The best inkjet printers for 2019

From photos to tax returns, versatile inkjet printers have you covered

dt best of 150 dishwashers

Inkjet printers are incredibly versatile. Besides text documents, many can also print photos — some can even make museum-quality prints — labels, graphics, and many other types of materials. Multifunction (all-in-one or MFP) variants add scan, copy, and fax, making them ideal for small office/home office environments.

After reviewing dozens of inkjet printers from across the market, we’re ready to make a few recommendations for the top spot. The best inkjet printer is the Canon Maxify MB420, but we also have a few other favorites you should take a look at.

Best inject printers at a glance

The best overall inkjet printer: Canon Maxify MB5420

Why we picked the Canon’s Maxify MB5420:

Inkjet printers offer many advantages, but traditionally speed hasn’t been one of them. Not anymore: The newest printers designed for the small office/home office are capable of making fast, quality prints, and one terrific option is Canon’s Maxify MB5420.

The MB5420 is large, but it’s designed to support a multi-person office – up to nine employees, according to Canon. The company claims a page print speed of 24 images per minute for black and white or 15.5 for color. In our tests, we achieved 22.2 and 10, respectively, which we find to be in-line with Canon’s rated speed. The printer also supports one-pass duplex printing, and ink cartridges have high yields.

More importantly, the prints are excellent, particularly with color. Although it isn’t a photo printer, the MB5420 could handle the task when we printed on photo paper. Don’t look at the MB5420 solely as an office product. If you have a household that prints often, the MB5420 is suitable for that environment too. But if it’s overkill for your needs, check out the Maxify MB5120.

Read our full Canon’s Maxify MB5420 review

The best inkjet photo printer: Epson SureColor P400

Epson Surecolor P400 review
Ted Needleman/Digital Trends

Why we picked the SureColor P400:

Color optimization, accuracy, and seven color inks combine (literally) to make one of the best photo and image printers available. This wireless printer can handle roll paper (up to 13 inches wide) and printable discs as well as more traditional printing materials. It’s a great fit for the dedicated artist that is intent on going professional — or already has a small business and wants a better way to print materials for sale.

It’s also significantly less expensive than its cousin, the P600, making the printer a better option for artists on a budget. Of course, you do have to give up a few things too. Instead of a color touchscreen, the printer uses a strip of basic controls and alerts that might take a little learning before you understand how everything works.

A quick word on accuracy and colors: Epson calls the printer an “8-color” printer, but it’s more complicated than that. There are seven color ink cartridges including matte black and photo black cartridges, plus cyan, magenta, yellow, red, and orange. Then there’s the “gloss optimizer” cartridge, which isn’t really a color but adds — you guessed it — better gloss effect.

Read our full SureColor P400 review

The best all-in-one inkjet printer: Canon Pixma TR8520

best inkjet printers canon  pixma tr8520

Why we picked the Canon Pixma TR8520:

Despite its size, this Pixma model can handle an amazing amount of tasks. It can fax, print wireless, fax, scan, print business cards, print photos, copy, and print double-sided on demand. Welcome Pixma features like a large 4.3-inch touchscreen and memory card slot are also welcome features. You can connect devices wirelessly via Bluetooth or a number of Wi-Fi Direct services, including AirPrint and Google Cloud Print.

The printer offers a five-ink printing system with options for both front and rear loading, plus a 20-sheet ADF. If you need a 4-in-1 printer for a home office or similar setup, we highly recommend this model, especially at this price! However, note that you will need to plug in a telephone cable for fax capabilities even while the internet connection is wireless, which may limit where you can put this printer. Fortunately, the compact size helps this Pixma fit in all kinds of places.

The best office inkjet printer: HP PageWide Pro 577dw

Why we picked the PageWide Pro 577dw:

If speed is what you’re after, then your search ends with HP’s PageWide technology. Technically, the 577dw is not an inkjet printer in the traditional sense, but it shares certain traits like ink and quality. The big difference is that unlike an inkjet printer, which has a print head that travels back and forth across a sheet of paper, PageWide uses a stationary print head. This allows the machine to print up to 50 pages per minute in either black or color – HP claims it delivers the fastest speeds and a 40-percent reduction in color printing versus color laser printers. We find the PageWide printers to deliver on stated speed and quality.

Like an inkjet printer, the 577dw uses a four-color ink tank system that’s easy to replace. HP rates page yield at 13,000 for color and 17,000 for black-and-white; it also supports for large-capacity (XL) cartridges. Besides Wi-Fi and Ethernet, the machine handles Wi-Fi Direct for peer-to-peer and NFC connections, as well as Apple AirPrint and Google Cloud Print. Security features let you monitor usage as well as ensuring it isn’t breached by unauthorized users. Need more paper storage? The 577dw supports optional paper trays.

The 577dw is a multifunction device (print, scan, copy, fax). If you don’t need the extras, downgrade to a single-function model like the PageWide Pro 552dw, which offers the same printer performance. The 577dw, however, is designed for office use and carries a price to match, so for many users it’s expensive, and the speed is probably overkill.

The best budget inkjet printer: Canon Pixma iP8720

Why we picked the Canon Pixma iP8720:

Our tests found that the Pixma iP8720 had excellent print quality that made it suitable for both photos and everyday printing at home or the small office. However, two additional features really make this model stand out. First, the price is highly affordable for the quality printing that this model brings to the table. If you need an inkjet printer that can do a great job but have a limited budget, Canon has you covered.

Second, this Pixma model is notable for accommodating print sizes up to 13 x 19-inches, unusual for a printer in this class. That makes this six-color printer ideal for creating larger flyers and sheets as well as more typical printer jobs. It’s also pleasantly compact for a printer that can handle larger projects.

The Pixma can connect with Wi-Fi or cable as you need, and the tray can hold 120 sheets of normal paper. Performances clocks in around 14.5 ppm in black and 1.04 ppm in color.

Read our full review of the Canon Pixma iP8720

Research and buying tips

What is an inkjet printer?

An inkjet printer has one of the simplest printer designs, based on spraying fast-drying, wet inks onto paper. The printer is made of a print head that holds various ink cartridges and sprays that ink in tightly controlled patterns based on the printing job. The ink is directed through very tiny nozzles called jets. This ink is usually ionized, which allows it to be easily manipulated by magnetic plates for more accurate direction and control.

What the advantages and disadvantages of an inkjet printer?

The simple design of inkjet printers makes them more affordable than many alternatives, and quite durable. The wet ink is always ready to go, which means start-up times are very quick, and with enough ink colors in the printer it can produce very accurate photo prints. These features all make inkjet printers very popular options for home printers.

However, inkjets have their limitations. Their ink can be expensive and they aren’t very fast printers for large projects. Additionally, inkjet printers depend more on their paper for quality production than other kinds of printers, so you need high-quality, heavier paper for the best results.

Which printer has the cheapest ink?

Printer ink prices can vary based on things like printer efficiency and ink delivery. Inkjet cartridges, for example, may be cheaper to buy one at a time, but they also run out (or dry out) faster than many other options. Laser printers, on the other hand, use bulkier and more expensive toner cartridges, but these cartridges are very efficient. Over the span of several years—assuming the printers are used equally—laser printers will have cheaper ink options.

If you are comparing only inkjet printers, look for recent printer models from brands famous for the quality, and compare the specs of model vs. model to find out more. Canon and Epson printers usually have some of the most efficient ink cartridges.

Which printer brand is the best?

We find that Canon and Epson printers tend to be the most durable and have some great feature sets –HP also has some excellent printers, particularly for small businesses. However, it’s always a good idea to compare printer models one-on-one to see what the specifications are and how they differ.

Which is better, inkjet or laser printers?

That depends what you’re working on! Inkjet printers make great choices for homes and small businesses, especially if you aren’t printing many documents (an easy thing, in our age of digital paperwork). The high-end inkjet printers also have great color reproduction and DPI, which makes them good choices for photographers. Laser printers are designed more for offices with large printing needs that will be printing high-volume orders fairly frequently.

For more on what to look for in a printer, check out our Home Printer Buying Guide.

Product Review

The Asus ProArt PA90's steam-engine design speeds past the trash can Mac Pro

It may try to fill the void left by Apple’s aging Mac Pro, but don’t call Asus’ compact ProArt PA90 workstation a trash can. Though this desktop takes inspiration from the Mac Pro’s minimalist design, it brings its own steam…

Get those photos off your phone and on your wall with these printing options

Have you been looking around for the best place to print out your favorite photos online or in store? Don't fret, we've pored through dozens of options and narrowed it down to the seven best.

The best printers money can buy, from Canon and Brother to Epson and HP

No matter how much of life moves into the digital space, there's always a place for physical documents, and thus printers. We've rounded up some of the best printers around, so you can find one that suits your needs.

Tablet or notebook? Our favorite 2-in-1 PCs give you the best of both worlds

If you can’t decide if you need a tablet or a notebook, then don’t bother. The best 2-in-1 laptops are both, and they can provide all the power you need. Check out our list for the best 2-in-1s for any user.
Smart Home

The best smart thermostats let you stay cool without wasting money

The right thermostat can do more than just adjust the temperature of your home, it can also learn about you and help you save money. Check out our picks for the best smart thermostats on the market right now.

An all-new, redesigned 16-inch MacBook Pro could launch in September

More news has surfaced that Apple’s redesigned 16-inch MacBook Pro could arrive this year at the company’s September event, featuring an all-new design and high-resolution display.

Apple has a plan to save Mac gaming, but it’s not the one you want

The Mac isn’t known for being a game-friendly platform, but Apple hopes to change that in the coming months and years. The thing is, its plan may not be quite what you were hoping for if you’re a Mac gamer.

Powerful upgrades turn 4th-gen Raspberry Pi into a more capable $35 desktop

The Raspberry Pi 4 is the most powerful Raspberry Pi incarnation to date, making it an even more capable alternative to your desktop PC. Equipped with a more powerful processor, this desktop could be yours starting at $35.

The MacOS Catalina public beta is live. Here’s how to download it

Apple's latest MacOS update, known as Catalina, is finally available for developer preview, which means if you're willing to pay a little for the privilege, you can be one of the first to try it out.

MacOS Catalina has arrived. Here are the 5 best features you can use right now

As of Monday, June 24, Apple has released the public beta of its newest MacOS, Catalina. Here are the five best features to expect from MacOS Catalina, including the trio of apps expected to replace iTunes.

Apple iPad with Wi-Fi and cellular gets $80 price cut on Amazon ahead of Prime Day

Apple iPads are getting a piece of the Amazon Prime Day action in the weeks leading up to July 15. Now on Amazon ahead of Prime Day, score your 32GB Apple iPad (Wi-Fi + cellular) for just $379, down from $459.

Amazon’s back-to-college store drops deals on refurbished items before Prime Day

Buying refurbished is a great way to save money, and Amazon has a ton of deals right now. While there's hundreds of Amazon refurbished items on the site, we've found 20 items that we think both college students and parents might be…

The Dell G5587 Nvidia GTX 1060 gaming laptop just dropped to $799 at Walmart

Gone are the days when you had to spend a grand or more to get a great gaming laptop. PC makers like Dell are cranking out some excellent and affordable machines today like the Dell G5587, which is on sale right now for just $799.

Amazon Prime Day 2019: Official start date and the best deals so far

Amazon Prime Day 2019 is going to be on July 15 and July 16. We've been taking a look at the best discounts from previous Prime Days to give you our predictions of what this massive 2-day event will entail.