Shopping for computers and accessories can be a complex project even if it's just for your own home. Things often feel exponentially more difficult when trying to scale the process to meet the needs of a small business. This is in large part because we use computers differently in the office than we would in our home.
The stark difference between home and office use is especially true of printers. Printers require us to carefully consider issues of ink supply, speed and a variety of other factors which don't matter as much for home use. So how do we pick the best printer for our small business? It's best to begin by looking at how printers work.
Top Rated Printers for Business of September 2021
Rating is 5 out of 5
HP PageWide Pro 477dw Color Multifunction Business Printer with Wireless & Duplex Printing (D3Q20A)
- HP PAGEWIDE TECHNOLOGY: Up to 40% lower cost per page and faster print speeds than color laser printers in their class, plus best-in-class total cost of ownership and energy efficiency.
- 120 DAY MONEY BACK GUARANTEE - Discover the power of HP PageWide Technology today at no risk. 120 day money back guarantee through HP directly. (Find 120 Day Guarantee program details within Technical Specifications section below). One-year limited hardware warranty; 24-hour, 7 days a week Web support
- UNRIVALED PRINT SPEED: Drive productivity with the fastest office printer in its class - first page out in as fast as 7 seconds & print up to 55 pages per minute in both color and black-and-white.
- SOLID SECURITY: Embedded security features monitor for and stop threats. Take immediate action with instant notification of security issues.
- PRINT, SCAN, COPY & MORE: Auto 2-sided duplex printing and scanning, copy, fax, wireless printing, Wi-Fi Direct, NFC touch-to-print technology, 4.3-inch color touchscreen, auto document feeder.
- IDEAL FOR SMALL BUSINESSES: 500-sheet paper input capacity, up to 4,500-page monthly volume, and up to 10 users for your workgroup.
Rating is 4.9 out of 5
Brother Business Color Laser Printer, HL-L8360CDW, Wireless Networking, Automatic Duplex Printing, Mobile Printing, Cloud printing, Amazon Dash Replenishment Ready
- HIGH-QUALITY COLOR PRINTING: The Brother HLL8360CDW can print professional color documents at speeds of up to 33 ppm.
- EASY CONNECTIVITY: Connect via wireless or Gigabit Ethernet network interfaces or wireless print from your mobile device(1).
- AUTOMATIC DUPLEX PRINTING: The Brother Color Laser Printer features an automatic 2-sided printing feature that can help save money and time.
- DASH REPLENISHMENT ENABLED: Upon activation, Dash Replenishment measures the toner level and orders more from when it’s low. Standard Memory (MB): 512
- BROTHER GENUINE TONERS: TN431: TN431BK, TN431C, TN431Y, TN431M, TN433: TN433BK, TN433C, TN433Y, TN433M, TN436: TN436, TN436BK, TN436C, TN436Y, TN436M
Rating is 4.8 out of 5
Brother MFC-L8900CDW Business Color Laser All-in-One Printer, Amazon Dash Replenishment Ready
- UNIT DIMENSIONS: 19.5" W x 20.7" D x 21.6" H | Unit Weight: 63.1 lbs
- ALL-IN-ONE SOLUTION: The Brother MFC-L8900CDW Color Laser All-in-One is an exceptional printer for businesses that require large print and copy volume
- BUSINESS PRINTING & COPYING: This printer increases productivity with print speeds up to 33 ppm and scan speeds for double-sided pages up to 58 IPM
- CONNECTIVITY: Built-in wireless 802. 11b/g/n and Gigabit Ethernet network interface allows for easy set up and sharing on a wireless or wired network; CPU (Processor) Speed (MHz): 800
- ADVANCED SCANNING: Wirelessly scan to mobile devices with the Brother iPrint & Scan or popular destinations including SharePoint and more.
- 5" COLOR TOUCHSCREEN: The 5" color touchscreen display offers easy navigation of the menu and creation of up to 64 customized shortcuts
- PRINT VOLUME: Features maximum monthly duty cycle of 60,000 printed pages with recommended monthly print volume up to 4,000 pages
Rating is 4.7 out of 5
HP Color LaserJet Pro Multifunction M479fdw Wireless Laser Printer with One-Year, Next-Business Day, Onsite Warranty, Works with Alexa (W1A80A)
- BUILT TO KEEP YOUR BUSINESS MOVING FORWARD – Print, scan, copy and fax, consistently high quality documents with the HP Color LaserJet Pro Multifunction M479fdw, a wireless printer designed to let you focus on growing your business
- BEST-IN-CLASS SECURITY – A suite of embedded security features, like instant threat notifications and optional PIN/Pull printing, help protect your color laser printer from being an entry point for attacks and help ensure the safety of your sensitive data
- AUTOMATE COMPLICATED WORKFLOWS - Help save time by automating all the steps in a complicated workflow, and apply your saved settings at a touch of a button via the customizable touch screen control panel
- PRINT WITH OR WITHOUT A NETWORK - Use built in Wi-Fi Direct to connect your smartphone directly to your wireless laser printer for easy mobile printing, even without a local network connection
- SPEED THROUGH TASKS – Stay productive with single pass, 2 sided scanning, 50 sheet auto document feeder, 250 sheet input tray, and print speeds of up to 28 pages per minute from this laser printer
- ENHANCED ENERGY EFFICIENCY - Designed with the environment in mind, the HP Color LaserJet Pro MFP M479fdw saves up to 18% energy over prior products, with technologies that help reduce paper waste
Rating is 4.6 out of 5
HP PageWide Pro 577dw Color Multifunction Business Printer with Wireless & Duplex Printing (D3Q21A)
- Low color cost: Print, copy, scan, and fax professional documents and vivid graphics with the HP PageWide Pro 577dw Multifunction Printer, for low color cost per page
- Easy mobile printing: Use built-in Wi-Fi Direct or NFC touch-to-print technology to connect your smartphone directly to your printer for easy mobile printing, even without a local network connection
- Fast print speeds: Drive productivity forward with print speeds up to 70 ppm and the fastest first-page printing in its class
- Manage tasks quickly and easily: Manage tasks from a 4.3" touchscreen, and scan digital files directly to email, network folders, and the cloud
- Unparalleled security and management: Help secure your confidential information with built-in security essentials like PIN printing and secure code integrity validation, and help reduce printing costs with HP Color Access Control
- A new level of wireless connectivity you can count on: Get a stable, reliable wireless connection with this multifunction printer's built-in dual band Wi-Fi, and print without a network using Wireless Direct
Rating is 4.5 out of 5
Canon Office and Business MB5120 All-in-One Printer, Scanner, Copier and Fax, with Mobile and Duplex Printing, Model:0960C002
- Print Features: AirPrint, Auto Duple Printing, Canon Print App, Google Cloud Printing, Microsoft Mobile Print, and Moria Device Printing, 250 Sheet Paper Capacity.
- Copy Features: Single Pass 2-sided Copying and ID card copying.Power Consumption (approx.) : 27.0W Copying (0.9W Standby)
- Scan Features: Single Pass 2-sided Scanning, Push Scan, Scan to Memory(USB Flash Memory), Network Scan, Scan to Cloud, Scan to Concur, and Scan to Network Folder
- WHAT'S IN THE BOX: MB5120 Printer, Setup CD-ROM, Full Set of Ink Tanks and Power Cord, Telephone Line Cable
Rating is 4.4 out of 5
Canon Office and Business MB5420 Wireless All-in-One Printer,Scanner, Copier and Fax, with Mobile and Duplex Printing , black , desktop
- Save time with single pass duplex scanning and copying, by scanning both sides of 2-Sided documents simultaneously
- Be ready to print in as little as 6 seconds from power on with Quick First Print
- By using XL ink tanks MAXIFY printers feature a Low Cost per Print with a High Page Yield that can save you money by delivering a high volume of prints from one set of ink tanks
- With a 30, 000 page peak Monthly Duty Cycle, the MAXIFY MB5420 is built to last for all your business needs.
Rating is 4.3 out of 5
HP Color LaserJet Pro Multifunction M479fdn Laser Printer with One-Year, Next-Business Day, Onsite Warranty, Works with Alexa (W1A79A) – Built-in Ethernet
- BUILT TO KEEP YOUR BUSINESS MOVING FORWARD – Ethernet only Print, scan, copy and fax consistently high-quality documents with the HP color LaserJet Pro Multifunction M479fdn, A color laser printer designed to let you focus on growing your business
- BEST-IN-CLASS SECURITY – A suite of embedded security features, like instant threat notifications and optional Pin/pull printing, help protect your color laser printer from being an entry point for attacks and help ensure the safety of your sensitive data
- AUTOMATE COMPLICATED WORKFLOWS - help save time by automating steps in a complicated workflow, and apply your saved settings at a touch of a button via the customizable touchscreen control panel
- WALK-UP USB PRINTING – Print Microsoft office-formatted files in addition to PDFs right off your USB drive, using a port on the front of the printer, and save paper with automatic 2-sided printing
- SPEED THROUGH TASKS – stay productive with single-pass, 2-sided scanning, 50-sheet auto document feeder, 250-sheet input tray, and Print speeds of up to 28 pages per minute from this Laser printer.
- ENHANCED ENERGY EFFICIENCY - designed with the environment in mind, the HP color LaserJet Pro MFP M479fdn saves up to 18% energy over prior products, with technologies that help reduce paper waste
Rating is 4.2 out of 5
Brother HL-L8260CDW Business Color Laser Printer, Duplex Printing, Flexible Wireless Networking, Mobile Device Printing, Advanced Security Features – Amazon Dash Replenishment Ready
- BUSINESS COLOR PRINTING: The Brother HL-L8260CDW Laser Printer delivers exceptional copies at print speeds of up to 33ppm without compromising quality. The multipurpose tray capacity is 50 sheets, output paper capacity is 150 sheets.
- DIMENSIONS: 16.1" W x 19.1" D x 12.3" H
- AUTOMATIC DUPLEX PRINTING: Print two-sided pages with automatic duplex printing, produce professional double-sided copies, presentations and brochures
- FLEXIBLE CONNECTIVITY: Built-in Ethernet and wireless network interface capabilities allows wireless printing from your mobile device.
- COST-EFFECTIVENESS: Reduce operating costs by using Brother Genuine high-yield toner cartridges that can produce 4,500 black and 4,000 color prints
- DASH REPLENISHMENT ENABLED: Upon activation, Dash Replenishment measures the toner level and orders more from when it’s low
What are printers and how do they work?
You might think that a printer's functionality is fairly self-explanatory. A printer prints - right? It's true that the end result of most printers is fairly similar. All computer printers are essentially taking digital information and converting it to an analog form through the use of ink. But the actual mechanics of the process differ tremendously between different types of printers. Along with those different types of functionality, we'll also see different benefits or detriments for office use. The two types of printers in common use within office environments are the inkjet and laser printers.
An inkjet printer's functionality is well described by its name. It essentially functions by spraying small jets of ink out of a nozzle. An inkjet will typically have hundreds of nozzles throughout its main body. The printer's nozzles are positioned by a combination of the main computer system and the printer's own microprocessor in order to line up with the digitized information. When nozzles are properly positioned they'll be heated by a tiny electrical charge. The ink expands in reaction to the electrically generated heat. And this expansion results in a jet of ink that leaps onto the printer's paper supply. When ink is released it will create a vacuum. This effectively draws more ink into the nozzle so that it'll be ready when needed.
Laser printers have an equally evocative name. However, it's something of a misnomer. Laser printers aren't actually writing information onto paper by directing lasers at it. Instead, laser printers are using a dryer, more granular, type of ink than inkjet printers.
Laser printers might be better described as static electricity printers. A laser printer positions itself in a similar way to an inkjet printer. It then creates a charge of static electricity using something called a photoreceptor drum. A laser is used to essentially trace the needed form onto the photoreceptor drum. This creates a compatible charge between the paper and the ink in the form specified by the laser. Static electricity then propels the special laser toner based powdered ink onto the paper.
How to choose the right printer for your Small Businesses?
It's also important to take a moment to consider just how you're planning to use printers in your small business. One of the most significant points involves exactly what you're printing. Will you be printing images or text? Will you have a heavy print load that requires speed or is quality more important? Do you need scanning, copying and faxing services on your printer? The answers to these questions will largely determine what the best printer is for your needs.
Inkjet vs. Laser: Which printer is right for Small Businesses?
Both inkjet and laser printers are fine choices for most small businesses. However, the criteria we've looked at so far can make one or the other more appealing. If you're mainly planning to use the printer to print images then an inkjet is usually the best option. Inkjet printers tend to produce color combinations that are slightly, but significantly, truer to the original image.
However, laser printers shine in the opposite usage scenario. A laser printer will typically handle plain text with black ink in a more efficient way than inkjet printers. It isn't just about speed and clarity either. Laser printers also provide crisper detail with text. This is especially true for smaller fonts that require more detail.
Laser printers also scale to larger volume loads better than inkjet printers. A laser printer comes with an innate speed advantage. And if you're using a laser printer then it also suggests a focus on black ink over color. This will also give you a nice boost in overall speed and efficiency.
Both models have you covered for extra features. Features like copying and faxing technically put both types of printers into a special category known as MFP. MFP being an acronym for multifunction printers. MFP capabilities are quite common these days and are well-represented with both laser and inkjet printers.
All of this can be summarized down to a single question. Is your company focusing on a smaller amount of color printing jobs that focus on photographs? Or does your company focus on larger amounts of printing jobs that are mostly focusing on plain text? If you're mainly working with color then inkjet printers are typically the best option. And if you're working with plain text then laser printers will typically be the best fit for your small business.