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Hate Your Inkjet Printer? Try a Black-and-White Laser Printer Instead

These models produce crisp text—and savings

Some people love their cars or their smartphones, but it's not every day you meet someone with nice things to say about a printer. In our latest CR member survey, though, we uncovered one type of printer that many consumers actually seem to like: black-and-white laser printers.

In our ratings, laser printers do far better in predicted brand reliability and owner satisfaction than inkjets. If you want a printer that's likely to work longer with fewer hassles, a black-and-white laser is worth considering.

You may associate laser printers with home offices or small businesses—and high prices—but some black-and-white laser printers are very affordable, and they can be attractive for everyday use. Monochrome lasers tend to produce speedy, high-quality text, and they're generally more cost-efficient than inkjets. 

With many inkjet printers, you’ll encounter that "out of ink" message more often than you’d like, even when the color cartridges run dry but you only need to print in black. Some inkjets guzzle ink like a heavy-duty pickup burns fuel.

The toner used in laser printers lasts longer. As a result, the overall cost of ownership (the up-front price plus the ink or toner expenses) stays low. The cost to buy and use a printer is one of the details you can find in our printer ratings

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For example, the two-year cost of ownership for the three printers below is $150 to $230, according to our calculations and estimates of typical printer use. That beats the cost of ownership for some similarly priced all-in-one inkjets by more than $100. (Your cost of ownership will vary with how much you print, plus what prices you find for the printer and toner.) 

Here are three of the most appealing black-and-white laser printers in our ratings.

Samsung Xpress M2835DW

The Samsung Xpress M2835DW is a great choice for basic printing needs. It lacks scanning and copying functions, but the budget price and exceptional efficiency make up for that shortcoming.

Our testers say the printer's toner cartridges last an extraordinarily long time, and we estimate that yearly printing costs will come to just $37. Given the M2835DW's modest price, that makes its two-year cost of ownership among the lowest of any printer in our ratings. This model prints out text with excellent quality and speed for just over 2 cents a page. It also earns a score of Very Good for black-and-white graphics.

It has WiFi connectivity, an Ethernet port, and auto-duplexing (meaning it will print on both sides of a page). A bonus: It takes up very little space. It earns a score of Very Good for predicted reliability and Good for owner satisfaction.

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