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Back-To-School Savings: The Best Cheap Printers for People Who Won’t Really Use Them That Often

Thanks to back-to-school sales, this is your chance to score a great deal on the best printers under $100. However, college students aren’t the only ones who can take advantage of these sales on cheap printers and scanners from brands like Canon, HP and Epson.

For most of us, printing things at home is largely a thing of the past. Sure, there are a handful of times where we need a paper copy of a résumé, contract or tax return but that hardly warrants spending $200 on a printer. Similarly, going to a copy center can be wildly inconvenient. This is where the best cheap printers come into play.

While you’ll still have to spend a little bit of cash, it’s possible to find a cheap printer that won’t gouge you on ink refills. Top companies such as HP, Epson and Canon all have affordable options, and some even have added benefits, such as scanning and photo printing.

But the best cheap printers are mostly about printing the occasional document. Instead of considering the color quality and print speed above all else, we think the following features matter most:

  • Compact size: Considering it’s something you don’t use much, you don’t want a printer that eats up space in your closet or on your desk. As such, you want a printer that is relatively sturdy and tucks away easily so that you don’t have to spend much time thinking about where to keep it.
  • Page Yield and Cartridge Costs: You could find the greatest deal on the planet for a printer, but if the ink is egregiously expensive, more expensive printers with high-yield cartridges and cheaper refills could be more cost-effective in the long run.
  • Ease of use and connectivity: The whole point of buying one of the best cheap printers is convenience. If you end up spending more time troubleshooting than printing, is it worth it? Probably not. This is why you’ll want to consider how compatible a printer is with computers. Furthermore, you may even want an option that lets you print directly from your phone.

With all these factors considered, we’ve put together a list of the best cheap printers that we think will serve people well for light use. After all there are better accessories to spend your money on.

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Canon Pixma TS202 Inkjet Printer


The Canon Pixma TS202 is the definition of a no-frills printer. It doesn’t copy or scan, lacks WiFi and only prints seven pages per minute. But what it has working in its favor is the fact that it is small (it’s roughly the size of a shoebox) and extremely cheap. Plus the cost to print can be as low as 8 cents per page if you have a high-yield cartridge. There are certainly better printers you can buy in terms of objective performance, but if you just need an inexpensive printer for the most basic and lightweight of tasks, this is a perfect choice.

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Courtesy of Canon


Canon TS302 Wireless Inkjet Smart Printer


Looking for the best printers for college students? We’ve found it. This Canon TS302 Wireless Smart Printer won’t just make it easy to print out essays, but it can also be used to quickly scan and print notes using nothing more than your smartphone. You can even ask Alexa to print something for you. Best of all, it’s currently priced under $50 as part of Amazon’s back-to-school sales event. Super compact, it will fit perfectly into your dorm room or college apartment.

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Courtesy of Canonn

HP DeskJet 2755e With 6 Months Instant Ink


Currently one of the best-selling cheap printers on Amazon, this HP DeskJet is a basic printer that’s perfect for home offices and college students. It’s especially great for the forgetful and procrastinators among us, as your purchase includes a 6-month free trial of HP+, which will have ink delivered directly to you each month as needed. Not only is this one of the best cheap printers on Amazon, but it’s also one of the most highly rated products on this list, as it’s an “Amazon’s Choice” product with 14,000+ reviews.

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Courtesy of Amazon


Epson Expression Home XP-4100 Inkjet Printer


Dubbing itself a “Small-In-One” printer, the Epson Expression Home XP-4100 is a great choice for infrequent print needs. Able to copy and scan, the XP-4100 can print up to 10 pages per minute. And when you plug in a high-yield cartridge, the cost per page of printing drops to 8 cents. But what’s nice about this printer is that if you have any plans to print in color, you can replace each ink color individually, which will save you a little extra cash in the long run.

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Canon Pixma MG3602 Inkjet Printer


The Canon Pixma MG3602 isn’t just one of the best cheap printers, it’s an excellent printer, period. Striking an impressive balance between print quality, page yield and affordability, this printer can churn out as many as 10 pages per minute and, when equipped with a high-yield cartridge, the cost of printing pages can be as little as 8 cents per page. Able to copy and scan, the Pixma MG3602 can also connect to your WiFi network, making it easy to print from multiple devices.

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Courtesy of Target


HP Envy 6055 Inkjet Printer


A little bigger, a little slower and slightly more than $100, the HP Envy 6055 is still a great cheap printer. Able to print, copy and scan, as well as print nine pages per minute, you won’t sacrifice much in the way of performance. However, the price per page to print is 10 cents per page when using a high-yield cartridge and this printer has a larger footprint than the Canon or Epson. While you could save further by enrolling in HP’s Instant Ink subscription cartridge service that starts at $1 a month, we’d assume that most people won’t be using their printer regularly enough for that to be worth the effort.

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Courtesy of Amazon.


HP Deskjet 3755 Inkjet Printer


The HP Deskjet 3755 is another suitable option for a cheap printer, thanks to its ability to print eight pages per minute and a print cost of 10 cents per page. Like the other options on this list, it can copy and scan and connects to WiFi. The perk with this printer is that if you have to have it out on display in a noticeable space, it is decidedly less utilitarian looking than other printers.

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Courtesy of Amazon


Canon Pixma TS6402 Inkjet Printer


If you think there’s a future where using a printer for more than just a few black-and-white documents might be a regular part of your life, consider the Canon Pixma TS 6402. Not only does this have the look and feel of a premium product with a 1.44-inch OLED display to assist you in the printing process, but you can wirelessly connect using a handful of different platforms, and it even has built-in support for creative photo apps such as Canon Creative Park. And while the print cost is around 13 cents per page, you do gain the added benefit of printing 13 pages per minute.

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Brother MFC-J1205W Inkjet Printer


Buying an affordable printer that’s easy on the pockets is one thing, but it’s another when it comes to buying ink. That’s where you’ll be spending your money once you’ve done the initial printer purchase. That’s why you should check out the Brother MFC-J1205W Inkjet Printer, which touts no ink replacement for up to one year using nothing more than the four ink cartridges that come in the box. On top of that, it features your typical all-in-one functions such as copying and scanning, as well as support for Amazon Alexa to print your documents.

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Courtesy of Amazon.


HP DeskJet 4155e Color Printer & Scanner


Looking for the best cheap printers for offices and small businesses? Then you’ll want this 2-in-1 color printer and scanner from HP. Not only is this wireless printer a great option for shared use, but it also comes with a 6-month trial of HP+ and Instant Ink, which makes it easy to have replacement ink cartridges delivered directly to your office location. Thanks to a recent price drop, it’s also more affordable than ever before.

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Courtesy of HP

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