How do you know which are the best colour laser printers? The Only Reviews team have reviewed the top 5 printers to help you decide on the right product for you.
Using 802.11n Wireless connection – one which most devices support, the Brother HL-3140CW offers both…
Wi-Fi certified, the Xpress C1810W has a printing speed of 18 pages per minute and…
Provided you can afford to spend extra, this all in one laser printer might meet…
Provided you can afford to spend a bit over the odds, the HP CP5225dn deserves…
The HP MFP M477fdw is a multifunction printer which has a compact build and offers…
We purchased 20+ color laser printers, divided them into the home and office-use categories, before using the former in our office and the latter in our friends’ homes. After a month’s usage and comparison of their performance with printing speed, toner usage, and power consumption, we selected the top five best color laser printers for this article.
Using 802.11n Wireless connection – one which most devices support, the Brother HL-3140CW offers both mono as well as colored laser printing. It lets you customize the printing options by providing an LCD display and has a paper capacity of 250 A4 sheets.
Aimed at home office or small usage environments, the printer’s top surface contains a control panel with eight buttons. It is here that the LCD display is provided, though it doesn’t have a backlight, making it difficult for you to operate it at night.
While the main-paper tray is at the bottom of the panel, above it – in the form of a flip-down panel is a single-feed tray for special media or envelope printing. As for its connectivity options, the HL-3140CW has a wireless as well as a USB connection.
Finally, a driver would be installed on your device upon connecting it to the printer, though you’d have to access Brother’s website for customization and registration of your device.
Wi-Fi certified, the Xpress C1810W has a printing speed of 18 pages per minute and supports both wired and wireless connections, and double side printing is also on offer.
Apart from its 250-sheet cassette, the most noticeable feature of this printer is its NFC connectivity. Provided you have a phone which supports NFC, you could print with just a single tap. Samsung has also provided it with a print-service plug-in, which means you could print directly from within apps which support printing.
Moreover, it supports USB connections but with a standard of 2.0, the USB connections would be far slower than their wireless counterparts. Finally, the capacity of the toner varies, with the black toner providing 1,000 pages in one charge whereas the color toner stopping at 700 pages.
Provided you can afford to spend extra, this all in one laser printer might meet your requirements as it offers print, scan, copy, two-sided printing and a wireless connection.
To set up and customize the printer, a 93mm color screen is on offer. For laptops and computers, WPS Wi-Fi security is necessary to connect to this printer; while mobile phones could connect using Wi-Fi Direct and AirPrint.
The “Easy Scan to Email’’ feature of this model is worth explaining. Once you register your email and secure it with a PIN, it allows scanning/printing/copying to email. Moreover, the Printer supports PDF, Office formats as well as JPEG pictures.
The DCP-9015CDW also offers Cloud Connection to let you print on the go. It also gives the option to set page count limits per user and also whether they could print color or just mono. To keep track of how many pages one person prints in a particular time period, it can generate PINs only after using which the printer would release the job.
Lastly, as for the speed of this printer, it offered 18ppm speed with both mono and color printing, with a monthly capacity of 1,500 pages at maximum.
Provided you can afford to spend a bit over the odds, the HP CP5225dn deserves a mention. It has a duty cycle of up to 75,000 pages per month, offers double-sided printing, has a 250-sheet tray and has a speed of 20ppm with both color and mono printing.
Though the printer would install a driver on your device to get up and running, it also offers HP’s web interface. The web interface shows statistics like color usage reports, which would show all completed jobs, and differentiate them into mono and color pages.
Though not available in the package, the Printer recommends installing Easy Printer Care tool from HP’s website for free. This tool shows the remaining toner capacity, troubleshoots detected problems, and allows you to access HP’s website to order a new cartridge.
Speed-wise, we were able to get 20ppm speed for a single-side color document, however, the speed was halved to 10ppm for a duplex document. The speed for A3 document printing – mono or colored – is also 10ppm.
Finally, the running costs of this printer dwarf that of others mentioned in this review. For instance, while the mono A4 Page would cost you 1.7p per page, a color page is at 10.3p when you add in the cartridge cost.
The HP MFP M477fdw is a multifunction printer which has a compact build and offers copy, print, scan and fax facilities. The paper capacity of this printer is 300 sheets of A4 paper, divided between a 250-sheet standard tray and a 50-sheet multifunctional feeder which also has an auto-duplexer for double-sided printing.
Moreover, the M477fdw could print 50,000 pages in one month, however, HP recommends stopping at 4,000 sheets per month. On top of the machine is a 4.3’’ touchscreen color display which has touch-sensitive buttons for home, backspace, and help. Under the front panel is a USB-port.
A sizeable number of wired and wireless printing choices are on offer – with USB offering the former and an Ethernet (not included in the package), providing the latter. As for its wireless connectivity, the M477fdw supports HP Wireless Direct, Apple AirPrint, NFC, and Google Cloud Print 2.0.
Turning our attention to its running costs, this printer costs 13.6 cents per colored page and 2.2 cents per monochrome. And for the speed, it provided 10.6ppm on double-side and 28ppm for single-side, color printing.
Laser Print is an electrostatic digital printing machine, which means it operates by keeping electric charges at rest. A laser beam inside the printer is repeatedly passed atop a negatively charged cylinder to produce an image, be it text, graphics or photograph.
After receiving the negative charge from the laser beam, the drum then passes it over to the paper. To make sure the paper absorbs the ink, it is then heated. Finally, the printer churns out the paper containing the text.
Starting with the advantages that they offer, laser printer print faster than their inkjet counterparts, which means that if you want to print paper in bulk amounts, a laser printer would come handy. Another advantage which laser printers offer is a lower running cost. That is, the per-page printing cost of a laser printer is less.
Yet another benefit which laser printers provide is in terms of its paper handling. Put simply, even an average color laser printer would have several trays, with each tray capable of holding more than a hundred sheets in one go.
The duplexing capability is the final major advantage which laser printers provide. It means that not only they can print on both sides of the page, but laser printers could also handle papers of different sizes and colors.
On the flip side, the purchase cost of a laser printer is much more than a similar Inkjet printer. Also, if you are looking to print out images, the liquid inkjets – which offer a resolution of 1200x1200dpi in comparison to 600x600dpi of laser printers – provide a much sharper image with clear contrast
When classified on the basis of their throughput, laser printers could be classified into four categories, with the first one being the Personal laser printer. Slowest in the lot, personal laser printers churn out 4 papers per minute on an average. All of them are simplex, which means they aren’t able to print on both sides of the page.
Office Printers, the second type, have speed ranging between 8 and 12 papers per minute. Their single paper feeder tray is capable of holding around 250sheets, and they also give the option to attach a second paper feeder. Some of them offer the freedom of duplex printing, such as printing on both sides of the page.
The third type, Workgroup Printers, print 15 to 30 papers per minute. Either they offer one big tray – which holds 1,500 to 2,000 sheets on an average, on multiple smaller ones offering the same capacity. Some of them also offer manual feeding facility so that you could be able to manually increase (or decrease) their printing speed.
The final type, known as Production or Network Printers, are floor-standing devices which run on three-phase electricity supplies. Due to their high volume of printing – which touches 135 papers per minute, Production Printers are used for bank and credit card statements, gas and electricity bills, among other high volume printing.
Monochrome or color: This is the first question you need to ask before purchasing a laser printer. If you are a student who would only print assignments or thesis, a monochrome laser printer would suit you. Conversely, if you are a photographer who needs high-resolution images, go for the color laser printer.
Single or Multifunction: Some laser printers just print, others, in addition to printing, do a scan, fax, and copy. Some also give you the freedom to scan on a compatible USB disk. And if you work in an office, consider a wireless laser printer which offers the freedom to print and/or scan on the go.
Printer gsm: Known as grams per square meter, printer gsm would tell you the amount of weight it could handle. For instance, if you want to print envelopes or credit cards, you’d need more printer gsm than those who only want to print A4 sheets.
Simplex or Duplex Printing: If you are a student who wants to save cost on printing, a duplex printer – such as which prints on both sides of the paper, would save you money. Conversely, for office settings, simplex printers are considered more appropriate.
Tray Capacity: Once again, it is the scenario where you’d be using a particular printer which would determine its tray capacity. For instance, printers operating in an office need bigger trays to avoid the nuisance of constant refilling.
Connectivity: Nearly all modern printers provide built-in ports for USB, so what you should look for is Ethernet or wireless. If you work in a small, centralized office, connecting the printer to multiple computers via Ethernet might work. However, for big office settings where connecting wires with every computer is impossible, wireless printing might prove to be more useful.
Toner Cost and Yield: After using it for some time, you’d have to replace the original toner. Therefore, before buying the printer in the first place, make sure you know about its toner cost and how many papers it would print on one refilling.
Print Quality: Measured in dots per inch (dpi), the print quality of a printer determines how sharp (or dull) image that printer could produce. The best laser color printers currently offer print quality up to 2,400dpi, making them adequate for photo printing. However, for just text printing, resolution ranging between 300 and 600dpi is enough.
If you are looking to print papers for everyday use, a Xerox paper would be best. Weighing just 20lbs. per rim with a brightness of 92, a Xerox paper has a size of 8.5×11-inch and you can buy it from stationary stores, newsstands, even pharmacies. It is available either in small packs of 50 or 100 sheets or in reams where one ream consists of 500 sheets.
However, if you are printing paper for a special occasion – such as an invitation card or newsletter to your customers, 100gsm laser and inkjet printer would serve you best. Specifically formulated, such papers are hard yet smooth, which means they are able to withstand high-temperatures of color laser printing to give better results
During our testing phase, we came across several A3 laser printers and found it the HP CP5225dn to be the best. It offers a monthly lifecycle of 75,000 sheets, could print both A3 and A4 papers, and prints 10 A3 papers per minute.
The Brother DCP-9015CDW is the best wireless laser printer. Apart from offering automatic double-sided printing, it could both scan and copy and prints 18 pages per minute.
Small businesses need printers which, in addition to print quickly, could also do it efficiently. It is for this reason that, once again, the Brother DCP-9015CDW gets our nod. This printer generates PIN codes only using which any office employee could order to print.
Afterwards, based on the number of times PIN codes were punched, it creates a user report – telling how many prints a specific person obtained. Moreover, it also lets you limit the number of prints any person could have. As a result, you could keep the printer’s toner usage in check.
Large businesses need many printers to work in tandem, as one won’t handle the workload. Still, if you could afford to buy all printers from the same brand, we recommend the HP MFP M477fdw which faxes, scans and copies in addition to printing.
More importantly, and in the context of large business, the 300-sheet trays of this printer won’t require consistent refilling. Also, it has a monthly cycle of 50,000 pages and its running costs are also negligible.