The Best Cheap Printers Under $100

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Contributor, Benzinga
October 13, 2020

From grocery coupons to essays for your English class, there are an endless number of reasons why you might need the convenience of an in-home printer. And with recent advancements in printer technology, you won’t need to scrimp and save with your favorite budgeting app to afford a high-quality in-home printer. There are plenty of affordable printer models available online — you just need to find a model that fits your needs.

Thinking about buying a printer to add to your home or office? Check out our quick printer buying guide and our favorite printers under $100. 

Best Cheap Printers

  • Best Overall: HP DeskJet 3630
  • Best Overall 2: HP DeskJet 3755
  • Best Overall 3: Epson Workforce Pro WF-3720
  • Best for Businesses: Brother Compact HLL2395DW
  • Best for Home Office: Epson Expression Home XP-340 
  • Best Laser Printer: Brother Compact Monochrome HL-L2350DW
  • Best Black and White Printer: Canon imageCLASS LBP6030w
  • Best for Posters and Prints: Canon TS9120 Wireless All-In-One Printer 

Key Features of a Cheap Printer That’ll Last

One of the best ways to save money when you buy electronics is to choose a quality model that will last will be cost-efficient to operate over time. Unfortunately, not every printer is of the same quality, especially when you’re working at a lower price point. Look for these key features when you shop for a low-cost printer to make sure that you’re getting a quality model. 

Inkwell Cartridges 

There are 3 major types of ink cartridge configurations for in-home printers:

  • 2 ink cartridges: Contains a black ink cartridge and an all-in-one color ink cartridge.
  • 3 ink cartridges: Contains a black ink cartridge and 3 separate cartridges for cyan, yellow and magenta.
  • Inkwell cartridges: Contains no individual cartridges that need to be replaced; instead, it draws ink from a large, refillable well.

Inkwell printers are much less expensive to operate in the long run because you can refill the wells without buying a new cartridge every time. However, they do cost a bit more when you’re starting out. Consider opting for an inkwell model to save money over time. 

A High PPM

Today’s printers have a much higher page per minute (PPM) output than those in the past. Look for printers with a PPM of at least 5 — especially if you plan to frequently print long books or manuals. 

Wireless Connectivity

Whether you’re a student or a young professional, you probably do a lot of your work on a laptop. It can be annoying to connect and configure your laptop every time you need to print a graph, report or paper if you don’t have a standard desktop setup in your home. Luckily, many of today’s affordable printers also include Wi-Fi or Bluetooth connectivity as a standard feature in addition to traditional USB port connections. Only plan to print from a single, immoveable computer? You can save a few dollars by choosing a model that doesn’t offer wireless printing. 

Paper Load

Sure, every printer on the market will be able to print out your resume on sheets of 8.5-inch by 11-inch paper — but what about index cards, legal envelopes, glossy photos or wedding invitations? Look for a printer that offers two separate trays for different paper styles. If you only need to print on standard paper, look for a large paper well that can hold at least a few months’ worth of paper. As everyone knows, the paper always runs out at the worst possible moment. 

Attached Scanner

Chances are that you’ll need a scanner as well as a printer if you plan to use your printer for school or work. Many printers now double as a scanner and most models open through the top of the printer and allow you to directly scan textbooks, papers or forms. If your printer also has Wi-Fi capabilities, you may also be able to scan a file and send it to your computer from across the room. Otherwise, you’ll need to plug your printer to your computer to get your files. 

Our Top Picks for Affordable Printers

We’ve rounded up some of our favorite affordable printer models. Each one is available for less than $100 and can be delivered straight to your home or office. 

Best Overall: HP DeskJet 3630

Who it’s for: Anyone looking for a low-cost printer with all the basic features.

Price: $78.77

The HP Envy 5540 is a sturdy and small model that will easily fit in any space, from a tiny college student’s desk to a modern open-air office space. The Envy 5540 features wireless printing capabilities and you can even connect with your printer through your smartphone. This model also features a unique “quiet printing mode,” which makes it the ideal companion for both crowded areas and secluded studies. Compact, quiet and very affordable, the HP Envy 5540 is an excellent “starter printer” if you’re not sure which features you’ll use the most. 

Best Overall 2: HP DeskJet 3755

Who it’s for: Students who need a basic, affordable, lightweight model they can bring along with them to college where dorm space is a premium.

Price: $65.26

Not just for students, the HP Deskjet 3755 is the ideal printer for anyone who needs to fit their device in a small space or an area that moves often. Weighing in at just over 5 pounds, this model from HP packs its power into a tiny package. It’s also as useful as it is convenient, able to connect to computers and cellphones wirelessly and print on over 8 paper shapes and types. Low-cost and perfect for small spaces, the Deskjet 3755 is another excellent offering from HP. 

Best Overall 3: Epson Workforce Pro WF-3720

Who it’s for: Anyone who needs a faster printer to quickly produce both large black-and-white and color documents.

Price: $79.99

The Canon Compact TS6020 is one of the fastest printers you’ll find for less than $100. It offers a printing PPM of 20 for black and white pages and 10 for color pages. It also features a unique touchscreen directly on the body of the printer so you can switch your printing mode without logging onto your computer and reconfiguring the printer’s setting. Featuring a gigantic well of 250 pages, the TS6020 is perfect for anyone who needs a printer that’s heavy duty, yet affordable. 

Best for Businesses: Brother Compact HLL2395DW

Who it’s for: Business owners who need a heavy-duty printer that holds plenty of paper and runs with affordable ink.

Price: $99.99

The Brother HLL2395DW is a large, sturdy printer that’s perfect for small business owners who need a cost-effective printing solution. Though the printer can only print in black and white, its Google Cloud-based print and scan capabilities allow team members to quickly upload and share files through the Cloud’s wireless network. This model from Brother has a 250-sheet paper well, so you won’t have to continuously be reloading it and its ink cartridges are long-lasting and affordable. 

Best for Home Office: Epson Expression Home XP-340 

Who it’s for: Home office owners who need a convenient multi-tasking solution for their small desk space.

Price: $79.20

Do you have a home office? Chances are, space on your desk is at a premium. The Epson XP-340 is an exceptionally affordable, lightweight model that will find a perfect home in most residential offices. Featuring an easy-to-navigate touchscreen that allows you to quickly switch settings, wireless capabilities that enable users to print from connected smartphones and a convenient scanner built directly into the top of the printer, this model from Epson is perfect for any home office. 

Best Laser Printer: Brother Compact Monochrome HL-L2350DW

Who it’s for: Shoppers looking for the convenience and tech of laser printers without spending an arm and a leg on a $400 model.

Price: From $106.00

Okay, this model from Brother isn’t quite under $100 — but as any experienced printer shopper knows, “affordable” and “laser” don’t usually go together in the same sentence. The HL-L2350DW is a compact laser printer that features wireless connectivity and a lightning fast 32 PPM printing speed. You can even activate the printer’s Amazon Dash feature, which automatically orders new ink cartridges when you start running low. If you’ve always wanted to try a laser printer without spending $400 or more, this model from Brother is right for you. 

Best Black and White Printer: Canon imageCLASS LBP6030w

Who it’s for: Casual printers who want a compact model for their desk or home office.

Price: $74.98

The imageCLASS LBP6030w features a unique space-saving design that makes it easy to fit almost everywhere. At less than 15 inches wide and 10 inches long, you can even put it on your kitchen counter. Though this model from Canon only prints in black and white, it can quickly print essays, reports and anything else with speed and ink efficiency. It’s also got a very powerful Wi-Fi signal that can be activated from virtually anywhere in the room — perfect for home offices. 

Best for Posters and Prints: Canon TS9120 Wireless All-In-One Printer 

Who it’s for: Artists who value vivid colors and detail when printing work at home.

Price: $69.99

Do you print posters or prints frequently? If so, you know that brightness and color differentiation make all the difference in showcasing your work’s quality. This printer from Canon features a 6-color individual ink system which broadens the depth and range of colors you’ll see when you print. This printer also features borderless printing, which makes it the ideal companion for photo printers as well as artists and graphic designers. 

Best All-in-One Printer: HP DeskJet 2655 All-in-One Compact Printer

Who it’s for: Anyone who values saving time, space or money and who doesn’t mind having a printer that pulls triple duty.

Price: $39.89

Another outstanding and affordable model from HP, this printer is a powerhouse, packing multiple features into a single compact printer. The DeskJet 2655 can print, copy and scan and takes up less space than a breadbox. It also offers wireless printing and AirPrint as well as an exceptionally affordable price. 

Picking Your Printer

Choosing a printer isn’t a simple decision. You need to decide exactly how you want to use your printer and which features you’re willing to splurge on. Don’t be afraid to shop around both online and in stores before you commit to a model, and always remember to measure the space where you want to put your printer before you make a final decision.