Best cheap printers
Top five best cheap printers to buy for 2019
By Andrew Laughlin
Article 2 of 2
If you don’t want to spend a fortune on a new printer, see fantastic cheap printers that will keep your wallet happy, and the ones to avoid.
Whether you're a student heading off to university or just keeping an eye on your budget, these cheap printers won't cost you much to buy or run.
You can easily spend hundreds of pounds on a printer, but the fantastic cheap printers we've featured here, including Best Buy inkjet printers, are available for less than £100. Some are even under £50.
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Best budget printers
Pricing, recommendations and test scores correct at September 2018.
Not found the product for you? Browse all of our printer reviews.
And here are three cheap printers to avoid
The budget belters featured above match top-quality features and functions, such as copying, scanning and wi-fi, with a knockdown price. However, not all budget printers excel when we test them.
For example, we currently have 40 printers priced at under £50 online, but only four are Best Buys and two performed poorly enough to be Don’t Buys. We help you avoid getting stuck with a discount dud.
Three cheap printers to avoid
Budget printers: is it worth spending a bit extra?
With Best Buy printers available at under £50, why should you pay more?
Budget machines often don't come with more premium features and functions, such as an additional paper cassette or an automatic document feeder that makes it easier to copy, scan or fax multi-page documents.
Go for a budget printer if you just want a basic machine to churn through office documents and coursework. If you want a more fully featured office printer to do a range of tasks, it's better to spend a bit more.
Inkjet vs laser printers: which is best?
Aside from price, the key buying decision when it comes to printers is whether to go for an inkjet or a laser printer.
Laser printers tend to be more expensive, particularly if you want an all-in-one model that can copy and scan. However, if you frequently print letters, documents and spreadsheets, they are a great choice.
Best Buy laser printers shine when printing black text documents and professional-looking office graphics. They print a lot more pages from each toner cartridge, and so the cost per black-and-white or colour page is very low.
Inkjet printers are much cheaper to buy. You can get a fully featured, all-in-one machine for a fraction of the price of an equivalent laser. They're great all-rounders, turning out text-heavy documents, images and photos with ease.
However, some inkjet printers expend ink to clean their heads, meaning it isn’t actually used for printing. Best Buy inkjets are efficient with your ink, but struggle to be as frugal as laser models when it comes to running costs.