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Inkjet vs laser printers

Top five colour laser printers for 2017

By Andrew Laughlin

Article 4 of 4

The best colour laser printers will give you good-looking colour prints, and without high printing costs. Find yours with our expert guide.

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When it comes to producing great black-and-white or colour prints, laser printers are often faster than inkjet printers and typically cost you less per printed page.

The five colour laser printers in the table below, including models by big brands such as HP and Samsung, are perfect for printing big, text-heavy documents or office prints with colour charts and graphs.

But, not all laser printers are sure-fire winners. Colour laser printers can cost a pretty penny, so don't get stuck with a an underwhelming model that produces poor photos or stripey blocks of colour - scroll down for our list of colour laser printers to avoid.

If you want a monochrome laser printer (only able to printer in black-and-white), there are five Best Buy models featured in our best laser printers guide.

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 colour laser printers for 2017

Today's best price £147.19
Which? score 79%
Reviewed Aug 2015
Best Buy
Print quality:
4 out of 5
Print speed:
5 out of 5
Black text quality:
5 out of 5
Type of printer:
Member exclusive
Auto duplexing:
Member exclusive
Wi-fi:
Member exclusive

This great value colour laser printer is cheap to buy and economical to run. It's fast, text quality is sharp and it can print wirelessly from all manner of gadgets.

Today's best price £99.95
Which? score 76%
Reviewed Nov 2015
Best Buy
Print quality:
4 out of 5
Print speed:
5 out of 5
Black text quality:
5 out of 5
Type of printer:
Member exclusive
Auto duplexing:
Member exclusive
Wi-fi:
Member exclusive

This colour laser printer doesn't only print complex colour images quickly, it makes a good job of them, too. It'll happily churn out sharp text pages and colour office documents, such as charts and spreadsheets.

Today's best price £146.99
Which? score 75%
Reviewed Aug 2015
Best Buy
Print quality:
4 out of 5
Print speed:
5 out of 5
Black text quality:
5 out of 5
Type of printer:
Member exclusive
Auto duplexing:
Member exclusive
Wi-fi:
Member exclusive

This cracking printer doesn't scan or copy, but it does deliver sharp colour prints quickly, while keeping a lid on your printing costs.

Today's best price £189.99
Which? score 74%
Reviewed Nov 2015
Best Buy
Print quality:
4 out of 5
Print speed:
5 out of 5
Black text quality:
5 out of 5
Type of printer:
Member exclusive
Auto duplexing:
Member exclusive
Wi-fi:
Member exclusive

This versatile all-in-one colour laser printer will suit if you need to be able to print quickly and simply from PCs, laptops, smartphones and tablets.

Today's best price £177.49
Which? score 72%
Reviewed Feb 2016
Best Buy
Print quality:
3 out of 5
Print speed:
5 out of 5
Black text quality:
5 out of 5
Type of printer:
Member exclusive
Auto duplexing:
Member exclusive
Wi-fi:
Member exclusive

It doesn't do scan and copy functionality, but this printer from a recognisable brand would work well in a home office. Text pages look sharp and prints, spreadsheets and charts are produced quickly.

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

And here are three colour laser printers to avoid

Laser printers have plenty of merits, but printing top quality colour prints is not one of them. While the models above have excelled in our testing, plenty of colour laser printers underwhelm when it comes to turning out images, spreadsheets and photos. 

The three printers below promise to turn out crisp colour prints at an affordable cost, but all you'll see is red at the poor quality prints that'll drop into the paper tray. 

Three colour laser printers to avoid

Today's best price £379.99
Which? score 56%
Reviewed Jun 2017
Print quality:
3 out of 5
Office graphics quality:
4 out of 5
Photo quality:
3 out of 5
Type of printer:
Member exclusive
Auto duplexing:
Member exclusive
Three year running cost (£):
Member exclusive

You pay a lot for this big-brand laser printer, but it does little to justify the price over better-scoring alternatives. The photos and images it prints don't look nice, and mono copies come out disappointingly grainy.

Today's best price £119.95
Which? score 46%
Reviewed May 2016
Print quality:
3 out of 5
Office graphics quality:
4 out of 5
Photo quality:
1 out of 5
Type of printer:
Member exclusive
Auto duplexing:
Member exclusive
Three year running cost (£):
Member exclusive

Average is every possible way, this bog-standard laser printer from a well-known brand doesn't justify its price tag. It has mediocre print quality, is light on features and isn't even that fast for a laser printer.

Today's best price £143.99
Which? score 45%
Reviewed Apr 2015
Print quality:
3 out of 5
Office graphics quality:
3 out of 5
Photo quality:
1 out of 5
Type of printer:
Member exclusive
Auto duplexing:
Member exclusive
Three year running cost (£):
Member exclusive

Laser printers aren’t known for coping well with photo printing, but this model takes it to whole new depths. It may be OK with black text printing, but for the price you’re paying, you’d expect a lot more overall quality in return.

Buy your laser toner online

Most laser-printer users tend to buy branded, or original toner because the third-party choice is more limited compared to printer ink.

While the big names tend to dominate the toner market, however, according to our survey of laser printer owners, the joint top-scoring laser toner brand sells compatible and remanufactured toner cartridges – sometimes at almost half the price of first-party alternatives.

Find the best laser toner for your printer with our expert guide to buying toner, which includes the best places to buy laser toner online. 

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