The best printer for home use

Helping you with your life admin, coursework assignments and working from home needs.

The best printer for home use: HP, Epson and Canon

by William Austin-Lobley |
Updated on

The printer is often the most overlooked peripheral in a home computer setup. Once upon a time, this was reasonably acceptable; we still lived in a largely paper-driven world, with bills, statements, tickets, and other such important information reaching us in hard copy.

Now, things are different. The world is paperless, everything that can be digitised has been, and we very rarely receive hard, paper copies of important documents anymore. Largely, this progress is a good thing, with the world becoming less reliant on postal services, and therefore reducing carbon output and delivery times. However, there are times when paperless will simply not do.

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If you're working from home, the ability to have multiple copies of important documents such as contracts, invoices, delivery notes, financial statements, and even important emails, is key. Students, too, require the ability to print assignments, revision guides, and lesson presentations.

It's not all about work and school though. A good home printer is going to assist you in general day-to-day life admin too. From car insurance documents to event e-tickets, and return shipping labels to hotel confirmations, a reliable home printer will streamline your life and help you get organised.

Home office printer - Canon next to Apple iMac
©Unsplash/Evelyn Geissler

The capabilities of home-use printers are really impressive. At the baseline level, we've seen the quality of print produced by home printers hit a truly high standard. Scanners and copying functions have increased in speed, and though the best colour prints are still the preserve of professional and photographic printers, standard home printers deliver a consistent a reliable performance here, too.

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Connectivity, too, is a big thing now. While the traditional cable connection is still here, WiFi, Bluetooth, tablet, smartphone, and cloud-based printing is near-ubiquitous across the home printer marketplace. Not only does this streamline the operation around the house, but it also means that you can print from afar, and the document will be ready waiting for your return.

To help you find the printer that's going to fit your need, we've taken to the marketplace and selected the best printers for home use.

Best home printer shortlist:

Inkjet Vs Laser: Method, cost and requirement

Inkjet Printing

An inkjet printer uses liquid ink to transfer information onto paper. They are very good at printing images in vivid colour. The printers themselves tend to be cheaper than laser printers, but are more expensive to run, as inkjet cartridges are more expensive and less efficient than laser cartridges.

If you print infrequently, inkjet may be the best choice for you.

Laser Printing

Laser printers use toner powder to transfer information onto paper. The process involves creating an electrostatic charge to stick the powder to the paper, which is then sealed in place using heat. Despite this seemingly more complex printing method, laser printers are very quick and produce dry, smudge-free copies. They are ideal for printing documents, but their image quality is lower than inkjet.

Initially, the cost of setting up a laser printer will be higher, however, when it comes to cost-per-page, they are considerably cheaper. Often, laser printers are larger than inkjet printers.

If you regularly print documents, consider a laser printer.

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The best printers of home use

Right at the top of the rankings is the OfficeJet Pro 8012 from HP. It's a solution best suited to homes that regularly print and small home offices. In addition to mono and colour printing, it offers premium touches like a scanner, Wifi and Bluetooth connectivity, plus a handy smartphone app. It's also compatible with Amazon Alexa and Google Assistant. HP's Smart Tasks function also allows you to scan to the cloud, create searchable documents and email directly from the printer.

Pros

  • Includes a scanner
  • Great print quality
  • Free trial on HP Instant Ink

Cons

  • Too many features for light-use households
  • Slow print speeds

For light use in a busy household, the Envy Pro 6420 is a great printer. It hits all the bases - print, scan, copy and fax - at a price point that's more than affordable. It can link up to home WiFi and can connect with a smartphone for easy document printing. One thing worth considering, however, is the print cartridges are tri-colour, so colour prints can get a little uneven as the ink level drops.

Pros

  • Affordable
  • Covers all the basics
  • Wireless

Cons

  • Outdated form of colour ink cartridge
  • Slow print speeds

Brother HL-1110 Mono Laser Printer
Price: $316.00

Many design philosophies float around, and the one that Brother has caught with the HL-1110 is: keep it simple. This single-function, low-fuss printer connects to a device via USB 2.0 and prints monochrome A4 pages. That's all. As a laser printer, it's ideal for printing admin, essays and emails, and takes a mono ink cartridge with a 700+ print page volume.

Pros

  • Super simple
  • Low-fuss laser printing
  • Long-lasting ink

Cons

  • Basic
  • Limited home-life applications

Laser printers usually come with a pretty significant price premium over inkjet options, but this entry-level printer from HP is great. While it won't print colour, you'll save money on cartridges throughout its life. The combination of USB and WiFi printing is a welcome addition for those who like to be a little more mobile.

Pros

  • Cheap to run
  • Low-fuss laser printing
  • Wireless

Cons

  • Basic
  • No colour printing

The Canon Pixma range includes some impressive home printers, and even this budget-friendly model will be a great addition to your home office. Offering high-quality wireless printing and automatic double-sided printing, this inkjet will also print onto photo paper. The printer includes a small LED display and function keys so you can easily control it. Most conveniently, you can print directly from a smartphone or tablet with the Canon app.

Pros

  • Double-sided printing
  • Built-in scanner
  • Smartphone printing

Cons

  • Not ideal for big print jobs
  • Small ink cartridges

Considering its price, the Epson WorkForce WF-2835 is something of an overachiever. It'll print, scan, copy and fax, handle double-sided prints, connect to a smartphone or tablet and nip through around 30 black ink pages per minute. The final print result is crisp and clear, and the use of four ink cartridges means that replacing inks is less wasteful than tri-colour cartridges.

Pros

  • Four-in-one
  • Quality fast prints
  • Individual colour cartridges

Cons

  • Expensive ink

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William Lobley is a Senior Content Writer and reviewer for WhatsTheBest, specialising in technology, gaming, and outdoors. He also writes for Empire Online.

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