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Overall print quality and speed of text, photos, graphics, and desk top publishing.
Text print quality
Print quality of mono text prints
Text print speed
Speed of printing text pages - the speed of printing a five page Word document.
Photo print quality
Print quality of an A4 photo printed from a computer
Photo print speed
Speed of printing an A4 photo rfom a computer
Graphics print quality (images with text)
Quality of a printed A4 page containing text as well as complex images - like a web page or desktop publishing document.
Graphics print speed (images with text)
Speed of printing a best quality A4 page containing text and complex images - like a web page or desktop publishing document
Quality and speed, and ability to scan different types of pages.
Speed and quality of copying text and colour images, with and without a computer attached.
New models will be more widely available, older models may be harder to track down - but you may find a bargain.
Tested for occasional printing cost
Some printers use ink to clean their print heads. This increases the cost of printing if you print occasionally and turn the printer off between uses. In September 2012 we introduced a test to determine the cost impact of leaving time between prints. Select 'yes' to view printers that have undergone the occasional printing test.
Compatible with Windows 8
Windows 8 compatibility of the printer at the time of testing. Models marked 'no' were not compatible at the time of testing and those marked 'not tested' were tested before Windows 8. For these printers, check the manufacturer's website to find out if a Windows 8 driver is now available.
Compatible with Mac
Whether or not the printer supports the Mac OS10 operating system directly out of the box. You may be able to download an alternative driver from a freeware site but some printing features may be lost. 'Not stated' means that the manufacturer has not stated if there is a driver available for this operating system.
Print on A3
Find models that can print on an A3 size sheet of paper.
Printers listed include those from ranges designed for photo printing and models that include both a preview screen and option to print from memory card and/or cameras (via PictBridge) which are more popular if you want to print photos at home. Printers not labelled as 'photo printers' here may still have the ability to print photos from a computer.
Home office printer
Laser printers, inkjet printers from ranges designed for office tasks and models with automatic document feeders. Other printers are either better suited to photo printing, or are 'generalist' printers.
Web printers have 'web' features which may include apps that you can download to the printer, or a feature that enables them to print using Google CloudPrint, or their own email address - so you can email prints to the printer. Printers listed may have one, some, or all of these features.
A preview screens on the printer is useful if you plan to print direct from memory card or camera.
A PictBridge connection will allow you to print directly from an enabled digital camera without turning on your computer.
Memory card slots
Memory card slots will vary so check the specifications before you head to the shops
If you have a wireless network a WiFi enabled printer will allow you to print wirelessly from devices on your network.
Print from smartphone
Find printers compatible with the manufacturer's smartphone print app. Compatibility will also depend on the operating system running on your smartphone.
Find printers which claim compatibility with Apple AirPrint technology
Automatic Document Feeder
Automatic document feeders are useful if you fax or photocopy long documents
Auto duplexing means you can set the printer to automatically print on both sides of a page.
Double sided scan and copy
Find one of the small number of all-in-one printers which can be set up to automatically copy/scan both sides of a page. Note: for the output to also be double-sided you may have to select '2-sided' in the printer's menu when copying or scanning.
Maximum page weight - card printing
Some manufacturers state the maximum page weight in grams per square metre (gsm) that the printer can handle. The higher the number, the thicker the paper. As a guide, normal copier paper is 80gsm, lightweight card is 170-216 gsm and 217-284 gsm 'card' is generally a little thicker than a greeting card. Some manufacturers don't state a maximum page weight (Not stated), for models tested before we recorded this information we state 'not recorded'.
Can it print on transparencies?
If you need to print on transparent sheets, search for models that claim the ability to do this. Printers tested before we looked for this feature retunr 'not recorded'. For others the manufacturer may not state whether the printer can or cannot print on transparencies.
Typical prices are the most common online price we found and are updated monthly. Retailers you see on the 'Compare Prices' links are from a 3rd party. We cannot guarantee stock availability at these retailers and don't endorse them in any way. We are not responsible for any loss or damage for 3rd party websites and have no control over their content.