For college students in search of a printer, the market offers a plethora of options catering to various needs, ranging from detailed photo printing to high-speed monochrome document production. The key is to select a printer that aligns with your specific requirements, be it minimizing the cost per print, fast and efficient black-and-white printing, or versatility for occasional use.
When considering a printer, factors such as printing speed, connectivity options, and mobile app support become crucial. Striking the right balance ensures that you neither overspend on replacement cartridges nor invest in an overly expensive printer with features beyond your usage patterns.
Our recommendations encompass both inkjet and laser printers, presenting a diverse selection while maintaining a focus on budget considerations. Having tested over 85 printers, we’ve compiled a list of the best printers for college students, offering a comprehensive guide to help you make an informed decision based on your unique printing needs.
1. HP ENVY 5055 Wireless All-in-One Color Photo Printer
The HP ENVY 5055, succeeding the popular ENVY 4520, stands out as a versatile all-in-one printer tailored to meet the demands of both students and home users. Its advanced features, such as Bluetooth and enhanced Wi-Fi connectivity, ensure seamless printing from a variety of devices. With increased print speeds, the printer excels at producing borderless, high-quality photos and documents, making it an ideal choice for diverse projects.
One standout feature is the option to enroll in HP Instant Ink during the setup process, providing users with the convenience of ink deliveries right to their doorstep. The inclusion of the HP Smart app enhances usability, enabling effortless wireless printer setup, document scanning using the camera, and printing directly from cloud services like iCloud, Google Drive, and Dropbox.
The ENVY 5055 guarantees a reliable connection through stable Dual Band Wi-Fi and Bluetooth, Smart technology. With the choice of an optional HP Instant Ink subscription, users can significantly reduce ink costs, receiving automatic deliveries for as low as $0.99 per month.
Supporting various paper sizes, from letter to envelopes, adds to its versatility for a variety of printing needs. With a 1-year limited hardware warranty and complimentary 24/7 HP Web support, the HP ENVY 5055 stands as a dependable and efficient addition to any home office or study space.
2. Brother Wireless All-in-One Inkjet Printer
The Brother MFCJ491DW is a reliable inkjet printer designed for simplicity and versatility. With options for built-in wireless or local connection via USB, the printer offers easy setup, making it an excellent choice for users seeking hassle-free connectivity. Its mobile printing capabilities allow wireless printing from various devices using Air Print, Google Cloud Print, Brother iPrint & Scan, Mopria, and Wi-Fi Direct.
A notable feature is the printer’s cloud connectivity, enabling direct scanning to popular Cloud services like Google Drive, Dropbox, Box, One Drive, and more. This enhances flexibility and convenience for users who prefer seamless integration with cloud platforms.
The MFCJ491DW boasts versatile paper handling with an automatic document feeder and a paper tray that accommodates up to 100 sheets of letter/legal-size paper. This flexibility caters to diverse printing needs, from standard documents to more extensive projects.
To maintain optimal performance, the printer is compatible with Brother genuine inks, providing users with quality prints. The Amazon Dash Replenishment feature adds a layer of convenience by automatically measuring ink levels and ordering more from Amazon when needed. Weighing 18.1 pounds, the Brother MFCJ491DW strikes a balance between functionality and user-friendly design.
3. Canon Pixma MG3620 All-In-One Color Inkjet Printer
The Canon PIXMA G3620 is a reliable all-in-one wireless inkjet printer designed for convenience and efficiency. With wireless connectivity, this printer offers a versatile 3-in-1 function, allowing users to print, copy, and scan seamlessly. The ability to print and scan directly from mobile devices enhances accessibility and simplifies the overall printing process.
Featuring a print speed of 9.9 pages per minute for monochrome and 5.7 pages per minute for color, the PIXMA G3620 ensures efficient and timely completion of printing tasks. The printer’s 100-sheet capacity contributes to its suitability for various printing needs, accommodating a range of document sizes.
The auto 2-sided printing feature promotes eco-friendly practices and cost savings by minimizing paper usage. The printer is ENERGY STAR certified, highlighting its energy-efficient operation and commitment to sustainability.
One of the standout features is the compact and space-saving design, making it an ideal choice for home offices or study spaces with limited room. The Canon PIXMA G3620’s combination of functionality, wireless capabilities, and efficient design makes it a practical choice for users seeking a reliable all-in-one inkjet printer. Weighing 11.9 pounds, it strikes a balance between performance and portability.
4. Epson EcoTank ET-2720 All-in-One Supertank Printer
The Epson EcoTank ET-2720 stands out as a revolutionary inkjet printer that addresses common concerns about cartridge waste and high printing costs. With zero cartridge waste, this EcoTank printer contributes to environmental sustainability by reducing the amount of discarded cartridges in landfills. The innovative high-capacity ink tanks eliminate the need for small, expensive ink cartridges, providing users with a cost-effective and eco-friendly printing solution.
Equipped with a built-in scanner and copier, the ET-2720 offers additional functionality, allowing users to easily copy documents and navigate through tasks with a color display. The flatbed scanner ensures high-resolution scanning for various document types.
The printer employs Epson’s unique Micro Piezo Heat-Free Technology, delivering impressive print quality with sharp text and vibrant color photos and graphics. The Heat-Free Technology distinguishes the ET-2720 by its ability to produce excellent prints on virtually any paper type.
Compact in design, the ET-2720 is user-friendly and suitable for various spaces. With voice-activated printing capabilities and borderless printing features, it provides a convenient and versatile printing experience. Weighing 8.8 pounds, this Epson EcoTank printer offers a well-rounded package, combining environmental consciousness, cost efficiency, and high-quality printing.
5. HP Samsung SL-M2020W/XAA Wireless Monochrome Printer
The HP M2020W, formerly a Samsung printer, stands out as a great value monochrome laser printer designed for home offices. With superior print quality and a fast print speed of up to 21 pages per minute, it efficiently handles a recommended monthly volume of 100-1,500 pages.
Featuring NFC and Wi-Fi connectivity, the M2020W allows for convenient mobile printing. Users can tap their NFC-enabled Android device to the printer for seamless connections. The Samsung Mobile Print app and Google Cloud Print further enhance the mobile printing experience, providing flexibility and ease of use.
The printer delivers professional image quality with sharp and crisp text and images, thanks to Samsung’s innovative imaging technology. It supports a wide range of paper sizes, including 3″ x 5″ to 8.5″ x 14″, accommodating various printing needs.
Original Samsung cartridges, particularly the MLT-D111S toner cartridge, are recommended for optimal results. The printer is backed by a one-year limited hardware warranty and is now supported by HP, ensuring reliable 24/7 web support for users. With its excellent features and versatile functionality, the HP M2020W is a reliable choice for monochrome printing in home offices.
The printers recommended above represent what we believe to be the current best options for students. Our selection takes into account factors such as price, user feedback, and product availability to ensure a well-rounded list that caters to various preferences and needs.
For those inclined to make their own choices, our comprehensive list of all printer reviews is available. It’s essential to avoid getting overly immersed in the details, as no single printer is universally perfect for every use case. In reality, most printers on the market offer satisfactory performance, capable of meeting the needs of a broad user base.
The distinctions between them often become apparent only upon close scrutiny, and for the majority of users, these differences are not discernible unless actively sought out.