larger the data that you print, the more likely it is to buy a device with its own processor and the largest possible memory. Because this relieves the PC of computing work during printing and leads to significantly faster results. Therefore, entry-level devices are not suitable for the frequent and extensive printing of large amounts of data.
If you also use a scanner, you should consider whether purchasing a combination device is not the best choice for you. This means you only need one device that can both print and scan. In addition, a printer including a scanner makes copying easier for you, as this is done simply at the push of a button. With an additional fax you then even have a fully-fledged multifunctional device that replaces three fully-fledged devices in the office.
If you tend to buy a very cheap inkjet printer as an all-rounder, make sure that there is a separate cartridge for the color black. Some inexpensive printers mix black with the available colors, so that you lose a lot of color when printing documents.
Acquisition and follow-up costs
Inexpensive inkjet printers, which are quite convincing as all-rounders in the private sector, can already be bought for between 50 and 80 euros. If you are looking for a suitable all-rounder, it is definitely worth investing in such a device. However, keep in mind that the follow-up costs are often very high compared to more expensive models, as the cartridge sets can sometimes be more expensive than the complete printer.
Entry-level laser devices are also available for less than 100 euros. If you often print mostly documents or graphics, it is worth purchasing a black-and-white device. The follow-up costs are relatively low and the printing speed is significantly higher compared to the inkjet device. Color laser printers are also available for less than 100 euros, but are not recommended for everyone. In everyday office life, for copies or color prints, if you do not want to print photos, the devices are unrivaled, as they offer low costs per print as well as durable results.
For a decent multifunctional device, you can expect prices between 100 and 350 euros, depending on the version. Good inkjet devices that offer good print quality, decent workmanship and a good price-performance ratio cost around 150 euros. In any case, pay attention to the cost of the cartridges, because this is an absolute purchase criterion and should be taken into account when buying, the more and more often you print, copy or receive faxes.
5 best printers (test) 2021
A good printer has become an indispensable part of the workplace at home. Black and white laser printers or color laser printers are enjoying increasing popularity, especially for professional purposes, while multifunction printers are the most popular devices for everyday use. In the test, the most popular devices were carefully examined and tested by testers for their suitability for everyday use. In connection with the price structure, the five best were combined to make the list of the best printers in 2021. All models are WLAN printers and, apart from one, each device was available for less than 100 euros in the test period.
1. Brother HL-L2340DW mono laser printer
The best printer in the test was Brother's HL-L2340DW monochrome laser printer. The model convinced with a very good print speed of 26 / pages per minute and a clean and good print image. For a small surcharge, Brother offers the identical model with a faster printing speed of 30 pages / minute. The additional price is usually not worthwhile in the private sector, but it is definitely interesting for professional use, especially due to the large paper cassette that holds 250 sheets.
The tester also liked the option of automatic duplex printing, which enables large quantities of documents to be processed on both sides and quickly, which saves paper and also significantly reduces the weight and volume of the final results of larger print documents with many pages.
Since the device can only print in black and white, it is particularly suitable for use as a document printer in the office or at home, as well as for schoolchildren and students.
With a resolution of 2,400 x 600 dpi, even prints with many shades of gray are clean and easily recognizable, and the conversion of color graphics also led to quite good black and white results.
The printer can be put into operation via USB or WLAN, which means that the tester could easily control it via various channels (iPrint, AirPrint, Cloud Print, etc.), even if the initial setup in the test via WLAN was much more laborious than with the competition .
The device was the second most expensive in the test, but overall it was able to convince the testers across the board. At least if you are looking for a fast printer and can be satisfied with a black and white print result, you should think about buying the test winner from Brother.
The test winner among the best printers in 2021 does a lot of things right, but also has one or the other weakness. How it behaves in terms of advantages and disadvantages can be seen in the following comparison.
The model works very quickly at 26 pages per minute. If you want it to be a little faster, the model is also available with 30 pages per minute.
Overall, the print image is clean and clear, thanks to the high resolution of 2,400 x 600 dpi.
Since the cassette has a capacity of 250 sheets, you rarely have to refill even with high print volumes.
The printer can be connected via USB or WLAN, so that it can also be used as a network printer.
As a good printer with good equipment and fast printing, it offers a very good price-performance ratio due to the low price.
With the printer, sheets can also be printed on both sides if desired.
Since it is a pure monochrome laser printer, no color printouts are possible.
The wireless setup was a bit more cumbersome in the test than with other models.
2. HP Envy 4520 All in One Photo Printer
The multifunction printer from HP was able to prevail as the best photo printer and thus the second best printer in the test. The model was tested with a 5.5 cm mono display. Overall, the testers liked the slim design very much, and the well-functioning borderless photo printing function up to A4 was also convincing. Compared to models in a similar price range, the ENVY 4520 inkjet printer printed up to 6 pages per minute in color (depending on the resolution) relatively quickly. It manages black-and-white printouts at 9.5 pages per minute, which is still quite decent for an inkjet printer.
The printer has a display and can therefore be easily operated without a PC for scans or copies. The ability to print razor-sharp photos with a resolution of up to 4,800 x 1,200 dpi convinced many testers.
Activation via WLAN works very reliably and quickly, so that photos taken can be sent to the printer while on the move.
The bottom line is that the inexpensive photo printer was able to assert itself as the test winner among the inkjet printers, because it offers a good price-performance ratio and delivers razor-sharp images thanks to the high print resolution, but is also absolutely suitable for home office needs, even if its strengths certainly lie in photo printing in particular. Nevertheless, you get great results for most areas of application at very low printing costs. If you are looking for an inkjet printer as a printer, you will be very satisfied with the model from HP.
Due to the high resolution of 4,800 x 1,200 pixels, it achieves a very good quality for both documents and photos.
The design is very compact, so that the printer can easily be placed on a desk.
If you want to print photos every now and then, the purchase of the model from HP is worthwhile.
The price-performance ratio is good overall, because both printing costs and acquisition costs are low overall.
The printer has a scanner unit and can therefore also be used as a copier and scanner.
What was not mentioned in the test report is that the device also supports automatic duplex printing.
Experience with the printer has shown that the printing costs for low to medium-sized volumes are very low, so that it can be profitable, especially in the private sector and even for small businesses.
With 9 pages per minute (b / w) and 6 pages in color, it is only suitable to a limited extent for high print volumes in the office.
Since there is no large cassette, printing large documents is a bit more cumbersome, as you have to reload more frequently.
3. HP Laser 135wg multifunction printer laser
The affordable printer from HP was able to convince across the board as the cheapest monochrome multifunction laser printer. It offers a very good price-performance ratio with a decent print quality in black and white, because the resolution is very decent with up to 1,200 x 1,200 dpi.
The laser printer has a paper cassette with 150 sheet capacity, so that it can also be used in the office area. Duplex printing is not on board, but in the test the printer was able to convince with its very good features thanks to its quick start-up and good equipment with flatbed scanner, display, smart app for your mobile phone and WiFi.
It has a compact design and therefore fits on any desk. Overall, the 3-in-1 printer from HP (printing, scanning, copying) is an inexpensive and compact black-and-white laser printer with a good print resolution and a printing speed of 20 pages per minute, which is very good in relation to the price. The printer is very suitable for home use if you are thinking of buying a cheap laser printer and can do without duplex printing.
The printer from HP offers a very good price-performance ratio. You can see whether the purchase is worthwhile for you by comparing the advantages and disadvantages below.
In terms of price, the printer is in the entry-level range, but with its flatbed scanner, WLAN, app compatibility and display it is convincing with good equipment, so that the price-performance ratio is very good.
The paper cassette holds 150 sheets, which is sufficient for most areas of use.
The printer has a scanner, can serve as a copier and is equipped with WiFi, a display and app compatibility.
It works at 20 pages per minute, which is sufficient for most areas of application.
It has a resolution of 1,200 x 1,200 dpi, so it delivers good print results.
Duplex printing is not supported.
The printer can only print in black and white.
4. Canon Pixma MX925 All-in-One color inkjet
The color inkjet multifunctional device from Canon was the most expensive device in the top 5, but it impressed across the board with a variety of functions, so that an overall good price-performance ratio is given. The printer actually has everything that can be expected from a multifunctional device and is therefore suitable for both private use and everyday business. The device scored particularly well with its duplex printing capability and the 250-sheet cassette.
The printer has a scanner, copier and fax function and convinced the testers with a very good print speed of 15 pages per minute in black and white or 10 pages in color. In particular, the model was able to score here with photo printouts or high-resolution graphics and images. Because with the resolution of 9,600 x 2,400 dpi, excellent and razor-sharp results were achieved in the test.
Unfortunately, it is much less suitable for everyday office use than, for example, a (significantly cheaper) laser model, due to the rather high ink consumption. As an all-round talent for the home desk, the model can absolutely score and delighted many testers, despite the rather large construction, the not fully developed scanner and approx. 11 kilograms in weight.
The multifunction printer from Canon is not cheap, but it is worthwhile for many users. You can weigh up whether the model is also of interest to you by comparing the strengths and weaknesses.
Overall, the printer is very well equipped because you can use it as a copier, scanner, printer and fax machine. It can also be connected via WLAN, LAN and USB.
The cassette holds 250 sheets, so you don't have to load new paper as often.
If desired, pages can be automatically printed on both sides.
With a resolution of an impressive 9,600 x 2,400 dpi, very good results can also be achieved for photo printing.
For an inkjet printer, the device works very quickly with 10 pages in color and 15 pages in black and white.
In terms of price, the device is not very cheap, so the purchase is only worthwhile if you use many of the functions.
For everyday office life or a high volume of printing, the model is only suitable to a limited extent due to the high ink requirement and the associated regular cartridge change.
5. Epson Expression Home XP-5100 3-in-1 inkjet
The affordable printer from Epson offers many functions for little money. The inkjet multifunction printer prints with a decent 4,800 x 1,200 dpi with a very decent 20 pages in color and 33 pages in black and white (ISO printing speed is significantly lower). The testers were impressed by the LC touch display, as it enables the print results of photos or similar to be adjusted and displayed in advance with the help of the SD memory card reader without having to connect a PC.
All common WiFi transmission options are supported and the moderate weight of around 5 kilograms also makes the printer, scanner and copier a real bargain among multifunctional devices. The device shows weaknesses in the representation of the colors in photos (sometimes better results could be achieved with cartridges from third-party suppliers) and in the noise development during the printing itself. As a multifunctional device for the home, the inexpensive printer can absolutely score with its price-performance ratio. For frequent use or everyday office life, however, a little more should be invested, especially since the paper feed in the test also tended to pull in an additional blank sheet.
It supports duplex printing, the cassette holds 150 sheets, it can be set up quickly, comes with decent software and the overall print quality is good. You are also flexible at all times thanks to the mobile printing function and USB connection.
Due to the low price in connection with good equipment, the result is a good price-performance ratio.
Operation via the touch display is intuitive and good.
For an inkjet, the device works very quickly. Up to 33 black and white and 20 color pages can be printed per minute.
Thanks to the resolution of 4,800 x 1,200 dpi, good results can also be achieved in the area of photo printing.
You can address the printer via WLAN or USB. It has a scanner, so it can also be used as a copier. It also has an SD card slot.
The printer is relatively noisy in operation for an ink jet printer.
Compared to photo printers, the color representation is not ideal.
The printer is not ideally suited for office use.
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Reviews from previous years
Samsung Xpress M2026w laser printer
The affordable printer from Samsung was able to place itself in the list of the best as the cheapest monochrome laser model. Above all, it impresses with its good price-performance ratio with good print quality and speed of 1,200 x 1,200 dpi at 20 pages per minute.
The laser printer also has a paper cassette with 150 sheet capacity, so that it can also be used in the office area.
Duplex printing is on board, but only manually, which means that each side has to be inserted twice. In the test, the printer could also be put into operation very quickly, the software is simple and clear and the mobile printing options were also convincing.
With a weight of only 4 kilograms, the device is also quite light and compact, which the testers also noticed positively.
Overall, the SL-M2026W from Samsung is an inexpensive, compact black-and-white laser printer with a good print resolution and a printing speed that is very good in relation to the price. The printer is very suitable for home use if you are thinking of buying a cheap laser printer and can do without automatic duplex printing.
The Samsung printer impressed with its good price-performance ratio. You can see whether the purchase is worthwhile for you by comparing the advantages and disadvantages below.
In terms of price, the printer is in the entry-level range, but offers a good price-performance ratio due to the good range of functions.
A clean and good result is achieved with a resolution of 1,200 x 1,200 pixels.
The paper cassette holds 150 sheets, which is sufficient for everyday office life.
Initial installation is easy, so you can get started printing quickly. Thanks to the variant with WLAN and NFC, you also have extensive connection options with your smartphone and your network.
At 20 pages per minute, the model works quite quickly in relation to the price, which is particularly important for everyday office life.
If you want to print sheets on both sides, you have to manually insert the sheet a second time.
If you have a very high volume of corporate printing, the 20ppm, 150-sheet cassette model may be a little undersized.
Epson Expression Home XP-332 inkjet
The affordable printer from Epson offers many functions for little money. The inkjet multifunction printer prints with a decent 5,760 x 1,440 dpi with very fast 15 pages in color and 33 pages in black and white. The testers were also impressed by the LC touch display, as it enables the print results of photos or similar to be adjusted and displayed in advance with the aid of the SD memory card reader without having to connect a PC.
All common WiFi transmission options are supported and the low weight of only 4.2 kilograms make the printer / scanner and copier a real bargain among multifunctional devices. The device shows weaknesses in the representation of the colors in photos (sometimes better results could be achieved with cartridges from third-party suppliers) and in the noise development during printing itself. As a multifunctional device for the home, the inexpensive printer can absolutely score with its price-performance ratio. For frequent use or everyday office life, however, a little more should be invested, especially since the cassette-free paper feed in the test also tended to draw in an additional blank sheet of paper.
If you are looking for a cheap multifunctional model, the Epson XP-332 is definitely interesting. However, you have to accept one or the other disadvantage. You can weigh up whether the purchase is worthwhile for you by comparing the advantages and disadvantages.
Due to the low price in connection with good equipment, the result is a good price-performance ratio.
Operation via the touch display is very intuitive and good.
For an inkjet, the device works very quickly. Up to 33 black and white pages and 15 color pages can be printed per minute.
Thanks to the resolution of 5,760 x 1,440 dpi, good results can also be achieved in the area of photo printing.
You can connect the printer via WiFi or USB and use it as a printer, copier and scanner.
Compared to other inkjet devices, the Epson model is relatively loud, which can be perceived as annoying in the office.
In direct comparison with photo printers, the colors in photos do not come across as rich and brilliant.
Due to the paper supply of only 100 sheets and the rather high ink consumption, the model is only partially suitable for everyday office use.
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