Brother HL-2270DW
Brother HL-2270DW

Best Brother laser printer

Many experts -- and thousands of happy owners -- point to the Brother HL-2270DW as the very best black-and-white laser printer you can buy. It's small, quick, super-reliable and cheap to run. Networking is easy, with built-in Ethernet and -- for those interested in a wireless laser printer -- Wi-Fi. Print quality, especially for text, is excellent.
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Dell B2360dn
Dell B2360dn

Best Dell laser printer

The Dell B2360dn is an outstanding value for busy offices, experts say. Its beefy memory, processor and 300-sheet paper capacity can handle bigger print jobs, and built-in Ethernet lets several users share this Dell laser printer. It's cheap to run, and optional add-ons (a $50 Wi-Fi adapter and $150 550-sheet paper tray) unlock even more of its potential.
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HP LaserJet Pro P1606dn
HP LaserJet Pro P1606dn

Best HP laser printer

The HP LaserJet Pro P1606dn occupies middle ground between home and office laser printers. It's faster (and costs more) than most personal laser printers, but it's slower, smaller and at least a little cheaper than a business laser printer. Some top experts -- and hundreds of owners -- eagerly recommend this HP laser printer despite some downsides.
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Samsung Xpress M2835DW
Samsung Xpress M2835DW

Best Samsung laser printer

If you own a slew of smartphones, tablets and computers to print from, the Samsung Xpress M2835DW could make your life a little easier. This wireless laser printer can print directly from all of the above. Near-Field Communication (NFC) support, which lets you print from compatible devices with just a tap, is added for this year. This is a new model, but based on its predecessor, it's safe to expect crisp text, brisk speed, low running costs and rock-solid reliability.
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See a side-by-side comparison of key features, product specs, and prices.

Black-and-white laser printers: Penny-pinching workhorses

If you mostly print text -- or don't need color printing -- consider a black-and-white laser printer. Busy offices have relied on monochrome laser printers for decades because they're faster, cheaper to run and more dependable than any other type of printer. They print sharper text too.

The drawback? Grainy graphics and photos. You might feel OK using them for PowerPoint handouts and the like (if you're not too picky), but that's it. Color laser printers do add color, but for really crisp graphics and professional-looking photo prints, you'll want an inkjet printer. We cover these in separate reports, along with all-in-one printers that also copy, scan and fax.

Great black-and-white laser printers range in price from $130 to $700 or more. All print beautifully dark, crisp text. So what's the difference?

  • Personal or small-office laser printers cost between $85 and $200. The cheapest have only a USB connection for one computer. Step-up models have Ethernet and Wi-Fi connections, so several users can share the printer and print wirelessly. Some can print directly from a smartphone or tablet. These printers hold only enough paper for one or a few people (usually 150 to 250 sheets). The fastest can crank out about 27 text pages per minute. Brother and Samsung make the best small laser printers, followed by HP.
  • Business laser printers cost $200 or more. They're much faster (40 or more text pages per minute), with beefier processors and memory to handle big print jobs. Expect hefty paper drawers that can hold whole reams of paper (and add-on drawers to hold thousands of sheets), and Ethernet connections so the whole office can share the printer. Wi-Fi is often an extra-cost option on business laser printers. Dell makes the best laser printers for small- to medium-sized businesses.

To find the best laser printers, we sift through expert tests and owner reviews (some popular models have amassed thousands of these). Like the best sources -- PCMag.com, ComputerShopper.com, ConsumerReports.org and others -- we consider all aspects of the printer before picking best buys: print quality, speed, paper capacity, features, ease-of-use, price, toner cost and durability. Big reader surveys by PCMag.com and Which? magazine, together with brutally honest owner feedback at Amazon.com and Staples.com, help us separate the reliable laser printer brands from those that are liable to become repair-prone.

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