Do you need to print a large amount of documents at a fast pace? Then I recommend that you buy a laser printer, which in cases like these can be much more effective and convenient than a classic inkjet printer, even in the home environment. Yes, you read that right: even in the home environment!
Gone are the days when laser printers were very expensive, bulky and the sole preserve of business environments. Today there are many affordable, compact and beautiful to look at printers that allow you to take advantage of all the advantages of laser (or LED) printing directly from home. Do not you believe it? Then let me change your mind.
Give me five minutes of your free time and I’ll show you some models of laser printers, both in black and white and in color, that allow you to print high quality documents at far more than affordable prices: think, it starts at less than 100 euros. Then? Is it possible to know that you are still standing there? Read on and try to find out which laser printer works best for you and your workflow. I assure you that there are really something for all tastes and, above all, for all budgets. Happy reading and good “hunt” for the printer!
How to Choose a Laser Printer:
Before seeing some of the most interesting laser printer models of the moment, let me explain how to evaluate the technical characteristics of each printer and identify the one that best suits your needs. I assure you that it is much simpler than you imagine.
Print in black and white or in color:
This choice depends entirely on your needs as well as your finances as color laser printers are more expensive than monochrome ones. In general, laser printers are more suitable for the production of b / w documents rather than color illustrations, but in recent times they have made several steps forward and guarantee excellent results even with color images.
Standard or multi function Printer:
Laser printers, as well as inkjet printers, can be multi functional. The term multi function defines a printer that also includes a scanner, offers copier functions and in some cases also integrates the fax.
Laser or LED Printer:
Some printers are referred to as LED rather than laser. In reality, these are more advanced laser printers that have no moving parts to keep aligned (lasers, moving mirrors or focusing lenses) and directly illuminate the printer drum using thousands of solid-state LED light sources. This, in strictly practical terms, allows for printers that are on average more compact, durable and faster than traditional laser printers (which still remain highly reliable). The image quality is slightly lower than that of the best laser printers, but these are minor differences considering all the other advantages just mentioned.
Weight and Size:
Inkjet printers, even the most advanced and complete from a functional point of view, are always quite compact. Laser printers do not. There are several models, many are light and compact like inkjets but others are really very bulky and heavy. So I recommend: before purchasing a laser printer, carefully analyze the size and weight of the latter!
Print speed, resolution, RAM and CPU:
Perhaps, as a home user, you won’t need a super high performance printer. However, I recommend that you take into account parameters such as print speed and resolution and components such as the RAM and CPU of the printer.
The print speed is expressed in pages per minute (ppm) or in some cases in ipm (images per minute) and indicates, precisely, the number of A4 pages that the printer is able to generate every minute. In color laser printers, the number of ppm may vary for black and white and color prints.
The print resolution is expressed in DPI (dots per inch) and indicates the number of dots that make up the printed image for each inch of sheet. As can be easily understood, the higher this value, the better the quality of the printed documents. An important thing to know is that the print resolution is almost always expressed with two values: one with the actual DPI that the printer mechanics can achieve (e.g. 600 x 600 DPI) and a higher one (e.g. 2400 × 600 DPI) which indicates the quality that the printer is able to provide thanks to some technologies for image enhancement (“tricks” that improve the quality of the print to put it simply). In multifunction printers it is also good to look at the resolution of the scanner, which just like that of the printer is expressed in DPI and has two values: one real and one dictated by image enhancement technologies.
RAM and CPU (processor) are two components that affect printer performance. The more powerful the processor, the more RAM there is and the better the printer performance. RAM in many cases can be expanded after the purchase of the printer.
If you don’t have the ability to connect your printer to your computer (or router), make sure you buy one with wireless support, which can then be used wirelessly by all devices connected to the local network. In addition to support for standard Wi-Fi networks, laser printers can also support Wi-Fi Direct technology that allows two devices to communicate (in this case the printer and the PC) without having a router to act as an intermediary and NFC technology that allows printers to communicate with smartphones and tablets (if they are also equipped with NFC support) simply by placing them next to each other.
Also worth considering is the support for cloud printing technologies, such as Google Print, which allow you to control the printing of documents remotely, and for proprietary wireless technologies, such as Apple AirPrint, which allow you to print wirelessly with devices of certain brands.
Supported Paper Sizes:
All laser printers support classic A4-size sheets, but it is not obvious that they support A3 or other paper sizes. Before buying a printer, therefore, make sure it is equipped with support for the paper size you intend to use. Also make sure that the drawer for loading the sheets and the output tray have sufficient capacity for your needs (the capacity indicates the maximum number of sheets that can be accommodated in it).
Also make sure that the printer supports a paper weight appropriate to your needs. The weight is measured in g / m² and determines the thickness of the paper supported by the printer: take this parameter into account if you need to print card stock or other formats of thicker sheets than classic A4.
Some printers are also equipped with multiple drawers for loading paper, so as to allow the loading of different paper sizes without forcing the user to manually change sheets from time to time.
Automatic duplex and ADF:
If you have advanced printing needs, make sure the printer you are going to buy supports automatic duplexing and has an ADF. Auto duplex is a feature that allows you to print on both sides of a sheet without having to turn it manually. The ADF, on the other hand, is a component that can be present in the scanner of multi function printers and automatically loads the sheets into the latter.
Doors and Displays:
Before buying your next laser printer, also take a look at its port equipment and check if there is a display to change the print settings and command the printing of documents without going through the PC or the smartphone.
The most common ports on printers are network ports (LAN), which allow you to connect the device to the local network via an Ethernet cable, and USB, which instead allow you to connect the printer to the router in order to use it wirelessly even if it is not equipped. of native Wi-Fi support. The USB ports and any memory card slots can also be used to load content to be printed directly into the printer.
Maximum Monthly Duty Cycle:
Laser printer manufacturers indicate a maximum monthly duty cycle that these devices can guarantee. This is the number of pages that printers can process in a month. If you need to do a lot of printing, make sure that the printer you are about to buy can “handle” the workload you intend to give it.
Printers, if used intensively, can weigh heavily on the electricity bill. Before buying one, therefore, make sure that its energy consumption is not excessive. As easily imaginable, consumption varies if the printer is in use or in stand-by mode.
Replacement Toner Prices:
Before buying a laser printer, it is advisable to inquire about the prices of replacement toners. This is because there are inexpensive printers that are very convenient at the time of purchase but which then require major outlays when it comes to changing toners, which may even prove difficult to find. In short: it is better to spend a few euros more when buying the printer and then have toner that are easily available and cheap rather than aiming for initial savings and then suffer bloodletting every time you need to replace consumables.
Buying a printer only to find out there are driver problems and you can’t use it with your PC isn’t the best of life. Before buying a laser printer, therefore, find out about the software it comes with and its compatibility with the operating system installed on your PC.
Which laser Printer to Buy:
Without this brief – but I hope exhaustive – rundown on the main characteristics of laser printers, I would say that we can get down to business and find out what the market has to offer us, in short, which laser printers currently guarantee the best value for money.
I want to clarify that I will focus on printers intended for the consumer / prosumer sector, therefore for the home and small offices. I will have the opportunity to deal with printers intended for business environments in other circumstances.
Best cheap laser printer:
HP LaserJet 107a / 107w (b / w)
The HP LaserJet 107a is one of the most compact and affordable laser printers currently available on the market, perfect for the home and small office environment. Measuring 3.9 x 2.8 x 2.6 cm and weighing less than 6 kg, it reaches a print speed of 20 pages per minute, with a maximum resolution of 1,200 x 1,200 DPI. HP’s recommended monthly print volume is between 100 and 1,500 pages. It has a drawer that can hold up to 150 sheets in various formats. As for connectivity, it is equipped with USB only.
If you need more opportunities on the connection front, I suggest you turn to the variant called HP LaserJet 107w, which, in fact, also supports Wi-Fi, Wi-Fi Direct, AirPrint, Google Cloud Print and the ability to manage mobile printing via the proprietary app.
Pantum Laserjet P2500W:
One of the best value for money black and white laser printers is the Pantum Laserjet P2500W, which is 33.7 x 22 x 17.8cm and 5.7kg in weight. It has a print speed of 22 ppm and guarantees a text resolution of 1,200 x 1,200 DPI. It also supports wireless mode and lets you take advantage of Apple’s AirPrint. The processor is 600 MHz and has 128 MB of RAM.
HP LaserJet Pro M15w / M15a
If you want a laser printer that looks like an inkjet printer in all respects, even in terms of dimensions (it measures 3.78 x 1.98 x 2.22 cm and weighs 4.73 kg), I suggest the HP LaserJet Pro M15W, which can print up to 19 pages per minute at more than acceptable quality for home needs. It allows you to start printing also via smartphone, with the HP Smart app, and supports the self-start and self-shutdown mode, through which you can save on your electricity bill. It also features an intuitive LED panel for control.
There is also the version called HP LaserJet Pro M15a, without integrated wireless features, which I only recommend if you want to save those few dollars less that it costs. Apart from connectivity, the rest of the functions offered are identical to the other model.
Also worth considering in the field of black and white laser printers is the Brother HL-L2350DW, which stands out for its compact size and good value for money. It measures 356 x 183 x 360 mm for 7.2 kg of weight and ensures a printing speed of 30 pages per minute, with a resolution of 1,200 x 1,200 DPI. It has a 250-sheet paper tray and supports double-sided printing. It can be connected to the network via Wi-Fi and via USB.
The Lexmark B2236DW is another great monochrome printer that you can consider if you don’t want to spend a lot but are looking for a high-performance, quality product. It offers a print speed of up to 34 pages per minute with a maximum resolution of 1,200 x 1,200 DPI, has automatic duplexing and an input capacity of up to 251 sheets. It has a 1 GHz Dual Core processor and 256 MB of RAM. It can be networked via Ethernet, USB and Wi-Fi and supports Apple’s AirPrint. It measures 35.5 x 33.3 x 21.5 cm and weighs 6.8 kg.
HP LaserJet Pro M102A / HP M102W:
The HP LaserJet Pro M102A is a widely appreciated black and white laser printer, capable of printing at a fairly high speed, more precisely 22 pages per minute, at a maximum resolution corresponding to 600 x 600 DPI. It has a duty cycle of up to 10,000 A4 pages on a monthly basis and helps save energy with HP Auto-On / Auto-Off and Instant-on technology. It has a Hi-Speed 2.0 USB port for connection and measures 364.7 x 247.3 x 190.6 mm for 4.7 kg of weight.
If you are looking for a product capable of being connected to the network even wirelessly, you can instead turn to the model called HP LaserJet Pro M102W, which, in fact, supports the use of Wi-Fi, Wi-Fi Direct, AirPrint and Google Cloud Print, as well as proprietary HP ePrint technology.
Brother DCP-L2510D (b / w multi function)
Another printer available at a good price and offering excellent print quality mixed with quite interesting performance is the Brother DCP-L2510D. It is a small laser printer for individuals and small businesses capable of producing monochrome documents at 30 pages per minute, with a resolution of 1,200 x 1,200 DPI. It offers an LCD display, a 250-sheet drawer, automatic double-sided printing and being a 3-in-1 also allows for copying and scanning. Note that it only supports connection via USB. It measures 27.2 x 39.85 x 41 cm and weighs 10.3 kg.
HP Laser MFP 137fnw:
Just like the HP laser printer models that I have already recommended, this multifunction version, the HP Laser MFP 137fnw, is very compact and resembles an inkjet printer. In addition to allowing printing (only in black and white), it can scan and photocopy and send and receive faxes, even all together, thanks to the automatic feeder. It supports wireless connectivity, is compatible with the HP Smart app and also with Wi-Fi Direct, Google Cloud Print and Apple AirPrint technologies. The print speed is 20ppm and the maximum resolution is 1,200 x 1,200 DPI.
Very interesting is also the Pantum M6550NW which weighs just under 9 kg and is 41.7 x 30.5 x 30.1 cm large. It is a monochrome capable of printing at a speed of 22 ppm, with a maximum resolution of 1,200 x 1,200 DPI. Being a multifunctional, it also allows you to perform copy and scan operations. It has a 150-sheet tray ADF and supports both Wi-Fi and Ethernet connectivity, as well as Wi-Fi Direct. Note that it comes with a 700 page starter toner cartridge
Xerox B215 (B&W multi function):
One of the most renowned companies when it comes to selling quality printers is Xerox, and among its cheapest models I recommend the B215, a multifunction printer with 30 pages per minute and a resolution of 600 x 600 DPI with up to at 1,200 x 1,200 DPI. There is support for automatic duplex mode and also allows you to perform copy, scan and fax operations. Among the connectivity solutions we have Wi-Fi and Ethernet. The processor is 600 MHz, while the RAM + is 256 MB. It measures 401 x 396.8 x 365.1 mm and weighs 11.45 kg.
Best mid-range laser printer:
Brother HL-L5000D / HL-L5100DN / HL-L5200DW (b / w)
The Brother HL-L5000D is a laser printer that allows you to print only in black and white, at a rather high speed of 40 ppm, at a resolution of 1,200 x 1,200 DPI. It has automatic duplexing, has a 1-line LCD display that allows you to manage the main printing functions without complications and supports connection via USB. It has a high paper handling capacity with a standard input capacity of 300 sheets, possibly expandable up to 1,340, and a standard output tray of 150 sheets. It measures 373 x 388 x 255 mm and weighs 10.7 kg.
If the connection via USB alone proves insufficient, you can consider turning to the models named Brother HL-L5100DN and Brother HL-L5200DW, which offer, respectively, the possibility of connecting the printer to the network via Ethernet and via Wi-Fi.
HP Color Laser 150nw (color)
The HP Color Laser 150nw is a laser printer that allows you to print with a maximum resolution of 600 x 600 DPI, at a speed of 18 ppm in black and white and 4 ppm in color. It has a 50-sheet drip tray and a 150-sheet front feed drawer for sizes from 10 x 15 up to A4. It is equipped with USB 2.0, supports Wi-Fi and Ethernet connectivity and allows you to take advantage of AirPrint and Google Cloud Print printing services. It also has a handy icon-based LED screen, with clearly visible lights and buttons. It is very compact: it measures just 211 x 382 x 309 mm and weighs about 10 kg.
Brother HL – L3210CW / HL-L3230CDW / HL-L3270CDW (color)
The Brother HL – L3210CW is also a great printer that offers 18ppm black and white and color printing with a maximum resolution of 2,400 x 600 DPI. It measures 41 x 46.1 x 25.2 cm for 17.2 kg of weight and includes 256 MB of RAM memory. The declared consumption is 390W and among the supported connectivity systems we have USB and Wi-Fi.
A step further up there are the models called Brother HL-L3230CDW and Brother HL-L3270CDW, which offer greater performance in terms of connections and functionality. The first model, in fact, also supports connection via Ethernet, while the second adds pairing via NFC. Cloud printing services are also supported and automatic duplexing is present, for an affordable yet versatile printer.
HP Pro M255dw (color)
The HP Pro M255dw is a laser printer designed for small offices that can “churn out” up to 21 pages per minute, both in black and white and in color, and with a resolution of 600 x 600 DPI. There is also automatic duplexing. Complete the list of connections, including Ethernet and Wi-Fi, with compatibility also with the most popular cloud printing services: there is the proprietary one, HP ePrint, and there are also AirPrint, Google Cloud Print. It also has an LCD display with touch controls, through which to manage the main functions offered. The dimensions are not so exaggerated: 392 x 419 x 247.5 mm with a weight of 14.8 kg.
Lexmark C3224DW (color):
The Lexmark C3224DW is a laser printer equipped with a 1 GHz multi-core processor and 256 MB of memory that allows you to print at a maximum speed of 22 pages per minute, in both black and white and color, at a maximum resolution of 600 x 600 DPI. It has automatic duplexing and supports USB, Ethernet and Wi-Fi connectivity. It measures 39.4 x 41 x 24 cm and weighs just over 16 kg.
HP Color Laser MFP 178nw / 179fnw (color MFP)
The HP Color Laser MFP 178nw is a compact size laser printer (measuring just 421.9 x 422.9 x 344.1mm) that not only prints 18ppm in black and 4ppm in color , with a maximum resolution of 600 x 600 DPI, but which also offers copy and scan functions. It is also equipped with a 40-sheet automatic ADF and a 150-sheet front feed drawer for sizes from 10 x 15 up to A4. Network connection can be via Ethernet and wireless and supports both AirPrint and Google Cloud Print.
If you also need the fax, you can consider contacting the model called HP Color Laser MFP 179fnw, which, in fact, adds the functionality in question. The rest of the features are identical to the other printer.
Brother HL-L8260CDW (color multi function)
Another extremely attractive mid-to-high-end Brother printer is the HL-L8260CDW, which has print, scanner, fax and copy functions. It delivers performance up to 31ppm, in both color and black and white, at a resolution of 2,400 x 600 DPI (600 x 600 DPI basic), has a standard 250-sheet tray and a 50-sheet multipurpose tray with a weight maximum of 60-163 g / m². It supports automatic duplexing, wireless printing and has a convenient display that allows you to set the printing parameters without going through the PC. Its processor is 800 MHz, its RAM is 256 MB. It measures 410 x 486 x 313 mm for 21.8 kg of weight
Lexmark MC3224dwe (color multi function)
The Lexmark MC3224dwe is a very interesting color multi function laser printer: it allows you to print at a maximum speed of 22 ppm, has automatic duplexing, supports Ethernet and Wi-Fi connectivity, has a USB port and also allows you to take advantage of AirPrint technology. The maximum print resolution is 600 x 600 DPI, as is the scan resolution. It weighs just over 18 kg and its dimensions are 306.9 x 411.2 x 394.1 mm.
Brother MFC-L3730CD (color multi function)
The Brother MFC-L3730CD is a fairly attractive printer in this price range. It is a LED multifunction with integrated fax, automatic duplex printing, 250-sheet drawer and 50-sheet feeder. The supplied toner allows you to print up to 1,000 pages, even in color, while as regards the speed of printing we have up to 18 pages per minute. For printing management we have a touch-screen display plus panel, and there is also the possibility of connecting to the network (via Ethernet only) or to an external device via USB.
Kyocera ECOSYS M5521cdw (color multifunction)
The Kyocera ECOSYS M5521cdw is another color multi function printer model that you may consider considering. It allows you to print at a speed of 21 pages per minute, both in black and white and in color, at a maximum resolution of 1,200 x 1,200 DPI. It is quite quiet, has duplexing and the drawer holds up to 250 sheets. It has a USB 2.0 port and supports connection via Ethernet and also via Wi-Fi. In addition, it is compatible with AirPrint and Google Cloud Print.
Best high-end laser printer:
HP Laser Jet Pro M501dn (b / w)
The HP Laser Jet Pro M501dn is a monochrome laser printer equipped with a 1500 MHz processor and 256 MB of RAM, capable of printing at a speed of 43 ppm, with a resolution of 600 x 600 DPI (up to 4800 x 600 Enhanced PPE). It supports automatic two-sided printing, has a practical LCD display to manage all the various functions and has a 250-sheet collection tray. It is also equipped with a Gigabit Ethernet port, a USB port for storing jobs with PIN printing and a Hi-Speed 2.0 USB printing port. It measures 418 x 376 x 289 mm and weighs 11.6 kg.
Oki C813n (color)
The Oki C813n is a printer that also supports A3 format sheets and uses LED technology. It allows you to print 23 pages per minute for A4 format with a resolution of 1,200 x 600 DPI. It is equipped with an 800 MHz processor and 256 MB of RAM, measures 449 x 552 x 360 mm and weighs 40 kg.
Epson Aculaser C9300DN (color)
The Epson Aculaser C9300DN is a professional printer designed to work on various paper sizes, including A3. The image quality is very high and allows you to print 30 pages per minute, both in black and white and in color. It can be networked via Ethernet and supports automatic duplexing. It measures 53.8 x 49.95 x 42.2 cm for a weight of 42 kg. It should be noted that it ensures a monthly print volume of up to 100,000 pages.
Canon i-SENSYS MF443dw (b / w multifunction)
The Canon i-SENSYS MF443dw is a multi function capable of printing 38 pages per minute in black and white. It also allows for copying and scanning operations and has been designed to meet the needs of the private user and small and medium-sized offices. It also has a large LCD display through which all the various operations can be fully managed. It supports Wi-Fi, comes with custom controls and even allows mobile printing. It is not excessively bulky, in fact it measures 46.4 x 45.3 x 39.2 cm and weighs 17.2 kg.
Brother DCP-L6600DW (b / w multi function)
The Brother DCP-L6600DW is a very powerful monochrome 3 in 1 belonging to the high end of the laser printer market. In fact, it allows you to print at a speed of 46 pages per minute, at a maximum resolution of 1,200 x 1,200 DPI. It supports automatic duplexing and thanks to the integrated duplex you can print, copy and scan simultaneously. It can be connected to the network in a wired way and via Wi-Fi, has an integrated NFC reader, to print from mobile devices and allow users to authenticate in complete security and has a 12.3 cm color touch LCD display.
HP Color LaserJet Pro M282nw / M283fdw / M283fdn (color MFP):
The HP Color Laser Jet Pro M282nw is a laser printer that offers a print speed of 21 pages per minute, in both black and white and color, with a maximum resolution of 600 x 600 DPI. It supports automatic two-sided printing and, being a multi functional, copy and scan functions are also offered. It is also equipped with a touch display through which the main functions can be managed and can be connected to the network via both Ethernet and Wi-Fi. It also allows you to take advantage of Wi-Fi Direct, AirPrint and Google Cloud Print and is has a front USB port.
Then there is the HP Color LaserJet Pro M283fdw variant, which also integrates the fax function, while the model called HP Color LaserJet Pro M283fdn always offers print, copy, scan and fax functions but only supports connection via Ethernet.
Brother MFC-L3750CDW / MFC-L3770CDW (color multi function)
The Brother MFC-L3750 is one of the best laser printers that I recommend if you need a high-end model, designed for small and medium-sized businesses. It has all the main features: USB, Wi-Fi and Ethernet connectivity, has a touch-screen display combined with a panel with different keys and the print speed is 24 ppm. It is a 4 in 1 LED with automatic duplexing and 512MB of RAM. Its dimensions are equal to 61.5 x 56.6 x 52 cm with a weight of 24.5 kg.
If you need even more performance on the connectivity front, you can consider the model called Brother MFC-L3770CDW, which adds to the above printer features support for Wi-Fi Direct and NFC.
OKI MC873dn / MC873dnv / MC873dnct (color multi function)
If you have particularly high printing needs, I suggest you rely on the model called OKI MC873dn. It is an LED multi functional that allows you to print up to 23 pages per minute, both in black and white and in color, and is also compatible with A3 format. Thanks to the cabinet, the capacity can be expanded up to 2,005 sheets starting from a base of 935 sheets. It should be noted that it also has special security functions that allow it to accept prints only from authorized operators.
If you need more paper capacity, you can opt for the model called OKI MC873dnv, which offers 4 additional drawers, or for the one called OKI MC873dnct, which offers 2 drawers plus cabinet.