Inkjet Printer Reviews

By: Tara Tuckwiller on June 08, 2018

Editor's Note:
For home users, Epson makes the best cheap inkjet printer. If you are a photo enthusiast, or a photography pro, you'll probably want a Canon printer. For life on the road, HP makes the best portable inkjet.

Epson WorkForce WF-7210 Review
Best Reviewed
Specs that Matter Dimensions (w,d,h) – 22.3" x 31.8" x 12.7" Maximum resolution -- 4800 x 2400 dpi Speed -- 18 ppm (B+W)/10 ppm (color)

Best inkjet printer

Epson WorkForce WF-7210

The Epson WorkForce WF-7210 delivers nearly laser-quality text and good-looking graphics and photos. It can handle big paper (up to 13-by-19-inch), and lots of it (with two 250-sheet drawers). A rear feed accepts even longer sheets. The Epson can print wired or wirelessly from a computer, tablet, smartphone or the cloud. The total package impresses critics, who find the Epson WF-7210 extremely convenient for home and small-office use.

HP OfficeJet 200 Mobile Review
Best Reviewed
Specs that Matter Dimensions (w,d,h) -- 14.3" x 10.2" x 8.4" Maximum resolution -- 4800 x 1200 dpi Speed -- 10 ppm (B+W)/7 ppm (color)

Best mobile inkjet printer

HP OfficeJet 200 Mobile

If you need to print on the go, experts recommend the HP OfficeJet 200 Mobile. It's small (shirt-box-sized, when closed), lightweight (under 5 pounds) and prints text and photos up to 8.5 by 11 inches better than most full-size inkjet printers. It's ultra-convenient too, with wireless printing, an included rechargeable battery and the ability to print directly from a computer, phone, tablet, camera or USB thumb drive.

Canon Pixma Pro-100 Review
Best Reviewed
Specs that Matter Dimensions (w,d,h) -- 27.2" x 15.2" x 8.5" Maximum resolution -- 4800 x 2400 dpi Speed -- 51 seconds (8x10 bordered image)

Best photo printer

Canon Pixma Pro-100

The Canon Pixma Pro-100 prints fully pro-quality photos but costs hundreds of dollars less than a true professional-grade photo inkjet printer. The Pro-100 prints up to 13 by 19 inches, with eight separate inks (including three shades of black and gray) for impressive black-and-white and color photos. It has fewer ink hues and smaller cartridges than a high-volume pro printer, but it nicely fills the bill for photo enthusiasts.

Canon ImageProGraf Pro-1000 Review
Best Reviewed
Specs that Matter Dimensions (w,d,h) -- 28.5" x 17.1" x 11.2" Maximum resolution -- 2400 x 1200 dpi Speed -- 2 minutes 30 seconds (13x19 bordered color photo)

Professional photo printer

Canon ImageProGraf Pro-1000

For busy pro photographers who demand truly exhibition-quality results, experts recommend the Canon ImageProGraf Pro-1000. This inkjet printer prints up to 17 by 22 inches, with 12 high-capacity ink tanks, fast automatic black ink switching (for glossy and matte papers) and a chroma optimizer that smoothes out flaws usually found in glossy prints. It's refreshingly easy to operate -- and Canon is known for its reliability, too.

What kind of printer do you need?

All-in-one printers that can scan, copy and fax are wildly popular, but there are still great reasons to buy a stand-alone inkjet printer instead. All-in-ones are expensive if you don't need the extra functionality, and they can take up considerably more space on your desk than a dedicated inkjet printer alone. Although all-in-ones can print text and graphics flawlessly, most can't print photos as beautifully as a stand-alone inkjet printer. Still, if an all-in-one solution is right for your situation, ConsumerSearch covers all-in-one printers in a separate report.

Laser printers are another option not covered in this report. Although they cost more than inkjet printers initially, laser printers cost less to run, and they tend to be more reliable, without the frustrating ink clogs that can plague inkjet printers. Laser printers can't print photos like an inkjet, but they're great for office-type use (printing text, charts, etc.). See our reports on color laser printers and black-and-white laser printers for the top choices.

Types of Inkjet Printers

General-Purpose Inkjet Printers

General-purpose inkjet printers are fine for home use or small offices. Even basic inkjet printers now print text nearly as quickly and clearly as a laser printer. Photo quality is typically good, but not great on the cheapest models ($100 or so), but they'll suffice for families and others who just want to be able to print out homework assignments, personal documents and a snapshot now and then. Mid-priced inkjet printers ($150 to $350) are faster, more feature-rich, and print very nice photos and graphics. These are the workhorse printers you'll need for a print-heavy home office or frequent home photo printing.

Mobile Printers

This type of printer lets you take your printing on the go. They are small, lightweight machines, but can print nearly as well as a full-size basic inkjet printer. Although they used to cost more than a basic desktop inkjet printer, the price has come down (about $150 to $200, without the optional rechargeable battery) -- but mobile printers' ink tanks are tiny, so you'll pay more to operate one in the long run.

Photo Printers

Though photo printers are overkill for general home and office use, they're essential if you want to produce truly beautiful photo prints on your own. For about $350, you can get a semi-professional model that can easily outclass any run-of-the-mill photo lab. Top-notch pro photo printers cost much more ($1,100 and up), but they're the preferred choice for professionals and many serious photo enthusiasts.

Finding The Best Inkjet Printers
Our Sources
1. PCMag
"The Best Inkjet Printers of 2018"
"Printers"
"Printer Reviews"

To find the best inkjet printers, we studied professional tests from both home- and office-centric sources (Consumer Reports and PCMag) and those that cater to photo enthusiasts (such as Shutterbug, Northlight Images and Imaging Resource, among others) to find out how quickly, easily and beautifully each printer produces text, graphics and photos in the eyes of experts. We also scoured owner reviews from Amazon, Staples, B&H Photo and Best Buy to see how printers perform in real life.

For terrific text, photos and graphics, Epson WorkForce WF-7210 does it all

For an active small office or home-based business, print quality is important -- as are speed, easy paper handling and low ink costs. Problem is, it's hard to find a stand-alone inkjet printer that can do it all.The Epson WorkForce WF-7210 (Est. $150) is one of the few that can, and it has quickly snapped up the Editors' Choice award at PCMag.

Despite its low price, the Epson WF-7210 produces surprisingly professional-looking documents. Text looks "quite close to laser quality down to about 6 or 7 points, and easily readable below that," says William Harrel at PCMag. Full-page business graphics look good, with only a few slides showing slight banding or color shifts. Photos print nicely, with "good detail and color accuracy … In fact, except for a few minor flaws here and there, I like the WF-7120 for most types of business output."

This is a wide-format printer, capable of printing large pages – including borderless pages up to 13 by 19 inches, and automatic two-sided pages (thanks to the built-in duplexer) up to 11-by-17-inch tabloid size. In fact, Epson says you can load a single sheet of paper up to 13 by 47 inches in the rear feed. The Epson's two main paper drawers hold 250 sheets each -- "a huge benefit in business environments, especially if you plan to print more than just one size of page," Harrel says.

Speed is on par with other printers in this class: 15 ppm (pages per minute) in black-and-white, or 7.6 ppm for files with colorful photos and graphics in PCMag's test. Ink costs are typical for the class, too. You'll spend 3.2 cents to print a page of text or 11.4 cents for a page of color graphics, using the biggest ink cartridges the WF-7120 accepts.

Plenty of features are built in. You can connect to the printer via a Wi-Fi or Ethernet network, USB cable attached to your computer, or wirelessly without a network via Wi-Fi Direct or NFC (near-field communication), which allows you to print by simply touching your smartphone or tablet to the printer.

So, how does the Epson WF-7120 cut costs? It slashes just a couple of frills. Instead of a big, color touch screen, you get a two-line monochrome LCD panel. The Epson can't print directly from a USB thumb drive, either.

Owners mostly love the WF-7120. It averages 4.6 out of 5 stars (or better) at B&H Photo, Best Buy and Staples, with more than 150 ratings posted at those sites combined. Amazon users give it lower marks – 3.1 out of 5 stars -- but most of the bad reviews come from Amazon Vine reviewers who were given the printer free to test, many of whom, it appears, would personally have rather had an all-in-one printer that can copy and scan or a smaller printer without the big-page capability.

The Epson WF-7120 carries a one-year warranty. Although it can print up to 20,000 pages in a month, Epson's recommended print volume is up to 1,300 pages per month.

Mobile printers for color printing on the go

Mobile printers are ultra-convenient if you need to print on the go (while traveling, for example). HP's newest mobile printer, the HP OfficeJet 200 Mobile (Est. $180), easily outclasses its rivals in reviews.

"The best mobile single-function inkjet we've come across," says PCMag's Tony Hoffman. It captures the Editors' Choice prize there, and it's the top-rated inkjet printer at Consumer Reports, outscoring all desktop inkjet printers there as well. And owners adore it: The OfficeJet 200 is a longtime customer favorite at every retail website we checked.

Weighing in at under 5 pounds, the OfficeJet 200 Mobile folds up smaller than a shirt box when it's not printing. It's small but mighty, experts say: "Although the OfficeJet 200 is a mobile printer, its output quality is better than that of most desktop inkjets we've tested," Hoffman writes. That means sharp text, vivid graphics and even drugstore-quality (or better) photos.

The OfficeJet 200 Mobile's lid folds open to become a 50-sheet feed for up to letter-size paper. You can plug the printer into the wall, or run it off of its included rechargeable, swappable battery (an extra battery costs about $80).

It's easy to set up and easy to print, testers say. You can connect via USB or Wi-Fi, or use Wireless Direct (HP's name for Wi-Fi Direct) to print directly from a computer or mobile device. The HP can print from your computer, iOS or Android phone or tablet, as well as from USB thumb drives and PictBridge devices. HP's Auto Wireless Connect "remembers" your computer or mobile device, so it will reconnect automatically the next time.

Speed is snappy, for a mobile printer (about 10 text pages per minute, in tests). A 4-by-6-inch photo takes 42 seconds in PCMag's test.

Mobile printers drink pricey ink, and the HP is no exception: It costs just over 6.6 cents per text page and nearly 24.4 cents per color page in Consumer Reports' testing. On the bright side, HP offers bigger cartridges than other brands' mobile printers, so you won't have to change them as often.

The OfficeJet 200 Mobile can print up to 500 pages per month. It carries a one-year warranty.

Runner-up Canon Pixma iP110 costs less than the HP -- but that price doesn't include a battery. An AC adapter is included, but if you want battery operation, you have to buy the Canon LK-62 Rechargeable Lithium-Ion Battery (Est. $100) separately.

Although both brands print nice-looking photos, the HP prints better-looking graphics than the Canon in two leading tests. It also prints a bit faster than the Canon in tests. And although ink costs are comparable, the HP's bigger tanks mean less tank-swapping.

Otherwise, these two mobile printers are very similar -- size, weight, paper capacity and connectivity. Like the HP, the Canon carries a 1-year warranty. However, Canon doesn't publish a monthly duty cycle for the Pixma iP110. Canon does enjoy a better reputation for reliability than HP according to two separate consumer surveys, and the Pixma iP110 earns mostly high marks from owners at Amazon, Staples and B&H Photo.

Elsewhere In This Report
Recently Updated
Inkjet Printers buying guide

What every best Inkjet Printers has:

  • Prints pro-quality photos.
  • Prints text, graphics and photos on various paper sizes, including envelopes.
  • Prints wirelessly.

Read More »

Learn More »