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Inkjet vs laser printers

Top five best inkjet printers for 2017

By Andrew Laughlin

Article 2 of 4

The best inkjet printers money can buy. These Best Buy printers will give you top quality, great-value prints, whatever your printing needs.

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Best inkjet printers

The best inkjets turn out good-looking text prints and stunning photos, capably handling any home printing job. That’s why most people choose an inkjet over a laser printer.

These days, the majority of inkjet printers are all-in-one models, meaning they can copy, scan and sometimes fax, as well as print. You can still buy standard inkjet printers, that only print, if you prefer.

Mono inkjets (only able to print in black-and-white) are very rare these days, with most models also supporting colour printing, such as the five brilliant Best Buy inkjet printers in the table below.

They have all gone through our rigorous lab tests to assess their quality, speed and running costs, so you won’t get caught out by nasty hidden costs. However, keep scrolling to see some of the poorly rated inkjets we've also tested. These models simply aren't worth your cash.

Only logged-in Which? members can view our recommendations in the table below. If you’re not yet a member, you can get instant access by taking a £1 trial to Which?.

Top five inkjet printers for 2017

Epson Expression Premium XP-830
Today's best price £99.99
Which? score 75%
Reviewed Feb 2016
Best Buy
Print quality:
4 out of 5
Print speed:
4 out of 5
Print costs:
4 out of 5
Auto duplexing:
Member exclusive
Wi-fi:
Member exclusive
One year running cost (£):
Member exclusive

For stunning printed images, look no further. This Best Buy all-in-one printer turns out great graphics prints, scans photos brilliantly and is cheap to run, too.

HP Officejet 5740
Today's best price £98.69
Which? score 74%
Reviewed Dec 2014
Best Buy
Print quality:
4 out of 5
Print speed:
4 out of 5
Print costs:
4 out of 5
Auto duplexing:
Member exclusive
Wi-fi:
Member exclusive
One year running cost (£):
Member exclusive

The wireless all-in-one printer is a fantastic option if you do a lot of text printing, as its quality could rival even laser models. It happily turns out top notch black text prints, and won't take up too much space in your home office.

HP Envy 5646
Today's best price £99.99
Which? score 73%
Reviewed Aug 2015
Best Buy
Print quality:
4 out of 5
Print speed:
4 out of 5
Print costs:
4 out of 5
Auto duplexing:
Member exclusive
Wi-fi:
Member exclusive
One year running cost (£):
Member exclusive

Aimed at families, this big brand printer produces good text prints, great colour scans and won't cost you a fortune in ink to run. Even better is that all this comes in a package costing around £100.

Canon Pixma MX475
Today's best price £39.99
Which? score 71%
Reviewed May 2014
Best Buy
Print quality:
4 out of 5
Print speed:
3 out of 5
Print costs:
5 out of 5
Auto duplexing:
Member exclusive
Wi-fi:
Member exclusive
One year running cost (£):
Member exclusive

This all-in-one machine prints, copies, scans and faxes - all for aunder £50. It's wi-fi enabled and aced our tests across a number of areas. It's cheap to run, so if you're on a budget, look no further.

Canon Pixma MG3650
Today's best price £34.99
Which? score 71%
Reviewed Feb 2016
Best Buy
Print quality:
4 out of 5
Print speed:
3 out of 5
Print costs:
5 out of 5
Auto duplexing:
Member exclusive
Wi-fi:
Member exclusive
One year running cost (£):
Member exclusive

It may be an entry-level all-in-one printer at under £50, but you couldn't tell it from the performance. It's got the all-important wi-fi and automatic double-sided print features, and turns out great photo prints.

Not found the inkjet printer for you? Browse all of our printer reviews

And here are three inkjet printers to avoid

Most people buy an all-in-one inkjet printer. It's the most popular type and there are loads to choose from, with prices ranging from around £40 to more than £300.

Even with a cheap model, pick the wrong inkjet and your costs can spiral. High ink usage can mean poor value prints and constantly replacing cartridges. You could easily spend more on ink cartridges than the printer itself, if you pick the wrong model.

In our expert testing, we find a huge variation in the performance of printers. Some models, such as the three below, fall very short in terms of print speed, print cost and features.

Three inkjet printers to avoid

Epson EcoTank ET-4500
Today's best price £167.99
Which? score 48%
Reviewed May 2016
Print quality:
3 out of 5
Print speed:
3 out of 5
Black text quality:
2 out of 5
Type of printer:
Member exclusive
Automatic Document Feeder:
Member exclusive
Auto duplexing:
Member exclusive

Low running costs are what you want from a printer, but that shouldn’t come at the expense of good print quality. This pricey beast falls down for exactly that. It’s big, slow and print quality is mixed. Avoid.

Epson Stylus Photo 1500W
Today's best price £257.56
Which? score 46%
Reviewed Jul 2014
Print quality:
3 out of 5
Print speed:
3 out of 5
Black text quality:
3 out of 5
Type of printer:
Member exclusive
Automatic Document Feeder:
Member exclusive
Auto duplexing:
Member exclusive

Although this printer is aimed at photo printing, it sadly isn’t up to scratch on that score. Photos look light and under-saturated - certainly not the quality you’d expect from a printer costing this much. Worst still, it will cost you a fortune to run.

Epson Ecotank ET-2650
Today's best price £199.99
Which? score 44%
Reviewed May 2017
Don't buy
Print quality:
3 out of 5
Print speed:
3 out of 5
Black text quality:
2 out of 5
Type of printer:
Member exclusive
Automatic Document Feeder:
Member exclusive
Auto duplexing:
Member exclusive

Saving money on printing costs is important, but that shouldn’t come at the expense of good-quality prints, as is the case with this model. It costs a lot to buy and just doesn’t deliver when compared with better-scoring rivals.

Avoid the printer ink wasters

Print quality is incredibly important in a printer, but so too is printing cost. Opting for a budget printer is a false economy if the cost of printing turns out to be sky high.

While other reviewers calculate printing costs based on printing hundreds of pages at a time, we print only a few pages over a period of weeks, just as you might at home.

This can highlight the excessive amounts of ink some inkjet printer use on cleaning their print heads, more than quadrupling printing costs in some cases. Any printer that wastes lots of ink resulting in high printing costs can’t be a Best Buy.

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