Best printer 2015 - Our inkjet, laser and MFP top picks
If you're after the best printer for your cash this year, be sure to check out our in-depth expert reviews
Confused by the vast amount of printers, scanners and MFPs available, and can't work out which one to buy? We're here to help. After testing hundreds of printers from all the big-name brands, including Brother, Canon, HP, Lomond, Konica and Xerox, using some of the most stringent testing around, we've created our definitive list of the best products currently available. Whatever you're after, you can be sure we've looked at something that will suit your needs and budget.
If you're not quite sure about which printer is right for you, be sure to check out our handy buying guide on page two. We explain everything from what's the difference between laser and inkjet technology, what features and functions to look out for, whether a dedicated printer or MFP would be the right choice, and how not to get caught out by consumables.
1. Canon Pixma MG5650
With stylish looks and plenty of features, Canon's latest MFP is designed with home users in mind. That means you get Wi-Fi for compatibility with mobile devices and cloud storage services, automatic double-sided printing to save on paper costs, and an LCD display for quickly picking between images when printing from an album full of photos.
Print costs are impressively low for a home inkjet if you stick to Canon's XL print supplies, and with five separate ink tanks you won't be replacing colour cartridges unnecessarily if you print a lot of black and white pages. It's surprisingly fast, no matter what you're printing, and the low price makes it excellent value overall.
Price when reviewed: £74. For the latest prices, see our full Canon Pixma MG5650 review
2. HP Officejet Pro 6230
It's hardly the most exciting printer we've ever used, but beyond looks there's really very little to criticise about the Officejet Pro 6230. It's Cheap to buy and inexpensive to run, making it a great choice if you need to print reasonable volumes of office documents or letters on a low budget. With wired and wireless networking, smartphone printing apps and automatic duplex printing, it's easy to share with other users and cut down on paper useage too.
You don't get a screen, and the lack of a USB port on the printer for direct printing is a bit of a shame, but otherwise the Officejet Pro 6230 does everything you could want from a sub-£100 office printer.
Technology: Thermal inkjet Maximum print resolution: 600x1,200dpi Dimensions (HxWxD): 146x464x385mm Weight: 5.1kg Maximum paper size: A4/legal
3. Epson Expression Photo XP-760
Let's get this out of the way first; Epson's Expression Photo XP-760 isn't the printer for you if you're looking to do a lot of office jobs and document printing, as print quality on basic paper is only average. For anyone with a creative streak, however, it's superb. On glossy paper, our prints looked better than ones we'd received from some professional developing labs, and it's rather nippy when it comes to scanning too.
It might not be able to hold its own against other general-purpose wireless inkjet MFPs if you just feed it page upon page of plain text, but the Expression Photo XP-760 produces fantastic results as soon as you start adding colour to a page or print on high quality paper.
Price when reviewed: £150. For the latest prices, see our full Epson Expression Photo XP-760 review
Technology: Piezo inkjet Maximum print resolution: 5,760x1,440dpi Maximum optical scan resolution (output bit depth): 2,400x4,800dpi (48-bit) Dimensions (HxWxD): 141x390x341mm Weight: 6.9kg Maximum paper size: A4/legal
Best of the rest...
4. Ricoh SP C252SF
There's plenty to like about this distinctive MFP, most notably its compact size and low running costs. The Ricoh SP C252SF looks surprisingly good for a laser printer too, with sculpted curves and high quality materials. Much more suited to a small office than the home, it's fast when printing black and white images andf the scanner produces excellent results too.
Colour prints and copies could be better, but it excelled in almost all other areas during our testing.
Price when reviewed: £373. For the latest prices, see our full Ricoh SP C252SF review
Technology: Single-pass colour laser Maximum print resolution: 600x600dpi Maximum optical scan resolution (output bit depth): 1,200x1,200dpi (24 bit) Dimensions (HxWxD): 460x420x493mm Weight: 29kg Maximum paper size: A4/legal
5. Epson Workforce WF-100W
This tiny portable printer is superbly flexible; it's only slightly larger than a box of tissues, yet the Epson Workforce WF-100W is able to cope with any job you throw at it. Better yet, for life on the road, its Wi-Fi interface can be put into host mode, letting you print wirelessly from a laptop or mobile device, and there's a built in battery for truly mobile use.
Like most portable printers speeds aren't anything to write home about, and print costs are comparatively high too, meaning it won't replace a home or office printer for big jobs when you have access to one, but if you spend a lot of time out of the office and still need to print pages this is the best way to do it.
Price when reviewed: £188. For the latest prices, see our full Epson Workforce WF-100W review
Technology: Piezo inkjet Maximum print resolution: 5,760x1,440dpi Dimensions (HxWxD): 61x309x154mm Weight: 1.6kg Maximum paper size: A4/legal
6. Samsung Xpress SL-C1810W
It might look a little business-like, but Samsung's Xpress SL-C1810W has plenty of home-friendly features hidden beneath the drab exterior including support for Google Cloud Print and mobile printing through AirPrint or the company's own MobilePrint app. It's easy to pair a smart device as it has NFC support built in, and Samsung's own print service plugin for Android lets you print directly from within apps that support it.
Otherwise this is a reasonably quick printer whether you're printing in black and white or colour, and running costs are lower than a lot of other colour lasers. Colour photographs tend to have a slight blue tint, but the glossy sheen slightly makes up for it. The only real ommision is automatic double-sided printing, but we wouldn't really expect it at this price anyway. If you're set on a colour laser, the Xpress SL-C1810W is fairly fast, produces great results and has comparatively low running costs too.
Price when reviewed: £176. For the latest prices, see our full Samsung Xpress SL-C1810W review
Technology: single-pass colour laser Maximum print resolution: 9,600x600dpi Dimensions (HxWxD): 264x417x423mm Weight: 16.6kg Maximum paper size: A4/legal
7. Epson WorkForce Pro WF-5110DW
The WorkForce Pro WF-5110DW is a single-function inkjet printer in a colour laser's clothing. It might lack memory card slots and borderless printing, but supports wired and wireless networks, duplex printing and both mobile and cloud printing for instant connectivity from all your devices.
In addition to three, rather than five ink cartridges, a maintenance box essentially acts as a drip tray to catch any waste ink; costing less than £20 and rated for 50,000 pages, it adds less than a tenth of a penny to print costs, which are already quite reasonable to begin with. This, combined with rapid print speeds, fantastic quality and a three year warranty, the only reason not to choose this would be if you need a USB host port, or plan on printing a lot of photos. Otherwise it's a clear Best Buy.
Price when reviewed: £135. For the latest prices, see our full Epson WorkForce Pro WF-5110DW review
8. Epson WorkForce Pro WF-5620DWF
A serious alternative to a laser multifunction printer (MFP), Epson's WorkForce Pro WF-5620DWF only costs as much as an entry-level colour laser MFP but has many more advanced features including wired and wireless networking, double-sided prints, scans, copies and faxes. The colour touchscreen tops it off, making it easy to navigate the menus quickly and adjust print settings on the fly.
It's a seriously fast inkjet, reaching 19.2 pages per minute (ppm) over our 25-page text test and 13.1ppm when printing colour graphics, and while the results aren't laser-sharp, they are dark and crisp. Running costs are far ahead of an equivalent laser MFP too, roughly 2-3 times cheaper if you opt for the XL-sized consumables. If you've got the room for it, and need extra features like scanning and copying, the WF-5620DWF is an excellent choice.
Price when reviewed: £230. For the latest prices, see our full Epson WorkForce Pro WF-5620DWF review
Technology: Piezoelectric Maximum print resolution: 4,800x1,200dpi Maximum scan resolution: 1,200x2,400dpi Dimensions (HxWxD): 342x461x442mm Weight: 14.2kg Maximum paper size: A4/Legal
9. Dell B2360dn
Mono laser printers belong in an office environment and Dell's B2360dn is no exception. It has an excellent 38 pages-per-minutes (ppm) maximum speed and includes automatic duplex printing and a gigabit wired Ethernet port. Dell expects it to manage 80,000 pages per month and the imaging drum is rated for 60,000 pages, so maintenance costs should be comparatively low.
Print quality was fantastic, with crisp black text that we would expect from a laser printer and excellent photo prints. The 8,500-page high capacity toner works out print costs at around 1.6p per page, which is slightly higher than other mono lasers we'e seen, and there's no USB port for direct printing, but given the B2360dn's target market we're prepared to let it slide. Overall, however, the speed and quality are enough to make it a Best Buy.
Price when reviewed: £136. For the latest prices, see our full Dell B2360dn review
Technology: Mono laser Maximum print resolution: 1,200x1,200dpi Dimensions (HxWxD): 263x399x382mm Weight: 14.1kg Maximum paper size: A4/legal
10. Canon I-SENSYS LBP7780Cx
Canon's mammoth colour laser won't be for everyone, particularly as the price is so high, but if you have the room and the budget for it you'll be impressed by its speed and print quality. Rated for 32 pages per minute in black and colour, it includes duplex printing as standard and can be upgraded with an optional second 500-sheet paper tray - upping the total capacity to 1,100 sheets for less refilling.
Connecting over USB or Gigabit Ethernet, with a USB port for direct printing and support for mobile devices using Canon's iOS and Android apps, the LBP7780Cx is a multi-function, multi-purpose printer that produces brilliantly sharp black text along with accurate colours, sharp details and no visible artefacts when printing in colour. If you're after the ultimate MFP, this could very well be it.
Price when reviewed: £444. For the latest prices, see our full Canon I-SENSYS LBP7780Cx review
Technology: Single-pass colour laser Maximum print resolution: 600x600dpi Dimensions (HxWxD): 401x517x530mm Weight: 31kg Maximum paper size: A4/legal