The Canon PIXMA GM4050 is one of the first monochrome printers to be added to Canon’s cartridge-free MegaTank range and it’s one of the cheapest ways to print around. It’s a 3-in-1 device with a scanner, 35-sheet ADF (automatic document feeder) and room for 250 sheets of paper in its main paper tray. It can duplex print and Wi-Fi with Wi-Fi Direct built in. The sluggish print speed cannot compete with a laser printer, but with three bottles of black ink in the box, it can offer a higher page yield and a lower per page cost. If you print frequently and never in colour, this capable machine will keep your print costs right down.
Read the full review: Canon PIXMA GM4050The world’s smallest budget laser printerPrint speed: 19ppmPaper sizes: Up to A4Paper capacity: 100 sheetsSize: 6.2 x 13.6 x 7.4inWeight: 3.8kg+Modular upgrades available+High paper capacity+Low running cost+Intuitive touchscreen interface-High initial outlay-Wi-Fi module costs extra-Noisy in operation
If you think the Brother model above is fast at printing, the Versalink asks you to hold its beer. With a duplex print speed of 55ppm, it’s one of the fastest laser printers in the business and stores a massive number of sheets while supporting high-capacity toner cartridges, which ultimately brings down the running cost over time. It’s larger, noisier and more expensive than the HL-L5100DN – not to mention twice the weight – which makes it more suitable for a busy SMB or large workgroup than a household.
Read the full review: Xerox VersaLink B600DN reviewSmall, swift and secure mono printing Category: Mono laser printerPrint speed: 40ppm Paper sizes: A4Paper capacity: 250 + 100 sheets Weight: 8.6kg+Compact size+Fast print speed-Basic 2-line display-Add-on units are expensive
This mono print-only device could not be any simpler and what it does, it does well. It prints quickly at 40 pages per minute and it can automatically print both sides of the page (auto duplex). There’s no touchscreen, just a two-line monochrome display, but that’s fine for a single-use device. You can fit 250 sheets of A4 in the main tray and another 100 in the multipurpose tray. If that’s not enough, you can buy additional paper cassettes to expand the capacity, though these accessories are quite expensive. The toner cartridge included is good for 3,000 printed pages.Fast and efficientPrint speed: 36ppmPaper sizes: up to A4Paper capacity: 250 sheetsSize: 14 x 13.1 x 8.4inWeight: 6.8kg+Excellent print quality+Robust security options-Separate toner and drum-Expensive in its class
Offering decent print quality and a slew of features, this Lexmark printer is an attractive model that doesn’t skimp on security. Logging into its web server lets you restrict printing and admin access to certain users and departments, making it ideal for use in office or shared accommodation scenarios. Duplex printing is enabled by default and print quality itself is stellar considering the B2236dw’s initial affordability. It has a separate drum (rated for up to 12,000 prints) and toner (up to 6,000), which together result in acceptable (but far from best-in-class) running costs over time. Heavy users are advised to sign up to Lexmark’s Cartridge Collection Program for best bang-for-buck when it comes to replacing ink.Cheap and fastPrint speed: 32ppmPaper sizes: Up to A4Paper capacity: 250 sheetsSize: 13.27 x 8.66 x 7.01inWeight: 7.2kg+Fast printing for the cost+Good output quality-Average graphics quality-Small LCD display
Suitable for home printing, this speedy model from Brother is suitable if you’re looking to occasionally burst print a bunch of pages while initially looking to spend as little as possible. Setting up the HL-L2350DW isn’t fun on its tiny LCD screen, but once completed the printer is compact and light enough to move into position. It’s also pleasingly inexpensive to operate in the long term and features connectivity options aplenty – including compatibility with Airprint, Google Cloud print and Brother’s own iPrint & Scan app. Turning our attention to quality, the Brother produces text with above average sharpness – certainly enough for everyday printing tasks – but we were less enamoured with its graphics quality.Bottled black ink for budget printingCategory: Mono inkjet AOI printerPrint speed: 20ppmPaper sizes: Up to A4Paper capacity: 250 sheets Weight: 6.4kg+Very low ink cost+Lots of ink in the box-Small reflective display -No Wi-Fi or Ethernet port
This mono inkjet printer won’t suit everyone, but if you simply need to scan and print black and white pages, you won’t find a more efficient device. The distinctive design with the raised flatbed scanner is unusual, but practical because it allows for a large (250-sheet) paper and there are surprisingly few features. There’s no Wi-Fi, or an ADF (automatic document feeder), or even an Ethernet port. What it does have is a single ink reservoir for you to top up with black ink. Epson generously include two bottles in the box, which is enough for 11,000 pages. It prints quickly for an inkjet and turns out crisp auto duplexed pages at a lower cost than most lasers printers.
Read the full review: Epson EcoTank ET-M2140Workgroup printer with tablet-style displayCategory: colour laser printer **Print speed:** 35ppmPaper sizes: A4Paper capacity: 550 sheetsWeight: 26kg+High paper/toner capacity +Vivid Pantone colours -Wi-Fi costs extra-Bulky and heavy
It might seem expensive for a desktop device, but this colour laser printer comes with impressive specifications and a slick smartphone-style interface. It has a huge capacity for paper with a 550-sheet tray built in and the option of doubling that by adding a second tray. Xerox includes a generous amount of toner too, enough for 2,000 colour or 3,000 mono pages. The five-inch touchscreen makes setup and operation easier than most while it’s print quality is excellent, thanks largely to its bold Pantone-approved colour performance.
Read the full review: Xerox VersaLink C400DNJim Hill
Jim is a seasoned expert when it comes to testing tech. From playing a prototype PlayStation One to meeting a man called Steve about a new kind of phone in 2007, he’s always hunting the next big thing at the bleeding edge of the electronics industry. After editing the tech section of Wired UK magazine, he is currently specialising in IT and voyaging in his VW camper van.