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The 6 Best Printers For College Students - Fall 2022 Reviews

Best Printers For College Students

If you're a college student looking for a printer, the good news is that there are many choices out there. There are a variety of models that are well suited for producing detailed photos, quickly printing out many black-and-white sheets, or giving you the lowest cost-per-print possible. It's important to choose the printer that's best suited for your needs so that you don't end up spending more on replacement cartridges than the printer itself or too much for an expensive printer you only plan to use a few times a year. It's good to consider the printer's printing speed, connectivity options, and mobile app support. We've included both inkjet and laser options while keeping your budget in mind.

We've tested over 120 printers, and below are the best printers for students you can buy. You can also check out our recommendations for the best all-in-one printers, the best home printers, and the best printers under $100.

  1. Best Printer For College Students

    The best printer for college students we've tested is the Canon PIXMA G6020. It's an all-in-one inkjet model with a refillable ink tank. It feels well built and is fairly compact, making it a good choice for small spaces like dorm rooms. You can connect to the printer via USB or Wi-Fi, and it's compatible with Canon's mobile app, allowing you to print, scan, or copy directly from your smartphone. Its high-resolution flatbed scanner has extendable lid hinges to accommodate thick items like textbooks, but it lacks an automatic feeder, so it isn't the best for scanning multi-page or double-sided documents.

    The feature that makes this our top pick and a great option for students is its refillable ink tank. A full tank yields around 4600 black or 5300 color prints, meaning you won't have to replenish it often. Plus, the ink bottles are cheap, so your maintenance cost remains low over time. The downside is that it doesn't print particularly fast at around six black pages or three color pages per minute. It supports automatic double-sided printing and has a large 350-sheet capacity input tray.

    See our review

  2. Best Mid-Range Printer For College Students

    If you find our top pick a little too expensive, you can save some money with a modest mid-range model. We recommend the Brother MFC-J4335DW. Its page yield isn't as good as a supertank model like the Canon PIXMA G6020, but it's still outstanding, leading to a low cost per print. It doesn't take long to wake from sleep and prints quickly at 17 black or 15 color pages per minute. Its ADF-equipped scanner processes up to 20 pages per minute but doesn't support double-sided scanning, so you'll still have to flip the pages manually.

    It connects via Wi-Fi, USB, or Ethernet and supports Apple AirPrint and Mopria Print Service. You can also use the companion app to print, scan, and copy from your smartphone. Its color accuracy is adequate, and it prints okay-looking photos that are good enough for casual use. All in all, it's a great all-in-one printer that should fit the needs of any student.

    See our review

  3. Best Budget Printer For Students

    For those shopping on a limited budget, go with the Brother MFC-J1205W. Its compact size is perfect for tight spaces, and it feels impressively well-built. It has a high-resolution flatbed scanner to digitize notes and course packs, USB and Wi-Fi connectivity, and it's compatible with the Brother Mobile Connect app, which you can use to perform maintenance tasks and order supplies right from your mobile device.

    You can print over 1000 black or 750 color pages before the ink cartridges run low, and the cartridges are cheap, so the maintenance costs remain low even if you print a lot. It prints up to nine black or six color pages per minute, which is a little on the slow side, so you may be waiting around a while if you print long research articles or papers. That said, it's still a fantastic choice if you're looking for a budget-friendly printer.

    See our review

  4. Best Cheap Printer For College Students

    If you just need something cheap that can get the job done for those occasional projects, get the Canon PIXMA MG3620. It isn't super sturdy and lacks an automatic feeder, but it prints good-quality documents and photos. The main drawback of a cheap model like this is its low page yield. It only yields about 200 black or color prints, meaning you'll have to replace them often, and since it uses a tri-color cartridge, you'll have to replace it even if just one color runs out.

    The cartridges aren't expensive, but your maintenance cost will still add up quickly if you print a lot. All this to say that this printer is only a good option if you print occasionally. Otherwise, you're better off with the slightly more expensive Brother MFC-J1205W because you'll likely save money in the long run.

    See our review

  5. Best Monochrome Printer For Students

    If you only need to print black text documents, it might be better to get a laser printer like the Brother MFC-L2710DW. It prints much faster than most inkjet models at 32 pages per minute, which is great for printing long essays. Laser models also require less maintenance as you don't have to deal with clogged printheads or dried ink. The toner cartridge yields around 2000 pages, there are high-yield cartridges available if you need more, and it also works with third-party toner, which might be cheaper. The only downside is that the drum is a separate unit that you'll have to spend extra to replace. The scanner can process up to 50 pages per minute through its feeder and supports optical character recognition, allowing you to scan documents into text files for quick keyword searches or edits.

    See our review

  6. Best Budget Monochrome Printer For Students

    If you don't need a scanner and want to save some money, get the HP LaserJet Pro M15w. It's a compact print-only unit that doesn't take up much space. Its black toner cartridge yields almost 2000 pages before you need to replace it, and it has the drum unit built-in, so you don't have to worry about spending more money on maintenance.

    There aren't any high-yield cartridges available, but it accepts third-party toner, which might help you save cash. Needless to say, the cost-per-print is remarkably low. It can get a single page out in around eight seconds, and it prints at an acceptable speed of about 12 pages per minute.

    See our review

Notable Mentions

  • Epson WorkForce Pro WF-3820: The Epson WorkForce Pro WF-3820 is an all-in-one inkjet that's very good for student use. It has both a flatbed and ADF and produces decent-quality photos; however, its page yields, cost-per-print, and print speeds aren't nearly as good as the Brother MFC-J4335DW. See our review
  • Canon PIXMA TR8620a: The Canon PIXMA TR8620a is a good alternative to the Brother MFC-J4335DW if you want to print photos. However, it's slightly more expensive, and its ink cartridges yield only around 200 black and 300 color prints. The cartridges aren't overly expensive, but they'll still add up quickly if you print a lot. See our review
  • HP DeskJet 3755: The HP DeskJet 3755 is a very cheap and compact printer that prints better-looking photos with significantly more accurate colors than the Brother MFC-J1205W. However, its page yields and cost-per-print are far worse. See our review

Recent Updates

  1. Aug 29, 2022: Restructured article to better match user expectations. Added the Canon PIXMA G6020 as the 'Best Printer For College Students'. Added the Canon PIXMA MG3620 as the 'Best Cheap Printer For College Students'. Removed the Canon PIXMA TS6420a and the Epson EcoTank ET-2850. Replaced the Brother HL-L2390DW with the Brother MFC-L2710DW because the MFC-L2710DW has better page yields and an ADF.

  2. Jun 03, 2022: Minor structure change. Replaced Brother HL-L2390DW with HP LaserJet Pro M15W as 'Best Black and White Printer' because it's cheaper and has better page yield. Replaced Canon PIXMA TR4720 with Canon PIXMA TS6420a as 'Best Photo Printer' because it has a better cost-per-print and prints faster.

  3. Apr 06, 2022: Made the Epson EcoTank ET-2850 'Best High-Volume', and the Canon PIXMA TR4720 'Best Photo'. Moved the Epson EcoTank ET-2760 and the Canon PIXMA TR4520 to Notable Mentions. Refreshed picks for Notable Mentions to line up better with newer models and availability. Verified availability and accuracy of picks.

  4. Feb 03, 2022: Text updated for clarity and accuracy; no changes to picks.

  5. Dec 07, 2021: Moved the Epson EcoTank ET-2760 from 'Alternative With Supertank' to 'Best Supertank Printer For Students.' Removed the Brother HL-L2370DW due to lack of relevance.

All Reviews

Our recommendations above are what we think are currently the best printers for students. 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.