Here’s the Best Basic Printer for Your Home Office (2023)

A printer is one of the few home-office devices that hasn’t been at least partially replaced by a smartphone app. When you need the occasional hard copy of a form, return label or letter, you need at least a basic black-and-white model. Your printer should work wirelessly, to keep your workspace free from a tangle of cords and let you print from multiple devices. It should be a laser printer to remove the hassle of your ink cartridge running out or drying up in between uses. And most important, it should produce professional-looking documents. There are countless printers on the market, and vague or impenetrable product descriptions can make it difficult to compare apples to apples. To cut through the clutter, we sorted out the most important criteria, filtered the available options and came up with the best monochrome printers to outfit your home office.

January 2023: We researched the printer market again and are confident in our current picks. HP will be discontinuing the LaserJet Pro M203dw in May, but it’s still a great higher-resolution option while it’s available.

If you’d like to read how we vetted and tested these printers, scroll down for all the details.

  • Best overall
  • Runner-up
  • Others you should know about
  • How we picked

Best overall

Buy Side Top Pick



For just over $100 it produces sharp, professional-looking documents, and you won’t want to pull out your hair getting it set up. Its relatively small footprint will fit in most any space.


  • High print resolution
  • Easy wired and wireless setup


  • No USB cable included in the box

Our top pick, the Brother HL-L2325DW, produced high quality text and images, is easy to set up over a wired or wireless connection, has a relatively small footprint and costs less per page than most comparable models. That’s everything you can ask for from a printer, and the Brother is nicely priced, as well.

The HL-L2325DW‘s print resolution of 2400 by 600 dpi (2400 vertical dots and 600 horizontal dots per square inch) falls in the middle of the pack—some models were as low as 600 by 600 dpi. When we viewed the documents it printed, we were more than pleased with their quality, even at font sizes as small as 1 point, which is where lower-quality printers might produce smudged or blurred text.

(Video) I Tried a Hollywood “Fake” Cigarette, Here’s What Happened To Me..

Setup, over both wired and wireless connections, was gratifyingly seamless, though we did have to provide the necessary USB cable, since it isn’t included. The wireless setup took a little more work, but was still relatively easy. You have to download the Wireless Setup Wizard from Brother’s website, but once that’s accomplished, the program takes care of all the hard work. It took us just a few minutes to successfully pair the printer and our home wireless network. We were able to print from other computers and iOS devices using AirPlay with no issues.

The HL-L2325DW had nearly the smallest footprint of our test set at 14 inches wide and 14.2 inches deep. Its included toner is advertised to produce up to 700 pages, which puts the price per page at a little under 16 cents. First-party replacement toner is fairly affordable at about $43 for 1,200 pages or $77 for 3,000 pages as of publication. You can likely get a much better rate on third-party toner cartridges that will work just as well.


Here’s the Best Basic Printer for Your Home Office (2)


LaserJet Pro M203dw

(Video) They Ruined It | Goodwill Thrift With Me | Office Organizing

The HP LaserJet Pro M203dw is the printer to choose if you want the highest print quality and are willing to pay more for it.


  • Text looks better from this printer than any other we tested
  • Easy setup


  • Highest price per page of all the printers we tested
  • A relatively large footprint

If you demand the sharpest text and don’t mind paying about $100 more, we recommend the HP LaserJet Pro M203dw. It prints at 1200 by 1200 dpi, the highest resolution of any printer we got our hands on and double the number of horizontal dots as the Brother HL-L2325DW. But will most people notice this difference? We don’t think so. Only when we put printouts from both printers next to each other was there was a discernible contrast in sharpness.

Setup was relatively painless. We had read reports of people having issues getting the M203dw to connect to their wireless networks, but we were able to use the HP Smart for Desktop app to get connected without issue. A small quibble: The free-to-download software (also available for Windows, iOS, and Android) harvests your information by default. To avoid that, toggle the data collection feature off before you begin. Unlike the Brother printer, the HP comes with a USB cable for easier setup, but we needed a USB-A-to-USB-C adapter to connect it to the computer we used.

The M203dw is wider than our top pick by 0.6 inches, and 1.8 inches deeper. Those dimensions may not make a big difference in your office, but if you’re tight on space, every inch counts. The M203dw also loses out to our preferred Brother model in terms of cost. 1) Its upfront price is a tad steeper. 2) It will cost you more for each page you print—at 21 cents, 5 cents more than the Brother. 3) First-party replacement toner is more expensive at about $70 for the standard 1,600 page cartridge and $106 for a high-yield 3,500 page model.

(Video) Shark Tank US | Sharks Rush Into The Hallway To Try And Secure A Deal With Knife Aid

Others you should know about

The Brother HL-L2370DW and HL-L2350DW are variants of the HL-L2325DW that print a little faster and can hold more paper in their input trays; the HL-L2370DW also adds an Ethernet port. None of these features are a reason to pay more for one of these models over our well-priced top pick, but if either is on sale or the L2325DW is out of stock, these are good options.

The Canon imageCLASS LBP6230dw was the smallest printer we tested with the lowest cost per page, but its print quality was a deal breaker: It left behind a noticeable cloud of toner on the page.

The Canon imageCLASS LBP162dw tied for the lowest print resolution among the printers we tested at 600 by 600 dots per inch. That was evident in the printed text, which looked muddy compared with pages from the other printers. It was also the largest printer we tested, with a 14.9 inch by 16.2 inch footprint.

Canon’s imageCLASS LBP236dw also offers that unsatisfactory 600 x 600 dpi, and it was the least attractive of our tested models. Nothing justified its approximately $300 price, which is almost three times the cost of our top pick.

How we picked

Trust us

I’ve reviewed consumer technology for leading product-reviews sites for more than a decade and have spent hundreds of hours assessing office equipment ranging from filing cabinets to laptop chargers and, of course, printers. We chose not to rely on the few acknowledged printer-technology experts we could identify, as they are almost universally affiliated with one of the major manufacturers. Instead, we supplemented our own tests and observations with the comments (and complaints) of typical consumers who use printers in their own home office setups.

We tested

We focused on a specific category of printer: monochrome (black and white), single function (they print but don’t scan, copy or fax) and laser rather than inkjet. While inkjet printers are popular, laser printers use toner, which has a couple of advantages: It doesn’t dry out between uses as the ink used in inkjet printers can. And toner cartridges usually last for many more pages than ink cartridges do. We zeroed in on monochrome models because our team agreed that the bulk of office printing is black and white. To print photos, you would need color ink, of course, but in truth, an online photo printing service (or sending your jpeg files to a local supermarket or drugstore with a commercial printer) will almost always be a better value and supply far better image quality. We also eliminated multifunction printers that scan, copy, and fax. Why pay more and take up more desk space when your iPhone or Android phone can scan documents, and services such as FaxZero let you send faxes free? (And hey, how often are you actually faxing, anyway?)

The home-printer landscape is dominated by Brother, Canon and HP, and at the time of this review those brands produced 21 printers that met our specifications. There are a handful of other manufacturers with smaller selections, but none of their printers offered features, specs or price tags that made them comparable to our finalists. We further narrowed the field by including only printers that can wirelessly print over Wi-Fi (a capability usually denoted by the letter “W” at the end of the model name) and those designated “duplex capable”—in other words, they could handle two-sided printing (look for model names ending in “D”). We excluded models that lock you into using first-party toner cartridges rather than allowing more affordable third-party toner. The result: seven printers to run through hands-on testing. Here’s what we were looking for:

  • Print quality: How well a printer recreates text and images can be measured both objectively and subjectively. Print resolution is measured in dots per inch (dpi), which is exactly what it sounds like: how many dots of toner there are in a square inch on the page. Generally, the higher the dpi, the clearer the print, but the real test was how the printed document looked to the naked eye.
  • Ease of setup: Printers have a well-earned reputation for being one of the most annoying pieces of home office equipment to get up and running, not least because of their often Byzantine installation instructions. The best models are nearly plug-and-play: You connect them to power, install any necessary software and hit print. We awarded bonus points to models that came with a USB cable, a vanishingly rare accessory that makes setup easier, even with wireless printers.
  • Size: There’s no getting around the fact that laser printers are generally pretty large. We didn’t knock any out of contention based on size alone but gave preference to those with smaller footprints.
  • Cost per page: We calculated the average cost to print a page by dividing each printer’s price by how many pages the toner cartridge that comes in the box was specified to print. Results ranged from 8.1 to 21 cents per page.

We also measured how quickly each printer could finish a 10-page document (both single-sided and double-sided) and determined that speed wasn’t a compelling differentiator. The slowest printer we tested completed the jobs within 10 seconds of the fastest.

We installed each printer’s software on a 2020 MacBook Air running macOS 12.3 using a USB cable. (Based on our research, the results will likely be similar for PC users.) Though it may sound counterintuitive to use a physical connection for a wireless set up, in our experience, it’s a shortcut that saves considerable time and frustration. Setting up a printer entirely wirelessly entails working through the printer’s built-in control panel—which is typically pretty rudimentary—to identify your Wi-Fi network and pair the printer with your devices. Connecting your computer and printer with a physical cable lets you efficiently access the printer’s set-up software and enter commands with your keyboard rather than the printer keypad.

(Video) DTF T-shirt Printing at Home.🤯 This changes everything!!!🤯 🔥🔥🔥 Brighter

The caveat: Most printers don’t come with a cable, and those that do often use a USB-A connector, which is becoming less common. If you’re connecting to a fairly new computer that only has USB-C ports, we think it’s well worth it to add a USB-C printer cable to your purchase.

We printed single- and double-sided pages with various fonts and type sizes. We examined all the documents for print that was crisp and sharp, with well-defined edges to letters and lines and no “dust” or shadows from drifting ink.


Here’s the Best Basic Printer for Your Home Office? ›

Inkjet printers are more common for home use because they're more affordable and they generally perform better with photo printing. However, inkjet printers also require more maintenance and frequent cartridge replacement.

Which printer is the most common for use by home users? ›

Inkjet printers are more common for home use because they're more affordable and they generally perform better with photo printing. However, inkjet printers also require more maintenance and frequent cartridge replacement.

Which printer is suited to print home work? ›

List of Best Printers for Homes and Offices in India
HP Deskjet Ink Advantage Ultra 4826 Printer4.0 / 5
HP Smart Tank 525 All-in-one Colour Printer4.1 / 5
Epson EcoTank L3211 All-in-One Ink Tank Printer4.1 / 5
Canon PIXMA G2020 NV All-in-One Ink Tank Colour Printer4.2 / 5
4 more rows
Feb 26, 2023

Is Brother better than HP? ›

Brother says its brand is better in terms of cost per quality print, while HP says it is better in terms of user preference, durability, and print quality. among end users.

Which is better inkjet or laser printer for office use? ›

Laser printers can print much faster than inkjet printers can. Most are equipped with high-capacity paper trays, so they can print more pages at a given time. They're also built to handle the printing of thousands of pages per month without succumbing to wear-and-tear.

What are the three most used printers? ›

The 3 most common printer types
  • Multi Function Printers (MFP) Multi Function Printers are also commonly known as all-in-one printers. ...
  • Inkjet Printers. ...
  • Laser Printers. ...
  • What type of printer should my business get?
Mar 20, 2014

Do printers go bad if not used? ›

For inkjet printer owners, a dormant printer can quickly be a problem if you forgo printing for even a short period of time. Printer cartridges can dry out, the printhead can clog, and inevitably, you have to invest in a new set of pricey replacement cartridges.

Which is better HP or Epson printers? ›

HP printers are generally faster than Epson printers, especially when it comes to black-and-white prints. However, Epson printers have been known to offer better print quality and may be a better choice for those who prioritize quality over speed.

How many pages can be printed with one cartridge? ›

A typical ink cartridge will yield 250 to 300 pages depending on the color density of the prints. The yield of a typical toner cartridge in a laser printer is between 2,500 and 3,000 pages. Some larger laser printers can even have toners that will yield up to 30,000 pages!

How long do printers last? ›

What's the average lifespan of a printer? The average lifespan of a printer is around 3-5 years. With proper upkeep and maintenance, some printers can last longer, but eventually your machine will need an upgrade.

Why should I buy a Brother printer? ›

They tend to produce sturdy and well-built printers with high page yields at an affordable cost, and their ink or toner cartridges need replacing less. However, their ink or toner cartridges are more expensive than their competitors.

Which is better Epson or Brother? ›

If you're looking to predominantly print high-quality photos with the occasional document we'd recommend an Epson inkjet or EcoTank model, though if you're mainly looking to print documents with the occasional photo and you need high yields and great long-term value and you have the space for a laser printer then a ...

What are two disadvantages of laser printers? ›

  • Although laser printers work faster, they take time to warm up.
  • Although toner is cheaper in the long run, upfront costs for laser printing are more.
  • Toner leaks are a nightmare.
  • Laser printers can't handle a variety of paper or printing materials like inkjets.
Oct 26, 2022

Is it worth getting a laser printer for home use? ›

They may be more economical to run in the long term.

Some inkjets have a lower cost per page than home laser printers, but they also waste more ink on cleaning. Laser printers don't waste toner in the same way, and because they don't gunk up like inkjets, they may last longer before needing to be replaced.

Which lasts longer laser or inkjet? ›

Toner cartridges can print a significantly higher amount of page yield than ink cartridges so toners last longer than ink cartridges. Most ink cartridges contain an ink volume that can usually print between 135 – 1000 pages. Toner cartridge page yields can range from 2,000 to upwards of 10,000!

What are the two most commonly used printers? ›

The most common types of printers you find on the market are inkjet printers and laser printers. Inkjet printers are commonly sold for home use, while laser printers are more frequently sold to businesses, but both can be used in either environment.

What are the four basic types of printers? ›

The 4 Common Types Of Printers And Their Advantages
  • The inkjet printers. These are made by all types of manufacturers out there, and are clearly one of the most popular types of printers. ...
  • Laser printers. ...
  • Photo printers. ...
  • All-in-one printers.
Aug 10, 2014

What are the 2 most common types of printers? ›

Inkjet and laser printers are the most commonly used printers, but there are other options that can be ideal for those who work with niche projects or need to print with extra-vibrant color.

Should you leave your home printer on all the time? ›

For healthier print heads and more efficient ink consumption, however, it's better to leave your printer on. Constantly switching your printer off and on will decrease your printer's lifespan, so try to keep the off/on to a minimum.

Should I leave my printer on all the time? ›

To keep your printer lasting longer, we recommend leaving your printer on. If it is off for a long period of time or if you turn it on and off again regularly, the printhead inside the printer will dry out faster. When you leave it on, you may hear the printer start up every once in a while and begin to calibrate.

Do HP ink cartridges dry out if not used? ›

Ink cartridges can dry out over time. If they are sitting in your machine for an extended period, they will eventually dry up and become unusable. The simplest way to combat this problem is by printing more frequently or running regular cleans and ink tests to ensure the nozzles remain clean.

What are the disadvantages of HP printers? ›

HP printer cons

In fact, in comparison to Epson and Canon, HP printers have the most expensive ink per page. This will eventually reduce the initial savings from the lowered price of purchase over time. Furthermore, while several HP printers maintain a high quality of printing, it lacks the same image printing.

Which is better HP Envy or HP DeskJet? ›

Our Verdict

The HP ENVY 6055e is slightly better than the HP DeskJet 4155e. The ENVY 6055e produces finer details in photos, prints faster, and supports automatic duplex printing and borderless printing.

Which is better HP DeskJet or HP OfficeJet? ›

Side-by-Side Comparison

The HP DeskJet 3755/3772 and the HP OfficeJet 250 are both compact printers with sheetfed scanners, but the OfficeJet 250 performs slightly better for most uses. It has a higher page yield, a lower cost-per-print, and a rechargeable battery. Also, it can print directly from a USB thumb drive.

Is it cheaper to print at home or staples? ›

This is where it may be worth investigating into having a store print your items, as many will offer a significant discount on bulk orders. Generally, though, when it comes to smaller numbers of standard-sized printing, an office or home printer is usually the cheaper option.

How long does printer ink last before it dries up? ›

Ink cartridges can last about two years if they're properly packed and stored. After two years, you may still be able to use them. But, they can begin drying out and cause some potential issues if you use them on printers, such as getting a dried printhead. An opened ink cartridge can only live for about six months.

How long does Epson ink last? ›

Epson ink cartridges come with a “Best If Used By” date. This date appears to be approximately two years after the date of manufacture. Epson recommends replacing your installed ink cartridges after six months, whether they're empty or not, to ensure high-quality prints.

Can a printer last 10 years? ›

As print quality goes down over time, this will be a reason to replace the color printer. We find a black and white printer can sometimes last 10 years or more and most color laser printers are replaced every 3 to 5 years.

Should I replace a 10 year old printer? ›

A good rule of thumb: if your printer is more than seven years old, you may want to start pricing new units. In this case, even a relatively inexpensive component is not worth the investment.

Are printers dying out? ›

In today's digital marketing landscape, it's common to hear the question, "Isn't print dead?" The answer is a resounding "no." Despite the digital revolution, traditional marketing has not gone bust. The world is now full of digitally connected devices that are always on.

What are the two most common printers? ›

The most common types of printers you find on the market are inkjet printers and laser printers. Inkjet printers are commonly sold for home use, while laser printers are more frequently sold to businesses, but both can be used in either environment.

What are the 2 types of printers commonly used today? ›

Inkjet and laser printers are the most commonly used printers, but there are other options that can be ideal for those who work with niche projects or need to print with extra-vibrant color.

Which printers were by far the most common form of printer used with personal and home computer until the 1990's? ›

In the 1970s and 1980s, dot matrix printers were generally considered the best combination of expense and versatility, and until the 1990s they were by far the most common form of printer used with personal and home computers.

What are the 4 types of printers commonly used? ›

The 4 Common Types Of Printers And Their Advantages
  • The inkjet printers. These are made by all types of manufacturers out there, and are clearly one of the most popular types of printers. ...
  • Laser printers. ...
  • Photo printers. ...
  • All-in-one printers.
Aug 10, 2014

What printers are most common in offices? ›

All Reviews
ProductRelease YearPrice
Brother MFC-J1205W/MFC-J1215W2021White SEE PRICE White SEARCH White SEARCH
Canon PIXMA TR4720/TR47222021Black SEE PRICE Black SEARCH White SEE PRICE
Epson WorkForce WF-29302022Black SEE PRICE
11 more rows
May 3, 2023

What are the disadvantages of inkjet printers? ›

  • Inkjet ink is more expensive than champagne.
  • Inkjet ink is water-based, so prints are susceptible to water damage and fading.
  • Ink cartridges need frequent cleaning. ...
  • Inkjet printers are getting faster, but are still very slow compared to laser printing.
Oct 26, 2022

What is the difference between the three types of printers? ›

Non-Impact Printer
Impact PrinterNon-Impact Printer
Texts and graphics are printed on paper by strikingThe non-impact printer prints text and graphics on paper without striking.
Impact printer uses electro-mechanical devices for printing.The non-impact printer does not use it for printing.
2 more rows
Aug 22, 2022

Which is better HP ENVY or HP DeskJet? ›

Our Verdict

The HP ENVY 6055e is slightly better than the HP DeskJet 4155e. The ENVY 6055e produces finer details in photos, prints faster, and supports automatic duplex printing and borderless printing.

What is the difference between HP DeskJet and inkjet printers? ›

Inkjet printers use cartridges that contain tiny jets that spray ink onto the paper. This results in high-quality prints with accurate colors. Deskjet printers use a ribbon that coats the paper with ink, which results in prints that are not as bright or colorful as those from inkjet printers.

What is the difference between HP OfficeJet and Pro? ›

HP OfficeJet Pro

As the name suggests, the OfficeJet Pro printers are made for professional use. These printers print faster and can handle more users on a larger network. The output capacity is higher than the normal OfficeJet printers, so more people can print at the same time.

What are the five 5 types of printers? ›

From compact and simple to complex and sophisticated, there are many types of printers on the market. However, there are six types of printers that are tried and tested: inkjet printers, laser printers, solid ink printers, continuous ink printers, LED printers, dot matrix printers and A3 printers.

Which printer is widely used as portable printer Why? ›

Bluetooth Printer

It is frequently used in the automotive and medical industries because of its ease of use and flexibility. It can be transported around and used no matter what job is being carried out.

What is the name of the printer which prints all the age in a line before all the bees? ›

Line printers print a complete line at a time and have speeds in the range of 150 to 2500 lines per minute.

Which of the two types of printers is better to use? ›

Inkjet printers are widely used for most printing and are quite good in terms of quality and speed. However, laser printers are more efficient for high-quality prints for graphics such as logos, charts, diagrams, photos, etc. But it may cost more than other printer types.

What is the difference between the different types of printers? ›

So, one printer type uses ink, the other uses powder. Inkjet printers sprays ink droplets while laser printers melt toner powder onto paper. With this difference in application between the two inkjet and laser printer types, it's a common belief that smudging is more common with inkjet printers than laser.

How do I install a printer on my computer? ›

Add a printer or scanner in Windows
  1. Select Start > Settings > Bluetooth & devices > Printers & scanners . ...
  2. Next to Add a printer or scanner, select Add device.
  3. Wait for it to find nearby printers, then locate the one you want to use, and select Add device.


1. I Found The BEST HDB Estate To Live In
(Kelvin Learns Investing)
2. New Hallmark Movies 2023 - Great Hallmark Movies 2023 - Best Hallmark Romantic Movies 2023 full
(ইসলামিক মাদ্রাসা হালুয়াঘাট)
3. Working from Home: How to Set Up Your Workspace
(Thomas Frank)
4. OK Go - This Too Shall Pass - Rube Goldberg Machine - Official Video
(OK Go)
5. I ACTUALLY Got MrBeast Arrested
6. What are The BEST 3D Printers? | After 3 Years of Testing Here’s My FAVORITES!
(Frankly Built)
Top Articles
Latest Posts
Article information

Author: Delena Feil

Last Updated: 05/07/2023

Views: 6282

Rating: 4.4 / 5 (65 voted)

Reviews: 80% of readers found this page helpful

Author information

Name: Delena Feil

Birthday: 1998-08-29

Address: 747 Lubowitz Run, Sidmouth, HI 90646-5543

Phone: +99513241752844

Job: Design Supervisor

Hobby: Digital arts, Lacemaking, Air sports, Running, Scouting, Shooting, Puzzles

Introduction: My name is Delena Feil, I am a clean, splendid, calm, fancy, jolly, bright, faithful person who loves writing and wants to share my knowledge and understanding with you.