Realistically speaking, the big brand printers are all as good as each other, even at the entry level, as printer manufacturers strive to produce machines that are reliable and give great quality printouts. You can’t go wrong with the bigger names – Epson, Hewlett Packard, Brother, Xerox and Canon – and they’ve certainly cornered the UK market.
What you need to think about is what functions you need the printer for and how often you’ll be using it, as well as what your budget going forwards. This is because the on-going costs – toner and ink – can vary widely.
Canon printers have great looks and usually have lots of features. This company produces a lot of multifunctional printers (MFPs) and is especially generous to home-users. You can get models with wi-fi so you can synch them to several mobile devices and laptops, and you can usually choose double-sided printing to save on paper.
Best of all is the fact that Canon is known for its low cost-per-page; additionally, some Canon printers come with five separate ink tanks so you’re not dumping out half-full cartridges just because one colour has run out.
Another camera manufacturer, like Canon, Epson is known for its brilliant photo printers. It also produces some fast and efficient scanners, too, so its MFPs are particularly popular.
When it comes to regular boring black and white document printing, most Epson machines are so-so, but if you’re a keen photographer, you’ll love this brand. Even better, you can get Epson cartridges from cartridgepeople.com at knock-down prices, so team them up with some glossy paper and you’ve got your own gallery!
Absolutely the best all-rounder brand, HP is known for its MFPs and its innovation. This company has pioneered the miniature, portable and battery-powered printer so you can do your thing while on the road. Regular-sized HP printers are also known for being all-singing all-dancing, too, with wi-fi and Bluetooth networking, full-colour touchscreens and user-friendly interfaces. They also knock out a decent print or two when it comes down to it.
Brother printers are known for their sturdiness and reliability – after all, the company also makes sewing machines! Highly popular in the US, Brother machines are often described as workhorses and are usually found in offices, as they can handle large volumes of printouts. They also don’t need a huge amount of maintenance and rarely break down. The only downside is that the inks can be a bit on the pricey side compared to other brands.
One of the lesser-known printer brands in the UK, but certainly deserving of its place on this list. Xerox printers are brilliant all-rounders – colour, black and white, photos, these machines can handle it all with aplomb. What’s more, the company has a reputation for great customer service and after-sales care, so whether you’re an office or a domestic user, you will be well-looked after. One downside with lower end models is that they can be slow to receive files for printing, but this is a trifling matter.