What’s the best printer in 2020?
With more people working from home than ever before, it’s more important than ever to find the best printer for your needs. To make life easier for you, we’ve assembled a list of the best printers we’ve reviewed this year.
We’ve included picks from both HP and Canon, and will be updating this list frequently as we continue our search for the best printer options, whether you need something to print out documents on a daily basis or fancy a machine that can print our your social media snaps with ease.
Check out the quick-fire summary of the ranking below:
- Best overall printer: Epson EcoTank ET-2720
- Best student printer: HP Tango X
- Best printer for documents: Epson ET-M1120
- Lowest cost with subscription: HP DeskJet Plus 4120
And if you want more in-depth information, keep scrolling down for detailed analysis of each printer.
1. Epson EcoTank ET-2720
The Best value all-in-one printer
- Low running costs
- Affordable price
- Great print quality
- Low paper capacity
- No WPS
- No auto duplexing
The Epson EcoTank ET-2720 is the best printer we’ve reviewed in recent months, featuring a multitude of talents including scanning and copying. Print quality is excellent too, ensuring this printer aces all the office basics.
This printer plays well with the entire family, offering comparability for a range of devices including Windows and Mac computers via USB, as well as iOS and Android phones and tablets through their respective apps. The biggest draw here though is the long-term value thanks to the affordable ink bottles. And unlike HP, Canon isn’t attempting to push you into a subscription service.
The EcoTank ET-2720 isn’t perfect, with a low paper capacity and lack of automatic duplexing, but if you want to save as much money as possible in the long term, this is our current number one printer recommendation.
2. HP Tango X
Best student printer
- Compact, wireless design
- Low upfront price
- Instant Ink plans offer value for money
- No built-in scanner or copier
- Scan and copy function of HP Smart app is variable
The HP Tango X is clearly attempting to be the tailor-made printer for students. Printing photos directly from social media allows you to decorate your walls with nightlight shenanigans, while the ultra-portable design makes it easy to stuff into your cramped flat. Alexa integration also makes it dead easy to control.
But while HP claims this printer is capable of scanning, it actually has no built-in scanner. Instead, it requires you to use your smartphone, which results in barely passable documents. This is a printer that’s only really good at printing, although it’s capable of spitting out both documents and photos.
It’s also worth pointing out that the HP cartridges aren’t very cheap unless you sign up to an an Instant Ink subscription. The good news is that you can cancel the subscription at any point you want, making it convenient for students who will only need it during university terms.
3. Epson ET-M1120
Best for churning out black-and-white documents
- Super-low cost per page
- Easy to set up and use
- Cheap and easy EcoTank refills
- Hard to line up paper in the tray
- No scanner
- No colour ink
The Epson ET-M1120 is very much a one-trick pony. There’s no scanner here and it doesn’t support colour ink, but it excels at printing black-and-white documents by the truckload.
By using affordable ink bottles it offers fantastic long-term value, while print quality is consistently excellent. It’s a fast printer too, spitting out a five-page document in just 30 seconds. It supports Wi-Fi printing and can even print directly from cloud services such as Google Drive and OneDrive. There’s even a Epson iPrint app, although we’re not sure how useful that is given the printer’s limitations with colour.
The Epson ET-M1120 is a very simple laptop, lacking big features such as scanning and coloured ink. But if you’re confident you only need a printer for churning out monochrome documents, then this printer offers superb value.
4. HP DeskJet Plus 4120
Low buying price, but subscription required for decent printing value
- Low buying price
- Prints quickly
- Instant Ink subscription prices are low
- So-so print quality
- Cartridges are expensive
- Not economical to run without an Instant Ink sub
The HP DeskJet Plus 4120 was only awarded a 2.5 rating in our review, so why has it made our list? Well, if you’re prepared to sign up to HP’s Instant Ink subscription service and print lots and lots of documents, then this could actually prove to be one of the best value printer options.
This HP is available to buy for less than £100, despite rocking features such as scanning and copying. On the surface, that sounds great, but the HP 305 cartridges are unfortunately expensive when purchased individually, consequently driving up the long-term cost. The HP Instant Ink subscription offers far better value, but it’s understandable that most people won’t be willing to commit to monthly payments. The print quality isn’t the best on this list either.
If you’re happy to sign up to HP’s subscription though, the DeskJet Plus 4120 potentially offers the best value of all the printers here. So if you know for sure you’re going to be printing large amounts over the course of multiple months, then it’s worth considering. Otherwise, you’re best off avoiding it.