2023 Best Printers in India – Top List Ranked & Reviewed
Last Updated September 19, 2023
When selecting a printer, consider factors such as printer type (LaserJet or inkjet), image quality, size and speed, ease of use, connectivity options, paper handling, price, warranty, and user reviews. In this comprehensive guide, we will evaluate and rank the best printers available in the market, enabling you to make an informed decision that meets your needs and maximizes productivity.
Best Printers in India – Ideal for Home and Students usage (All-in-one)
Best Printers for Home office and Heavy Usage
Best Photo Printers for leisure and image printing
Important Features and Types of Printers You Can Buy – Comprehensive Buying Guide
Over the years, printer technology has continuously been evolving rapidly. The days of dot matrix printers are gone, and we now have more flexible and easy-to-use computer printers available on the market today. Due to the availability of various types of printers – ranging from pint-sized portable printers to gigantic office printers that can copy, scan, collate, staple, fax, and perform even more tasks – purchasing a printer can be too complicated, especially for people that have little to no knowledge of printer types and the majority of functions printers can perform. If you are thinking of purchasing a printer and do not know how to go about it because you are confused or don’t know which one is best for you, this article will make that task easy for you.
When choosing a printer, the gag is to look at the different categorizations based on the place of use (home or office), printer technology (inkjet or LaserJet), the purpose of use (single function or multifunction printers), monochrome or color, number of users, and other general purposes. These classifications will give you a better idea of the factors to consider ahead of your printer purchase, whether you are a first-time buyer or not.
So, what are the different types of printers?
The inkjet printer is the most common in homes and offices today due to its relatively cheap purchase cost. Inkjet printers, like the name implies, usually print in color using multiple color ink cartridges. They work by forcing ink through holes in a printhead. They can produce both high-quality photo printouts and black and white colored documents. And their photo quality is always superior to what is obtainable using laser printers.
Typically, HP uses twin cartridges for its inkjet printers, in which one cartridge is for color ink while the other is for black ink. On the other hand, RGB inkjet printers mix up primary colors red, green, and blue. Then CMYK printers blend cyan, yellow, black, and magenta.
While inkjet printers are affordable to purchase, you must have it at the back of your mind that from time to time, you will have to spend money on refilling cartridge ink and other minor maintenance, depending on how much printing you do.
Also known as laser printer, the LaserJet printer is relatively faster than the inkjet printer, and it produces higher quality, sharp, crisp text on paper. Unlike the inkjet printer that prints using ink, the LaserJet printer runs on laser, LED, or solid ink. The print style is similar to that of a photocopier. The toner is transferred through an electrostatic drum to the paper to give the print impression expected.
Apart from print quality, another edge the LaserJet has over the inkjet category is that while inkjets print on paper one line at a time, laser printers apply large portions of ink on the page at once, hence the faster printout time, which is why it is the better fit for busy offices with high print volumes. Many LaserJet printers are monochrome (black and white). Still, some color laser printers offer color printing of graphics, photos, texts, etc.
LaserJet printers are usually more expensive than inkjet printers. Still, it is advisable to go for a laser printer if you can afford it because their toner cartridges are ultimately cheaper for large volume jobs, so refill time is longer. Therefore, you will inadvertently spend less than using an inkjet printer that runs on ink cartridges. In other words, the purchasing cost of a printer should not just be the sticker price, and it is more cost-effective to spend more money upfront on a laser printer because you are assured of a lower cost per page.
Monochrome and Colored Printers
Most printers come with a monochrome (black and white) printability. However, if you work from home, work more with texts and fewer photos, or your work throws printouts in the trash due to redundancy, you might want to opt for monochrome printers. Monochrome printers only print in black and white and are best for texts and graphics.
However, some printers come with a color function, and they are suitable for high-quality photos and graphics. As such, if you deal with more pictures than texts, you should definitely consider colored printers for the best results.
While many printers available on the market can only be used to print and nothing more (they are called single-function printers), there is another category of printers that offers more than just printing on paper. These printers are called multifunction printers (MFP) or all-in-one printers. Asides from printing, these printers usually come with the ability to print, copy, scan, and fax.
One of the pros of purchasing a multifunction printer is that it helps you save money since it can combine several functions. For example, if you need a scanner or photocopy machine, purchasing an MFP will help you save money, as you will print, copy and scan successfully on it.
If you work from home or run a small or medium scale business, save the money of buying separate devices and the space they will occupy in your home or office by getting an all-in-one printer. Surprisingly, there are many affordable multifunction printers out there for you to choose from.
While the types of printers aforementioned are for general purposes or use, the next categories of printers are for particular purposes or unusual needs such as printing labels, photos, and mobile printing. Hence, they are called Specialty Printers.
Are you a busy person that would like to print on the go, or have you ever needed to print a document urgently at a time when there were no other available options? Then this type of printer should interest you! Portable printers offer you printing that is as portable as your laptop computer. Interestingly, some print wirelessly from mobile devices, some print at A4 size, while others print at a smaller size. While they are all mobile and light-weighted, some come with rechargeable batteries, some use standard batteries, and others run when they are plugged into a power outlet.
While many of these portable printers allow you to print remotely and just about anywhere, a device like the HP Sprocket 2-in-1 Camera Printer even eliminates the need for another device to take a picture of the document or photo you want to print. In short, it lets you take, edit, and print using just one gadget.
If you do most of your printing work at home or the office, it might not be necessary for you to purchase a portable printer.
Since many document printers and MFPs come with unique printing modes for labels and envelopes, you are probably wondering why there are still label printers available. While these regular printers can do the job, they cannot print and attach labels as neatly and correctly as a designated label printer. Hand-held label printers are also available to help you tag items of your own. For example, suppose you have a bottle of drink on you before entering a supermarket. In that case, their staff might put a label on it to let anyone who sees it understand that you didn’t buy it in the supermarket— a hand-held label printer prints such a label.
People who work in supply chain management, retail price marking systems, and packaging will find this printer handy.
Photo printers are also called Photosmart printers. These kinds of printers are built to print photos only, so you can expect optimum photo quality – even more than what you can get from a multifunction printer. They come in different types and resolutions. For example, many can print high-quality 4×6 or 5×7 prints even while printing straight from the camera.
Just like laptops and other devices, photo printers come in low-end and high-end categories. The low-end photo printer is for casual users; in contrast, for photography amateurs or professionals, high-end photo printers are required – though both of them are usually portable. So, if you are into photography or graphics design, low-end photo printers like a portable snapshot printer won’t do the job for you. Instead, a near-dedicated high-end photo printer is what you need. These inkjets sometimes come with about 12 ink tanks for more color options during production, and they also print in large formats up to 13×19, or even banner-size printing.
Thermal printers, as the name implies, runs on heat. The printer uses a special heat-sensitive paper to print an image. Typically, these kinds of printers are used for calculations, fax, or ATMs. The print quality obtainable is somewhat inferior to what you can get from several other printers. In terms of cost, thermal printers come cheap, and for some, you can print wirelessly from your smartphone.
When printing on both sides of a paper using most printers, you insert the paper, the printer prints on a page, and then flip over to the other side for the printer to complete the printing process. This process can be stressful and time-consuming if you work with a bulk of printed documents daily at your office. However, duplex printers will print on both sides of a paper automatically without you having to be present to flip different sides of the paper.
Duplex printing lets you run double-sided printing even with faster output. There are both manual and automatic duplex printers.
3D printers are slowly becoming the future printing technology. They are specialized printers that can produce 3D objects and products using high-quality resin. Whether you want to print medical devices or car part in 3D and have all the details highlighted in the printout, or you are into medical research, with needs ranging from bioprinting to tissue engineering, a 3D printer will help you convey all the image representation you intend to have as a print – even to the tiniest of details.
How to Find the Best Printer for You
Now that you are familiar with the various types of printers and their functions, let’s delve into the factors to consider when purchasing a printer.
LaserJet or Inkjet?
While we have established that LaserJet and inkjet printers are similar in terms of functions and there is not much difference in the cost of purchase these days, you still need to decide the kind of ink you want to use. You can choose between ink cartridges or toners, as they vary in prices.
If your job or requirement is more focused on printing images, such as being a design company in need of high-quality pictures to showcase to clients, a photographer who needs the best prints of their work for advertising purposes, or a book publishing company that incorporates high-quality images in their publications, you need to prioritize printers that support high-end image printing. Using a printer that falls short in image quality could be counterproductive to your business goals.
Size and Speed
When assessing your needs, it is essential to consider the volume of paper you need to print. The more printing you require, the more important it is to consider fast printers. Printing speed is crucial, especially when there is an expected number of outputs per time. For example, if your work involves extensive printing, opting for a LaserJet printer over an inkjet printer might be preferable due to its faster printout time. However, it’s important to be cautious because selecting a faster printer might compromise image resolution. Therefore, look for printers that can maintain good resolutions even at optimum speed unless you can compromise quality for speed.
Size is another critical factor to consider when purchasing a printer. The size of your printer will determine the maximum image size you can print. As a businessperson, the demands of your customers will likely influence the size of printer you should get. Additionally, consider your specific work demands if you are purchasing a printer for office work or homework. For example, if you often print on canvas, it is necessary to choose a wide-format printer.
Note that when determining the size of your printer, you should also take into account the available space in your office or home.
Ease of Use
Before making a purchase, it’s vital to consider the individuals who will be operating the printer. If the printer will be used by people who are not particularly tech-savvy, it is advisable to choose a printer that doesn’t require advanced technical skills. User-friendliness is crucial to prevent frustrations and facilitate easy troubleshooting when issues arise. Consider factors such as whether the printer allows easy loading and unloading of media, whether the control panel is easily navigable, and whether the printer driver is straightforward to set up and use.
The connectivity options offered by a printer should align with your preferences and needs. If you value smart or wireless connections and want the ability to print from your mobile device, send documents to your printer over a network, or print on the go, you should opt for printers that support wireless connectivity.
On the other hand, if you are not concerned about dealing with wires and cables when connecting your computer to your printer or are not interested in wireless connectivity, you can choose regular printer types. This decision is entirely based on personal preference.
Consider making a list of the types of papers and media you commonly use for printing. The type of paper you use will help determine the best printer for your needs. For example, if your work involves printing on photo paper, you will need a different printer than someone whose job only requires printing on regular blank sheets of paper. Additionally, paper sizes will also affect your decision-making process. You don’t want to end up with a printer that cannot accommodate the paper sizes you commonly use. Smaller printers are suitable for small-sized papers, while larger printers are designed for bigger paper sizes.
Media thickness is another factor to consider. Check the specifications of a printer to determine the paper thickness it can handle or cannot handle.
Ultimately, the main reason for considering various printer options is to find one that aligns with your budget. Once you have established your needs and other relevant factors, the next step is to highlight printers that can serve your purpose without breaking the bank.
Additionally, it is important to factor in downtime costs when evaluating prices. For example, if your printer breaks down and you need to send it to a major retailer for repair, you will be without a printer for a certain period and will incur costs to print elsewhere. If possible, consider purchasing your printer from a local dealer to save on potential downtime costs. Additionally, take into account the costs of replacing inks and cartridges when selecting the brand you would like to buy.
Duplex printing refers to the ability to print on both sides of a paper. If you frequently need to print double-sided documents, it’s beneficial to choose a printer that offers automatic duplex printing. This feature can save time, paper, and resources.
Print resolution determines the level of detail and sharpness in printed documents or images. If you require high-quality prints with fine details, look for printers with higher print resolutions, usually measured in dots per inch (DPI). A higher DPI value indicates better print quality.
The duty cycle of a printer refers to the number of pages it can handle per month without experiencing any issues or excessive wear. It is essential to match the printer’s duty cycle with your expected print volume to ensure reliable performance. Select a printer that can handle your intended workload comfortably.
Consider the long-term operating costs associated with the printer. This includes the cost of ink or toner cartridges and their estimated yield (number of pages they can print). Some printers may have lower upfront costs but higher ongoing expenses due to expensive consumables. Evaluate the cost-effectiveness of the printer over time.
Brand and Warranty
Research different printer brands and their reputation for reliability, customer support, and after-sales service. Look for printers that come with a warranty, as it provides protection and peace of mind in case of any defects or issues.
Software and Features
Assess the software compatibility and additional features offered by the printer. Some printers come with advanced software that enhances printing capabilities, such as built-in editing tools, mobile printing apps, or cloud printing support. Evaluate whether these features align with your specific needs.
Consider the energy efficiency of the printer. Look for printers with energy-saving features like automatic sleep mode, low power consumption, or Energy Star certification. Energy-efficient printers can help reduce electricity costs and have a positive environmental impact.
User Reviews and Recommendations
Before making a final decision, read user reviews and seek recommendations from trusted sources or online communities. Real-world experiences and feedback from other users can provide valuable insights into the reliability, performance, and overall satisfaction with a particular printer model.
In the end, choosing the right printer can be challenging. The best approach is to compare brands and models, and select a printer that meets most of your expectations. While finding the perfect printer may be impossible, you can always find one that comes close to meeting your requirements. Simply follow the guide above and good luck with your printer search!