A laser printer is one of those things you don’t even think about needing until you do. It’s one of those things that you just need to have in your home for the sometimes rare instances in which you’ll use it, but it’s a critical necessity if you’re working from home or running an office. Fortunately, the technology behind the laser printer has developed at a nice clip over the years, and there are a lot of models that offer some really great features and quality printing for reasonable prices.
Our job here is to help you find the best laser printer. With that objective in mind, we’ve put together a list of the 10 best models on the market and shopping advice for picking out your personal best model.
- 10 Best Laser Printers
- 1. Brother Compact Monochrome Laser Printer
- 2. HP Color LaserJet Pro Multifunction M479fdw Wireless Laser Printer
- 3. Brother HL L2300D Monochrome Laser Printer
- 4. Canon Color imageCLASS MF644Cdw Duplex Laser Printer
- 5. HP LaserJet Pro M15w Wireless Laser Printer
- 6. Dell (C1760NW) Color Laser Printer
- 7. Xerox Phaser 3260/DNI Monochrome Wireless Laser Printer
- 8. Samsung Xpress M2024W Wireless Monochrome Laser Printer
- 9. Pantum P2502W Monochrome Mobile Wireless Laser Printer
- 10. Lexmark MC3224dwe Color Multifunction Laser Printer
- Laser Printer Buyer’s Guide
10 Best Laser Printers
1. Brother Compact Monochrome Laser Printer
Do you want a laser printer that offers a wealth of convenient modern features at an affordable price? Then the Brother HLL2390DW is right up your alley. The compact design makes it a great choice for the home, but the 250 page capacity means it's capable enough to work even in a crowded office, and the ability to connect it wirelessly to all of your devices can provide you and everyone in your home or office with a whole lot more flexibility. This monochrome printer also comes with a flatbed copier, and it's even designed to make copies directly from your mobile device.
2. HP Color LaserJet Pro Multifunction M479fdw Wireless Laser Printer
The M479fdw by Hewlett-Packard may cost a little more, but it's one of the most versatile and high-quality multi-function printers on the market today. This printer comes with scan, fax, and copy functions, and the customizable touchscreen makes it one of the easiest printers to navigate. Busier offices will really be able to benefit from the automation functions that allow you to spend less time navigating menus, and you'll never have to worry about unauthorized access to sensitive data thanks to the truly world class security features. These include optional PIN protection and instant threat notifications to stop potential criminals right in their tracks.
3. Brother HL L2300D Monochrome Laser Printer
This laser printer takes most of the best features from the Brother HL L2390DW and puts them in a more affordable package. If you don't see yourself needing the Wi-Fi connectivity that comes in many modern printers, the Brother HL could be the best choice for you. The fast printing speed and paper capacity are both very generous for a printer that you can pick up for less than a hundred dollars, and the Brother HL promises a strong 2400 x 600 resolution for black and white documents and images. The automated duplex printing on the Brother HL can save you a lot of time and hassle, while the toner saver mode can help make your ink cartridges last longer.
4. Canon Color imageCLASS MF644Cdw Duplex Laser Printer
The bright and highly usable touchscreen display on the Canon imageClass sports a highly intuitive design that will feel comfortable to anyone who's used a smartphone, but that's just the most obvious feature on a best in class laser printer that's full of them. Documents are only stored in the short term memory to reduce the risk of thieves stealing vital information, and your print jobs can be hidden behind password protected administrator settings. It's also incredibly cost efficient due to the fact that both color and monochrome jobs can be handled with a single ink cartridge. Faxing, copying, and one pass scanning are also supported.
5. HP LaserJet Pro M15w Wireless Laser Printer
HP has produced one of the smallest laser printers in the world, and it's certainly the most compact model in its class. If you want a printer that will take up less space on your desk while also providing quality results, look no further than the HP Laserjet Pro M15w. Its simplistic design requires little in the way of technical acumen, and it's conveniently configured ahead of time to work with most of the more prominent cloud storage platforms. The auto-on/auto-off function on the HP Laserjet Pro will help you save money on your power bill while still making sure the printer is ready exactly when you need it.
6. Dell (C1760NW) Color Laser Printer
The boxy C1760NW is one of the most efficient looking laser printers on the market, and it has the features to match. This Dell printer can be connected over Wi-Fi, ethernet, or USB and includes a 10 sheet bypass tray in addition to its conventional 150 sheet loading tray and 100 sheet output tray. The Dell Mobile Print app allows you to more conveniently queue up print tasks directly through your phone, but you can also rely on the two way LCD screen to initiate print jobs directly at the printer. An auto document feeder is also included, and it supports resolutions of up to 600 x 600 DPI.
7. Xerox Phaser 3260/DNI Monochrome Wireless Laser Printer
Xerox is such a ubiquitous company that their name has become synonymous with copiers, but they also make some truly top notch laser printers. The Phaser 3260 really finds the sweet spot between pricing and quality, and you can pick it up on Amazon for less than half its $200 MSRP. The Wi-Fi Direct connectivity allows you to connect to this printer with all of your mobile devices without even needing a dedicated network to connect to. Whether you're a single customer or an entire office, the simple functionality of the screen, compact design, and fast printing speeds is capable of supporting your needs.
8. Samsung Xpress M2024W Wireless Monochrome Laser Printer
The Samsung Xpress M2024W is both priced and built for the needs of the individual consumer. While it might not be the best option for your crowded office, it's perfect for the home. Wi-Fi, Wi-Fi Direct, and NFC are all supported, so you have more options for performing a print job through your computer and mobile devices. It's also reasonably fast for the price and produces monochrome print quality and a fast speed matching equivalently priced laser printers. But make no doubt, the wireless functionality for a budget price is the big selling point, so if that's not what you need, you might be better suited with something like the Brother HL-L2300D.
9. Pantum P2502W Monochrome Mobile Wireless Laser Printer
You won't find a printer that offers you more bang for your buck than the Pantum P2502W. Not only is it a cheap printer right out of the gate, but it will continue to deliver savings to you over the course of its entire life. The monochrome printing is cheap, and the automatic sleep mode helps you spend less on your energy bills as well. It even comes with a complimentary 700 page starter cartridge that lighter casual users can make use of for a long time to come. In addition to that, this desktop printer provides support for USB 2.0 and the latest Wi-Fi and Wi-Fi Direct connections.
10. Lexmark MC3224dwe Color Multifunction Laser Printer
There might not be a better printer for the office than the Lexmark MC3224dwe. It offers faxing, scanning, and copying functionality for a great price, and the wireless connectivity gives you easy access to most of the cloud platforms available directly through your phone or other Wi-Fi connected device. But where this model really shines is in its security features. It offers hard points of security both at the document and through the network so you'll be protected from both local and remote thieves. It's also a highly energy efficient model that can protect your bottom line while also doing its part to protect the Earth.
Laser Printer Buyer’s Guide
A printer that produces quality results at fast speeds is critical, but there are other features to consider. Unfortunately. we weren’t able to include all the critical specs in each review, but that doesn’t mean that you need to worry. Below, we’ll outline the importance of the key specs we’ve outlined as well as touch on some other important features and specifications to look for.
Do you typically need a laser printer to use for reproducing documents, or do you regularly find yourself needing to print high-quality photos? That’s going to determine whether you need a color printer or if you’ll be okay with a black and white printer model. But the thing to keep in mind is that the former is going to cost you significantly more, and the detail required to print high resolution photos means that you’ll need a printer with exceptional print quality to really make them pop.
Printing speed is measured in pages per minute, typically shortened to ppm. If you’re only going to be printing periodically, you won’t need especially fast laser printers, but finding a fast printer will be one of the most important features if you’re trying to find the best model for your office. Pages per minute are typically measured in the traditional A4 page format so there’s consistent rating for fast speed laser printers, and the detail necessary for color printers means that there are different ratings for monochrome and color print jobs. Many laser printers also offer a listing for how many sheets can be reasonably printed in a month.
If you’re trying to automate the print process, paper capacity is going to be a big deal. The paper tray determines how many pages can be set up at a time. That’s great because it reduces the amount of time that you’ll have to spend loading pages into your printer, but it’s especially convenient if you’re looking for a wireless printer that can automate the printing process for you. In addition to the paper tray, keep an eye out for the inclusion of an automatic document feeder. If you need fax or copying functionality, an automatic document feeder lets you more quickly process multi-page documents. Also keep in mind that the output paper tray is often smaller than the input tray.
Duplex printing refers to the ability for a device to print on both sides of a piece of paper. This is a great way to save money on paper, and it also allows you to condense a lot of documents into a much smaller amount of space. Duplex printing is one of the most common features you’ll find in a modern printer, and it can appear in either a manual or automatic mode depending on the quality of the printer.
Commercial printers are often massive machines that could require their own dedicated space within the work space. But that’s not exactly a viable option if you work from home or operate out of a smaller office. Fortunately, you can find even high-quality laser printers that are tight and compact these days. If you’re working with more limited space, pay especially close attention to the dimensions. The most effective laser printers tend to employ boxier designs so that they can make the most use of the space in your office or home.
Wireless technology is one of the biggest game changers in terms of printing technology, and there are many laser printers on the market today that allow you to print materials directly through your computer or even your phone. They don’t have to cost you much either. You can find a laser printer with Wi-Fi connectivity for less than a hundred dollars. These allow you to print pages fast even while on the go, but the ability to print from a USB drive is also a huge convenience.
Wi-Fi connectivity makes use of your traditional wireless internet connection, while Wi-Fi Direct allows you to hook up your printer without even needing a wireless router. Near field communication is even easier but requires your device to be in close proximity to the laser printer. But if you really want a stable connection and guaranteed fast speeds, you may want to look for a laser printer that comes with a dedicated ethernet port.
How easy is your printer to navigate? While older laser printers included primitive button interfaces that got the basic job done, the more sophisticated functions available in a modern laser model have necessitated more complicated interfaces. Touchscreen navigation is the standard today, and you’ll want something bright and large touchscreen if you’re trying to be more efficient with your results. More sophisticated laser printers often offer other conveniences like PIN or password activated security settings and the ability to program automation defaults.
Many laser printers also come with a dedicated app that you can download to your phone. These are the standard in wireless printers, and they can greatly improve the efficiency and convenience of your printer. In many cases, they offer some great abilities like the means to access documents and share directly from your favorite cloud platforms.
Print Media Type
There are a number of different paper sizes that printers can use, but most models are going to provide you with compatibility for standard paper size as well as envelopes. This should suit the needs of most customers, but if you have more specialized demands, you may want to look at what print media a printer supports before making an investment. A bypass tray is over-sized and allows you to load up non-traditionally sized documents for printing, copying, scanning, or faxing. While the capacity here tends to be much smaller than the traditional input, it’s a necessity if you regularly find yourself working with more esoteric paper formats.
There are two major technologies on the market today: laserjet and inkjet printers. But which one is right for you? Both laserjet and inkjet models have a useful role in the market. In lieu of traditional ink, a laserjet printer makes use of a powder drum that uses heat to imprint the image onto the paper. An inkjet printer sprays traditional ink directly onto the page.
We generally recommend an inkjet for home consumers. They offer better performance for high resolution photos, and the printers themselves tend to be significantly less expensive. If you need a high volume printer for your office and you’re mostly working with documents, a laserjet is the way to go.It may cost you more upfront, but you’ll save more money over time due to the lower long term costs from replacing cartridges.
The most important spec to pay attention to in terms of print quality is the resolution. If you’re just looking to print out traditional documents, a high resolution isn’t going to be that important. But if you find yourself regularly working with photos and pictures, high print quality is going to be essential. Resolution is measured in dots per inch, and the standard here is 600 x 600. We’re confident that this will suit the needs of most customers, but if you’re a photographer or otherwise need more impressive performance, you’re going to want to pay especially close attention to the resolution of your printer.
Fax, Copying, and Scanning
If you find yourself needing to fax colleagues and clients or duplicate already existing documents, there’s no need to invest in a separate device. It’s not hard to find a laser printer that offers all three of these options in a single package, and the cost is usually not much more than a more basic laser printer. An all in one model allows you to save both space and money. If you’re looking for a great multi-function laser printer, be sure to check out our guide to the best all-in-one printers available in 2020.
There are few devices more convenient for the office than a laser printer, but these devices also deserve a place in most homes. While you might not use it every day, you’ll definitely be thankful you have one when you need it. Fortunately, you don’t have to spend much to get a decent model. Let our reviews serve as your cheat sheet when shopping for a printer, and if you find yourself looking for a different model, be sure to keep our buying guide close.