What is the best small printer for home use: HP OfficeJet 250 Review – RTINGS.com

The best printer of 2023, tested by editors

We spent months with a bevy of printers from leading brands like Brother, Canon, Epson and HP. If you’re paying more than $100, your printer should be able to do a little more than just print out a single sheet, especially if you been doing more work from home. A single family printer will need to tackle essays and emails, but also extend to visually heavy documents and photos of family memories.

Our testing pool included several units at the top of the budget scale ($300-plus) and bottom (less than $100), but we found that units at either end failed to deliver an incredible experience across the board. Lower-cost units often had more clunky builds and didn’t deliver satisfactory performance with printing. Meanwhile, the higher-priced units offered more capacity and faster prints, but nothing that was extraordinary enough to justify their price for the average user.

After countless hours of print, scan and copy testing we wound up with a modest-sized, sub-$200 printer that delivered a formidable experience.

HP Envy Pro 6455

Best printer overall

HP Envy Pro 6455 Wireless Printer


The HP Envy Pro 6455 is a feature-filled and reliable unit that proves you don’t need to spend a ton for great performance. As an all-in-one unit it offers quality prints across text and visually heavy tasks alike, while also being able to scan and copy with ease

$130 at Amazon

$130 at HP

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If your needs go beyond the everyday features of our top pick, we’d recommend the Canon Pixma G7020. It lacks the seamless and easy setup of the HP Envy Pro 6455 and has a control panel that looks old in 2021. But it delivered better quality photos and has a larger capacity for prints. It also features fax capabilities (should you need that), but you’re paying a premium for those added capabilities — $349.99 -— though you’ll save a bit on ink, as you won’t need to replace it nearly as often as the HP Envy.

Jake Krol/CNN

HP’s Envy Pro 6455 features a compact build that can fit into the smallest workspace, even though it is a multifunction device with the ability to print, copy and scan. It’s also an absolute champ at printing and was one of the easiest to set up of all we tested.

Most importantly, though, it succeeds with printing text-heavy documents, large keynotes and even the occasional one or two photo prints. On average, it takes about 15 seconds after you hit print for the first page to shoot out, and we could easily crank through 20 pages double-sided in just under three minutes. That falls behind duplex units like the Brother and Canon all-in-one, which can start a job in less than 10 seconds, but is on par with other units at this price. The HP Envy Pro 6455 makes its presence known, but not to the noisy degree of a laser printer or some of the massive units we tested. You’ll hear the two cartridges inside move back and forth. There is an option for a quiet mode, but that extends the printing time by five to 10 seconds with only a very slight reduction in noise as the payoff.

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As for print quality, printed text arrived clear and crisp with deep blacks and no smudging around the letters. As we did with all printers, we gave each model some time to warm up and ran the alignment tests to ensure proper calibration and setup. With black and white prints, the HP Envy Pro 6455 could toss punches back and forth with much higher-priced units. There were no noticeable quality differences between this unit and ones from Brother, Canon or Epson. Heck, it was even on par with more expensive HP units. The ink was also dry, which is to be expected, once the print was complete.

When it comes to photo printing, HP wasn’t overly vibrant and delivered a more middle-of-the-road print. Its prints weren’t on the pro level that Canon and Epson printers can deliver, but they weren’t the worst prints we’ve seen, either. For starters, HP didn’t cause huge issues in terms of the accuracy of the photo or by introducing artifacts (when the printer makes something appear that wasn’t intended) into the shot. The result with photo prints on the HP Envy Pro 6455 is an accurate depiction of a photo that doesn’t raise the brightness or vibrancy. It’ll look nice on your fridge or even in a frame, but doesn’t get close to the quality of a pro job.

Suffice to say, the Envy Pro 6455 is a well-versed printer that can handle an essay, planning doc or even a spreadsheet as well as a family memory. This printer utilizes one black cartridge and a tricolor cartridge, providing blue, red and yellow all in one. HP estimates that the black cartridge provides about 120 sheets and the tricolor can handle 100, which was in line with our experience during testing.

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We’re also huge fans of the HP Instant Ink program, which is basically a subscription service for ink cartridges. It takes the hassle out of knowing when you’ll need ink, by monitoring levels and your printing usage to have new cartridges arrive before your current ones run dry. HP Instant Ink starts at $0.99 a month for 15 pages a month, but a more common plan is $4.99 a month for 100 pages. We’d also call out that the HP Instant Ink cartridges are physically larger and provide more ink than even a standard or XL. If you don’t want to use HP Instant Ink, you can purchase cartridges for the Envy Pro 6455 as well. A 2-pack containing tricolor and black is $29.99, for comparison. You can sign up and give it a go directly from within the HP Smart app.

And the HP Smart app is the command central for the Envy Pro 6455. We mentioned that this printer also supports copying and scanning; that’s all controlled from the app, as there is no screen on the Envy Pro 6455. It’s a very modern approach with a focus on simplicity. There is a flatbed scanner and an auto document feed for scans and copies, but you’ll control those from the HP Smart app on your Android, iOS, macOS or Windows device. There are also LED indicators and a button for power or canceling a job on the physical printer.

With scanning especially, we like how you can view the result in real time and make adjustments to the crop via the application. That HP Smart app is also how you handle the setup of the printer, and it’s the most intuitive of any model we tested. You open the app, it then finds the Envy Pro and you connect it to Wi-Fi. The app even walks you through how to insert ink and prints a few test pages.

The whole setup process took about eight minutes. With similarly priced printers, the setup process stretched closer to 25 minutes, and some of the touch screen-centric setups resulted in connection problems. And the Envy Pro 6455 works with all the core printing standards, including Apple AirPrint. We tested with a range of devices and many of the newer ones automatically detected the Envy Pro 6455 on the network.

As a whole, the HP Envy Pro 6455 delivers a great core feature set and dependable functionality for an affordable price tag. We tested cheaper options, but bulky builds and long setup times ultimately weighed them down — along with shaky prints. The Envy Pro 6455 starts with a strong modern build and pairs it with a super simple setup process. It’s refreshing for a printer to be this easy to use, and the resulting prints were on par with units double the cost and with our expectations.

After we decided on a pool of printers from a range of manufacturers, ranging from the affordable to the luxurious, we got to testing. Just as we cast a wide net with models, we also did so when considering which features to test.

After we unboxed the printer, we paid close attention to what was needed for setup, any hiccups that occurred along the way, and the total length of the process. Our top pick, the HP Envy Pro 6455, was the quickest of the bunch, at eight minutes for connectivity and ink installation. HP is integrating its Smart app in many of the printers we tested, and that acts as the main control panel. Other manufacturers, like Canon, also offer apps, so we factored those in here.

To test printing, we had an array of documents ranging from just a few lines scattered on a page to long 30-page documents with graphical elements and heavy text blocks. We printed each test set multiple times and compared prints across printers. We also attempted printing on different surfaces, for instance a table that shakes more than most. For copying and scanning we had several test pages which we ran through each printer multiple times. We looked at the quality of scans and copies to see if any artifacts were introduced.

During the setup process and throughout using the printers, we looked at forms of connectivity. We factored in which version of Wi-Fi was found inside, as well as whether or not a printer could be paired with Bluetooth, Apple AirPrint or Google CloudPrint.

We also paid close attention to the included warranties with each unit.

This INKvestment all-in-one printer from Brother was nearly our best overall pick, as it brings a new ink type into the industry. It also doesn’t carry a very heavy price tag for liquid ink. But the HP Envy Pro 6455 beat it out not only on price but also for ease of use. Brother throws a lot at you directly on the front of the printer, as you get a screen and tons of buttons. It’s also a fax machine and if you need that feature, it’s an excellent option.

But as far as a standard all-in-one, we still think traditional ink cartridges provide a strong amount of value, and that coupled with HP’s simple Envy Pro makes it the best pick.

The MFC-J6545DW is a massive all-in-one printer, and you’ll really need to make space for it. It’s something that belongs in an office, and the basic light and dark gray color scheme fits with this trope. Like the MFC-J805DW above, it uses liquid ink and packs a price since the tanks are housed in the same body. This makes it much easier to squeeze the ink in when it notes a low level.

For the price, you get a really fast experience that is on par with that of a laser printer for black and white text. However, we think this is a bit of overkill for most people.

At $500, the Brother MFC-L3770CDW is one of the most expensive printers we tested, but it’s also the most functional. With multiple paper trays with extended capacity and a sizable touch screen, it’s intuitive to use and doesn’t require much maintenance. Let’s be clear, though — the MFC-L3770CDW trades a modest size build for a laundry list of features. It’s best suited for those who print close to thousands of pages within a month and need a heavy duty build.

It was one of our favorite units to set up, since it all happened on the screen with no connectivity issues. This Brother all-in-one supports several printing modes, including double-sided, along with copying, scanning and even the ability to send faxes. Rather than traditional ink cartridges or liquid ink, this machine uses toner cartridges, which are slightly larger. We’d bet on a long use time as well. If you need an office printer that can handle a heavy workload, the MFC-L3770CDW is worth a look.

Not only does this all-in-one from Canon undercut larger printing powerhouses in price, but it matches many in terms of features. Compared with the Brother printer above, print and copy speeds were on par — and that means the ability to print a lot of pages in a little bit of time, including duplex jobs. It has two key differences, though.

Setup was a bit harder on this Maxify — not so much that the screen was hard to use, but that the Wi-Fi connection did take a few attempts. We eventually did get the Maxify MB5420 added, though, after the third try. The companion Print app (which is not required) wasn’t the most intuitive either. The Canon really did shine with photo prints though, offering rich colors and a high level of accuracy. We didn’t encounter any artifact issues with this printer either. Similar to the Brother above, if you have a heavy workload that falls into the realm of creative tasks with heavy visuals, this MB5420 deserves a look — just make sure you have the budget and space.

The Pixma G7020 is one of the newer “Megatank” options from Canon. These printers trade classic ink cartridges for a liquid ink solution. Visible through the front of the G720, you’ll see a few clear vertical tubes which hold the various colors. And you’ll load the ink via a tube with a triangle top. Be warned, though — don’t get the ink on clothing or skin, as it is hard to get out. The advantage here is a lower cost to print through this ink type.

In terms of quality of the print, the Pixma G7020 succeeded easily with text and traditional prints, while also scaling to create vibrant photo prints right from our home. It was a bit faster to get connected than the Maxify above, but we prefer the controls on that model. The Pixma G7020 has a basic series of buttons and a small non-backlit display. We think for the typical home office, you’ll be better served with the HP Envy Pro 6455.

Under $100, the Epson XP-4200 was one of the cheaper printers that we tested and represents a budget option. And at the end of our testing, it’s a fairly average printer that aims to make a splash with a sizable touchscreen and a pretty easy setup. For the price, though, you do lose a bit in terms of quality for printing and scanning. We found that with black or color, there could be waves or uneven areas in terms of the print quality. The color quality was just not up to the standards that we were seeing across the board from our testing pool. And at just $50 more, the HP Envy Pro 6455 is a more well-rounded option.

This EcoTank ET-4760 zooms past other printers with a $500 price tag. And that’s expensive for a printer, but more in line with units that opt for liquid ink. Here’s the good news if you’re sold on this printer: The ink will last for a while, and you likely won’t need to buy a refill for at least a year. Liquid ink can be used more sparingly and has a very long shelf like. Unlike previous Epson models or Canon units, these bottles have a unique release design which aims to stop accidental leakage of ink. We really appreciated that, and it’s better for the environment since it doesn’t use cartridges.

Asides from the ink situation, the ET-4760 features a nice touch screen that allows for easy setup and to make adjustments on the fly. It was quick enough to connect to Wi-Fi, and it’s easy to control the print jobs. It’s an all-in-one that supports print, copy, scan and even fax jobs.

The XP-7100 sits in the same realm as the HP Envy Pro 6455 as an all-in-one solution designed for homes that are also used for a little work — or rather, in our work-from-home world, a heavier print load that spans the gamut. It’s powered by traditional ink cartridges and you’ll need four of them, which ups the cost on replacements. And it really shines with photography, delivering prints on par with the quality of the Canon printers, both of which surpass the photo quality of the HP Envy Pro 6455.

However, if you’re not looking for a printer that will primarily be used for photography purposes, we think you’ll be better served by the Envy Pro 6455.

The OfficeJet Pro 9015e is kind of like the Envy Pro 6455 on steroids. It has many of the same features but enriches them. It all starts with a larger build that adds in a sizable touchscreen for easy use — but the HP Smart app is still in full force here. It’s faster to print and holds more paper, which is helpful for larger jobs. It is also more business-oriented, with a faster duplex function.

Speed is a common theme with the OfficeJet Pro 9015e, both with prints and with data getting to the printer. The 9015e was always a second or two faster to start printing. So if you value a zippy fast experience above all else, the OfficeJet Pro 9015e is an excellent pick.

If Apple made a printer, it would probably be the Tango X (but for now they just sell it). It’s billed as a smartphone-first printer, with no screen and one of the most unique compact designs of any printer. The Tango X features a fabric cover which wraps around the printer to disguise it and give it a more homey feel. It can print pretty well, but it’s not the fastest, and at times did finish a job slower than the Envy Pro 6455.

In order to use the copy or scan function, you’ll need to pull out the smartphone app to crop the image and see if the quality makes it usable. Most of the time we had to rescan to get a nice quality scan. The Tango X can fit almost anywhere and feels like where printers might be going next. We’d like to see some improvements in the all-in-one feature set and with the hardware inside that makes the prints happen. At $199.99, it’s not cheap, either.

Read more from CNN Underscored’s hands-on testing:

5 Best Home Printers for Occasional Use 2023: Infrequent Printing Guide — Andrew Macarthy

Looking for a printer for occasional use, but find yourself struggling to choose the perfect one? You’re not alone.    

With so many options available, it can be tough to decide which printer is the right one for you. That’s why I’ve put together this post to help you find the best home printer for occasional use.  

But before we dive into the details, let’s first define what I mean by “occasional use.”

For our purposes, occasional use refers to printing needs that arise infrequently, such as printing out a few pages of a document, a boarding pass, or a photo every once in a while. 

Why Having A Printer At Home Is Important (Even if you Only Used it Occasionally) 

Having a printer at home can save you time and hassle when you need to print something quickly. No need to drive to the nearest print shop or library, or wait for someone else to print it for you.

Plus, it can be more cost-effective in the long run, especially if you factor in transportation costs or printing fees.  

After researching various options, I’ve come up with a list of the best home printers for occasional use. From affordable laser printers, to easy-to-use laser printers and photo-friendly inkjets, there’s something for everyone. So, let’s take a look. 

At A Glance: The Best Home Printer For Occasional Use  

Short on time? Here’s a quick list of my top printer picks for occasional use. Keep on reading for a full, detailed breakdown of each. 

  1. TOP PICK! Best Overall: Brother HL-L2350DW: Compact laser printer with fast printing speeds and wireless connectivity.  

  2. Best Color Laser Printer – Brother HL-L3270CDW: High-performance color laser printer with wireless connectivity and automatic duplex printing.

  3. Best All-in-One Printer – HP LaserJet MFP M140w: All-in-one laser printer with wireless connectivity and easy mobile printing.

  4. Best Ink Tank Printer – Canon PIXMA G3260 MegaTank: Inkjet printer with a refillable ink tank system and wireless connectivity.

  5. Best For Photo Printing – Epson Expression Premium XP-7100: Versatile all-in-one inkjet printer with wireless connectivity, photo printing capabilities, and a large touchscreen display.

As you can see, the three main types of printer I’ll be recommending are laser, ink tank, and laser jet. Each has their pros and cons (which I cover in detail below), but in brief:

  • Laser jet printers use toner that does not dry, even if it’s been months since you printed last. They can prnt super fast and are best for documents.

  • Inkjet printers use liquid ink that will dry up and clog the printer if not used regularly. They are best at printing photos.

  • Ink tank printers drip liquid ink a little at a time, preventing the tank from drying up. They print pretty fast and the ink lasts a long time – offering something of the best of both worlds.  

Factors to Consider When Choosing a Home Printer 

Before we get to my detailed look at the best printers for infrequent use at home, let’s talk about some of the factors you’ll want to consider when choosing the one that’s best for you:  

  • Print quality: Look for a printer that can produce crisp, clean text and vibrant, accurate colors. 

  • Print speed: Make sure to choose a printer that can print quickly without sacrificing quality. 

  • Connectivity: Do you need your printer to connect your computer, laptop, and mobile device for easy printing. Consider also whether you’ll be using a wired or wireless connection. 

  • Cost of ink/toner: Look for a printer that uses affordable ink or toner cartridges and has a low cost per page, as these costs can really start to add up over time. 

  • Additional features: Do you need a scanner or copier as well as a printer? Would you like the ability to print double-sided documents? All-in-one printers are what you need.  

Top 5 Best Home Printers for Occasional Use: A Detailed Guide

Let’s get down to the nitty gritty, with a complete look at my most highly recommended printers for infrequent use, based on form, function, and customer feedback.

Best Overall Printer: Brother HL-L2350DW Compact Monochrome Laser Printer

My top pick for a home printer that you’ll use infrequently is the highly-regarded Brother Compact Monochrome Laser Printer, HL-L2350DW.

One of the standout features of this printer is its fast printing speeds of up to 32 pages per minute. That means you won’t have to wait long to get your work done, even if you need to print a large document.

The Brother HL-L2350DW also has a 250-sheet paper capacity, which means you can print more without having to constantly refill the tray. This printer is also equipped with duplex two-sided printing capabilities, making it perfect for the occasional user who wants to save money on paper and ink.

In terms of connectivity, this printer offers versatile options, including built-in wireless and USB interfaces. This makes it easy to print wirelessly from your mobile devices, such as your smartphone or tablet. Plus, with the manual feed slot, you can easily print a variety of paper sizes and types, including cardstock and envelopes.

The Brother HL-L2350DW uses laser printing technology, which means it is capable of producing high-quality monochrome prints. It is designed to work with Brother Genuine high-yield replacement cartridges, which can deliver up to twice the standard print volume, helping you lower your printing costs.

Additionally, this printer is Amazon Dash Replenishment ready, meaning you can enroll in the service and have the printer order replacement ink for you automatically when it starts to run low. And if you’re looking for even more savings on ink, you can sign up for the Refresh EZ Print Subscription Service, which can save you up to 50% on toner.

Finally, the Brother HL-L2350DW is compact and easy to set up, so it won’t take up too much space in your home office. It comes with a 1-year limited warranty and free online, call, or live chat support for the life of the product, so you can rest assured that you’ll have help if you need it.

Reasons to Buy

Reason to Avoid

What Customers Say

“Picked this printer up at the recommendation of a colleague because I am an infrequent printer. Had an all-in-one inkjet that sat for too long between prints drying up the expensive cartridges before I even had a chance to run them down. The setup for this printer was easy – it connected to my wifi and computer seamlessly, and because it’s on the network I can even print from my phone. 10/10 would purchase again.”

If printing in color is a requirement for you, then another Brother printer is my top recommendation The Brother HL-L3270CDW Compact Wireless Digital Color Printer is printer is compact and easy to use, yet powerful enough to handle your printing needs with ease. Expect it to give you professional-quality prints that are crisp, clear, and vibrant.

As mentioned, the standout features of this printer is its ability to print in color. This is particularly useful if you need to print out marketing materials, presentations, or other color documents from time to time. With a maximum print speed of 25 pages per minute, you won’t have to wait long for your documents to be ready either.

The printer has a maximum paper output of 150 sheets, so you won’t have to refill the paper tray too often. Plus, the manual feed slot allows you to print on a variety of paper types and sizes, including card stock and envelopes.

In terms of connectivity options, the Brother HL-L3270CDW printer has built-in wireless, Ethernet, and Wi-Fi Direct interfaces, as well as a USB port for local printing. This means that you can easily connect to the printer from your smartphone, tablet, laptop, or desktop computer, and print wirelessly from anywhere in your home.

Another great feature of this printer is its NFC “touch to connect” printing capability. This allows you to quickly and easily print documents from your smartphone or tablet simply by tapping your device on the printer.

Finally, the Brother HL-L3270CDW printer is also cost-effective to run. It uses high-yield toner cartridges that deliver up to 3,000 pages for black and 2,300 pages for color, which means that you won’t have to replace the cartridges too often.

Reasons to Buy

  • High-quality printing

  • Wireless connectivity

  • Duplex printing feature

Reason to Avoid

What Customers Say

“We were tired of buying inkjet cartridges that would then dry out from infrequent use more often than from just running out of ink. We got a recommendation to go laser instead of inkjet. So far we are happy that we switched. Yes, the toner is expensive you don’t have to replace it very often so if you think of the cost versus inkjet cartridges over the same period of time it works out better.

If you’re someone who needs to print, scan and copy, then the HP LaserJet MFP M140w All-in-One Wireless Black & White Printer is an excellent choice.

This printer is an all-in-one laser printer produces high-quality black & white documents and forms, all while being the world’s smallest multifunction laser printer in its class.

One of the key features of this printer is its fast print speed of up to 21 pages per minute, so you won’t have to wait long for your documents to be ready.

Additionally, it has a compact design that is easy to set up and will fit into tight workspaces, making it perfect for those working from home.

You can print wirelessly with built-in Wi-Fi, which means you can print from anywhere in your home. You can also use the HP Smart app to print from Dropbox and Google Drive, order more ink, and endit your documents.

When it comes to the ink type, the HP LaserJet MFP M140w uses black toner cartridges with original HP chips or circuitry. If you enroll in the optional subscription to Instant Ink for lasers, cartridges will ship to you automatically so you never run out, and you’ll save up to 50% on toner.

Reasons to Buy

Reasons to Avoid

What Customers Say

Best printer if you don’t use one often. No ink to dry up. I suspect the free 6 month supply of toner will last much longer for me. Set up was easy. B&W only.”

If you are in the market for a printer that won’t break the bank, but still delivers a ton of quality prints, the Canon PIXMA G3260 Wireless MegaTank All-In-One Printer might just be what you’re looking for.

What makes this printer a great option for occasional use is its ink tank system. Unlike traditional inkjet printers, the G3260 has front-mounted reservoirs that you can easily refill with ink bottles.

This means you can print up to 6,000 black pages or 7,700 color pages from just one set of ink bottles! You’ll also save money on ink costs with the included ink bottle set and 2 bonus black ink bottles.

With its hybrid ink system, you can print both documents and photos on a variety of paper types, using pigment black for sharp black text and dye-based colors for vivid, borderless photos up to 8.5” x 11”.

And with a maximum print speed of 10.8 monochrome pages per minute and 6 color pages per minute, it’s certainly not as fast as a laser printer, but still no slouch.

Connectivity options are plentiful too, with built-in Wi-Fi that allows you to print wirelessly from your computer or mobile device using the Canon PRINT app, Apple AirPrint, or Mopria support for Android devices. And with the 2-line LCD, you’ll have an easy user interface experience.

Reasons to Buy

  • High-quality photo printing

  • Large ink tanks for cost-effective printing

  • Wireless connectivity

Reason to Avoid

What Customers Say

“Using this printer for home use – occasional printing. Print quality is excellent. The cost compared to cartridges like I’ve bought for years for my old (HP) printer is MUCH LESS. I’m sure of this, though I don’t know how to precisely calculate the different in cost. With the old printer, I got VERY tired of buying cartridges every few months for about $35 to $40 each.”

When it comes to a home printer for occasional use, the Epson Expression Premium XP-7100 Wireless Color Photo Printer is a great option to consider.

One of the key features of this printer is its superior photo quality, making it perfect for printing photographs. It has the option to print borderless photos up to 8″ x 10″, or on specialty paper and to DVDs.

Of course, it functions just as well as an ordinary all-in-one document printer, with a 30-page auto document feeder, auto 2-sided printing, copying and scanning.

In terms of speed, the printer can print borderless 4″ x 6″ photos in as fast as 12 seconds. It has a maximum print speed of 15. 8 pages per minute for monochrome and 1 page per minute for color. This makes it a great option for occasional use, as it can handle small printing jobs efficiently.

The printer is also designed with convenience in mind. It has a large, intuitive 4.3″ touchscreen which allows you to view, edit and print photos directly from USB or SD card slot. The printer is also wireless and includes Wi-Fi Direct for network-free printing. You can easily print photos and documents directly from your tablet or smartphone, with or without a router, making it a great option for those who work from home.

As I mentioned above, do keep in mind is that inkjet printers can have issues with the ink drying up if they are not used frequently. So, if you are an occasional user, make sure to use the printer at least once a week to prevent this issue.

Reasons to Buy

  • High-quality photo printing

  • Scanning and copying features

  • Wireless connectivity

Reason to Avoid

What Customers Say

“This printer’s capability to print photos is AMAZING! The regular printing is great as well, but I really can tell a difference with the photos on the glossy type paper.

Printer Name Type Print Speed Special Features Connectivity
Brother HL-L2350DW Laser Printer 32ppm Automatic duplex printing, Wi-Fi Direct Wi-Fi, Ethernet, USB
Brother HL-L3270CDW Laser Printer 25ppm Automatic duplex printing, NFC, color printing Wi-Fi, Ethernet, USB, NFC
HP LaserJet MFP M140we Wireless All-In-One Laser Printer All-In-One Laser Printer 22ppm Wireless printing, scanning, copying and faxing Wi-Fi, USB, Ethernet
Canon PIXMA G3260 MegaTank Inkjet Printer 10ppm (color), 3ppm (black) MegaTank ink system, borderless printing Wi-Fi, USB, Ethernet
Epson Expression Premium XP-7100 Wireless Color Photo Printer Color Photo Printer 15ppm (color), 30ppm (black) Automatic duplex printing, six-color Claria Photo HD ink, CD/DVD printing Wi-Fi, Ethernet, USB, SD Card Slot

Laser Printers 

Laser printers use a toner cartridge and a laser beam to print text and images onto the paper.   

  • Known for their efficiency, reliability, and low maintenance.  

  • Use long-lasting toner that doesn’t dry up, so you can go for months between print jobs.

  • Typically faster at printing than inkjet printers.  

Inkjet Printers  

Inkjet printers use liquid ink that is sprayed through tiny nozzles onto the paper.  

 Ink Tank Printer  

An ink tank printer is similar to an inkjet printer, but instead of using cartridges, it has refillable tanks that hold more ink.  

 So on balance, laser printers and ink tank printers are the best for infrequent use. Inkjet printers are still an option, but you will have to print something once a week or so, to prevent the ink from drying out.

Best Printer for Occasional Use: Frequently Asked Questions

Need answers about home printers? Here are some of them to the most frequently asked questions.

What printer is best for infrequent use?

A laserjet printer is usually the best option for infrequent use, since their ink does not dry or clog the printer like an inkjet, and they require less maintenance.

How long can a printer go without being used?

Printers can go for a few weeks without being used, but leaving inkjet printers unused for extended periods can cause ink to dry out and clog the print head. For these, it’s recommended to use the printer at least once a week to keep the ink flowing and prevent clogs.

Are laser printers better for occasional use?

Yes. Laser printers are recommended for occasional use since their toners do not dry up or clog like inkjet printers, even after months without use.

Do printers need to be used regularly?

It depends. Inkjet printers should be used regularly to prevent ink from drying out and clogging the print head. It’s recommended to print at least one page per week to keep the ink flowing and prevent clogs. Laserjet printers can go for months without use and without any issues.

Best Printer for Occasional Use: Conclusion

Having a printer at home is essential for work, even if you only use it occasionally. It saves time, money, and offers the convenience of being able to print anything you need without leaving the house.

When choosing the best home printer for occasional use, it’s important to consider factors such as print quality, print speed, connectivity, and cost of ink or toner. Laser printers and ink tank printers are the best options for infrequent use, and each has its own advantages and disadvantages.

Ultimately, the choice of the best printer depends on your specific needs and preferences. The Brother HL-L2350DW is my overall top pick, but any of the choices above will be great, depending on your particular needs.

Andrew Macarthy has worked from home for over a decade. He is a social media consultant and the author of the #1 Amazon Web Marketing Bestseller, 500 Social Media Marketing Tips – with over 150,000 copies sold to date.

How to choose a printer for professional photo printing at home | Articles | Photo, video, optics, Computer equipment

Printing photographs is a process that requires not only skill in retouching captured frames. Much depends on the quality of the equipment and photo paper, as well as the correct printer settings. Today we will talk about professional photo printing at home. You will find out which photo printer is best suited for this, what criteria to consider when buying it, and which specific models you should pay attention to.

With a photo printer, you can print high-quality pictures at home even without a computer. Source: businessinsider.com

Is Home Photo Printing Justified?

First, let’s find out whether it is worth printing photos at home at all? Printed shots are now taking on a new life and are on the wave of popularity among interior designers and many others. There are a lot of fashion trends associated with photographs. You can stretch jute strings somewhere along the wall and hang small square Polaroid pictures on them. Or place beautiful frames with your favorite family frames under glass in the interior.

If you prefer to regularly update your interior photos, then often using the services of photo studios or Internet printing companies can be inconvenient and unprofitable. It would be more rational to buy a good printer for your home. In this case, you can not only save money, but also protect personal pictures from prying eyes. You can also print photos whenever you want. You only need to spend money on equipment once, and then savings will follow.

Home photo printer takes up very little desktop space. Source: epson.com

If you do not go into complex calculations, we can say with confidence that printing a photo at home is justified, provided that you create a large number of frames. Buying a printer for 10-15 pictures per month is definitely not advisable. This is convenient, but it will not work quickly to recoup the equipment.

Types of photo printers

All printers suitable for printing photos are divided into several categories. They differ in technological features, price, quality of the created images and their cost.


These are the most common photo printers. They are cheaper, but require constant replacement of consumables. Ink cartridges run out quickly, but you can find a solution in buying CISS – a continuous ink supply system. CISS consists of several jars with multi-colored ink, from which flexible tubes are connected to the print head of the printer. The user only needs to periodically add new paint. The durability of printed photos depends on the quality of the ink and paper used. Colors and saturation are better preserved on original consumables, and cheap paints quickly fade in the sun.

Canon PIXMA TS5040 is one of the inexpensive and compact photo printers. Source: canon.com

For home use, an inkjet printer is the best choice. It combines good quality and adequate printing cost. Exact figures depend on the photo paper and inks used.


These devices are more expensive than inkjet devices, but the cost of images created with their help is several times lower. Instead of liquid ink, these printers use a special powder. Such devices print about twice as fast as inkjet ones, and the quality of photographs is almost the same. The image on paper keeps well, but in the sun you can gradually burn out – over several months. The most common laser printers are brands such as Canon and Brother.


These printers are the most expensive of all, but the print quality is high. The pictures are saturated, the color reproduction is very accurate. Another advantage of photos printed on such printers is their durability. Pictures are not afraid of exposure to moisture or light. A special protective layer is applied to the surface of the photo, which preserves the original colors.

Canon Selphy CP1000 is a small home sublimation photo printer. Source: bestadept.com

Sublimation printers do not contain ink or toner. The technology is based on a special paper with a foil layer, which contains a dye. It is fixed under the influence of heat. Accordingly, special paper is needed for the operation of the device. Each print is more expensive than an inkjet or laser printer, but you get the best quality.


MFP, or multifunction device, available in both inkjet and laser. Its main advantage is the ability to solve different problems:

  • scan;
  • making photocopies;
  • printout;
  • sending faxes.

These devices are also suitable for home professional photo printing, but they are more expensive than individual printers.

Criteria for choosing a printer for the home

There are a number of criteria to consider when purchasing a device for printing quality photos at home. The main parameters that pay attention to:

Print format. For the home, a device that works with A4 sheets is enough. Most of the photos are printed in the format 10×15, 13×18 or 21×30 cm. It is not practical to buy a large-sized model for printing on A3 sheets at home – few people use these at home for their intended purpose.

Approval. In print, it determines how noticeable color transitions are and how well the image is worked out. To create high-quality prints, a printer with a resolution of at least 4800×1200 pixels per inch is required. The higher it is, the better the photos.

Colours. Modern photo printers run on at least 6 cartridges, while advanced models can have 8 cartridges. The latter allow you to achieve studio quality. Some manufacturers even equip their devices with several shades of black – this is useful when printing b / w photos.

Paper. It is important to pay attention to the maximum paper weight. It will depend on whether you can print photos on self-adhesive, cardboard or canvas. For most inkjet printers, the standard paper weight is between 60 and 300 g/m².

Resource. If you plan to print a lot, pay attention to the supply of ink. To reduce the cost of a photo, it is better to immediately buy and install CISS. Many manufacturers of photo printers have begun to produce devices with factory ink supply systems in recent years.

Canon PIXMA G1411 is a home photo printer with built-in CISS. Source: canon-me.com

Which printer should I choose?

Specialized photo printers are sold in stores, but overpaying for them is not always justified. Most often, you can limit yourself to a universal and more affordable option. For example, you should look at models such as:

  • Canon PIXMA TS5040 is a budget photo printer that prints at 800 x 1200 dpi.
  • HP DeskJet Ink Advantage 5075 M2U86C is a compact MFP with inexpensive consumables and good performance (up to 17 A4 color pages per minute).
  • Canon PIXMA G1411 is a good home photo printer with factory CISS.
  • Epson L312 is one of the top photo printers with a print resolution of 5760 x 1440 dpi, factory CISS and a speed of 15 A4 pages per minute.

Before buying a printer, it is better to immediately ask about the cost of consumables. Some manufacturers sell them at high enough prices that make home photo printing irrational and unprofitable.

Should I choose an inkjet or laser printer for my home?


Laser and inkjet printers have completely different printing technologies. Each has its pros and cons.

Moreover, the advantage of one technology is a weakness of the other. Let’s do a little comparative analysis.

Print speed

Modern models of inkjet printers “learned” to print faster, but still they are significantly inferior to laser models. If you plan to print large volumes of documents often, then a laser printer is more suitable for you.

Color printing

For many years, color printing was only possible with inkjet printers. There are also color laser printers today. However, for the average home user, the cost of such models, as well as consumables, is very high. Therefore, if the possibility of color printing is a priority for you, then first of all pay attention to inkjet printers.

Photo printing

Many inkjet printers can print high-quality photos, but laser printing technology does not allow this. Therefore, if you are going to print high-quality color images and photographs, then the choice is obvious – an inkjet printer. Note that if you buy a printer only for printing photos, then it makes sense to pay attention to specialized models – thermal sublimation printers.

Cost of printing

The cost of printing one print from a laser printer is lower. Recently, however, continuous ink supply systems and refillable cartridge sets have gained popularity. Using them significantly reduces the cost of printing on inkjet printers. Despite the high price of such devices, they quickly pay for themselves. But if you need to print a lot and cheaply, then a laser printer is still preferable.

Printer maintenance

Black and white laser printers are easier and more economical to maintain. Having refilled the cartridge once, you will have enough toner to print about 2000 prints. The cost of the service – refilling cartridges is inexpensive, but you will have to refill at service centers. In inkjet printers, ink cartridges are enough for 100-200 printed sheets. Moreover, inkjet models need regular printing.