The 10 Best Inkjet Printers
This wiki has been updated 29 times since it was first published in May of 2015. Whether you need a new machine for your office or for your home, you're sure to find one of these inkjet printers perfect for all of your imaging needs. We've included multifunctional models that can also scan, copy, and fax, as well as some that are specifically designed to produce excellent photos, all ranked here by their efficiency, print quality, and ease of use. When users buy our independently chosen editorial picks, we may earn commissions to help fund the Wiki.
January 03, 2021:
Despite how digital the world has become, printing is still a common activity for most homes and offices, and the options on this list will make short work of those jobs. When it comes to high-volume applications where a lot of printing takes place every month, your best bet is a model that uses refillable reservoirs, rather than cartridges, as these will be the most economical. The Epson EcoTank ET-4760 and Canon Pixma G6020 both fit this profile. While all of the machines on this list will work well enough for photographs, the Epson XP-7100 Expression Premium and Canon TS8220 Wireless All-In-One stand out at the top of the class in this regard, as the former utilizes five colors of ink, and the latter six. This will result in images with a higher tonal range than what you get from the standard 4-color systems in most other printers. Many of the options on this list are Alexa compatible, however the sleek HP Tango X is definitely one of the best choices for mobile device and smart home integration.
June 19, 2019:
With all the yearly turnover that this category offers, only the HP 5255 and the Brother Compact retained spots in our ranking. Every other option was either upgraded to a slightly nicer model or phased out in favor of a completely new design. Of course, with all those new flavors in tow, the 5255 slipped from the seventh spot all the way to number 10. Epson still seems unwilling to upgrade models in their Eco Tank lineup, but Canon has come in to fill the void with a very capable photo printer complete with four ink reservoirs, three for color and one for black. Epson is responsible for our number one offering, however, mainly due to its excellent display screen and built-in editing software that lets users manipulate their photos on the printer before printing them out.
Types Of Inkjet Printers
Thermal DOD is the type you will run into with most printers on today’s market.
The inkjet printer is the most common type of printer you will encounter when shopping for the most useful office supplies. They vary greatly in type, size, and price. Some are incredibly affordable, while more industrial machines intended for continuous daily use can be quite expensive.
Inkjet printing transfers a digital image onto paper or other designated material. When shopping, you are likely to run into two different types of inkjet printers: continuous inkjet and drop-on-demand.
The continuous inkjet printer dates back as far as 1867 to the syphon recorder that transferred telegraph signals directly onto paper. The CIJ uses a high-pressure pump to move ink through the device and onto the paper. CIJ is still one of the fastest printing methods in existence.
If you are purchasing an inkjet printer for your home or office, you are likely shopping for a drop-on-demand printer. This category of printing is split into thermal DOD and piezoelectric DOD. Thermal DOD is the type you will run into with most printers on today’s market. As the name suggests, thermal DOD uses heat to propel the ink from the chamber and onto the paper.
Piezoelectric DOD is the type of inkjet printing most commonly found in industrial printers that require continuous daily use. The process is similar to thermal DOD, except an electrical pulse is used instead of heat to propel the ink through the chamber and onto the paper. This method isn’t used in printers commonly marketed to the average consumer because the parts needed to manufacture them are quite expensive.
How To Buy An Inkjet Printer
There are a number of advantages to opting for an inkjet printer over the old-fashioned dot matrix or daisywheel printers. Primarily, they print in greater detail with a higher, more accurate resolution and can print photographs with ease. Inkjet printers also don’t have to warm up before being used. They can be turned on and begin printing immediately.
They are great for busy homes and offices that don’t have a lot of time to wait around. If you are in the market for a new inkjet printer for your home or office, there are several things you will need to consider before settling on your final decision.
First of all, consider the printer’s compatibility with your computer’s operating system. Many inkjet printers are compatible with a wide range of operating systems, but it is always a good idea to check the specifications and software compatibility before purchasing.
They can connect to your computer or other device and work directly from your home or office WiFi connection.
Second, decide what you plan to use your printer for. Are you planning to print mostly black and white documents? Or do you need to print high-quality photos? Do you need something that will print your documents quickly and efficiently? Or are you looking for a simple home printer for the occasional document? No matter what you choose, there is a printer out there that will fit your specific needs.
Third, and I’m sure we don’t have to tell you this, but consider your budget. If you are in the market for a simple home printer, there is no need to break the bank. If you plan to print photos on a regular basis or need fast printing and scanning for your office, you might want to shell out a little more cash for a high-quality printer.
Next, consider the additional features you will want. Many of today’s inkjet printers come with wireless capabilities. They can connect to your computer or other device and work directly from your home or office WiFi connection. If you intend to use your printer for photos or other high-resolution documents, you will want to consider the speed, photo quality, resolution capabilities, and printout size options. Some printers can accommodate memory cards and USB drives for file and photo printing. Others are compatible with mobile devices so you can print directly from your phone or tablet over your WiFi network.
Finally, consider the warranty and level of tech support and customer service you will get. If you are not experienced with using inkjet printers, quality customer service and tech support is a necessity. A warranty of at least one year is also preferred in the unlikely event that you experience issues with your inkjet system.
A Brief History Of The Inkjet Printer
Before inkjet printers, dot matrix printers were used as the standard method for printing. By the 1960s, printer companies were working toward developing efficient inkjet printing that would be both high-quality and cost-efficient.
Both types of drop-on-demand inkjet printing are commonly available to the general public.
IBM began developing continuous inkjet printing. It is very fast, but it can be expensive due to the amount of ink required. In 1977, Siemens invented drop-on-demand inkjet printing that used thermal technology rather than electricity. The printers developed by Epson produced the same result, but they used piezoelectric technology. Both types of drop-on-demand inkjet printing are commonly available to the general public.
Canon and Hewlett Packard worked tirelessly to create a controlled flow of ink in both types of inkjet printers to avoid clogging and dried, splotchy ink on the paper. By the late 1980s, inkjet printers were put on the market for offices and average consumers to purchase.
Continuous inkjet is not generally used by the average consumer, but they are highly popular in fast-paced industrial settings. Drop-on-demand inkjet printers are the most common type of printer found in homes and the average office.