When you’re looking for a laser color printer to use at home, things can be a little overwhelming. It can be really difficult to even know where to start regarding getting printer because there’s a variety of different options and choices other there that you may want to consider.
Of course, one of the main things that you’ll want to ensure is that you’re getting a printer that’s compatible with whatever method of printing you’re using. Want to be able to print with your iPhone? Get an Airprint printer. Most retail laser color printers now have airprint, which make them ideal for home use.
When deciding on the best printer to get for you, it’s worth doing your research and looking at the various options available. Here are some of the best options on the market right now.
Best Laser Color Printer for Home Use
HP Laserjet Pro M281fdw
- BIG PERFORMANCE IN A SMALL PACKAGE - This compact color laser printer features fastest in-class first page out and two-sided printing, plus scan, copy, fax and wireless, as well as an auto document feeder, USB port and 2.7-inch color touchscreen
- FAST PRINT SPEEDS - Prints up to 22 pages per minute black/color, first page out as fast as 10.3 sec black and 11.7 sec color, input tray paper capacity up to 250 sheets
- EASILY PRINT FROM YOUR MOBILE DEVICE - Simply connect your iOS or Android device to the same network as your printer to print, or print without a network using Wi-Fi Direct
The Hp Laserjet Pro series is one of the best color printer series to opt for. One of the best examples of this is the M281fdw, though there’s a ton of other options available too.
There are some good things about this printer that you’ll undoubtedly want to be aware of. Want something to integrate in with your Smart home? Well, this one is easily integrated with your Amazon Alexa (Echo and Dot). So, you can easily tell it to print on demand with just your voice. It prints about 22 ppm (pages per minute), which is fast if you compare it to other printers within it’s price range.
The HP Smart App also makes things a little easier if you’re looking to use this printer with your phone, and not necessarily just Airprint. If you use things like Google Drive and Dropbox, then you can easily set this up within the app, which makes for a convenient printing process.
From a negative perspective, as with all HP printers, it can take a little while to get used to the printer itself. The instructions are pretty substandard, and they can be really difficult to understand.
As well as this, HP are stating vehemently that you can only use HP toner with it. Expensive HP toner. This means that if you use a different type of toner with this printer and you have issues with it, you should remove this before taking it to be fixed. HP are generally really good with their warranties in general, but make sure you’re using their products for the warranty to be honoured.
Traditional Laser Color Printer Alternatives
Epson XP-7100 Expression – Best Inkjet Printer
- Superior photo quality - print stunning photos plus sharp text for eye-catching documents
- Designed for productivity at home - 30-page Auto Document Feeder; auto 2-sided print/copy/scan; multiple media feeds
- Creativity made easy - print on specialty paper (1) and DVDs; plus, borderless photos up to 8" x 10". Compatible Operating Systems- Mac OS X 10.6.8 or later, Windows 10, Windows 7, Windows 8, Windows 8.1, Windows Vista, Windows XP SP3, Windows XP Professional x64 Edition SP2
Epson are one of the oldest brands when talking about printers, and the Xp-1700 is a great example of their flagship cheap color printers.
One of the most attractive things about this particular printer is the extremely cheap price. Whilst most other color printers are generally a few hundred dollars, if you shop around online enough you can find this one at less than $150 and sometimes as low as $100. This is a decent price for a color printer, and puts it into it’s own category of cheap printers.
For a cheap printer, it has all that you could really expect of it. It works well wireless, so you can easily use it with any kind of smartphone, tablet or laptop. It has a low ink alert, so when you’re close to running low on ink then it’ll inform you and advise you to get yourself some more. It has 2 sided printing, copying and scanning. So, it’s definitely has pretty much everything that you could really want from a printer – at a low cost.
One thing that you might not like about this printer is that it feels particularly cheap and flimsy. For most people, this won’t really matter for a printer. But, if this is something that might concern you, then you might want to increase your printer budget a little bit.
Canon Imageclass LBP612CDW – Upgraded Inkjet Printer
- Print at speeds of up to 19 pages per minute, with your first Print in your hands in 12 seconds or less
- V2 (vivid and vibrant) color technology produces high-quality prints by increasing image sharpness and color vibrancy
- Easily Connect your mobile devices without a router using Wi-Fi Direct connection
If you’re looking for something a little better than the Epson Impression, then this version of the ImageClass is definitely worth looking at. It’s a bigger and bulkier printer, but it’s definitely powerful enough to do a good job of printing. It prints at around 19 PPM, which is pretty decent as you’ll get a page printed every few seconds.
It works easily with all the different types of Wifi Printing (Airprint, Cloud Print, Mopria) and it’s really easy to connect to it directly without issue. Gone are the days where an ethernet cable is a necessity – now, all you need to do is connect wirelessly and you’re good to go.
One of the reasons why I’d consider this to be a good color printer is because the color feature of the printer itself is pretty awesome. It features crisp colors due to it’s V2 color technology, which make it a really good option for anyone looking for something that prints a good quality color. It’s also a good choice for those that want something eco friendly, as it’s a 2 sided printer – this can save a lot of paper in the long run.
This is another good option for a laser printer. It’s more expensive and it’s more suitable for those looking for a professional printer, but it’s a good choice for those looking for something a little better.
Canon SELPHY CP1300 – Best for iPhone Photographs
- Not only will your photos be instantly dry, but they will also look great for up to 100 years4 and are even water resistant
- Enjoy the simplicity of connecting your smartphone and tablet with ease, through the Canon PRINT app3. You can even print directly from USB, or your camera's memory card2
- The sleek, portable design lets you bring the SELPHY CP1300 with you - and with the optional battery back you can print and share your memories wherever you are
As a budget option, the Selphy is hard to beat. Not everyone needs a printer that prints 50 pages a minute, and if you’re looking for something that you can send stuff from your phone to easily, this is your best bet.
The Selphy really provides a cheap alternative to those that don’t need an expensive printer. If you only want something to print color photos out using your iPhone or a tablet, then this makes for a pretty decent choice. It doesn’t have all the functionality that you’ll get with all in one printers, but they’re much more expensive. So, it makes sense to buy something specifically for your needs.
If you’re just after an easy to use printer for a few basic photos, then this might prove to be a good alternative.
Canon Office and Business Pixma MX922 – Best Budget Choice
- Features: Wireless LAN,AirPrint, Google Cloud Print, Wireless Printing, Mobile Device Printing,USB 2.0 Hi-Speed: Plug the cable into your PC for a super-fast connection for your data transfers
- Fully-Integrated, 35-sheet Duplex Auto Document Feeder: Easily copy, scan and fax multiple documents without having to load them one page at a time
- Built-In Auto Duplex Printing: Automatically print on both sides of the page without the hassle of turning it over manually
The Canon MX922 is a good quality All-in-One printer that provides an additional option for those looking for something that has pretty much everything. With all the expect Wifi options of a printer and high speed printing, this model leaves little to be desired. It’s an upgrade on the MX522 and the MX452, which were it’s predecessors. It has an increase print resolution, a bigger improved LCD display and it works well.
The main selling point of this printer is the price. If you compare it to the cost of other printers, and you take into account the difference in ink costs that are going to undoubtedly build up, then it’s easy to see why you might want to opt for a budget printer. If you aren’t going to be using it extensively and really only need it for occasional printing, then it can make sense to get something cheap.
One thing about this printer is that it does have a relatively low print speed of 15PPM, which isn’t great. But for it’s price, it’s a whole lot of printer for the money.
BEpson Expression ET-3700 – A good All-in-One
- Cartridge-free printing - comes with up to 2 years of ink in the box (1)
- Includes enough ink to print up to 14,000 pages black/11,200 color (2) - equivalent to about 30 ink cartridge sets (3)
- Save up to 80 percent on ink with low-cost replacement bottles (4) - plus easy-to-fill, supersized ink tanks
The Epson Expression Series are another series worth considering if you’re looking for a decent all in one printer. ET-3700 is one of Epsons better options for those looking for a decent value printer. If you find the right option, then you can actually find it at a decent price. It’s relatively good when considering the ink costs, so if you’re looking for something that’s relatively good with ink, then this is a great choice.
One of the best things about this machine is the large LCD screen. It makes navigation and using the printer itself a lot simpler, and it’s really easy to use even if you’re a technophobe. It’s very easy to use it with the App too if you want to use it with Apple products.
With Epson printers in general, they’re really cheap to refill. So for those trying to keep the printing costs down (printing can cost a lot if you’re printing often), then the Expression is relatively cheap per page. It’s a relatively slow printer, but this probably won’t matter for most people printing from home. The scanner and copier work well, making it another decent option for a mac printer.
Brother MFCL2700DW – Best Black and White Inkjet Printer
- B/W & Color Scanning
- Optical Scan Resolution (dpi): 600 x 2400 dpi
- Standard Input Paper Capacity: 250-Sheet Input Capacity
For those on a budget, the MFCL2700DW is going to be an okay choice. It isn’t a color printer, but I thought I’d mention it because It’s half the price of other printers with similar capabilities, making it ideal for those on a tight budget. It does still scan in color, but if you need a color printer then this isn’t going to be a good choice for you.
Thought this is a relatively good option, it’s a prime example of something that you should look for whenever buying a printer. Some printers, particularly Brother printers, have a toner chip insert. This means that then you run low on toner (you can only use Brother ton, which isn’t cheap), then you’re going to be asked to replace the cartridge. Sounds reasonable, right?
Well, it is, but sometimes it will do this when there’s a ton of toner left. You literally can’t use the rest of the toner, which is frustrating. If you’re the sort of person that gets annoyed at getting a bag of crisps with 1/3 crisp and 2/3 air, then this is definitely going to frustrate you equally, if not more! So, just something to be aware of.
HP Laserjet Pro M402nw – Black and White Printer Alternative
- Fast printing. Strong protection. Grab pages and go-without waiting around. This printer wakes up and prints faster than the competition.
- Breeze through multipage documents with two-sided printing that's faster than the competition.
- Help save energy with HP Auto-On/Auto-Off Technology. Processor speed - 1200 MHz
Another option for a decent monochrome printer is the M402nw. It’s a basic printer, but it gets the job done.
If you want the one that works wirelessly, then you’ll undoubtedly need to opt for the M402NW option and not the M402n. If you didn’t know, the M402n is only usable with an ethernet cable, whilst the NW has the capability to be used wirelessly.
Like other HP printers, I like this one because of the ease of use. It’s really easy and simple to use with the HP application, which makes it very simple to print from your smartphone or a tablet. Of course, this one prints easily with all Apple products too, Mac’s included.
HP printers are likely to be the best option for anyone looking to get their first printer. Their usability and easy of use is really second to none, so it’s worth looking at a HP printer if you aren’t entirely sure what you should opt for.
Printing photos is easy. But, making sure those printed photos look professionally or even good isn’t. Depending on the printer you have and the paper you use, this can vary in terms of the quality of photo you’re going to get at the end of it.
Generally, laser printers aren’t the best for photo printing and inkjets are considered better for this purpose. But, that doesn’t mean that a laser printer will be bad at printing photos, and you definitely shouldn’t disregard them completely. As long as you use the correct paper with your laser printer, then you’re still going to get a good quality photo.
So, let’s take a look at what photo paper you should be looking for if you’ve got a laser printer.
What’s the Best Photo Paper for Laser Printers?
Generally nowadays, each brand actually produces their own photo paper, which they’ll sometimes call glossy paper. Glossy paper is best because it’s the perfect weight for photo paper. But, if you’re using a laser printer then you’ll need to check that the printer is actually compatible with the paper. This is because the majority of photo paper is made for inkjet printers, as this is where photographs are normally best printed. But, if you do some research, you can find some photo paper for laser printers.
Buying decent brochure Paper
- Each sheet is US letter size 8.5" x 11" and adhesive.
- Easy to Use - Each sheet is easy to peel and stick on most surfaces. Compatible with Inkjet/Laser printers.
- Waterproof - Made with our advanced MILCOAT formula to repel water and prevent smearing.
Generally, you want to find something like this Glossy Brochure paper to use with your laser printer. It can be difficult to find photo paper that’s compatible with a laser printer, but generally you can find it as brochure paper. You do need to check all the details however, as paper is particularly expensive and it’s not really something you can return.
Personally, I prefer to try and use cheap brands when I’m looking for glossy paper for my laser printer. This is particularly because bigger brands like HP have undoubtedly declined in terms of their quality in recent years. All you need to do is check out most of the reviews online and you’ll see that the majority of people can attest that their quality has decreased significantly.
This kind of glossy paper is ideal for printing – it’s a good thickness, which makes it ideal for laser printers. One of the problems with photo printing on laser printers is that they’re not the right width, so try to look for paper that’s a decent width.
Overall, these are just a few of the better options that you’ll want to look at if you’re considering getting yourself a color printer. Printers can be an expensive purchase, so it’s worth having a good look around before making a purchase. Whilst with some products I usually advise to go for cheaper makes, with printers it tends to be a good idea to stick with more well known brands. This is mainly because of the good warranty you’ll get with their products, as well as a generally higher quality product.
A color printer is a long term investment, and not something that you’re really going to want to skimp on. Though it can be tempting to opt for lower priced printers, in the long run, it’s usually worth your investment.
Last update on 2019-03-15 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API