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The 5 Best Cheap Printers - Winter 2022 Reviews

Updated
Best Cheap Printers
111 Printers Tested
  • Store-bought printers; no cherry-picked units
  • Easily comparable results
  • No ads; unbiased reviews
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Learn more about our approach to product reviews here.

These days, printers come in all different price ranges, but it can still be a little challenging to find the best printer when you're on a budget. However, you don't need to break the bank to find good-performing printers at a reasonable price. Although printers often go on sale, we've chosen printers that have a low Recommended Retail Price (RRP) rather than a low sale price so that even when there isn't a discount available, they remain very affordable picks.

We've tested over 105 printers, and below are our recommendations for the best cheap printers you can buy. You can also check out our recommendations for the best printers with cheap ink, the best wireless printers, and the best home printers.


  1. Best Cheap Inkjet Printer: Brother MFC-J1205W

    7.2
    Family
    5.8
    Small/Home Office
    8.2
    Student
    7.0
    Black & White
    6.9
    Photo
    Type All in One
    Technology Inkjet
    Wireless Yes
    Color Yes
    SuperTank
    No

    The best cheap printer that we've tested is the Brother MFC-J1205W. It uses Brother's INKvestment Tank, a hybrid tank–cartridge system, for good page yields at an outstandingly low cost-per-print. This means you'll have to replace the tanks less often, and you also won't have to spend too much on ink in the long run.

    It feels very well built, with easy access to potential paper jams and ink cartridges. You can also push the output tray all the way in to make the printer more compact if you're low on space. Photos look decent and have passable color accuracy, which should be fine for everyday use. The connectivity options are decent, including Wi-Fi, Apple AirPrint, and Mopria Print Service, and you can use the Brother Mobile Connect app to perform print, scan, and maintenance tasks from your phone.

    Unfortunately, documents are slow to print, and it doesn't support automatic duplex printing, so you'll have to wait for long print jobs. There's no automatic document feeder, so scanning documents might get tedious. That said, its cheap cost-per-print makes it a good choice if you're on a budget, and it's also one of the best printers for college students we've tested.

    See our review

  2. Best Cheap Laser Printer: Brother HL-L2370DW

    2.2
    Family
    6.2
    Small/Home Office
    6.5
    Student
    8.7
    Black & White
    1.7
    Casual Photo
    Type Printer Only
    Technology Laser
    Wireless Yes
    Color No
    SuperTank
    No

    The best affordable printer that uses laser technology we've tested is the Brother HL-L2370DW. This printer-only unit produces only black and white pages, but it has one of the fastest black text document print speeds we've measured. This makes it a great choice if you need high-volume monochrome prints done quickly or need to get your essay printed on the spot.

    Its toner cartridge has an outstanding page yield at a superbly cheap cost-per-print. The printer is also compatible with high-yield and third-party cartridges, which give you more flexibility when choosing ink that suits your budget range. Connectivity options include an Ethernet port and direct-to-computer USB input, as well as support for Apple AirPrint and Mopria Print Service.

    Unfortunately, it lacks a scanner, making it unsuitable if you need to digitize any documents or photos. It uses only a single-line dot matrix display, making it difficult to tell the printer's status at a glance. Also, like most monochrome laser printers, it isn't a good choice for making photo prints. That said, it's an excellent choice if you need a cheap option for black and white printing, and it's also among the best laser printers we've tested.

    See our review

  3. Alternative With Scanner: Brother HL-L2390DW

    Type All in One
    Technology Laser
    Wireless Yes
    Color No
    SuperTank
    No

    If you're on a budget but still need a scanner, consider the Brother HL-L2390DW. It prints somewhat slower than the Brother HL-L2370DW and doesn't have an Ethernet port, but it has a flatbed scanner with a great scan resolution, as well as a better two-line dot matrix display that makes it easier to tell the printer's status. Also, it doesn't yield as many black pages, but its cost-per-print is barely less than a cent more expensive. While it's compatible with XL and third-party cartridges, it isn't compatible with XXL high-yield cartridges, so sadly, you can't achieve an even lower cost-per-print in the long run.

    If you need a cheap laser printer for quick monochrome prints and don't need a scanner, go with the L2370DW. If you need to digitize documents or photos and don't mind slightly lower performance, the L2390DW is the better option.

    See our review

  4. Best Cheap Photo Printer: Canon PIXMA TR4520

    7.1
    Family
    4.4
    Small/Home Office
    5.1
    Student
    4.1
    Black & White
    7.6
    Casual Photo
    Type All in One
    Technology Inkjet
    Wireless Yes
    Color Yes
    SuperTank
    No

    The best inexpensive printer for photos we've tested is the Canon PIXMA TR4520. It's an all-in-one inkjet that produces impressive-looking photos with clear details and decently accurate, vibrant colors. While its color document page yields are poor, the cost-per-print for photos is decent, so you shouldn't spend too much over time.

    It has very good scanning features, with a flatbed scanner with hinges that can lift slightly for scanning thicker items like magazines, an automatic document feeder, and built-in fax. The connectivity options are decent, including Ethernet and a direct connection to your computer, and wireless options like Apple AirPrint and Mopria Print Service.

    Unfortunately, it has a terrible black page yield at a poor cost-per-print, and it prints at a disappointingly slow speed overall. Since there's only one color cartridge, you'll need to replace it if you run out of only one color. Also, its automatic document feeder can't duplex scan, so processing double-sided, multi-page documents could be cumbersome. That said, this printer is a good choice if you're looking for a cheap unit that prints great-looking photos.

    See our review

  5. Best Budget Printer: Epson WorkForce Pro WF-3820

    8.0
    Family
    7.0
    Small/Home Office
    8.2
    Student
    7.6
    Black & White
    7.6
    Casual Photo
    Type All in One
    Technology Inkjet
    Wireless Yes
    Color Yes
    SuperTank
    No

    The best budget printer we've tested is the Epson WorkForce Pro WF-3820. This very well-built printer feels sturdy and solid, with easy access to paper jams in the back and the ink cartridges under the flatbed scanner. The touch-sensitive display screen is easy to navigate, and you can access how-to diagrams by pressing the Help button.

    There's a high-resolution flatbed scanner so you can digitize delicate photos, an automatic document feeder for multi-page documents, and even built-in fax. It prints very quickly overall, so you won't have to wait even for long essays or reports to finish up. Photos have decent quality, with very accurate-looking colors that appear distinct. Also, you can print from an outstanding variety of options, including Apple AirPrint, Mopria Print Service, and directly via USB flash drives.

    Unfortunately, its automatic document feeder can't duplex scan. Also, it has a poor black page yield, so you might have to replace the cartridge often if you print frequently. On the bright side, it has good color page yields and a great overall cost-per-print, so you won't have to spend a fortune just to print. Overall, this is one of the best value printers we've tested and a great choice if you're on a budget.

    See our review

Notable Mentions

  • Canon PIXMA MG3620: The Canon PIXMA MG3620 supports automatic duplex printing, and it prints better-looking photos than the Brother MFC-J1205W. However, its page yields and cost-per-print aren't nearly as good. See our review
  • Canon PIXMA TS5320: The Canon PIXMA TS5320 can automatically duplex print, supports Bluetooth, and photos look much better compared to the Brother MFC-J1205W. However, its page yields and cost-per-print are much lower. See our review
  • HP DeskJet 3755: The HP DeskJet 3755 is a good photo printer with excellent color accuracy and good photo printing quality. It's perfect if you have a limited amount of space and you want something very compact, but it has a very low page yield, a poor cost-per-print, and it doesn't have a flatbed scanner. See our review
  • Canon PIXMA TR4720: The Canon PIXMA TR4720 is the updated model to the Canon PIXMA TR4520 with better color accuracy, much faster photo printing speed, and support for Wi-Fi Direct. Unfortunately, its page yields and cost-per-print are much worse. See our review
  • Canon PIXMA TS6320: The Canon PIXMA TS6320 is a good alternative to the Canon PIXMA TR4520, with a much better page yield and cost-per-print, photo printing speed, and photo quality. It doesn't have an automatic document feeder and is more expensive. See our review
  • Canon PIXMA TS6420: The Canon PIXMA TS6420 is a good alternative to the Canon PIXMA TR4520, with a somewhat better page yield and cost-per-print and photo printing speed, but it doesn't have an automatic document feeder and is a bit more expensive. See our review
  • Canon PIXMA TS3520: The Canon PIXMA TS3520 is a cheaper alternative to the Canon PIXMA TR4520, with better color accuracy and a lower cost-per-print. However, printed photos don't look as good. Also, it lacks an automatic document feeder. See our review

Recent Updates

  1. Dec 09, 2021: Verified availability and accuracy of picks, and updated text for clarity.

  2. Oct 12, 2021: Made the Epson WorkForce Pro WF-3820 'Best Budget' and moved the Canon PIXMA TR7520 to Notable Mentions. Verified availability of picks.

  3. Sep 13, 2021: Made the Brother MFC-J1205W 'Best Inkjet' thanks to its far superior page yields, and moved the Canon PIXMA MG3620 to Notable Mentions. Removed the Canon PIXMA TR8520 from Notable Mentions. Verified availability of picks.

  4. Jul 16, 2021: Added the Canon PIXMA TS3520 to Notable Mentions. Verified availability and accuracy of picks, and updated text for clarity.

  5. Jun 18, 2021: Added the Epson WorkForce Pro WF-3820, Canon PIXMA TS6320, and Canon PIXMA TS6420 to Notable Mentions. Verified availability and accuracy of picks, and updated text for clarity.

All Reviews

Our recommendations above are what we think are currently the best cheap printers for most people. We factor in the price, feedback from our visitors, and availability.

If you would like to do the work of choosing yourself, here's a list of our cheap printer reviews. Be careful not to get too caught up in the details. While no printer is perfect for every use, most are good enough to please almost everyone, and the differences are often not noticeable unless you really look for them.

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