What’s the best printer in 2021?
Looking for a printer for your home or small office? Then we’ve got you covered, as we’ve reviewed some of the best printer options currently available and ranked them in order of recommendation.
We’ve included picks from HP, Epson and Canon, and will be updating this list frequently as we continue our search for the very best printer, whether you need something to print out documents on a daily basis, spit out the occasional parcel label or you fancy a machine that can bring your social media snaps to life.
So without further ado, here are our top recommended printers of 2021.
1. Canon PIXMA TS7450
Best value all-in-one printer
- Excellent print quality
- Prints quickly
- Reasonably cheap to run
- It’s a heavy beast
- Mobile apps are not super-intuitive
The Canon PIXMA TS7450 is a very versatile printer, capable of copying, scanning and printing both documents/photos. And with a relatively affordable £78.99 RRP, the Canon is a very useful printer for home office workers, teachers and busy households.
We were impressed with the print quality for both documents and photos, with printing speeds remaining consistently high – it took just 1min 41secs to print out a 20-page document. Running costs aren’t quite as cheap as printers using ink bottles such as the Epson EcoTank ET-2720, but the Canon is still reasonably cheap to run with cartridges.
Our biggest issue with the PIXMA TS7450 printer is its size, with dimensions of 206 x 403 x 364mm making it larger than your average home printer. But if you can find space for it in your home, this is the best printer we’ve reviewed at balancing performance and price.
2. Epson XP-7100
One of the fastest printers we’ve tested
- Prints very quickly
- Text and photo quality is high
- Easy to set up and use
- Heavy and awkward to shift around
- Not expensive, but also not cheap
The Epson XP-7100 prides itself on speed, spitting out 20 pages in just 1 minute and 21 seconds which is one of the quickest times we’ve ever recorded for a printer. If you print a lot of documents frequently for your job, then a speedy printer could be a game-changer for your productivity.
This printer is also capable of scanning and copying, making it a versatile machine that’s very capable of being the focal point of your home office. That said, it’s quite a hefty beast, so make sure you have the room space before investing.
It’s not the cheapest printer on this list either, so you’ll really want to make sure its extra speed and additional features will be beneficial to your workflow before committing to a purchase.
3. Epson EcoTank ET-2720
The best quality printer
- Low running costs
- Affordable price
- Great print quality
- Low paper capacity
- No WPS
- No auto duplexing
The Epson EcoTank ET-2720 is the best quality printer we’ve reviewed in recent months, featuring a multitude of talents including scanning and copying. Print quality is excellent too, ensuring this printer aces all the office basics.
This printer plays well with the entire family, offering comparability for a range of devices including Windows and Mac computers via USB, as well as iOS and Android devices through their respective apps. But the biggest draw here is the long-term value thanks to the affordable ink bottles. And unlike HP, Epson isn’t pushing you into a subscription service.
The EcoTank ET-2720 isn’t perfect, with a low paper capacity and lack of automatic duplexing. It’s also the most expensive printer on this list by a large margin, but if you want to save as much money as possible in the long term, this is our top recommendation.
4. Canon PIXMA TS305
The best budget printer for documents
- Very cheap to buy
- Very cheap to run
- Flimsy build quality
- Middling print quality
The Canon PIXMA TS305 is available for just £35, which is significantly cheaper than any other printer on this list. This makes it ideal for anyone on a strict budget who will only print off the odd document such as shipping labels and tickets.
The TS305 is a speedy printer, is cheap to run and offers decent print quality for text. Heavier fonts can admittedly see a little bleed, but sticking to the likes of Times New Roman should avoid that issue.
Our biggest complaint about the TS305 is its picture quality. It’s absolutely reasonable at this price point, but colours can appear oversaturated and grainy. If you’re not bothered about printing out images or fancy looking documents, this Canon should still prove to be a worthwhile printing companion.
5. HP Tango X
Best student printer
- Compact, wireless design
- Low upfront price
- Instant Ink plans offer value for money
- No built-in scanner or copier
- Scan and copy function of HP Smart app is variable
The HP Tango X is clearly attempting to appeal to students. Printing photos directly from social media allows you to decorate your walls with nightlife shenanigans, while the ultra-portable design makes it easy to stuff into your cramped flat. Alexa integration also makes it a cinch to control.
But while HP claims this printer is capable of scanning, it actually has no built-in scanner. Instead, it requires you to use your smartphone, which results in barely passable documents. This is a printer that’s only really good at printing, although it’s capable of spitting out both documents and photos.
It’s also worth pointing out that the HP cartridges aren’t very cheap unless you sign up to an an Instant Ink subscription. The good news is that you can cancel the subscription at any point, making it convenient for students who will only need it during university terms.
6. Epson ET-M1120
Best for churning out black-and-white documents
- Super-low cost per page
- Easy to set up and use
- Cheap and easy EcoTank refills
- Hard to line up paper in the tray
- No scanner
- No colour ink
The Epson ET-M1120 is very much a one-trick pony. There’s no scanner and it doesn’t support coloured ink, but it excels at printing black-and-white documents by the truckload.
By using affordable ink bottles it offers fantastic long-term value, while print quality is consistently excellent. It’s a fast printer too, spitting out a five-page document in just 30 seconds. It supports Wi-Fi printing and can even print directly from cloud services such as Google Drive and OneDrive. There’s even a Epson iPrint app, although we’re not sure how useful that is given the printer’s limitations with colour.
The Epson ET-M1120 is a very simple printer, lacking big features such as scanning and coloured ink. But if you’re confident you only need a printer for churning out monochrome documents, then this printer offers superb value.
Check out our other home office Best lists
If you’re buying a new printer for your home, there’s a good chance you’ll want to add a few extra items to make your home office as efficient as possible. We’ve added our most useful Best Lists for home offices below: