Working at home with nowhere to print, scan, or copy?
You’ve been stuck at home for just a few days and already you’re keenly aware of how much you relied on the office copier. You can’t make copies of important papers, you can’t scan receipts for expense reports, and you can’t fax…not that you ever needed to fax anything but it was nice knowing you had the option available.
Or maybe you find yourself in the unenviable position of running an adhoc schoolhouse. And while your kids’ teachers have been kind enough to upload all their assignments online, for some reason they’re all still worksheets that you have to print out to use.
Whatever the reason, you need a printer at home more than ever. And not just a regular printer, but one that can make copies and scan documents. Since you’re going to be responsible for maintaining it, you’d also like it to be reliable and for supplies to not cost more than the printer itself.
It’s a tall order, but these options ensure that all your home office printing needs are met.
The Brother MFC-L3770CDW digital color laser printer all-in-one lets you print, copy, scan, and fax. With a top 25 page-per minute (ppm) print speed, you’ll be able to power through long assignments or large workbooks in no time. Setup is quick—though it does require removing a ridiculous amount of tape, make sure you open the printer to make sure you get it all. Once it’s on your network, it’s a reliable performer, able to connect to all your devices wirelessly. Even when set to sleep mode, the Brother consistently activates (which, surprisingly, is something not all printer manufacturers get right) and starts churning out documents, fed by the 250-page paper drawer. Scanning is a simple task as well—the 50-page automatic document feeder will let you make quick work of whatever you need to digitize. The Brother MFC-L3770CDW comes with four starter toner cartridges which should last for at least 1,000 pages. The 3.7-inch touchscreen on the device is responsive and easy to use. There are quite a few handy features, including connecting the printer to your online productivity suite of choice. The only drawback is the price. At $379, it’s one of the most expensive printers on this list. And genuine toner replacements are expensive. A high-yield, 3,000-page black toner cartridge costs $75 while 2,300-page color cartridges cost $96! Basically, changing out the toner will cost more than the hardware itself. That said, there’s really no substitute for laser printers—the output is crystal clear and the speed is unparalleled, plus you don’t have to worry about smudging. If you need the highest quality documents you can possibly get at home, and the toner price doesn’t scare you away, this is the laser printer to get.
Epson was one of the first on the block to adopt a cartridge-less system and now, in its third generation of Supertank printers, the Expression ET-2750 seems to have perfected the technology. No longer bolted on to the side of the printer like some unsightly growth, the EcoTank is built directly into the front of the device, making it easier to refill and see how much ink you have left. Not that you’ll have to worry about that too much, since the ink in that comes in the box should last you for about two years (or 6,500 pages, whichever comes first). It also offers convenient wireless printing, printing directly from a smartphone, copying, scanning, automatic two-sided printing and SD card printing. Essentially, the Epson Expression ET-2750 is ready to take on just about any job you can throw at it. As long as you don’t mind paying a little bit more up front, the Epson ET-2750 will take care of you for a very long time.
The Canon Pixma G4210 was created to solve a lot of the common headaches of printer ownership. It’s a multifunction device, able to scan, copy and fax. Even better, there’s an auto-duplex feeder on top so that you don’t have to keep turning over pages for two-sided printing. It supports wireless printing from Google Cloud Print and Apple AirPrint, enabling you to print directly from your phone or tablet. But what I really love about the Pixma G4210 is its MegaTank technology. Ditching the wasteful (and slightly sketchy) cartridge system, with MegaTank you refill permanent ink reservoirs in the printer from bottles that cost considerably less than cartridges. They have the added bonus of letting you see at a glance if you need to top off the tank or get new ink before you start a big print job. This makes the printer cost a little more up front—since it isn’t defrayed by expensive print cartridges—but it’s considerably less expensive to operate over several years.