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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. 

Put us to the test

Our Test Labs compare features and prices on a range of products. Try Which? to unlock our reviews. You'll instantly be able to compare our test scores, so you can make sure you don't get stuck with a Don't Buy.

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.

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 joining Which?.

Best budget printers

74%
£69.98
Reviewed

If you don't want your printer to take up too much space on your desk, this big-brand laser printer will be right up your street. It can't copy or scan, but is superb at printing black-text documents.

71%
£40.00
Reviewed

Available at a fantastic price, this all-in-one printer can print, copy, scan and fax. It turns out great-looking colour office documents, such as spreadsheets and charts, and photo prints look decent too.

71%
£66.59
Reviewed

If you just want to print course work and documents, this big-brand laser printer is a great choice. It does all the basics well and running costs are pleasingly low.

71%
£29.99
Reviewed

If you're searching for an all-round budget printer for your home, then this inkjet all-in-one will be right up your street. It'll turn out fantastic work documents and good-looking photos, too.

67%
£36.24
Reviewed

There's a lot to like about this all-in-one inkjet; from its crisp print quality to low ink running costs. It has wi-fi, along with AirPrint and Cloud Print compatibility for printing wirelessly from various devices.

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

45%
£64.98
Reviewed

There's no reason to bother with this big brand laser printer, especially when you consider that it's not exactly cheap to buy. It does a good job printing black text letters, but the wheels fall of the wagon when you print anything else.

43%
£86.99
Reviewed

This multifunctional mono laser printer is so bulky, that it's more designed for an office or small home office. It turns out quick text prints, but the quality dire.

39%
£36.57
Reviewed

This all-in-one inkjet printer looks very promising from the outset, but that all fell apart when we came to test it. Although it has useful wireless printing features, that doesn’t matter much when you see its dreary print quality.

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. 

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