10 Best Inkjet Printers

When buying a printer the first decision you need to make is inkjet or laser. Inkjet printers are generally smaller, cheaper, and provide better photo print quality over laser printers. However, if you are only going to print black and white text or will be using it constantly then a laser printer is preferred. While some inkjets just print, many inkjet printers are all-in-one, or multifunction, meaning they can print, scan and copy. They also are often designed for more specific tasks like office use – designed for multiple users or higher volume in small office environment or photo printers – best for optimal photo quality.

Below we review the top 10 best inkjet printers for normal users as well as the top 2 best for professionals. If you still need more advice check out our inkjet buying guide.


9.3
#1)

HP Officejet Pro 8620

We chose the $170 HP Officejet Pro 8620 as the best all-in-one inkjet printer. The 8620 is perfect for a small office setting due to its low operating costs, speed of printing, scan and copy functions, auto-feeder, auto-duplexing capabilities, and Wi-Fi. It will print pages of crisp text in excellent quality as fast as any other printer with up to 21 ppm black or 16.5 ppm color. The other main advantage of this model is the cheap printing costs of about $0.30 for a 4×6 print or $0.016 for a text page which were both the lowest among all brands and models.

The HP Officejet Pro 8620’s main weaknesses are image quality and its large size. The prints it makes are good, but not great, so if image quality is of utmost importance to you then you should look elsewhere. Overall we recommend this HP printer for small or home office settings where you will be printing a decent amount, but do not need superior photo quality.


9.3
#2)

Canon Maxify MB5320

Next on our list with a score virtually identical to the number one choice was the Canon Maxify MB5320 which sells for about $200 or more. This bulky model is a wireless all-in-one that is better suited for the office than for home use. Some features include auto-feeder for scanning or copying, auto duplexing to print on both sides of a page, and second paper tray. The printing speed is very good and printing a 4×6 photo on glossy paper gave a very good result as well. However an 8×10 photo only produced fair quality. Print costs run $0.45 for a 4×6 image or $0.018 per page of text.

Some negatives users should be aware of include an inability to print borderless photos, lacks a memory card reader, and requires manual entry of wi-fi password. The higher price of the Canon Maxify MB5320 caused us to downgrade it slightly and should cause home users to look for a different model, but overall it is a solid performer for the small business office.


9.3
#3)

Canon Pixma iP8720

If you are looking for an inkjet printer with outstanding photo quality then look no further than the Canon Pixma iP8720 available for $215. It features a 6-color ink system including gray ink and a superior resolution of 9600 x 2400 dpi which allows you to print amazing borderless images of up to 13 x 19 inches. You can also print on inkjet-capable DVDs and CDs. Text quality and speed were also very good. The printing costs for this model are a bit higher than average with a 4×6 costing about $0.65, an 8×10 $2.00, and a text page about $0.056.

Buyers should be aware the Pixma iP8720 lacks the multifunction capabilities of some of the other printers.

We recommend the iP8720 for users whose primary use will be printing photos at home with an occasional text document as well. For users who will print a higher volume of pages you might want to look for a model with lower overall printing costs.


9.2
#4)

Canon Pixma MG7520

The Canon Pixma MG7520 is a quality all-in-one that sells for about $114. It works great for printing from your mobile phone or tablet wirelessly with AirPrint for your Apple products and PIXMA Touch & Print for Android devices. Photo quality is really good, although not quite as good as the iP8720, thanks to a 6-ink system and a 9600 x 2400 dpi color resolution. Printing on glossy paper produced beautiful borderless images, however, using normal paper produced results that were just OK. Printing speeds are outstanding and on par with other top-tier models.

One of the main drawbacks of the Pixma MG7520 is the printing and maintenance cost. A 4×6 will cost about $0.65 and a page of text about $0.065. It also uses a lot of ink to maintain the printhead between printings. One other annoying feature users should be aware of is that you cannot print if one of the color ink cartridges runs out of ink.

We recommend the Pixma MG7520 for home users who will primarily want to print from their phone or tablet without having to worry about transferring files around.


9.2
#5)

HP Officejet Pro 8610

The HP Officejet Pro 8610 is very similar to the 8620, but cost much less at just $110. The main differences being that it has slightly slower print speeds – up to 19 ppm black and 14.5 ppm color, a smaller document feeder – 35 pages instead of 50, and a smaller touchscreen display – 2.65 inches instead of 4.3. This all-in-one was rated as a Best Buy by the leading consumer magazine and is a great small office model due to the lowest monthly print costs of any model on our list. The photo quality while decent is not that great and one other negative is that it is large and heavy.

We recommend the HP Officejet Pro 8610 for small offices or home offices who need an affordable printer to print mostly text documents with some graphics, but who do not need super high resolution photos.


9.1
#6)

Canon Pixma MG5620

Our choice for the best inkjet printer under $100 is the Canon Pixma MG5620 which sells for as low as $70. This is a multifunction printer that can scan, copy, and print wirelessly from virtually any device. It features 5 individual inks (no gray), auto 2-sided printing, 4800 x 1200 dpi resolution, and 2.5 inch display. The photo quality is really good – especially for small photos, but still a bit below the MG7520, while the print costs are pricey and very similar to the MG7520. It prints black text very fast with excellent quality and has excellent color graphics quality.

The main downsides are the print costs and the amount of ink it uses to maintain the print head. It is also louder than many other printers.

We recommend the Canon Pixma MG5620 for casual home users who need very good quality, but won’t be printing documents in large quantities or any large format images.


9
#7)

Epson Workforce Pro WF-5690

One of the more expensive models on our list is the Epson Workforce Pro WF-5690 at about $390. This multifunction is designed for the office environment with Wi-Fi, an auto feeder, auto duplexing, fast print speeds – up to 20 ppm black and color, and low print costs. A 4×6 image will cost about $0.45 and a text page about $0.018, which will help to offset the initial high cost. With a resolution of 4800 x 1200 dpi the photo quality is better than many models designed for heavier duty office use like the HP 8620. One other advantage it has is that it uses very little ink in the maintenance of the print head.

The cons are that it is very expensive, it is large and heavy, and it can’t print borderless photos.

We recommend the Epson WF-5690 for work offices that will be printing a relatively high number of color documents and who still need very good image quality.


9
#8)

Epson Expression Premium XP-820

The $130 Epson Expression Premium XP-820 tied for the highest rating from the leading consumer magazine. This versatile machine is a wireless all-in-one that is surprisingly compact. It features an auto feeder, auto duplexing, a rear paper feed for specialty paper or envelopes, dedicated photo and DVD/CD trays, and wireless printing. It has decent print speeds of up to 14 ppm black and 11 ppm color. The photo quality is outstanding, although not quite as good as the Canon Pixma iP8720 and the text was surprisingly just OK.

One drawback of the XP-820 is the printing and ink maintenance cost. A 4×6 image will run about $0.50, an 8×10 about $1.55, and a text page about $0.052. It also uses a lot of ink in maintaining the print head if you only print intermittently.

We feel the Epson Expression Premium XP-820 is a good choice for a home user who needs a multifunction printer that does not take up very much space and will still print photos of excellent quality.


8.8
#9)

HP Envy 7640

The HP Envy 7640 is a wireless all-in-one that sells for $130. It lets you print from your mobile devices with ease and features automatic 2-side printing, auto-feeder, copier, fax, and memory card slot. It produces excellent text quality and very good graphic quality, however the photo quality while good is far from great. Print speeds are just average with up to 14 ppm black and 9 ppm color.

This model still uses just one color ink cartridge and one for black ink. This can affect print costs greatly depending on how you use it. For someone who only prints in color once in while, then you can save money since it will use very little ink in maintaining the print head. However, once one color runs out you have to replace the whole cartridge.

The HP Envy 7640 would make a good choice for an occasional home user who does not print that often and who does not need to produce amazing photo quality.


8.5
#10)

Epson Expression Home XP-420

Another cheap option is the $70 Epson Expression Home XP-420. The small compact design is great for anyone lacking space. It features wireless printing from any mobile device while also have copy and scan functions. The photo quality is just OK while text quality is pretty good. The print speed is also a bit slow with just 9 ppm black and 4.5 ppm color. It has 4 ink cartridges (black and 3 colors) that seem to run out of ink pretty fast.

We recommend the Epson Expression Home XP-420 to the home user who only prints something occasionally and is more concerned with the initial price of the machine and how much space it takes up.


Best Professional Inkjet Printers

 


9.4
#1)

Epson SureColor P600

If you are in the market for a professional printer then you might want the Epson SureColor P600. Yes at nearly $850 it is expensive, but this thing will produce amazing results. You can print up to 13 x 19 inch borderless prints or panoramas that are over 10 feet long. It uses 9 separate ink cartridges using Epson UltraChrome HD ink which results in simply stunning images – and an amazing level of detail in black and white prints. It has 3 media feeders – a top loading mult-sheet feeder, a front straight through feeder, and a rear 2-inch-core roll feeder.

We highly recommend the Epson SureColor P600 for professionals who need the best prints, although be aware that there are other options if the initial price is too much for you.


9.3
#2)

Canon Pixma PRO-100

A slightly older, yet more affordable professional inkjet printer is the Canon Pixma PRO-100 which sells for about $350. It uses 8 dye-based ink cartridges for incredible gradients and a 4800 x 2400 dpi with FINE technology for amazing detail. You can print professional photos on various media up to 13 x 19 inches. It has Wi-Fi and a PictBridge which lets you print direct from your digital camera.

The Canon Pixma PRO-100 is a great choice for those of you who need professional results, but don’t want to spend a ton of money.


Inkjet Printer Buying Guide

Here are some important things to consider when you are purchasing an inkjet printer:

Class / User Profile

Each machine is normally geared towards a specific use. There are models made for office or business settings. There are also versions for primarily photos, portable travel companions, and those that are for general multifunction home use. Pick one that is designed for the way you will be using it.

Resolution / Print Quality

Inkjet printers work by applying a precisely controlled stream of tiny ink droplets from one or more cartridges to a variety of paper types. The print quality you get is dependent on a printer’s resolution, expressed as DPI (dots per inch). However, the resolution is not the only thing that affects quality. Dot size, shape, and placement as well as the ink and paper quality will all affect the image quality.

Ink Cartridge Cost

One of the most important aspects of inkjet printers is the cost of ink because in the long run this will cost much more than the printer itself. Some have one cartridge for the black and second one for the color inks. Others have a separate cartridge for each color – cyan, magenta, yellow. For photos, some newer inkjets have additional cartridges that contain lighter cyan and magenta inks, or gray ink, which can blend light areas of an image better. You should see how much replacement cartridges will cost and how long or how many photos your ink will last you. One tip that can save you money is that many cartridges can be refilled with ink much cheaper than buying a whole new one.

Print Speed

Be wary of manufacturers claims of print speed, or how fast they can print a black or color page. The International Organization for Standardization (widely known as ISO) developed an industry-approved and internationally accepted standard, ISO PPM for black and color, specifically for inkjet printers and all-in-ones that measures default print speeds using real world printing scenarios. This is the spec you should look for which measures how many pages per minute a printer can print in black or color. A good speed is 12 ISO PPM black or 9 ISO PPM color.

Connectivity

If printing without wires is important look for wireless models that support WiFi. Most models also have USB and other memory card ports to print without the computer.

Paper Handling

Generally, all inkjets print on standard paper (letter and legal sizes) and accept envelopes. However they can vary on other paper sizes, double-sided printing, and document feeders for copying, scanning, or faxing. They also will vary on how many sheets of paper their input and output trays can handle.

You should also pay attention to the path your paper will move through the printer. Some have ‘U’ shapes that won’t work will with stiff media, instead you will want a straight-through paper path.

Media Printing

Paper is not the only thing that many modern inkjets can print on. Some can print on discs like DVDs or CDs.

Controls/Screen

Look for a machine with simple controls for scanning, copying, or printing. Some have a large LCD screen from which you can edit images without the need for a computer.

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