8 best home printers to upgrade your wireless home office set-up

Although most devices now have the technology, not all of them are equal. We've found the top performers in our round-up

David RS Taylor@davidrstaylor
Monday 22 March 2021 01:40
<p>Wireless printers are much easier to use and much more versatile – usually with the option to print directly from tablets or smartphones too</p>

Wireless printers are much easier to use and much more versatile – usually with the option to print directly from tablets or smartphones too

While wireless home printers might be quite a normal concept now, it was only a few years ago that the technology caused a huge shift in printer design.

We’re sure that everyone reading this has, at some point, had to clasp a printer in one hand while frantically trying to plug its wire into a USB port around the back of the computer. All the time being worried that the ink cartridges have leaked or the paper you shortsightedly already put in the tray is about to spill out.

No more! The wireless printer is now, understandably, wildly popular. Almost consigning its poor wired relative to the dustbin.

It’s easier to use and much more versatile, usually with the option to print directly from tablets or smartphones alongside your desktop. Printer apps have improved dramatically too, now linking up seamlessly with Google Cloud printing and Apple AirPrint.

Buying the printer is one thing, but be aware of ink costs. Most brands insist on using their own cartridges, and prices for these can vary substantially, so be sure to factor this into any purchase. There are ways of cutting this price with refills, but printing efficiency is a big element to consider.

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Epson ecotank ET-2710

Print/scan/copy: All

Dimensions: 375 x 347 x 179mm

App printing: Epson Connect, Google Cloud Print

For a more eco-friendly approach to printing, Epson has a great range of ecotank printers that use cartridge-free ink tanks, leading to a more efficient printing process that’s not only better for the planet, but also your wallet.

Like the other Epson printers on this list, the ET-2710 is easy to set-up, with the clean Epson Connect app doing most of the work for you. The print quality and speed is at least on a par with any other printer on the list, and colour prints are especially vibrant. With no quality sacrificed for a more efficient and eco-friendly ink usage, more printers should be moving in this direction.

Brother HL-L2350DW mono laser printer

Print/scan/copy: Print

Dimensions: 438 x 283 x 519mm

App printing: AirPrint, Cortado Cloud Print, Google Cloud Print 2.0, iPrint&Scan, Brother Print Service Plugin, Mopria 

The mono in the printer’s name refers to the fact that it’s a one-stop monochrome shop. If you need a printer that can rapidly whack out page after page of important black and white documents or your latest coming-of-age novel without breaking a sweat, this effort from Brother is one of the best out there.

Despite the large 250-sheet paper input, it’s a handy size for most tables, or to put under your desk. It’s also surprisingly quiet: Brother says that all the models within the HL range print at less than 50dB. We tested it late at night and felt more than comfortable doing so.

Epson expression premium XP-7100

Print/scan/copy: All

Dimensions: 390 x 339 x 183mm

App printing: Epson Connect, Apple AirPrint, Google Cloud Print

This is one of Epson’s best personal printers. It’s an all-in-one printer, meaning that documents and photographic prints are a doddle, including glossy photos, via the dual paper trays. There’s also a speciality slot at the back for printing on thicker paper.

Printing from the app is easy, but the XP-7100 also has a 10.9cm interactive touchscreen for PC-free printing from a memory card. The automatic document feeder means that you won’t need to stand over the printer feeding pages into it to be scanned. An added extra is the “ready print go” system, which alerts you when ink is running low, giving you enough time to order more before your pretty prints get stripy.

Canon selphy square QX10

Print/scan/copy: Print photos

Dimensions:102 x 143 x 31 mm

App printing: SELPHY Photo Layout

This is a very fun bit of kit. Almost a modern polaroid camera, simply pick a photo from your phone via the Canon app, frame how you like, and watch your square photo print in seconds. While it looks quite pricey on the surface, it’s a sophisticated machine: Canon claims that the high-quality prints will stay that way for 100 years (tested using an accelerated ageing method), so choose your photos wisely.

The portable mini-printer has a decent battery life, and feels sturdy enough to take with you on holiday. There are also options for filters and photo editing on the app for any last-minute airbrushing you need to do (don’t bother, you look great).

HP officejet pro 7720 A3

Print/scan/copy: All

Dimensions: 584.9 x 444.8 x 306.4 mm

App printing: HP Smart, Apple AirPrint, Google Cloud Print, Mopria

Don’t let the “office” in its name fool you: the 7720 is a strong choice for a home wireless printer. It looks good, the HP Smart app is straightforward – the best app on the list – and print quality is high. Thanks to its wide format, the 7720 can print up to A3, with scan and copy up to legal size (slightly larger than A4).

The cartridges are quite expensive, but you do get great quality from them, and the optional high-yield cartridges let you print up to three times as many black-text and two times as many colour pages. The 7720 is also the perfect choice for professional-quality brochures and flyers at a decent price and in the comfort of your own home, producing water, smear, and fade-resistant prints.

Epson expression premium XP-6100

Print/scan/copy: All

Dimensions: 349 x 340 x 142 mm

App printing: Epson Connect, Apple AirPrint, Google Cloud Print

Epson’s XP-6100 proves that a good printer doesn’t need to cost the earth. Another all-in-one unit, it’s compact and stylish enough to fit in most settings, as a professional printer or something for the family. Once again, the app is easy to navigate, and printing, scanning and copying are straightforward.

The dual front-loading paper trays hold A4 and photo paper respectively, and there’s an option for double-sided printing. There’s no touchscreen, but that’s no issue when you have your phone or the computer, and the buttons work well enough. It also serves to keep the cost down. All in all, a well-performing printer at a good price.

Canon pixma TS8350

Print/scan/copy: All

Dimensions:373 x 319 x 141 mm

App printing: Canon app, Apple AirPrint, Google Cloud Print

Canon is handy when it comes to producing good-looking printers, and the PIXMA is no exception. The sleek unit produces consistent prints, both in black and colour – helped along by the six ink cartridges, including the fancy-sounding photo blue. After fiddling with the wifi for a while, the Canon app is simple to use, and the 10.8cm touchscreen gives users another control option. The PIXMA is a strong option for anyone who needs a practical printer that looks the part.

HP officeJet pro 9020

Print/scan/copy: All

Dimensions: 437 x 396.3 x 318.3mm

App printing: HP Smart, Apple AirPrint, Google Cloud Print, Mopria 

The 9020 is a bit of a beast and is much bigger than the other printers in this list. What that comes with is a 35-page automatic page loader for hands-free copying, two 250-sheet paper trays that fit a full ream of paper, and the ability to scan both sides of a page at once.

The HP Smart app is a winner again here, helping you quickly access the files you want from Google Drive, Dropbox, the cloud or email – scanned pages can go the other way. It’s a big printer for big tasks, and the closest on this list to a proper office printer.

The verdict: Wireless printers

Your decision really depends on what you want from a printer. For a wireless printer that does everything you ask of it, produces high-quality mono and colour prints, saves on ink price and is better for the planet, the Epson EcoTank ET-2710 is the best option. However, for a home office printer that prints black and white at an astounding pace, the Brother HL-L2350DW mono laser printer is perfect.

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