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The 4 Best Cheap And Budget Printers - Fall 2022 Reviews

Best Cheap Printers

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 Manufacturer's Suggested Retail Price (MSRP) rather than a low sale price so that even when there isn't a discount available, they remain very affordable picks. Also, our picks aren't always the absolute cheapest options, as those tend to have extremely low page yield, meaning you'll likely end up paying more over time for replacement ink.

We've tested over 120 printers, and below are our recommendations for the best value 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 Printer

    The best cheap printer we've tested is the Canon PIXMA MG3620. It's a simple all-in-one inkjet printer designed for people who only print occasionally. We say 'occasionally' because this model uses a two-cartridge system, meaning it only has a black and a tri-color cartridge. It still produces high-quality black and color prints, but it runs out of ink quickly, so you'll have to replace the cartridges often. Also, you'll have to replace the tri-color cartridge even if only a single color runs out. It isn't so much a cost issue, as the ink cartridges are fairly cheap; it's just a lot of maintenance, and you might end up with lots of faded or incomplete prints.

    The scanner performs well and produces very detailed scans, but it lacks features like an automatic feeder and duplex scanning. You get Wi-Fi and USB connectivity, and it supports Apple AirPrint and Mopria Print Service, allowing you to print from iOS and Android devices without installing drivers or third-party apps. Overall, if you only print once in a blue moon for those one-off projects, this model can get it done. However, if you print more than that, you'll be better off with a printer with a higher page yield, like our budget pick.

    See our review

  2. Best Cheap Monochrome Printer

    If you only print in black, a monochrome laser model might be a better option. We recommend the Brother HL-L2370DW. This standalone print-only model is very compact, which is great if you don't have much space on your desk. Its toner cartridge lasts a long time and is relatively cheap, so your maintenance cost will remain low over time. You can get XL cartridges that'll last longer, and you can use third-party ink, which might help save some money. The downside is that the drum is a separate unit, so you'll have to spend extra to replace it. It doesn't take long to warm up, prints quickly at 35 pages per minute, and supports automatic duplex printing. Connectivity options include Wi-Fi, USB, and Ethernet, and it's compatible with Brother's mobile app, which you can use to print, scan, copy, and perform maintenance tasks.

    If this model isn't in stock, you can check out the Brother HL-L2350DW. It's essentially the same printer but prints a little slower and doesn't have an Ethernet port.

    See our review

  3. Best Budget Printer

    If you can afford to spend a little more, there are some great options in the slightly pricier but still wallet-friendly budget range, like the Brother MFC-J1205W. It's an all-in-one color inkjet printer designed for general home use. Although there are cheaper options, we chose this model because lower-end models tend to have a low page yield, which means you'll spend more in the long run just to replace the ink cartridges. This printer, on the other hand, yields around 1100 black and 750 color prints, keeping your maintenance costs low over time.

    You can connect to this printer via Wi-Fi or USB, and it supports Apple AirPrint and Mopria Print Service. It has a flatbed scanner with extendable lid hinges to accommodate thicker items like books and magazines; however, it lacks an automatic feeder, so scanning long, multi-page documents might take a while. It doesn't print particularly fast, but it takes no time to wake up from sleep and get a page out. If you want a model with an ADF-equipped scanner or faster printing speed and don't mind spending a little more, the Brother MFC-J4335DW might be a better choice. Otherwise, this is a great option that'll satisfy most people's needs and our pick as the best budget printer.

    See our review

  4. Best Budget Monochrome Printer

    For our best budget monochrome pick, we chose the Brother HL-L2390DW. It's very similar to our cheap monochrome pick in terms of performance, but it has a scanner. It's only a flatbed, though, meaning no automatic feeder or duplex scanning capability. Its toner cartridge yields about 1400 pages and prints quickly at 32 pages per minute. It doesn't have an Ethernet port, which might be an issue for offices that rely on a wired LAN connection, but you get a slightly better display panel with more buttons to help you navigate the menu settings. You still get Wi-Fi and USB connectivity as well as support for Apple AirPrint and Mopria Print Service.

    See our review

Notable Mentions

  • Canon imageCLASS MF242dw: The Canon imageCLASS MF242dw is a good alternative to the Brother HL-L2390DW. Its toner cartridge yields more prints than the Brother, but it doesn't print as fast. It's also hard to find due to low availability. See our review

Recent Updates

  1. Sep 15, 2022: Restructured article to better match user expectations. Removed the Canon imageCLASS MF242dw, the Canon PIXMA TR4520, the Brother MFC-J4335DW, and the Brother MFC-L2710DW. Added the Canon PIXMA MG3620 as the 'Best Cheap' pick, the Brother HL-L2370DW as the 'Best Cheap monochrome' pick, and the Brother HL-L2390DW as the 'Best Budget Monochrome' pick.

  2. Jul 12, 2022: Minor structure change. Removed the Brother HL-L2370DW. Added the Brother MFC-L2710DW as the 'Best Budget Laser' option.

  3. May 06, 2022: Minor structure change; no change in recommendations.

  4. Mar 09, 2022: Made the Brother MFC-J4335DW 'Best Budget', and moved the Epson WorkForce Pro WF-3820 to Notable Mentions. Removed the Canon PIXMA TS5320 and Canon PIXMA TS6320 from Notable Mentions since they're now typically more expensive.

  5. Feb 07, 2022: Replaced the Brother HL-L2390DW with the Canon imageCLASS MF242dw as 'Alternative With Scanner' due to availability.

All Reviews

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

If you'd like to do the work of choosing yourself, below is a list of our cheap printer reviews, sorted by price from lowest to highest. 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.