Wednesday, February 28, 2024

The best multifunction printers in 2022

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Last month’s trend continues in October after the back-to-school printer rush. The prices of the models in our selection have all increased but we are still at reasonable prices. 

Administrative procedures, children’s homework at school, student reviews, ticket printing: in many situations, it now seems difficult to move forward without having your own printer. If you don’t want this purchase to impact your budget too much, consider these accessible entry-level printer alternatives that are commercially available for less than $100 or closer to that price.

1. Canon Pixma TS5350: the best in print quality

  • Loading tray: front (100-sheet tray) and rear (20-sheet tray)
  • Display: OLED display and LED light strip informing of printing progress
  • Mobile app: yes
  • USB port or memory card: no
  • Photo printing: yes
  • Compatible cartridges: PG-560 black and CL-561 color ink
  • Price per page: €0.14 (based on a €49.99 value pack on the Canon store)
  • Print speed black: 13 pages per minute
  • Color print speed: 6.8 pages per minute
  • Maximum resolution: 4800 x 1200 dpi
  • Scan resolution: 1200 x 2400 dpi
  • Duplex printing: automatic
  • Subscription system for cartridges: no
  • Airprint: yes
  • Cloudprint: no
  • Strengths: good print quality, minimalist design, quiet
pixma-ts5350-270.jpg

Canon Pixma TS5350

With its fast connectivity, this stylish 3-in-1 all-in-one is the perfect tool for crafting and creating, and the perfect printing partner for your smartphone. With easy connectivity, a streamlined OLED display, LED status bar and first-class FINE cartridges, this stylish printer is optimized for smartphone users. The presence of an “automatic double-sided” functionality, just like the automatic detection of the width of the paper, comes as a real additional strong point on this model. Better still, the manufacturer displays a duration of 36 seconds for printing a borderless photo of 10 x 15 cm: fast and efficient at the same time. And for the most impatient, the LED indicator which informs about the progress of the printing is both useful and fun.

2. HP DeskJet 3760: the best MFP in a compact format

  • Loading tray: rear (60 sheets)
  • Display: LCD display
  • Mobile app: yes
  • USB port or memory card: no
  • Compatible cartridges: HP 304
  • Price per page: €0.25 (based on a color pack and a black cartridge at €27.98)
  • Print speed black: 8 pages per minute
  • Color print speed: 5.5 pages per minute
  • Maximum resolution: 4800 x 1200 dpi
  • Scan resolution: 600 x 600 dpi
  • Duplex printing: yes
  • Subscription system for cartridges: Instant Ink
  • Photo printing: yes
  • Airprint: yes
  • Cloudprint: yes
  • Strengths: compact, versatile
hp-deskjet-3760-270.jpg

HP Deskjet 3760

All-in-one printer in a compact format that incorporates a scanner and the possibility of connecting to WiFi wireless networks. The easiest way to print documents, photos and more from your Apple, Android and Windows devices. This very affordable model is often marketed with several months offered to the “Instant Ink” service, allowing you to receive ink cartridges for free. Thereafter, you can opt for attractive subscriptions: the cheapest package, for 15 pages per month, is €0.99 (with possible carryover of unused pages to the following months). Although it is Wi-Fi compatible, the presence of a USB port on this printer is also a strong point.

3. Canon Pixma TR4550: the best with Fax function

  • Loading tray: front (100 sheets)
  • Display: monochrome LCD display
  • Mobile app: yes
  • USB port or memory card: no
  • Compatible cartridges: black PG 545 / color CL-546
  • Price per page: €0.16 (based on a color pack and a black cartridge at €28.99)
  • Print speed black: 8.8 pages per minute
  • Color print speed: 4.4 pages per minute
  • Maximum resolution: 4800 x 1200 dpi
  • Scan resolution: 600 x 1200 dpi
  • Duplex printing: automatic
  • Subscription system for cartridges: no
  • Photo printing: yes
  • Airprint: yes
  • Cloudprint: yes
  • Strengths: fax, auto document feeder (20 sheets), automatic duplex
pixma-tr4550-270.jpg

Canon Pixma TR4550

Compact and stylish, this multifunction printer can copy, scan and fax multi-page documents with the 20-sheet feeder. With high productivity and a smooth wireless connection, it’s the ideal solution for any home office. To save paper but also to edit your documents more quickly, this printer has an automatic “double-sided” feature that you can easily use. Its scanner also incorporates an automatic document feeder, always with a view to efficiency. All in all, it’s an excellent choice for anyone who is worried about wasting time when editing or scanning their papers.

4. Epson Expression Home XP-2100: best for Epson fans

  • Loading tray: rear (100 sheets)
  • Display: indicator lights (no screen)
  • Mobile app: yes
  • USB port or memory card: no
  • Compatible cartridges: Epson 603
  • Price per page: €0.27 (based on a 4-color multipack at €37.99)
  • Print speed black: 8 pages per minute
  • Color print speed: 4 pages per minute
  • Maximum resolution: 5760 x 1440 dpi
  • Scan resolution: 1200 x 2400 dpi
  • Duplex printing: no
  • Subscription system for cartridges: Ready Print Go
  • Photo printing: yes
  • Airprint: no
  • Cloudprint: no
  • Strengths: compact size, separate ink cartridges
Expression-Home-XP-2100-270.jpg

Epson Expression Home XP-2100

Are you looking for a multifunctional that is compact, aesthetic, easy to use and allows you to save money? Go for the XP-2100. While compact, this model prints sharp documents with vivid colors. Thanks to Wi-Fi, Wi-Fi Direct and Epson mobile apps, it allows you to print all your documents remotely Undoubtedly, being able to change each black or color cartridge independently helps you save money and avoid waste. For those looking to print photos on a fairly regular basis, it’s worth adding that the device includes a red-eye removal and photo-editing module. It’s not worth a Photoshop, but you will still appreciate being able to embellish a few shots without specific knowledge.

5. HP Deskjet Plus 4122: Best Autoloader Printer

  • Loading tray: rear (60 sheets)
  • Display: LCD screen and intuitive icons
  • Mobile app: yes
  • USB port or memory card: no
  • Compatible cartridges: HP 305
  • Price per page: €0.16 (based on an HP 305XL pack with a black cartridge and a high-capacity color cartridge)
  • Print speed black: 8.5 pages per minute
  • Color print speed: 5.5 pages per minute
  • Maximum resolution: 1200 x 1200 dpi
  • Scan resolution: 4800 x 1200 dpi
  • Duplex printing: yes
  • Subscription system for cartridges: Instant Ink
  • Photo printing: yes
  • Airprint: yes
  • Cloudprint: no
  • Strengths: auto document feeder (35 sheets), dual-band Wi-Fi connectivity, flatbed scanner with automatic document feeder
hp-deskjet-4122-270.jpg

HP Deskjet Plus 4122

Print, photocopy and scan all your daily documents with ease thanks to the 35-page automatic tray. This model works thanks to dual-band Wifi, with a USB cable or via Bluetooth to print from a smartphone. Thanks to its ease of use and its rather economical side, this alternative is one of the most relevant choices for families. Since the Airprint and Bluetooth functionalities remain very easy to use, everyone can easily print the documents they need from their own computer or even their smartphone.

These multifunction printers will not necessarily amaze you with their speed or the sharpness of the rendering, if you compare them to the best high-end models. On the other hand, they meet all the basic requirements of a small, not too expensive printer, which we will ask for quite occasionally. Of course, all the models we have chosen for you combine several functions: you can photocopy, scan and print without any difficulty. We have ruled out laser printer models that save ink, but are much more expensive to buy.

Even with a small budget, you can easily find a printer that meets your needs. You don’t necessarily have to expect impressive speed or exceptional output, but by knowing the main strengths of each printer model and identifying your needs, you can determine which one is best for you.

Our tips for choosing

Ink cartridges

Conventional inkjet printers use 3 color cartridges (cyan, magenta and yellow) and a black cartridge. Some entry-level models use a single cartridge combining the 3 colors. The big disadvantage is that if one of the colors runs out, the cartridge will have to be replaced, which is not very economical. Ideally, it is therefore better to opt for a printer with separate cartridges, which can then be replaced independently. Some more advanced printer models use additional colors such as cyan or pale magenta to improve color reproduction for photo printing in particular.

print speed

Print speed is measured in pages per minute or ppm. The speeds given by the manufacturers are often misleading, because they do not take into account the processing time. This is the time that elapses between the moment when the “print” button is clicked and when the printer will start working. If you print short documents, a long processing time can be inconvenient. The speed is not constant with an inkjet printer. It varies depending on the quality settings chosen and whether you are printing in monochrome or color.

Print quality

A high-resolution image appears sharper on a computer screen and the same is true for a printout. With a printer, the resolution is measured in dots per inch or in English dots per inch (dpi). The higher the dpi number, the greater the fineness of reproduction. In general, the resolution varies depending on whether you are printing in monochrome or in color. Monochrome text and graphics don’t need the same level of detail as a photo. Thus, a printer can offer a monochrome resolution of 600 x 600 dpi and a color resolution of 9,600 x 2,400 dpi for example. If you plan to print a lot of photos, select a model with high resolution.

wireless technology

The vast majority of printers connect via USB. But some recent models integrate WiFi. A WiFi printer can be more convenient, because you can place it anywhere in your office without having to connect it to the computer by a cable. WiFi printers also have the advantage of being able to be shared between several users, since they can be accessed from any computer on a home network. Some printers also offer Bluetooth, which allows you to print photos from Bluetooth-enabled devices such as smartphones or certain cameras.

Subscriptions and their cost

More and more manufacturers are offering subscriptions that allow you to receive cartridges whenever you need them, without having to go to the store to buy them. This allows you to have fixed and controlled costs, but also to avoid the famous moment when you need to print and where you are missing one or more cartridge(s). The best-known service in the field is “Instant Ink” from HP, but other brands such as Epson offer similar offers, in fairly similar price ranges. Do not hesitate to look at the costs and compare, it can be interesting to benefit from this type of service.

Ease of use

On affordable printers under €100, you still rarely find extremely intuitive touch screens as is the case on more expensive inkjet or laser models. Despite everything, manufacturers innovate from year to year and, even at the entry level, there are screens with easy-to-use interfaces, for all audiences. If your printer passes through the hands of different people with not always identical computer skills, consider the intuitiveness of each device, and be sure to choose an alternative that is easy to use on a daily basis. For example, the possibility of photocopying without going through the computer or simply changing the cartridges are real advantages for family use.

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