For most of us, printing things at home is largely a thing of the past. But there are a handful of times where we need a paper copy of a resume, contract or tax return. But for someone who doesn’t use a printer with any sort of regularity, spending $200 on a printer is a lot. 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 for less than $100 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 really, the best cheap printers are mostly about printing the occasional document, so instead of considering color print quality and print speed above all else, we think the following features matter most:
- Price: As mentioned before, chances are you won’t be using this more than a handful of times a year. So cheaper is obviously better as long as the printer reliably does what it promises.
- 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 actually be the more cost-effective move in the long run. Luckily we’ve tracked down a few options with high page yield and reasonable refill costs that won’t leave your pockets feeling light whenever it’s time to replace your cartridges.
- Ease of use and connectivity: The whole point of buying one of the best cheap printers is convenience. You just want the printer to do what you want so you can get on with your day. And if you end up spending more time troubleshooting, messing with settings than you do actually printing, is it really 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 doesn’t require you to plug in your computer, and that might even let 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.
1. Canon Pixma TS202 Inkjet Printer
BEST CHEAP PRINTER OVERALL
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 many 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 the perfect choice.
Canon Pixma TS202
2. 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 of printing in color at all, you can replace each individual ink color individually, which will save you a little extra cash in the long run.
Epson Expression Home XP-4100
3. Canon Pixma MG3602 Inkjet Printer
The Canon Pixma MG3602 isn’t just one of the best cheap printers, it’s just 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.
Canon Pixma MG3602
4. HP Envy 6052 Inkjet Printer
A little bigger, a little slower and a little more expensive than the aforementioned printers, the HP Envy 6052 is still a great cheap printer if you can’t find the other two. Able to print, copy and scan, as well a 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.
HP Envy 6502
5. 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.
HP Deskjet 3755
6. 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, then you may want to 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 to this 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.