Best printer for students in 2020: top picks for printing out coursework

Best printer for students in 2020: top picks for printing out coursework

2020-06-10 12:28:13

Welcome to our pick of the best printers for students. If you’re a student, or you’re the parent, guardian or friend of one, then getting the best printer you budget allows can really help them with their studies.

By buying one of the best printers for students in this guide, you can ensure that the student doesn’t have to go to an internet cafe or library to print out their documents, which will save time, money and stress as deadlines start looming.

So, what should you look for in the best printers for students? You’ll want something that isn’t too expensive. We’re not just talking about when you first buy it, but also when it comes to running costs. A printer that burns through ink is not going to be ideal for students.

You’ll also want a printer that doesn’t skimp when it comes to print quality. Being able to print out a range of documents with perfect clarity is a key quality for the best student printers.

Students won’t have a huge amount of space, either, so the printers in this guide are compact as well.

With our list of the best printers for students, we’ve put together our top picks that will suit a student’s needs, no matter what educational institute they are at.

If you’re also looking for a laptop, make sure you check out our best laptops for students guide.

Brother DCP-J1100W

(Image credit: Brother)

1. Brother DCP-J1100W All-in-box

Includes enough ink and service to cover a 3-year course

Category: colour 3-in-1 inkjet printer | Print speed: 12ppm | Paper sizes: A4 | Paper capacity: 150 | Weight: 8.8kg

3yrs of ink included 

Touchscreen interface

High initial cost     

Slow to print

By providing three-years worth of ink and three years service in the price, Brother’s unique proposition would suit students on a three-year course well. The printer itself is a capable three-in-one inkjet device that can print, scan and copy at a fairly high resolution and turn out crisp and colourful duplex pages at a reasonable rate. It’s not as fast as Brother’s other business-oriented printers, but with four such high capacity ink cartridges installed it is way more economical to run. It comes with Wi-Fi Direct connectivity and a colour touchscreen interface for easy operation.

Brother DCP-J774DW

(Image credit: Jim Hill)

2. Brother DCP-J774DW printer

Inexpensive and effective inkjet all-in-one

Category: 3-in-1 colour inkjet printer | Print speed: 12ppm | Paper sizes: up to A4 | Paper capacity: 100 | Weight: 6.6kg

Compact and affordable   

SD Card and USB ports

Not fast 

No fax facility

Brother’s entry-level inkjet 3-in-1 bundles all of the features a student could need in one compact and compact unit. With USB ports front and rear, an SD Card slot and Wi-Fi, it’s well connected, with high print and scan resolutions and a low price point. It prints somewhat slowly at 12ppm in mono, but duplex documents appear crisp and consistent and photos on glossy paper look lifelike enough for a budget model.   

Read the full review: Brother DCP-J774DW

Canon Pixma TS5351

(Image credit: Canon)

3. Canon Pixma TS5351

Stylish all-in-one printer for the small student digs

Category: colour 3-in-1 inkjet printer | Print speed: 13ppm | Paper sizes: A4 | Paper capacity: 100 | Weight: 6.3kg

Small, stylish design 

Wi-Fi ad Bluetooth 

Costly cartridges      

Small paper tray  

This neat three-in-one printer provides virtually every feature a student is likely to need and a few more besides. Colour printing, scanning and photocopying are a given, but you also have an auto-duplex mode so that you won’t waste paper and both Wi-Fi and Bluetooth built in for easy wireless connection to a laptop and/or smartphone. It can print on a particularly wide variety of media up to A4 in size and that includes Canon’s own magnetic photo paper and fabric iron-on patches. It’s an impressively compact unit, so there’s only room for 100 sheets of A4 inside and it’s not the cheapest inkjet out there, but by upgrading the cartridges to XL-capacity carts you can bring down the running cost to a competitive level.

Epson Expression Premium XP-6105

(Image credit: Epson)

4. Epson Expression Premium XP-6105 printer

A compact and stylish AIO for the discerning student

Category: 3-in-1 colour inkjet printer | Print speed: 23ppm | Paper sizes: up to A4 | Paper capacity: 500 | Weight: 12.1kg

Sleek design  

Great price

Costly cartridges

No touchscreen

As the smallest member of Epson’s Premium range of home printers, the XP-6105 is well suited to student accommodation. Apart from a fax facility, it is fully featured with Wi-Fi, auto duplex printing, USB and SD card slots all built in and the ability to print on any kind of media from blank CDs up to A4 photo paper. It lacks a touchscreen display, but it’s easy to use and the for the money, the performance is impressive.

HP Tango

(Image credit: HP)

5. HP Tango printer

HP’s smart printer adds voice control

Category: 3-in-1 colour inkjet printer | Print speed: 11ppm | Paper sizes: up to A4 | Paper capacity: 50 | Weight: 3kg

Alexa enabled    

Seamless cloud services

No USB port  

Expensive ink

Thanks to its two-way cloud-based network connection, you can operate this ‘smart printer’ from your mobile device with or without a Wi-Fi network. It has no USB or Ethernet ports and no scanner either. Instead it relies on wireless connectivity while the Tango companion app harnesses your smartphone’s camera to scan and straighten images for printing. All this allows the Tango X to be smaller than other inkjets and cheaper too. It is particularly user friendly, thanks to the excellent app and can even be voice controlled with the assistance of Alexa. Replacement ink cartridges are rather costly, but you can sign up to HP’s Instant Ink program to make some saving while having replacements sent in the mail. 

HP Envy 5030

(Image credit: HP)

6. HP Envy 5030 All-in-One printer

Student-friendly all-in-one with all-round appeal

Category: colour 3-in-1 inkjet printer | Print speed: 7ppm | Paper sizes: A4 | Paper capacity: 100 | Weight: 5.41kg


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