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The 4 Best Cheap And Budget Printers - Spring 2024 Reviews

Best Cheap Printers

These days, printers come in 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 with a low Manufacturer's Suggested Retail Price (MSRP) rather than a low sale price so that even when a discount isn't 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 140 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 Budget Printer

    The best budget printer we've tested is the Brother MFC-J1205W, also sold as the Brother MFC-J1215W at Walmart. This color all-in-one inkjet model produces sharp documents and detailed photos, and it doesn't cost much to own, as it uses inexpensive ink cartridges with a high page yield. Connectivity options include Wi-Fi and USB, and thanks to its Apple AirPrint and Mopria Print Service support, you can easily print from your smartphone or tablet without needing a third-party app. The scanner's lid hinges extend slightly to accommodate thicker items like textbooks; however, the lack of an automatic feeder means you'll have to scan each page manually, which can be time-consuming. Another tradeoff for its budget-friendly price is its slow printing of nine black or six color pages per minute.

    If you have a larger print load and can afford to spend a little more upfront, we have two recommendations: the Epson EcoTank ET-2400 and the Canon PIXMA G3270. Both are supertank models, meaning they use a refillable ink tank instead of cartridges, resulting in significantly higher page yields. The Epson is a better option for photo printing because it has a wider color range and accuracy; however, the Canon produces nicer documents. Features are near-identical except for connectivity; the Canon has Apple AirPrint and Mopria Print Service support, which the Epson lacks. If you only care about page yield and running costs, the Canon is the one to get, as it yields considerably more prints (black and color) and will cost less in the long run.

    See our review

  2. Best Cheap Printer

    If you want to spend as little as possible, check out the Canon PIXMA MG3620, the best cheap printer we've tested. It's a simple all-in-one inkjet printer designed for people who only print occasionally. We say 'occasionally' because this model has a black and tri-color cartridge, which runs out of ink quickly, so you'll have to replace them often. Also, you'll have to replace the tri-color cartridge even if only a single color runs out, wasting ink. Cost isn't the problem because the cartridges are fairly cheap; it's just a lot of maintenance, and you might end up with many faded or incomplete prints. On the upside, it still produces high-quality black and color prints.

    The scanner produces detailed scans, but don't expect features like an automatic feeder or duplex scanning, as it's a cheap model. You get Wi-Fi, USB connectivity, and Apple AirPrint and Mopria Print Service support. 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 the Brother MFC-J1205W.

    See our review

  3. Best Budget Monochrome Printer

    For people who only need to print black-and-white documents, we recommend the Brother HL-L2350DW, a variant of the Brother HL-L2325DW and one of the best budget printers we've tested. There's nothing wrong with the HL-L2325DW; it's just harder to find in stock, so the HL-L2350DW is your best bet since it performs almost identically. This laser printer has the usual Wi-Fi and USB connectivity and is compatible with Brother's mobile companion app, which you can use to print or perform maintenance tasks from your smartphone.

    The Brother produces sharp-looking documents and prints quickly at up to 32 pages per minute. A full toner cartridge yields about 1,200 prints, and replacements are cheap. Plus, since it's a monochrome model, you only ever need to replace a single cartridge. You have to spend extra to replace the drum as it's a separate unit, but the drum usually lasts about 12,000 prints, so you won't have to do it all that often. The biggest downside is its lack of a scanner, so you must be sure you won't need to scan anything.

    See our review

  4. Best Cheap Monochrome Printer

    If you want something more affordable than the Brother HL-L2350DW, get the Pantum P2502W, one of the best cheap printers we've tested. Like the Brother, this is a laser print-only unit with no scanner. It produces high-quality documents and has a very high page yield of a little over 2,000 pages. The drum is built into the toner cartridge, so you don't need to replace it separately, making maintenance easier. It prints quickly at 23 pages per minute; however, it takes a while to warm up and doesn't support automatic double-sided printing.

    Unfortunately, this printer tends to push printed sheets off the output tray, which can be inconvenient as you'll have to rearrange your prints into the right order. This issue can also cause misaligned prints, wasting more time, toner, and paper. It doesn't always happen, but it's an inconvenience nonetheless. It's still a great option for the price; just be aware that you might occasionally encounter problems.

    See our review

Notable Mentions

  • Brother MFC-J1010DW: The Brother MFC-J1010DW is a cheaper alternative to the Brother MFC-J1205W/MFC-J1215W. It has an ADF and faster printing speed; however, its ink cartridges yield significantly fewer prints, making it more expensive to maintain. See our review
  • Epson WorkForce Pro WF-4830: The Epson WorkForce Pro WF-4830 is a good alternative to the Brother MFC-J1205W/MFC-J1215W. It has a better control panel, an ADF-equipped scanner with duplex scanning, an Ethernet port, and faster printing speeds. However, it doesn't yield as many prints, so it'll require more maintenance and cost more over time. See our review
  • Canon PIXMA TR7820/TS7720: If you want to print photos, the Canon PIXMA TR7820/TS7720 is a good alternative to the Brother MFC-J1205W/MFC-J1215W. It has a wider color range, better color accuracy, and significantly faster photo printing speed. The downside is that its page yield is much lower, so it'll cost you more in replacement ink. It's also slightly more expensive when it isn't on sale. See our review
  • HP LaserJet MFP M234sdwe: The HP LaserJet MFP M234sdwe is a good alternative to the Brother HL-L2350DW if you need a scanner. It's usually more expensive, but it goes on sale fairly often. The downside is that it prints slowly at 11 pages per minute. See our review
  • Brother HL-L2460DW [HL-L2400D, HL-L2405W]: The Brother HL-L2460DW is a newer version of the Brother HL-L2350DW with near-identical features and performance. It's a good alternative if you have trouble finding the older HL-L2350DW or one of its variants; however, you'll have to tweak the printer's settings to get good print quality, as the default print settings cause a significant amount of artifacts. See our review

Recent Updates

  1. Mar 26, 2024: Added the Brother HL-L2460DW as a Notable Mention. Small text edits to add the Canon PIXMA G3270 as a second alternative to the Brother MFC-J1205W.

  2. Feb 27, 2024: Ensured all main picks are still available and made slight in-text adjustments to further clarify product details.

  3. Feb 02, 2024: Minor text edits for clarity. No changes in product picks.

  4. Jan 04, 2024: Minor text changes to improve readability and clarity. Verified that all picks are valid and available.

  5. Nov 24, 2023: Minor text changes to add the Canon PIXMA G3270 as a second alternative to the Brother MFC-J1205W/1215W due to a Black Friday sale. Added the Canon PIXMA TR7820/TS7720 as a Notable Mention.

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.