All-in-one printers that can also scan, copy and fax are wildly popular, but there are still great reasons to instead consider a stand-alone inkjet printer like the ones addressed here. All-in-ones are expensive if you don't need the extra functionality, and can take up considerably more space on your desk. ConsumerSearch.com covers multifunction printers in a separate report.
Stand-alone basic inkjets require the smallest investment. At the other end of the cost spectrum are sophisticated photo printers that, although pricey, are essential for professionals and many photo enthusiasts. Dedicated photo inkjet printers can now produce images that rival those from any lab. For families and others who want to be able to print out a photo now and again, some low-cost inkjets produce snapshots with better than acceptable quality.
Even low-cost inkjet printers now compare favorably to lasers in quality and speed, and the cost of consumables like ink, or toner in the case of laser printers, can be considerably lower. However, the cost of ink cartridges can be deceptive. Some hold less ink than others and appear to be cheaper, but they may cost more per ounce than a more expensive inkwell. To save money, buy extra-capacity cartridges.
Speaking of ink cartridges, before throwing your old ones in the trash, see if they can be recycled. Several companies will buy used cartridges, and sometimes charities or schools will collect them to raise money. Some manufacturers like HP provide postage-paid mailers bundled with new inkwells with which you can send in the old ones. Office-supply stores have varying policies, but most accept used cartridges for recycling and may offer store reward points in exchange.
This report covers full-size inkjet printers and inkjet photo printers. All the models discussed are Windows and Macintosh compatible and have a one-year limited warranty unless otherwise specified. If you're interested in a dedicated snapshot printer that prints only 4-by-6-inch or 5-by-7-inch photos, they're covered in our separate report on photo printers.
ConsumerSearch.com chooses its best-reviewed inkjet printers using sources ranging from the user reviews at retailers like Amazon.com to experts such as those at PCMag.com, CNET and specialty photo sites. We consider the speed, quality of prints, design, features and durability of printers, as well as ink consumption, because it greatly influences the long-term ownership costs of a printer.