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Lifestyle

Best All in One Printer for Home Use with Cheap Ink

 February 15, 2022

By  Tim Parry

Printing has never been easier than with cheap ink printers for home use. While at it, modern printers come with more functions besides printing and still maintain high print quality. Moreover, when looking for a home office printer, it is best to go for a model that uses affordable ink and has a decent print speed. Bottom line, the best all-in-one printer for home use with cheap ink helps save money with cheaper sustenance of consumables for different functions.

However, we acknowledge that choosing among the available all-in-one printers can be hectic. Therefore, we have compiled a detailed buying guide alongside the best product recommendations for easy shopping. Even so, let's first understand the scope of an all-in-one printer.


What is an All-In-One Printer?

Traditionally, a printer is known for its primary function of printing documents. However, with time, printers have evolved to include more functions in the same unit. So, an all-in-one printer comes with multiple functionalities, which primarily include copying, scanning and printing. Fortunately, even with the multiple functionalities, it is possible to find a budget printer.

Amongst the best all-in-one models, you might find either a laser printer or inkjet printer to be the most fitting. Simply put, it depends on your preference and intended purpose. Besides the common functions of copy, scan and print you might find in all-in-one printers, here are other features that you may find in these models:

  • Faxing
  • Color and black print compatibility
  • Duplexing
  • Photo and document organization
  • Hole punching
  • Stapling

Advantages of All-in-On Printers

  • More features at affordable prices vis-à-vis the cost of each single-purpose device
  • Multiple functions using a single connection
  • All-in-one printers save on office space
  • All-in-one printers are intuitive to use across all functions

Disadvantages of All-in-One Printers

  • Simple breakdowns inconvenience all functions
  • Some functions might be compromised. This aspect refers to some all-in-one printers being good at a specific function while rendering sub-par supplementary outputs such as photo quality.

Based on this understanding, here are the best eight product recommendations that will strike the perfect balance between affordable home use and high quality.

Which is the best all in one printer for home use with cheap ink?


1. Canon Pixma MG3620 Wireless All-In-One Color Inkjet Printer

Canon Pixma MG3620 Wireless All-In-One Color Inkjet Printer with...
  • Mobile device printing: Easily print from your iPhone, iPad, Android...
  • Quick and easy wireless setup
  • Powerful printing options: Airprint, Google Cloud Print, NFC, Mopria...
  • Compact and space-saving design
  • Print on both sides of the page with auto 2-sided print

Our top recommendation for the best all-in-one printer for home use with cheap ink is the Canon Pixma MG3620 printer. We love this affordable printer since it's among the few cheapest all-in-one printers you can find for home use. Besides this model, Canon as a brand also deserves its credit as one of the leading manufacturers that has specialized in making efficient printers with affordable ink at low-costs.

Build and Design

Regarding the build of this masterpiece, it comes with a thin plastic exterior cover. However, the thin plastic outer shell might not be desirable on this printer, but at its price range, it's adequate. Also, you will hardly encounter any complaints about the thin plastic cover.

Apart from its outer plastic build, this home printer comes in compact dimensions that easily fit your home office without much space adjustments. In addition to its build, you can find this printer in three different colors: white, red and black. Such colors combine with its minimalistic design to make it the best printer for your home office.

Functionality

Another aspect that makes it the best printer on our list is its efficient and sustainable functionality. By sustainability, in this case, we refer to the aspect of being able to keep it working without many costs. To start with, this printer is easy to use with minimal physical buttons conveniently located on top at arm's reach. Also, changing its ink cartridges is easy alongside a no-brainer technique and design of clearing paper jams through its back opening.

Speaking of its printing qualities, the Canon Pixma MG3620 works efficiently with rich, detailed outcomes. However, the level of rich details, in this case, is just above average, with colors being a bit over-saturated and slight banding within the grayscale area. Nonetheless, at its price, these potential limitations don't undo its worthiness as a good printer using the cheapest ink for your home office.

Moreover, this model has a decent printing speed for either black and white printing or colored printing. In particular, with black only text, the print speed is 9 ppm while that of colored documents is 3 PPM. As part of the printing system, this device comes with an auto duplex print that is further supported by a 100-page input tray. Also, it only supports USB and Wi-Fi connectivity, which might be quite limited to some.

Fitting its bill as an all-in-one printer, this device comes with a fairly efficient scanner. However, with a color bit of 24 bit, this scanner reproduces a resolution of 600 DPI, which is a sub-par quality. Fortunately, you can boost this resolution to about 1200 DPI using Canon's 'My Image Garden Software'. Nevertheless, this additional function cannot support duplex scanning and lacks an automatic document feeder.

PROS
  • Affordable
  • Easy to use
  • Sleek and compact
  • Low printing costs, with the use of the cheapest ink
  • Fairly efficient print speed
  • Good scanner
  • Produces quality color photos
CONS
  • Limited connectivity with unavailable support for ethernet and Wi-Fi Direct
  • Cheap plastic shell
  • Lacks a display

2. Canon Office and Business MX922 All-In-One Printer

Canon Office and Business MX922 All-In-One Printer, Wireless and...
  • Features: Wireless LAN, AirPrint, Google Cloud Print, Wireless,...
  • Fully-Integrated, 35-sheet Duplex Auto Document Feeder: Easily copy,...
  • Built-In Auto Duplex Printing: Automatically print on both sides of...
  • Compatible with Individual/Combo CLI-251 XL Ink Tanks (Cyan, Magenta,...
  • 20-Foot cord.OS Compatibility:Windows 8, Windows RT, Windows 7,...

Another excellent choice for an affordable all-in-one home printer with cheap ink is yet another Canon printer. Specifically, the MX922 wireless Canon printer is an ideal multi-functional home office companion with the ability to print, scan and fax. In addition, you can print documents and photos using this model. Notably, the earlier revelation about Canon as a brand is indeed true with this efficient second recommendation.

Build and Design

This model also comes with a significantly lightweight plastic shell. Regarding its parts, it comes with an expandable output tray and a memory card slot in case you have your documents stored in external storage. It also has a Blue-Ray disc and CD/DVD printing slot. In addition, its primary function is enabled by a six-individual ink-tank system with a unique Blue ink tank meant for clearer photo printing.

Moreover, the controls of the MX922, including a 5-inch LCD touchscreen, are conveniently located on top for seamless operations. Generally, its build comes in a stylish and compact design that can be easily placed anywhere around your home for outstanding outputs.

Functionality

As an option for the best printer in the current context, this device provides a wide array of capabilities, unlike most of its counterparts in this category. By far, this is the most convenient printer with wireless capabilities that enable scanning and printing from anywhere within your home. Also, with the help of its built-in Wi-Fi, you can Air Print virtually from your iPad, iPod or iPhone gadgets. Most impressively, you can also use this device to improve on your creativity through google cloud print and USB printing.

Even more, this device comes with an auto document feeder for quick functions across board, without the hassle of individual paper loading. As a result, this device's print speed is faster than its predecessors at a rate of 15 ppm across different paper sizes. Adding to its fast speeds, you can also use a USB 2.0 with your PC for faster data transfers and subsequent printing functions.

Furthermore, this printer comes with a fully-integrated 35-paper duplex mode with an automated loading function. Its automated duplex printing function means that you will obtain dual side prints without the hassle of manual paper turn-overs. You can also enjoy a wide range of compatibilities, such as with various Windows and Mac operating systems. Finally, this home printer is compatible with either individual or combo PGI-250xl black ink and CLI-251XL ink tanks.

PROS
  • Excellent print quality
  • Sleek design
  • Enhanced wired and wireless connectivity
  • Optimal ink efficiency
  • Compatible with combo or individual ink tanks
  • Easy to use
  • Efficient and sufficient six ink-tank system
  • Automatic paper feeder
CONS
  • Noisy

3. Brother MFC lASL2710DW Monochrome Laser All-In-One Printer

Sale
Brother Monochrome Laser Printer, Compact All-In One Printer,...
  • Print more, wait less. Engineered for increased efficiency with class...
  • Dynamic features meet your evolving needs. The 250-sheet paper...
  • Flexible printing. The manual feed slot offers flexible paper handling...
  • Engineered to deliver productivity. Up to 50-sheet automatic document...
  • Printing as mobile as you are. Print wireless from your desktop,...

Next in line is this magnificent Brother MFC monochrome laser printer. As one of our favorite laser printer brands, Brother specializes in balancing affordability and efficiency. Specifically, the MFC lASL2710DW features incredible functionalities you'd experience in higher-end alternatives.

Build and Design

The outer shell of this multi-functional printer is made of sturdy yet lightweight plastic. In addition, its nondescript build comes with a designated control panel that is in arms reach for seamless controls. You will also love its versatile paper handling tray that can handle differents paper materials such as card stock, envelopes and different sizes.

This Brother MFC printer also provides an easy mechanism for changing its toner. However, if your toner needs replacement, we recommend going for a genuine Brother TN760 high-yielding toner for continued printing efficiency and quality. Also, this device comes with a Smart mechanism of detecting low toner levels and therefore alerts you in advance and helps generate an Amazon order before it's too late. Generally, you will find this printer in either black or grey, thus making it a perfect fit for your home office.

Functionality

This solid printer boasts a super-fast print speed of 32 PPM and a large 250-page paper capacity. As a result of the large paper tray capacity, this printer is dynamic enough to improve efficiency with fewer refills and versatility to different paper sizes. In addition, it has an automated document feeder for 50 pages across different modes, including print, copy, fax and scan.

Moreover, this printer comes with a full-duplex printing capability for double-sided outputs. It also helps you stay connected through its ethernet and Wi-Fi capabilities. Using its wireless printing capabilities, you can remotely connect this printer to your laptop or mobile device for extra convenience.You can also use the USB interface to connect to a single computer.

In the long run, this monochrome laser helps save money due to cheap consumables. Its 2-sided printing capability also helps save paper costs alongside the toner save mode. Eventually, this device gives you a print quality of 2400 by 600 DPI. However, since it's a monochrome laser printer, you will have to forgo the luxury of color printing.

PROS
  • Fast print speeds with more output
  • Flexible printing of diverse materials
  • Flexible form factors: copy, print, fax and scan
  • Cost-efficient
  • Adequate wired and wireless connectivity
  • Automated document feeder and 2 -sided productivity
  • Wireless printing from mobile devices (2)
CONS
  • Cannot color print

4. HP OfficeJet Pro 9025 All-in-One Wireless Printer

HP OfficeJet Pro 9025 All-in-One Wireless Printer, Single-pass...
  • Upgrade your office – Replacing the OfficeJet Pro 8720, this small...
  • Organize documents 50% faster – Eliminate steps in repetitive tasks...
  • Genuine HP 962 ink delivered to your home: get your first 2 months...
  • Print remotely using HP Smart app: Access your printer and scanner,...
  • Self-healing WI-FI: Ensures you stay connected by detecting issues and...

Another popular brand in the printing world is HP. Subsequently, one of their best options in the category of all-in-one home printers with cheap ink is the HP 9025 OfficeJet Pro. This revolutionary model offers versatile print, copy, fax and scan form factors.

Build and Design

This inkjet printer comes with a plastic shell with smooth edges for minimal obstructions in an office environment. It is also compact for small offices such as at home. Notably, this HP Officejet Pro printer comes with a color touchscreen on the front side within arm's reach. Also, as a part of its management and control, you can use its HP Smart app to check ink levels or operate (scan, copy or print) while on the go.

Regarding its loading design, this all-in-one HP Officejet Pro printer has conveniently placed trays with minimal hassle and intuition. You can also enjoy additional convenience through its full-ream paper capacity and extra paper tray to save you the energy of constant reloading. Its ink cartridges are also designed for no-brainer replacements with an easy remove and insert mechanism.

Functionality

Primarily, you will love this all-in-one color printer since it can scan, copy, print and fax materials. Even though it is a business-rated device, you can use this printer at home with cheap inks. For its print, scan and copy functions, it has an automated two-sided mode which goes a long way in saving on time, effort and paper costs.

In practice, this device can print 24 PPM for black ink and a maximum of 20 papers for colored documents. In addition, it has an automated document feeder for 35 pages. You will also love this printer for its capacity to organize documents faster by eliminating repetitive tasks by syncing to google drive, QuickBooks and other applications. For instance, you can use this model to digitally organize business receipts and documents.

You can also easily print documents from computers and mobile devices through Wi-Fi capability. Particularly, its Wi-Fi is self-healing meaning it can detect issues and automatically restore itself. Additionally, it also comes with built-in security features, including password protection and encryption for document protection. Using its wireless connectivity, you can also create searchable and editable documents through its Smart app for iCloud saving and retrievals.

Additionally, its ink costs are low due to the HP Instant Ink service that enables up to 70% saving on new ink cartridges. Even more, the Instant Ink service comes with free delivery at your doorstep and a 2-month free trial. As part of making work easier, this printer can order ink before it runs out. Eventually, this top-of-the-class printer is designed to save on your energy, time and consumable costs.

PROS
  • Fast printing speeds
  • Saves time like through Smart task shortcuts
  • Automatic document feeder for less printing hassle
  • Versatile printing modes
  • Reliable Wi-Fi and ethernet connectivity
  • Enhanced document and connection protection
  • Easy glass slide-off for papers
  • Cost-effective
  • Perfect for business use
CONS
  • Bulkier than other Hp printers for home use
  • More occurrences of paper jams

5. Epson EcoTank ET-4760 Wireless Color All-in-One Printer with Scanner

Epson EcoTank ET-4760 Wireless Color All-in-One Cartridge-Free...
  • Epson strongly recommends the use of Genuine Epson inks for a quality...
  • Epson EcoTank is the No. 1 Best Selling Supertank Printer
  • You can save up to 90 percent with low-cost replacement ink bottles...
  • You get up to 2 years of ink — in the box and with each replacement...
  • Less waste with Cartridge-Free Printing — one set of replacement...

Are you looking for a home printer with a refillable ink tank? Here's a solution for you in the name of Epson EcoTank ET-4760 Wireless Color All-in-One Printer. Similar to other cheap ink printers for home use on our list, this model offers the perfect balance between efficiency, generosity and incredibly low ink costs. In its true multi-functional nature, you can use this device to print, copy, fax and scan.

Build and Design

Ideally, the Epson EcoTank ET-4760 is heavy duty with the intention of mass production in a month. Subsequently, unlike other printers, this is a cartridge-free supertank printer with the ability to handle 6,000 colored pages and 7,500 black pages with the help of large-capacity ink bottles. Also, it uniquely has four refillable ink tanks with large capacities for a lower print-ink ratio cost. Furthermore, to handle both black and colored prints, its refillable ink tanks are separate for pigment black, magenta, cyan and yellow.

Notably, this printer is designed to utilize low-cost ink, with each refill capable of handling thousands of pages per month. Therefore, unlike ink cartridges, this supertank printer is a great low-cost alternative with a 90% saving outcome. Also, this supertank design saves trips to your stores since it also reduces waste from cartridge replacements. Conveniently, the ink tanks are located on the front side with readable levels and for easy ink refills.

Also, its control panel is on the front side at arms reach with an easy-to-control color touchscreen. By and by, this printer is compact for easy placement almost anywhere in your house.

Functionality

As already highlighted, this Epson Ecotank et 4760 printer makes use of a supertank that is filled using ink bottles. Accordingly, each refill can handle thousands of pages with a 30-sheet Automatic Document Feeder. Also, this device comes with an auto-duplex functionality for printing, scanning, and copying.

Moreover, this Epson EcoTank ET-7460 comes with generous capacities of handling more paper within a single-use while still incurring low ink costs. For instance, its paper tray can handle 250 sheets at a go. Even though it lacks a second paper tray, this printer is capable of speedy applications.

As such, this AIO printer can handle everyday productivity with consistent results as long as it's well-maintained. However, we recommend using genuine Epson inks with this model to avoid damages that its warranty might not cover.

PROS
  • Faster document handling
  • Generous paper capacity
  • Fast printing and copying
  • Incredibly low ink costs
  • Quick duplexer
  • Easy to use
  • Long-serving supertank
  • Handles both black and colored documents
CONS
  • Lacks a secondary paper tray
  • Sub-par and light duplex prints

6. Canon Pixma G7020 All-In-One Printer For Home Office

Canon G7020 All-In-One Printer For Home Office | Wireless Supertank...
  • Conveniently view and refill ink using ink bottles with integrated ink...
  • With a high page yield print up to 6,000 Black/ 7,700 color pages per...
  • With a 350 sheet plain paper capacity The PIXMA G7020 is ready to take...
  • With AirPrint it’s easy to print right from your iPhone iPad and Mac...
  • Print beautiful borderless photos from 3 5” x 3 5” square to 8...

If you love making photo prints at home, we've got you covered with the Canon Pixma G7020 all-in-one printer. Even more, this printer can handle other tasks such as printing paper, scanning, faxing and copying. Among the best printers from the Canon Pixma series, we consider this a budget buy with the cheapest ink since it utilizes the supertank mechanism, which has a cheaper cost-to-print ratio than ink cartridges.

Build and Design

As a cheap printer from the Canon line of devices, this model comes with a heavy-duty build that is made of hard plastic for longer service. Moreover, this device is cleverly designed to require minimal maintenance but still perform at the highest levels. Also, this Pixma G7020 printer is easy to use with straightforward physical buttons for its control panel. The control panel can further be tilted up or down for easy visibility while setting this monochrome printer.

However, the display on this model can be a bummer with its limit of displayed text at a single time. In addition, over time, its display might grow slightly invisible due to scratches and other environmental elements.

Another interesting design detail for this model is the provision for fixing paper jams from the back. Ideally, you don't have to lift the entire top cover to fix paper jams. Moreover, you can adjust its paper trays to fit different paper sizes using an in-built slider for easy adjustments. Overall, this printer is not heavy, weighing only 21 pounds (9.5 kg), thus making it comfortable and compact to handle by yourself.

Functionality

As earlier highlighted, you can use this device for photo prints at home. Even more, it has an efficient scanner with a resolution of 1200 DPI at a color depth of 24-bit. During operation, you will also enjoy its Automatic Document Feeder. However, this printer lacks automated duplex scanning.

When it comes to printing, the Canon Pixma G7020 is formidable, operating in monochrome mode. For instance, it stands out in photo printing with great details and minimal banding in darker sections. Additionally, this model stands out in printing costs, unlike its counterparts in this category. Whether printing photos, colored or black documents, this Canon G7020 has an outstanding cost-per-print ratio.

For convenience, this Canon Pixma printer has reliable connectivity options ranging from wired to wireless solutions. As such, you can use ethernet or USB for the wired options and Wi-Fi for Airprint, Mopria Print Service and Wi-Fi direct. However, this Canon Pixma model has relatively slower printing speeds at 5 PPM and 3 PPM for colored documents. Besides printing text documents slowly, this printer also prints photos at low speeds, averaging one picture per minute.

PROS
  • Efficient and economical
  • Decent photo and text print quality
  • Sturdy build
  • Compact and relatively lightweight
  • Adequate ink tank capacities
  • Easy to use
CONS
  • Disappointing printing speeds
  • Lacks duplex scanning
  • Limited control display

7. HP Color LaserJet Pro M479fdw Multifunction Wireless Laser Printer

HP Color LaserJet Pro Multifunction M479fdw Wireless Laser Printer...
  • BUILT TO KEEP YOUR BUSINESS MOVING FORWARD – Print, scan, copy and...
  • HP WOLF PRO SECURITY – Protect company data and safeguard against...
  • AUTOMATE COMPLICATED WORKFLOWS - Help save time by automating all the...
  • PRINT WITH OR WITHOUT A NETWORK – Use built-in Wi-Fi Direct to...
  • SPEED THROUGH TASKS – Stay productive with single-pass, 2-sided...

Another incredible pick from HP is the M479FDW Color Laserjet Pro Printer. Ideally, as a color laser printer, it is a bit costly to maintain its compatible toner compared to a full-color inkjet device. Not to worry, this printer is, however, worth it with more-professional outputs and an affordable cost per print ratio.

Build and Design

This device comes in a compact and minimalistic design for no-brainer utility. Accordingly, it has a sturdy plastic shell with smooth edges for a non-disruptive or safe presence in the office. For its controls, it has an intuitive color touchscreen for optimizing productivity. You can also use voice commands through applications such as Amazon Alexa for printer controls.

Its toner cartridges are reliable and trustworthy, helping you avoid supply wastage, reprints and occasional expert consultations. Ideally, it is advisable to use the original HP414X OR 414A toner cartridges, which are best for multi-functional laser printers. Furthermore, this model has a built-in output bin for up to 150 sheets and a 300-sheet input tray. However, this printer might feel a bit bulkier for home use than other alternatives in the same category.

Functionality

In light of being multi-functional, this device offers a full-color printing portfolio with a scanner, copier and fax besides the primary role of printing. Additionally, this heavy-duty printer handles both two-sided and single-pass for printing, scanning and copying. Through its functions, this printer is reliable with consistent, high-quality outputs even while using its flatbed scanner.

As a wireless printer, this Color LaserJet M479fdw supports Bluetooth and Wi-Fi connections, while for the wired connections, you can use ethernet or USB. While connecting with your smartphone, you can opt for the built-in Wi-Fi direct for seamless mobile printing even in the absence of local network connections. Due to the wireless capability, this device also comes with HP Wolf Pro Security for securing your documents and connection against cyberattacks.

Regarding convenience and ease of use, this printer comes with automated commands for complicated workflows. As a result, it will help save time through automation and saved customized settings through the touch of a button on its adjustable touchscreen panel. Also, its printing speed is 28 PPM for both black and color prints. To further speed it through tasks, this printer has an auto document feeder of 50 sheets at a go.

During operation, this machine operates at an enhanced energy-efficient mode which saves an estimated 18% of energy and reduces waste of printing papers. Consequently, it also maximizes its cartridges, thus making its consumables sustainable over a relatively long period. Based on its description, it is possible to have it for your home office, but it might be above the average cheap, including its inks and cartridges. If you have a choice for home photo printing, you can check for a better alternative on our list.

PROS
  • Reliable and consistent
  • Easy to use
  • Auto document feeder
  • Built-in HP security for protection against cyber attacks
  • Energy efficient
  • Excellent print speeds
  • Duplex printing
  • Versatile onsite, next-business-day and one-year warranty
CONS
  • It might be slightly bulkier than others for home use
  • Not the best for home photo printing

8. Brother MFC-J995DW INKvestmentTank Color Inkjet All-in-One Printer

Brother MFC-J995DW INKvestmentTank Color Inkjet All-in-One Printer...
  • Up to 1 year of ink in box: Using the MFCJ995DW cartridges provided,...
  • Inkvestment tank system: Reengineered ink cartridges hold more ink and...
  • Eliminate ink replacement guesswork: Brother intelligent Page Gauge(2)...
  • Mobile device printing: Desktop and mobile device wireless printing...
  • For use with brother genuine inks: LC3033: LC3033BK, LC3033C, LC3033M,...

Last on our list is another Brother MFC model, specifically the MFC-J995DW INKvestmentTank Color Inkjet Printer. Being last on our list doesn't mean it's short on affordable qualities ideal for a home printer. In fact, it's an incredibly cost-effective printer with one of the cheapest ink options. As a result, this is another excellent choice that strikes the perfect balance between productivity and price.

Build and Design

As an option with the cheapest ink, the Brother MFC J995DW comes with a quality build that emphasizes a compact size. Additionally, this Brother MFC printer comes with aesthetics that fit the office environment, even at home. Notably, its entire body is covered in toughened plastic, giving it an implicit promise of durability.

Regarding access, its ink cartridges can be easily reached from the front side without much disassembly. It is also at the front where its LCD touchscreen console will be found. Even though its said screen might feel smaller, you can be sure it's highly responsive with decent viewing angles. Also, the Brother MFC-J995DW LCD console can be tilted upwards or downwards for a better view and access.

Generally, you will enjoy this machine's simple, self-explanatory application while setting it up in your office. You will also benefit from its simple-to-follow on-screen guide for a quick setup in your home office.

Functionality

In terms of technology, this Brother model offers top-notch features that make its functionality be efficient, cost-effective and simple. Even though it's last on our list, it would interest you to know that its photo print quality is decent with rich colors and great accuracy to details. Nonetheless, they don't lack thin bands, especially in grey shades.

As regards its built-in flatbed scanner, this machine boasts a 1200 DPI resolution. It also has a 24-bit color depth for ensuring your scenes are produced with accurate colors. In addition, work is made easier while scanning and printing through is automatic document feeder. Further on its printing capabilities, this machine has decent print speeds of 10 PPM for black and white documents or color prints.

As a photo printer, it will take approximately 50 seconds to print one photo. In practice, you will notice the first page will come out faster as it progressively reduces its printing speed with more sheets. Across all printing functions, you will benefit from its duplex mode but miss out on duplex scanning.

When it comes to connectivity, this Brother printer has both wired and wireless connections. For its wired options, you can use ethernet or a USB cable to connect to an individual computer. On the other hand, its wireless capabilities include support for Wi-Fi Direct and other popular cloud services such as iCloud. You can also directly print items on an SD card or USB drive.

PROS
  • Easy access and application
  • Intuitive on-screen setup guide
  • Low cost-per-print ratio
  • Mobile convenience through Brother iPrint app
  • Sustainably cheaper
  • Compact
  • Decent photo printing quality
CONS
  • Lacks duplex scanning
  • Lacks NFC and Bluetooth support

Inkjet vs. Laser

By now, you have encountered inkjet or laser, and some might wonder what these terms mean. Ideally, these are printer technologies that different manufacturers use in their machines. Of course, we know the mere description as technologies doesn't cut it in elaborating them, but not to worry, we will get to the details.

Based on the distinction between these two printer technologies, you will further be able to identify the best printer for home use. Read on for a better understanding.

Technology Distinctions: Inkjet vs. laser

The primary difference between these two printer technologies lies in how they put images and letters onto a printing paper. On the one hand, inkjet printers utilize liquid ink that is deposited or imprinted onto paper via a print head that has numerous micro-nozzles. As a result, the printing you will obtain from inkjets results from tiny ink drops deposited on the paper.

Subsequently, the ink color may change on the paper depending on whether the applied ink is pigment-based or dye. In other cases, the deposited ink will just dry without changing color. On the other hand, laser printers utilize a toner which is ideally a powder. Subsequently, laser technology utilizes electrostatic charges to pass on the toner onto a paper and heat to bond the transferred powder onto the paper.

Fortunately, both technologies are available in single-function and all-in-one printers. Having identified the working mechanisms of both systems, let's proceed to highlight their major differences while in use.

Practical Differences

The above-highlighted technologies subsequently affect the performance of individual printers while performing different tasks and the cost of printing the different photos and documents. Considerably, either method requires consumables that are come at different prices and quantities. To start with, the upfront costs for inkjets are cheaper than those of laser models. However, it is important not to be carried away by this upfront affordability and remember ink costs can make an inkjet expensive or cheap to operate.

Regarding the printing output of documents and text, laser printers offer better quality than inkjets. If you intend to primarily print basic documents, a laser model would be ideal for the best quality. Nonetheless, inkjets are the best options for printing photos.

In matters relating to costs, laser printers present a lower cost per print ratio since toners are incredibly cheap and don't dry out like some ink cartridges. However, to solve the issue of ink drying out, contemporary inkjet printers come with refillable tanks that add to the affordability of printing but at more upfront costs.

Finally, inkjets are more compact than laser models and don't require accompanying internal rollers and drums. Additionally, an all-in-one inkjet can provide a smaller footprint for full-page printing than a laser printer. Overall, based on these differences, you can choose the right model for your home intended purposes.


What to Look for in the Best All-In-One Printer for Home Use with Cheap Ink

Asides from knowing the difference between a laser and inkjet printer, there are other considerations you are required to make for products in this category. Here are some factors to consider while shopping for an affordable home printer.

1. Fast Printing Speed

First, a great printer for home use should be able to print items within a short time. Since you will be using models in this category at home, one might assume that you have all time to stand by your printer waiting for outputs. However, that is highly discouraged. While still at speed, not all models are the same, and the best approach would be reading a product's specs before buying.

The two main speed aspects to look out for include the PPM and a printer's time to give out the first print. Subsequently, the entire speedy printing aspect is important if you intend to print a lot. Therefore, if your printing needs are for casual purposes and not as frequent as those of a business, you can opt for moderate printer speeds, which might also come at cheaper prices.

2. Functionality

Since we are focusing on all-in-one printers, it is important to understand the functionality your select model offers beyond mere printing. There are many needs that revolve around handling documents, and this often prompts people to go outside their houses to pay for the desired services. However, in this guide, we've got a solution for document needs at home.

Therefore, if you are going to spend even a single buck on an all-in-one printer, it is worth it to ensure it will meet your needs at home. As such, the more functions you find in a printer, the better, considering that even those you haven't used in the longest time might be required. On the other hand, if more functions don't have a big impact on the price, it wouldn't break a bone to have a more-rounded machine. Ideally, at the very minimum, the best all-in-one printer for home use with cheap ink should have the functions of a copier, scanner and printer.

Even more, there are other printer models that include faxing functions, but we are not sure if that is still applicable in the current world. If you intend on exclusively photo printing, you can invest in a multi-function printer that works best as a photo printer but still has other functions such as scanning copying.

3. High-Quality Text Documents

At the bare minimum, a quality printer should deliver quality text documents. Considerably, text printing is the most common function for which you will use most printers. As a result, the print output you get from your select printer should be clear, crisp and readable with precise color imprints. Therefore, if you encounter a printer that prints with bleeds and smudges, it is not good to purchase.

Even as we focus on affordable all-in-one printers for home use, you don't have to compromise on the quality just to use a cheap printer or cheap ink. In the end, the best printer will use less ink, making ink cartridges affordable and sustainable in the long run.

4. Decent Photo Printing Quality

Still, a printer's output quality also helps to have a printer that churns out quality photos. This aspect applies to both DIY and professional users. Accordingly, the best printer under this factor should be able to produce color documents and printed photos without any smudges and bleeds for clarity.

Apart from photo printing recommendations on our list, you can find other printers like the HP ENVY Photo 7155 and Canon Pixma TS5051. But, ultimately, inkjet printers are the best photo printers due to their color reproduction and color accuracy.

5. Duplex Printing and Duplex Scanning

Also, in making work easier, it is important to have a machine that can handle two-sided functions. Subsequently, such a function in printers is referred to as duplex printing and scanning. Duplex printing, in particular, helps save on paper and ink while still achieving the best print quality or scan quality.

While at the duplex function, you can find printers that are manual or automated. As such, the best all-in-one inkjet or laser printer for home use with cheap ink should have a full automated duplex feature. Again, we acknowledge that not everyone would prioritize this, but it would help to have it as an option.

6. An Automatic Document Feeder

Another time and energy-saving feature to look out for in an all-in-one printer for home use is the document feeding mechanism. Imagine this, just standing by your printer waiting for outputs without the hassle of not feeding papers one by one. Indeed, this would be convenient, allowing you to multi-task while printing, copying or scanning documents.

Accordingly, the best all-in-one printer for home use with cheap ink should have an automated document feeder capable of handling multiple sheets. Fortunately, most printers with cheap ink should come with this feature, such as the recommended products on our list.

7. Connectivity Options

Modern printers have revolutionized the art of document handling through enhanced connectivity. As a result, you will have a wide range of options while shopping for a quality printer in the category. Basically, modern printers come with wired and wireless connections. For wired connections, they use Ethernet and USB cables, while they utilize Wi-Fi and Bluetooth for wireless.

Additionally, you may encounter models with memory card slots and USB ports for further wireless support. As such, enhanced connectivity has led to better printing options such as AirPrint, which involves printing from mobile devices such as iMac, iPhone or Macbook.

8. Cost-per-Print Ratio

In closing, a good printer in this category should have an affordable cost per print ratio. From the beginning of this guide, emphasis has been on cheap ink, which contributes to better cost outcomes. Therefore, we have put together some of the best printers with cheap cost-per-print ratios.

Another good option with a favorable ratio is the Epson EcoTank Pro ET-5850. Just like other supertank inkjet printers on our list, the Epson EcoTank Pro ET-5850 offers triple affordable cost-per-print for color documents and double for black text documents.


Frequently Asked Questions on Home Printers with Cheap Ink

1. Do toner cartridges cost more than ink cartridges?

Toner cartridges are often cheaper than some ink cartridges in the market. Also, in the long run, toners might be cost-effective than ink cartridges since the ink has the risk of drying out. However, there is an option of making an inkjet printer more cost-effective by preferring a model with a refillable tank (s).

                                                                                                              Image credit: nytimes.com

Tim Parry


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