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. Our list is short for now, but we'll add more as we review more printers in this price range.
We've tested over 35 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 so far is the Canon PIXMA TR7520. It's a good all-in-one printer that's made for everyday home use. It's fitted with a scanner that has an automatic document feeder, which is great when you need to scan multi-page documents. It has a large touchscreen and the menus are easy to navigate, but it does lag a bit and the screen isn't particularly sensitive, often requiring a hard press for the input to be registered. It's difficult to remove paper jams, as it's only accessible from the back of the printer and it requires a few steps before you can get to the jam.
The cartridge system on this printer is rather mediocre. The black ink cartridge runs out quickly, which means that you have to replace it regularly if you print a lot. Thankfully, black ink cartridges are fairly cheap, so the long-term cost remains low over time. The color cartridges can yield many more pages, but they're more expensive. So, although it's more expensive to print in color than to print in black, the difference is pretty small. Unfortunately, it prints black and color documents very slowly, but it's very fast at printing photos.
And speaking of photos, they look great. Blacks are deep and colors are vibrant. It can print on glossy photo paper and most sizes are supported, except for 2" x 3". Like all other Canon printers, it works with the iPrint mobile app, which lets you print, scan, and copy directly from your smartphone. All in all, it's a good printer for a budget price.
If you only care about getting the best photo printing quality for under $100, then check out the Canon PIXMA TR4520. It's not as well-built as the Canon PIXMA TR7520, and its cost-per-print is much higher due to having only one color cartridge; however, it prints better photos. Even though there's a bit of banding, the overall image is detailed and the colors are vibrant. It does require a lot of patience, though, as this printer is quite slow. Unfortunately, it doesn't support any external storage devices like SD cards or USB thumb drives, but you can connect to the printer via Wi-Fi or with a USB cable.
For most people, the TR7520 is a better choice, as it performs better overall and its cost-per-print is significantly lower. That said, if you're just looking for the best photo printing quality, then go with the TR4520.
The best cheap printer that we've reviewed so far is the Canon PIXMA MG3620. This is a printer that's better suited for home use, as its scanner lacks an automatic document feeder and it has mediocre printing speed, which isn't ideal for a professional office setting. Unfortunately, it has a rather poor cartridge system that consists of only one black and one color cartridge, and both of them have low yield, so you would have to replace them often. Thankfully, the cartridges are fairly cheap, which helps keep the long-term cost from rising too much. Printing in color is still more expensive than printing in black, though, so it's best to use colors only when necessary.
Despite having a single color cartridge, this printer prints good looking photos. The colors are a bit over-saturated and there's some banding in the grayscale, but there's a good amount of details. Most paper sizes up supported, up to the standard legal size, and it can print on glossy photo paper as well. The printer's color accuracy is mediocre, although it shouldn't be too bothersome if you're just using a splash of color here and there.
There are few connectivity options available on this printer. You can connect to it with a USB cable or wirelessly through your existing Wi-Fi network, but it doesn't have an ethernet port and doesn't support any external drives. It's compatible with Canon's exceptional mobile app, allowing you to perform nearly all of the printer's functions from your smartphone. Overall, if you're on a very tight budget or you just need a basic printer that gets the job done, this one is decent.
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.