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Best Printers

Consumer Reports Ratings for Best Printers

Best Printers

We tested 106 printers to determine the best-performing models. Our expert lab technicians tested each Printer based on the following criteria:

  • Maintenance ink use
  • Ink cost/month ($)
  • Power saving
  • Convenience
  • Scan quality
  • Copy quality
  • Photo quality
  • 4x6 photo cost ($)
  • Text cost (cents)
  • 8x10 photo cost ($)
  • Text quality
  • Graphics quality
  • 8x10 photo time
  • Text speed
  • Versatility
  • 4x6 photo time

Below lists the Printers that rated best in each of the tests our experts looked for. Learn about how these tests were performed and find out which Printer is rated best when you subscribe.

Consumer Reports Ratings for Best Printers

Best Printer for Maintenance ink use

Reflects the amount of extra ink used by an inkjet printer to maintain its print heads in our test printing a total of 30 pages of text and color graphics intermittently over a 3-week period, turning the printer OFF between print jobs. "NA" indicates an older model that did not undergo these tests.


This Printer which tested best for Maintenance ink use has the following features: Printing method, Platform, Standard-sheet capacity, Height (in.), Width (in.), Depth (in.), Individual color tanks, Auto-duplexing, Water-resistant photos, Networking and USB2.

Best Printer for Ink cost/month ($)

Estimated cost (in dollars) of ink or toner for the number of pages our readers told us they print in a month of use. For inkjets: 23 text pages, 9 graphics pages, 2.4 large photos, 3.6 small photos, and 3.5 photos on plain paper. For lasers: 62 text pages, 24 graphics pages, 1.7 large photos, 1.9 small photos, and 2.3 photos on plain paper. Photos cost the most, text documents the least, so your results may vary from these figures, but they are useful for comparing models. Inkjets may cost more than this estimate because they may release some ink during the automatic maintenance routine.


This Printer which tested best for Ink cost/month ($) has the following features: Printing method, Platform, Photo-paper capacity (sheets), Height (in.), Width (in.), Depth (in.), Weight (lbs.), LCD diagonal viewer size (in.), Water-resistant photos, Memory-card reader, Borderless photos, Carrying handle, USB2 and PictBridge.

Best Printer for Power saving

This indicates how well the printer conserves power between uses.


This Printer which tested best for Power saving has the following features: Printing method, Platform, Standard-sheet capacity, Height (in.), Width (in.), Depth (in.), Individual color tanks, Auto-duplexing, Water-resistant photos, Networking and USB2.

Best Printer for Convenience

Measures the ease of carrying out a series of common activities with the printer.


This Printer which tested best for Convenience has the following features: Printing method, Platform, Standard-sheet capacity, Flatbed design for scanning and copying, Height (in.), Width (in.), Depth (in.), Built-in fax, Can print if color empty, Borderless photos, Water-resistant photos, Automatic document feeder, Networking and USB2.

Best Printer for Scan quality

Scan quality is for color photos, graphics, and text scanned at each model's default settings.


This Printer which tested best for Scan quality has the following features: Printing method, Platform, Standard-sheet capacity, Height (in.), Width (in.), Depth (in.), Individual color tanks, Auto-duplexing, Water-resistant photos, Networking and USB2.

Best Printer for Copy quality

Copy quality is for graphics and text.


This Printer which tested best for Copy quality has the following features: Printing method, Platform, Standard-sheet capacity, Height (in.), Width (in.), Depth (in.), Individual color tanks, Auto-duplexing, Water-resistant photos, Networking and USB2.

Best Printer for Photo quality

This is our assessment of the appearance of each photo. Models with higher scores produce more natural looking photos, with smoother changes in shading and fewer problems with banding.


This Printer which tested best for Photo quality has the following features: Printing method, Platform, Standard-sheet capacity, Height (in.), Width (in.), Depth (in.), Individual color tanks, Auto-duplexing, Borderless photos, Water-resistant photos, Networking and USB2.

Best Printer for 4x6 photo cost ($)

4x6 photo cost per print.


This Printer which tested best for 4x6 photo cost ($) has the following features: Printing method, Platform, Standard-sheet capacity, Flatbed design for scanning and copying, Height (in.), Width (in.), Depth (in.), Built-in fax, Auto-duplexing, Automatic document feeder, Networking and USB2.

Best Printer for Text cost (cents)

Text cost per print.


This Printer which tested best for Text cost (cents) has the following features: Printing method, Platform, Photo-paper capacity (sheets), Height (in.), Width (in.), Depth (in.), Weight (lbs.), LCD diagonal viewer size (in.), Water-resistant photos, Memory-card reader, Borderless photos, Carrying handle, USB2 and PictBridge.

Best Printer for 8x10 photo cost ($)

8x10 photo cost per print.


This Printer which tested best for 8x10 photo cost ($) has the following features: Printing method, Platform, Standard-sheet capacity, Flatbed design for scanning and copying, Height (in.), Width (in.), Depth (in.), Built-in fax, Auto-duplexing, Automatic document feeder, Networking and USB2.

Best Printer for Text quality

This indicates how crisply and clearly a printer produced black text in a variety of faces, sizes, and styles. Models with higher scores produce more uniform type, with sharper edges and smoother curves.


This Printer which tested best for Text quality has the following features: Printing method, Platform, Standard-sheet capacity, Height (in.), Width (in.), Depth (in.), Individual color tanks, Auto-duplexing, Water-resistant photos, Networking and USB2.

Best Printer for Graphics quality

Our assessment of the appearance of color graphics produced by the printer. Black and white lasers were judged on black and white graphics.


This Printer which tested best for Graphics quality has the following features: Printing method, Platform, Standard-sheet capacity, Flatbed design for scanning and copying, Height (in.), Width (in.), Depth (in.), Individual color tanks, Can print if color empty, Auto-duplexing, Borderless photos, Water-resistant photos, Networking and USB2.

Best Printer for 8x10 photo time

This score reflects how quickly the model can print one 8x10 photo on photo-quality paper. 2 minutes or less is excellent; 2 to 4 minutes is very good; 4 to 6 minutes is good; 6 to 8 minutes is fair; and longer than 8 minutes is poor.


This Printer which tested best for 8x10 photo time has the following features: Printing method, Platform, Photo-paper capacity (sheets), Height (in.), Width (in.), Depth (in.), Weight (lbs.), LCD diagonal viewer size (in.), Water-resistant photos, Memory-card reader, Borderless photos, Carrying handle, USB2 and PictBridge.

Best Printer for Text speed

This score reflects how quickly the model can print text on five pages of plain, letter-sized pages. 30 seconds or less is excellent; 31 to 60 seconds is very good; 61 to 90 seconds is good; 91 to 120 seconds is fair; and longer than 120 seconds is poor.


This Printer which tested best for Text speed has the following features: Printing method, Platform, Photo-paper capacity (sheets), Height (in.), Width (in.), Depth (in.), Weight (lbs.), LCD diagonal viewer size (in.), Water-resistant photos, Memory-card reader, Borderless photos, Carrying handle, USB2 and PictBridge.

Best Printer for Versatility

Versatility indicates features that increase a printer's utility or capabilities.


This Printer which tested best for Versatility has the following features: Printing method, Platform, Photo-paper capacity (sheets), Height (in.), Width (in.), Depth (in.), Weight (lbs.), LCD diagonal viewer size (in.), Water-resistant photos, Memory-card reader, Borderless photos, Carrying handle, USB2 and PictBridge.

Best Printer for 4x6 photo time

This score reflects how quickly the model can print one 4x6 photo on photo-quality paper. 1 minute or less is excellent; 1 to 2 minutes is very good; 2 to 4 minutes is good; 4 to 6 minutes is fair; and longer than 6 minutes is poor.


This Printer which tested best for 4x6 photo time has the following features: Printing method, Platform, Standard-sheet capacity, Flatbed design for scanning and copying, Height (in.), Width (in.), Depth (in.), Built-in fax, Memory-card reader, LCD viewer, Individual color tanks, Can print if color empty, Auto-duplexing, Borderless photos, Water-resistant photos, Automatic document feeder, PictBridge, Networking and USB2.