If you only print occasionally, then it wouldn't make much sense to spend a fortune on a fully decked out printer. Fortunately, there are pretty good options that you can get for under $100. They may not have advanced features like duplex scanning or a supertank ink system, but they'll get the job done and you can save some money too.
We've tested over 55 printers and below are our recommendations for the best printers under $100 you can buy. You can also check out our recommendations for the best photo printers, the best all-in-one printers, and the best home printers.
The best printer under $100 we've tested is the Canon PIXMA TR7520. This is a simple inkjet model that's well-suited for student and family use, bringing good performance and great features at a budget price. It has an okay design, its compact size fits easily into tight spaces, and it has a small but functional display screen. It has a sheetfed scanner, but it can't perform duplex scanning. You can connect to it easily via Wi-Fi or Bluetooth, and it also supports direct printing from smartphones using AirPrint or Mopria.
It has an adequate four-cartridge system with an added pigment-black ink cartridge used specifically for printing black and white documents. Unfortunately, its black page yield is quite bad, which means that you'll have to replace the cartridge often if you print a lot. The color cartridges yield many more pages, and it accepts high-yield cartridges as well. Also, the ink cartridges are relatively cheap, making it very cost-effective in the long run. Its overall printing speed is decent and is especially good when it comes to photo printing.
This printer prints great quality photos. Colors are vibrant, blacks are deep, and there's a good amount of fine detail. It can print on glossy photo paper and it supports most photo paper sizes. All in all, this is a good budget printer that most people should be satisfied with.
If you're looking for a cheaper alternative, consider the Canon PIXMA MG3620. Its scanner features aren't as good, and it lacks some connectivity options when compared to the Canon PIXMA TR7520, but it's a cheaper and a bit more economical alternative when printing black ink and can yield a higher number of black and white pages. If you plan on printing in high volumes, there's also XL and XXL cartridges available. Photos have good detail, and the printer is compatible with the Canon PRINT Inkjet/SELPHY app. Unfortunately, the lack of Bluetooth and external storage support is disappointing.
If you want a printer with better scanner features and more connectivity options, get the TR7520; however, if you want a printer that's also quite affordable when printing black and white and has a higher black page yield, get the MG3620.
The best photo printer under $100 that we've tested to date is the Canon PIXMA TR4520. This all-in-one inkjet model is a decent choice for families who want to print good quality photos. It has a flatbed scanner, an automatic document feeder, and internal fax.
The quality of printed photos is pretty impressive, with lots of vibrant colors and plenty of clear detail. Color accuracy is decent enough for printing photos for the family photo album. There are decent connectivity options, including Wi-Fi, Ethernet, or USB. Also, it has Mopria and AirPrint and is fully compatible with the outstanding companion app, Canon iPrint&Scan.
Unfortunately, the cost-per-print is disappointing and the black ink runs out quickly, which will add to your expenses. Also, because there's only one color cartridge, you'll have to replace the whole thing when you run out of one color. Printing speed is slow whether you're printing in color or not, and the display screen feels dated and poor. That said, if all you want to do is casually print photos, then this is a great choice for the price.
The best compact printer under $100 that we've tested is the HP DeskJet 3755. Despite this all-in-one inkjet's budget price and the size, it produces surprisingly good quality photos. It has great color accuracy that should be sufficient enough to add a splash of color to your documents, and photos have good detail, even though there's some oversaturation in the reds and darker tones produce a slightly green tint.
Despite not having Bluetooth support, you can connect this printer to your Wi-Fi network or directly to your computer via a USB input. Likewise, it's compatible with the HP Smart app, available on both Android and iOS. From here, you can print, scan, and manage HP's optional ink subscription. The printer itself comes in three colors, and the front cover allows easy access to the ink cartridges and paper jams.
Unfortunately, it has a low page yield for both black and color ink. While you can connect it via USB to your computer, it doesn't have external storage support, meaning you can't print off a USB flash drive or an SD card. Also, printing speed is quite bad, with black-only documents coming out slow and color ones even slower. However, if you just want a small, compact printer that can also produce some good quality photographs, this one is a great choice for the price.
The best laser printer under $100 that we've tested is the HP LaserJet Pro M15w. It may lack a scanner, but it's pretty decent when it comes to printing in black and white. It has a sturdy build and the toner cartridge and paper jams are easily accessible by lifting the cover.
Cost-per-print is remarkably affordable and the cartridge will produce many prints before needing to be replaced. Connectivity options are decent as you can pair it over Wi-Fi or hook it up directly to your computer via USB. Also, the printer is compatible with the HP Smart app, where you can order new toner and print directly from the app.
Unfortunately, HP Smart doesn't support Microsoft Office files, which may be a deal-breaker if you have to print a Word document from your mobile device. Also, the lack of external storage support means you can't print off a USB flash drive or SD card, which may feel frustratingly limited. That said, this is a satisfactory laser printer, well-suited for black and white documents.
09/04/2020: Moved the MG3620 to Cheaper Alternative, made the TR4520 'Best Printer Under $100 For Photos', added the HP LaserJet Pro M15w as 'Best Laser Printer Under $100'.
07/23/2020: Minor text and structure changes, no change in recommendations.
Our recommendations above are what we think are currently the best printers under $100 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 the list of all our 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.