It is true that with the cost efficiency of Inkjets improving each day, even the best color laser printers are having a hard time. But we have enough enthusiasts who stick with the older, more basic technique that laser printers use. As a result, the market has a major demand for them. Manufacturers are building on their print speed and quality superiority.
You could buy any Brother printer model and go home, but that would mean not doing proper research. Not only Brother printers, but there are some other laser printer manufacturers that are worth your hundred bucks.
Buying a good color laser printer means you should be familiar with the features it must have. For instance, is it okay to buy a one-pass color printer or should you buy an AIO (all-in-one) model? Why is it that you are buying a laser printer and not an inkjet printer? Are there any hidden expenditures that you should know?
First, ask yourself (or us) these and many other questions so that you can make up your mind about what you need. Once you are though, the list of products below will serve you well. Like the Buyer’s Guide and FAQ section after that.
Best Color Laser Printers in 2019
Whether it is an HP laser printer or one of the many Brother printers, refills are always a trouble. In fact, refill costs are one of the primary reasons why workplaces use Inkjet printers. Then there are connectivity solutions that each of them provides. Consider what suits you more between Ethernet, Wi-Fi or a simple USB cable connection.
The speed of printing should be your concern if you are going to print a lot every day. Also, when high speeds are being used, the quality of print becomes even more relevant since speed can affect the quality. Thus, there is a limit to how fast a printer can work.
We have also discussed other things like text quality, printing costs, value-adding features, displays, and paper handling. Let’s get to them one by one.
The Best Affordable Brother Printer
Brother printers are some of the best laser printers that money can buy, and the feature set of this beauty proves that. You get the most high-end features at a price that is much less than what you’d expect. Great speed and greater quality of prints!
This wasn’t the first Brother printer that we reviewed for our list of best laser printers. But, it ended up being one of the best offers out there. Brother printers have been around for a while now, and their popularity is well found. The good HP laser printers and this Brother laser printer go head to head.
There are other alternatives that cost more and still their feature set isn’t too different from the HL-L8360CDW laser printers. The speed at which it prints isn’t supersonic but it is surely impressive. Like it is with all laserjet printers, this one works best with text.
Don’t get us wrong though, the photo quality isn’t miserable. Nonetheless, it could have been better than this if the manufacturers wanted it for the Brother printers. The good part is that our problems with this color printer ended there.
Everything else is a charm, complete with the latest security features as well as flexible paper capacity. Having an expandable paper capacity means that your printer can take bulkier prints together, making life easier for office. To be exact, the paper input capacity of this Brother printer is 250 sheets.
The primary reason why most of the small offices and singular work groups like Brother printers is how quick they are at printing. Without exaggerating too much, we can say that you’ll get a good 30 prints per minute from the laser color printer.
While we aren’t counting it among cheap printers, the printing cost of the Brother color laser printer is still quite low. At about 1.9 cents a page you can get a monochrome print while a color print will cost about 10 cents.
- Print Quality is Great, Specially with Text
- Expandable Capacity
- Good Speed
- Photo Quality Can be Improved
If you are just looking for a color printer for everyday use, and nothing too laborious for the machine, one of the best laser printers from Dell is your thing! With a smaller price tag, smaller size and a reasonable quality of text and graphics, the C1760NW was hardly beaten anywhere.
Next up on the line is a Dell printer, a very good choice if you don’t want to spend too much. There are a few areas that it lacks in, for instance, the pages printed per minute are 15. This compares to 30 sheets that the Brother printer can print – twice as quick.
Nonetheless, the price you will pay for it does justice to that speed. In fact, it is a suitable speed if you aren’t printing around the clock in your office. Since it is so compact in size, many other areas get the hit.
For instance, the input paper capacity wasn’t the best in our color laser printer reviews. At 150 sheets, this is almost half of our top pick. The output tray is even smaller, allowing only 100 sheets. Yet, a small office place with regular printing needs will not complain.
Being one of the best-quality color laser printers on a budget, the C1760NW offers great connectivity through Ethernet, Wi-Fi and USB 2.0. There also is a small two-lined LCD display that comes in handy at times.
Do keep in mind that this is not for high-end color printing needs, but it will not disappoint you in everyday use. Given that you are paying a third of what we called a well-priced color laser printer before, it is not a deal breaker at all. As a result, we have even picked up the Dell printer for our best budget color printer slot.
- Affordable Price
- Very Compact
- Good for Everyday Usage
- Not Suitable for Heavy Duty
- Paper Capacity and Speed Could Be Improved
Our first impressions of the ImageClass MF634CDW AIO (all-in-one) laser printer were that of a high performing product. It does better than most of the other options at the same price point. This is true about the speed of printing as well as the feature set of the laserjet printer.
If you are in the US, Canon has got you covered with a three-year full warranty. Thus, you can rest assured you are in good hands. Moreover, the Canon laser printer reaches a fair printing speed given that it is an AIO solution. To be specific, if you are printing in bulk, one minute will get you about 19 pages.
Moreover, there are many other features of the product. Four to be specific, as it is the case with all AIO laserjet printers: printer, scanner, copier, and fax. Nonetheless, if you are looking for heavy duty usage, AIO solutions aren’t what you need.
It is a one-pass color laser jet printer, so it uses the standard four drums for each of the CMYK colors. In the review so far, print duplexing was flawless which allows you to get a print on both sides of the page in a single go.
Yet, if your use is extensive, the cost per print might be higher for you. This is due to the AIO laser jet technology that still uses expensive solutions. Other than that, the only downside worth mentioning is that its large size doesn’t do justice to its small paper holding capacity. You will be able to print a total of 100 pages at a time since the collection tray for prints cannot hold more than that.
The bottom line is, for the price range that you get all these features at, the Canon laser jet printer is doing astoundingly well. Had it only been a printer with no AIO features, that statement wouldn’t be true, though.
- Good Value for Money
- On The Go Wifi
- Satisfying Quality of Print
- High Cost of Printing
- Bulky in Size
Everything is better when you have controls of the machine in your hands. With the touchscreen based UI, this HP laser printer is much easier to use. Also, with the added functionality of the HP Smart App, you can set up, print and scan on the go.
For a more documentation oriented workspace, capacity and print speeds are the first prerequisite of the best laser printers. The HP color laserjet does well on both fronts with an input paper capacity of 250 pages and a print speed of 20 pages.
Although the best printers are offering up to 30 pages a minute, 20 isn’t that bad either. Needless to say, we are not comparing them with inkjet printers and also not with the more expensive high-end products. What’s more, even the print quality is exceptional.
For a product that has an average price, the vibrancy of its color prints is worth noting. The monochrome prints were even better with clear visibility down to the last two points. And while printing on many paper sizes is possible, there also is a bypass slot that allows you to print on envelopes, etc.
While there are other aspects that make it one of the best printers out there, the LCD display as well as ease of connectivity win all. When setting up the HP laser printer you will find that it is essentially the easiest, thanks to the responsive touch display. Even the Wi-Fi connection works like a charm.
- Good Color Quality
- Top Performing Laserjet Printer
- Great Features For Given Price Point
- Better Print Speeds Are Available
The first and the only Samsung laser printer that we decided to bring in our list was an All in One laser printer. The Samsung M2885FW is a multi-functioning device that performs exceptionally fast. Using this beauty, you can print as many as 28 pages per minute, which is impressive.
What makes it even more impressive is how each one of those prints is of excellent quality whether it is text or image. A cherry on top is that you get all this and more for a very affordable price! Apart from printing speeds and quality of the print, the paper capacity is a major concern for all. Therefore, the Samsung laser printer can hold up to 250 sheets which is more than what many can offer.
Since Samsung is a company well versed in connectivity needs for today’s gadgets, they have left no stone unturned. You can establish a wired connection with Ethernet or USB, and you can also go wireless with NFC or Wi-Fi. For a small group of people working together, this is very suitable.
Moreover, it comes with a multipurpose tray for special printing although some might complain that it only holds one sheet at a time. But let’s be honest, many of the laser printers we tested didn’t even have the feature at all.
The one true problem area could be the control panel which isn’t as easy to use. We might also have bee biased because of the very user-friendly touchscreen of the HP laser printer above. Yet, such a good Samsung laser printer model should have had a better panel than this.
Last advice, if money is the deciding point, you can save a few bucks by choosing this Samsung laser printer over the Brother printer we discussed above.
- Good Print Quality
- Good Capacity and Speed
- Value For Money
- Control Panel Needs Improvement
- Basic Multipurpose Tray
Although our quest was for the best color laser printer, we have ventured out to all in one printer reviews as well. Thus, it made sense to include what we consider the best choice for best black and white printer as well. As a result, we tried out a number of monochrome printers and ended up with yet another Brother printer!
The HL-L2370DW is a compact laser printer that is suitable for home use or small offices. It is monochrome, so you will not be getting any colors out of it, but if you are only printing regular office material, color prints might not even be needed much. Moreover, you will like the rest of the features offered by the Brother laser printer too.
For instance, you get all connectivity solutions of the color laser printers like Ethernet, USB, Wi-Fi and Wi-Fi Direct. Also, since it clears out a lot of complexity by staying monochrome, the printing speeds are impressive at 33 pages per minute.
Not only that, the text printing quality of the laser printer was one of the finest that we came across all this time. Without the 1-pass color, graphics quality was nothing short of great. We all know how running costs can become a nightmare for extensive users. With this Brother printer model, you’re sure to save a few cents every time you hit print.
The bottom line is that if color prints aren’t your requirement, it gets you the most bang for your buck. At below 100 dollars, you can get your hands on above par text quality – at the cost of picture quality, of course.
- Very Affordable
- Good Connectivity Features
- Above Par Text Quality
- Monochrome Only
- Photo Quality Isn’t The Best
Color Laser Printer Buyer’s Guide
For the best laser printers that aren’t AIO models, good connectivity means having an Ethernet jack, Wi-Fi connectivity, NFC, a USB port and maybe even Wi-Fi Direct. This allows you to access the laser color printer according to your preference and even make prints on the go.
For an AIO model though, you should see a telephone connection interface if it has fax machine capabilities. If the All In One laser printer doesn’t have a fax, it will also have the same connectivity options as a simple laser printer. Some models, like the HP laser printer M254FW, also come with smart apps that assist not only in the setup but also in everyday use and over the air printing.
The running costs of an inkjet, in terms of cost per print, are usually higher. On the other hand, laser printers ask for a higher upfront cost of print in lieu of the toners, but when divided over the prints you get, the per page cost is much lower for laser-based printers.
For the usual office use (one without abnormally high daily printing jobs) this shouldn’t be a concern though. What’s more, the toners do not dry out in laser printers unlike the cartridges in inkjets.
Paper Capacity and Handling
Whether you need a heavy-duty laser printer or just a regular one is dependent on how much workload it will have to bear. Thus, it is important to see how many pages will you be printing at one time and for how long. This brings us to the next part: how much paper can the printer hold for bulk jobs?
Every printer has paper trays for the input as well as the output. You’ll see manufacturers boasting of a paper capacity ranging from 100 sheets to 300 sheets. Whether you should buy one with a 300 sheet capacity or not will depend on whether you are going to print 300 pages at the same time or not.
Then there are bypass trays where you can feed the printer special material for printing like envelopes. We call it an extra bonus that might or might not come in handy for you.
Value Adding Features
While traditionally the high-end color laser printers should simply be able to print accurate, fast and in bulk, there are other value-adding features being offered by companies. For instance, some models of Brother printers and HP laser printers now come with touchscreen interfaces that are much easier to set up and use.
Moreover, there are features like ADF (automatic document feeder) which allows the All In One printer to take control of multiple pages for faxing, copying and scanning. As a result, you do not need to feed each page to the scanner manually.
Some of us might want features like Duplexing where both sides of a single page can be printed, sometimes in one pass. Duplexing is also available in AIO models for faxing and scanning services.
It is natural that after spending hundreds of dollars on something that should have competed with the Brother MFC, you wouldn’t want the speed of a snail. Therefore, while buying yourself a cheap printer you should also consider how fast it is. For text printing, a laser printer will do better than an inkjet.
Even if we are not comparing specific to text printing, the speed of the color laser printers will be better than inkjets for frequent large jobs. Nonetheless, if the user isn’t going to be more than the usual office documentation, the speed difference will be nominal.
When buying color laser printers, you will see speeds written in PPM (prints per minute) and these range from 15 pages to more than 35 pages per minute.
What is the difference between an inkjet printer and a color laser printer?
The primary difference between the two types of printers is how each one of them performs the printing process. As the name suggests, an inkjet printer uses ink in the printing while a laser printer makes use of lasers for the same purpose.
Usability wise, the best inkjet will not be able to beat the color laser printers in terms of speed of printing. Also, the text is better with laser printers as you get accurate fonts that are readable to the smallest of sizes. Laser printers are also better for high volumes of work and are generally better priced for less complex tasks.
Inkjets on the other hand use water-based ink which is prone to getting smudgy down the line. Although they aren’t as expensive in upfront running costs as laser prints. Not at the everyday level, but great quality of photos is printed better with inkjets.
What are the types of laser printers? Which one should I buy?
In general, there are three categories: monochrome laser printers, color printers, and AIO printers. Monochrome are those that only produce black and white prints, and the Brother Printer HL-L2370DW is an example of this. Color printers are those that can print in mono as well as in color. Usually, 1-Pass Color technology is being used by such models where four different drums are used for each one of the CMYK colors.
AIO models or the All In One laser printers are a different thing altogether. They function not only as laser printers but also as a fax machine, a scanner, and a copier. Some of the best color laser printers are AIO models.
For the basic office needs even a monochrome model would do, although it is limiting which is why buying a 1-Pass Color laser printer is the right way to go in most cases. The best All in One printer for home use or office use will be expensive in comparison. Yet, it will do the job for multiple tasks. Such a solution is suitable only for offices where printing isn’t done extensively. Otherwise, you will not be able to make use of all its features as it will stay bound with the prints all the time.