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Technology.

1 December 2021

Top five best all-in-one printers for 2021

Print, copy, scan – you can do it all with an all-in-one printer. Find out which are the best models to choose for your home.
FW
Felix Wilson
Adv-all-in-one-printer

An all-in-one or multi-function printer can copy, scan and possibly also fax (without needing a PC), as well as print. Most people go for an inkjet all-in-one, but there are also laser models available.

You can get a Best Buy all-in-one printer for less than £50, but pay a bit more and you get some useful features and functions.

For example, an automatic document feeder is a tray some printers have on top that automatically feeds in multiple pages for copying, scanning or faxing.

Top five best all-in-one printers

  • 80%
    £629.99

    Solid printing performance and extremely low maintenance costs have made ink-tank printers a mainstay among Best Buy printers – and this is among the best we’ve tested. It’s expensive to buy, but could save you money over the lifetime of the printer.

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  • 74%
    £185.99

    If you want cheap and good quality prints, this big-brand inkjet printer will be right up your street. It has ink tanks that you refill with a bottle when they run out, meaning your printing costs will be extremely low.

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  • 73%
    £249.99

    Almost a small office printer, this A4 mono laser turns out fantastic-looking black-text prints and it benefits from rock-bottom printing costs. If you print regularly and don't want to make constant trips to buy toner, it will be right up your street.

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  • 73%
    £129.99

    This big-brand laser printer is remarkably compact consider that it can copy and scan, as well as print up to A4 in size. It has wi-fi and wireless printing features such as AirPrint. See if this is the laser printer for you by logging in or joining Which?.

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  • 70%
    £249.97

    If you’re after a monochrome workhorse that can print quickly and cheaply this is a great option. Plus, the scanner is excellent and it has an automatic document feeder.

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Prices, recommendations and test scores correct as of December 2021.

Not found the product for you? For more than 200 fully tested inkjet and laser printers, head over to our printer reviews.

And here are three all-in-one printers to avoid

While the printers featured above all offer excellent quality to suit all budgets, the three below do the exact opposite. 

These poor-quality printers, including some Don't Buy models, failed to impress when we tested them. Whether printing, copying or scanning, they will fail to impress you, too. 

Three all-in-one printers to avoid

  • 47%
    £44.00

    This inkjet printer just misses out on being a Don't Buy. But with high printing costs and mediocre print quality, there's still no reason to buy it - even if you're on a budget.

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  • 43%
    £119.99

    It’s not the worst printer we’ve tested, but it's not far off. It’s from a fringe brand, it lacks even basic features and, realistically, there’s no reason why you should consider it over higher-scoring alternatives.

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  • 39%
    £44.49

    This all-in-one inkjet printer initially looks as though it might be a good choice, 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.

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Prices, recommendations and test scores correct as of December 2021.

The best cheap printer ink

Printer ink can be seriously expensive. In fact, it can be pricier than vintage Champagne or Chanel No. 5 perfume, so you'll want a printer that uses it efficiently.

All-in-one printers are often of the inkjet type. We know from testing that inkjet printers can use printer ink during cleaning, meaning it isn't actually used to print. With a poor quality printer, this can lead to regular - and costly - trips to the shop to re-stock on printer ink.

Ink is particularly pricey if you opt for ‘original’ ink (from the same brand as your printer), but you don’t have to spend a fortune. Our research has unearthed the best printer ink brands that offer cheap ink that's also high quality. Find the best ink for your printer in our in-depth guide to cheap ink cartridges.

Setting up your new printer

  • After placing the printer where you want it, install the latest software from the manufacturer’s website on your PC. Even if your printer was supplied with a CD, it’s best to download and install the latest software instead. Depending on your printer, you will do this either wirelessly or with a USB cable.
  • If your printer has wi-fi, time to get it connected. You can find detailed instructions on how to do it in our in-depth guide on how to connect a wireless printer. Read our guide on how to set up Apple AirPrint if you printer supports it.
  • Now set your new printer as the default, so your computer automatically sends print jobs to it first. In Windows, click Start, type devices, and then click Devices and Printers. Select your printer model and set it as your default printer.
  • Next, set your printing preferences. In Devices and Printers, right-click your printer’s icon and select Printing preferences. You’ll see a tabbed window of settings such as paper size, orientation (portrait or landscape) and whether to print on both sides (duplex). Click OK when everything is as you like it.
  • Finally, check your ink levels. Most printers come with a set of ‘starter’ ink cartridges, but they tend to run out quickly. On a Windows PC click Start, type devices, then click Devices and Printers. Right-clicking on your printer enables you to view how much ink there is remaining (on a Mac, you do this via System Preferences).