Which wireless printer is best?
Most activities have shifted online, such as email replacing written letters or news websites becoming more popular than printed newspapers. But that doesn’t mean our desire to print something out is totally gone.
In fact, the global pandemic resurrected the home printer from a seemingly bygone era. Some estimates peg printer sales at a 30% increase after many people moved toward working from home.
But it might be more challenging to find the right printer than you imagined. Between the inking technology, the number of connections and overall cost, there are several important considerations. However, the HP OfficeJet Pro 8025e Wireless Color All-in-One Printer is an excellent choice for overall printing jobs.
What to know before you buy a wireless printer
One of the most important considerations in choosing a wireless printer is its primary purpose. Ask yourself if you want to print more black and white documents, or do you want to produce high-quality photos. There are printers that are excellent for each purpose, and they can generally be divided into two technology types:
- Laser printers use dry toner and electrostatically charged dots. Because of their high accuracy in producing text, they are best used as document printers. They can print color images, but these aren’t as high-quality as those from inkjet printers.
- Inkjet printers use liquid to produce the image by spraying tiny drops of ink on the page. However, some wireless printers use thermal inkjet technology, which applies a dry, wax-based pigment. There are also inkjet printers that use a hybrid system, where one color tank is used for photos and a separate black ink tank is used exclusively for text-based documents.
It’s great to have a printer that connects wirelessly to all your devices for printing, but sometimes you want to do more. You should consider what you want to achieve, as single-function printers only do one job. However, multi-function printers can scan documents and make copies in addition to printing text and photos.
Cost of ink
There is, unfortunately, no way of getting around the expensive cost of printer ink. But that can be reduced by using refillable cartridges, which aren’t always endorsed by manufacturers. The printing technology also determines the average price you’ll pay, as a black ink cartridge costs $15-$40, while tri-color cartridges cost $25-$45.
On average, black printer ink is in the top 10 of the world’s most expensive liquids, costing around $2,700 a gallon. This is the primary reason why printers are so cheap but relatively expensive to maintain. Manufacturers often don’t make a profit on the sale of a printer and recoup any losses through sales of ink — which you need for your printer to work.
What to look for in a quality wireless printer
As with most electronics, resolution determines visual quality. In printing, this is indicated by dots per inch — the more dots, the better the print.
However, as printing technology progresses, better techniques and software can produce great images without increasing the DPI. It’s an important aspect of a good-quality wireless printer, but it shouldn’t be the deciding factor.
Two-sided and borderless printing
Also known as duplex printing, two-sided printing is when the printer can produce text or images on both sides of a page. Auto-duplex printing means the printer can automatically turn the page over to print on the other side. Not only does this make your printing job neater, but you can also halve your paper use and reduce waste.
Wireless technology is an excellent solution for a cable-free life, but it’s not always possible. For example, it will be incredibly difficult to connect a computer to a wireless printer if it doesn’t have a Bluetooth or Wi-Fi adapter.
In those situations, it’s best to have a wireless printer that supports additional connections, too. A traditional printer cable is the most common, but other printers let you insert a USB drive to access files or connect a mobile device through the same USB port.
How much you can expect to spend on a wireless printer
This largely depends on the manufacturer and additional functions. An entry-level printer suited for most home offices costs $80-$100, while a professional photo printer costs $100-$300.
Wireless printer FAQ
Can you print from a smartphone?
A. Yes, most wireless printers can connect and print from mobile phones. Your functionality might be somewhat reduced for editing, but the end result should be the same.
Do wireless printers come with ink?
A. Lots of printers ship with initial ink cartridges to get you set up and printing straight away. In most cases, though, these cartridges only have enough ink to print a few pages.
What’s the best wireless printer to buy?
Top wireless printer
What you need to know: Perfect for a home office, this printer can also scan, copy and fax while printing up to 20 pages per minute.
What you’ll love: It comes with a bonus of six months of free Instant Ink with the HP+ subscription. The printer has an auto-duplex function, supports multiple connections and produces images at a resolution of 4,800 x 1,200 dots per inch.
What you should consider: Even though it has double-sided printing, it can’t perform double-sided scanning.
Top wireless printer for the money
What you need to know: An excellent printer for basic document reproduction, it supports the HP Smart app and multiple connections.
What you’ll love: This inkjet printer supports different page sizes, can print a black and white page in under eight seconds and comes with six months of Instant Ink with HP+.
What you should consider: It has manual duplex printing, so you need to turn over the page yourself.
Worth checking out
What you need to know: This is an excellent gadget if you want a good blend between a document and a photo printer.
What you’ll love: It has a hybrid tank system that only uses black ink for documents and color ink for photos. The printer can produce a text document in under 10 seconds and supports a variety of paper sizes.
What you should consider: It is a single-function printer, so it can’t copy or scan pages.
Where to buy: Sold by Amazon
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Charlie Fripp writes for BestReviews. BestReviews has helped millions of consumers simplify their purchasing decisions, saving them time and money.
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