Welcome to this guide to the best printers for students. We will take a look at the best printer options for students and investigate all the features available including instant ink subscriptions and ink cartridges, scan and copy, wi-fi, running costs, double-sided printing, print quality and then see which is the best printer.
Printers used to be a must-have PC accessory for every household, but now they tend only to be used by those working or studying for home. Whilst this does mean there’s less choice than perhaps you’d hope for, there’s still plenty about to pick from.
But which printer is for you? Let Student Discount Squirrel help in our best student printer guide:
Best Student Printers – The Results
Here is a summary of which printer for students is the best for each individual instance.
Best Cartridgeless Printer
Best Monochrome (Black and White) Printer
Best Cheap Printer
Best Printer That Copies
Best Premium Printer
Best Eco Printer
Here is a more detailed description of these printers plus some more for students to consider. Enjoy our best student printers guide.
EPSON EcoTank Wireless Printer – £199.99, Currys PC World
You flinched at that price tag, didn’t you? It may not seem like an obvious Student Discount Squirrel recommendation on that alone, but let us explain how this can actually save money.
The two hundred quid is actually great value for money for medium to heavy usage because it lasts so long. The EPSON EcoTank is cartridge-free, so there’s no faffing about with traditional printer instant ink cartridges.
Instead, the tank is filled with ink already and there’s up to 4,500 B&W pages and 7,500 colour pages worth in there to start, so that’s three years’ worth of printing for the average user!
The equivalent on a traditional printer would be 88 cartridges, so you’re making a great cost-saving, as well time and effort. The printer also functions as a scanner as required, and is wireless, so you can print from your mobile, tablet or laptop at the click of a button and so can anyone else on the same WiFi network.
Best Printer Summary: This inkjet printer for students may initially seem expensive, however, it’s a great investment as you’ll get your money back as it’s so efficient at printing and has laser printer quality. Part of the Epson Expression range making it one of the best printers. Available from Currys.BUY PRINTER >
HP LaserJet Pro Monochrome Wireless Printer – £119.99, Currys PC World
Super speedy, the HP LaserJet Pro can print up to 30 pages a minute with a 250-page input, so even the biggest of projects can be tackled quickly.
The HP Smart App can be installed onto your phone, tablet or laptop for wireless printing as well as to order more toner when the printer begins to run low.
The HP LaserJet Pro is black and white only, but this is more environmentally friendly, and cheaper than colour printing anyway, so is a great option if you don’t need other shades and hues.
Best Student Printer Summary: If it’s speed you need and black and white laser printer only, then this HP Laser printer is for you. A best printer contender.
CANON Pixma Wireless Printer – £39.98, Currys PC World
There are no two ways about it, the CanonPixma is an absolute bargain!
Sub £40, it can scan and photocopy as well as print, and is WiFi connected to print without wires.
What’s more, it comes with two sets of high-quality CANON Pixma print cartridges in the box, so it’s ready for action right away. The surface is scratch-resistant and hard-wearing (perfect for hectic workloads) and can be set up out of the box in just minutes.
Best Printer Summary: This Canon Pixma is a real winner as a student printer. It’s an inkjet printer, has instant ink features and for the price, you can’t go wrong. It will print, scan and copy too and makes a great printer for students! Optional ink subscription service too.GET PRINTER >
HP ENVY 5020 Wireless Printer – £49.99, Currys PC World
The HP ENVY, like the Canon Pixma, is another wireless option and takes the minimalist approach to paper; automatically printing everything double-sided to minimise waste and time.
The HP App allows you to scan documents with your phone to print straight out, both text docs and photos. The ENVY comes with boxes of instant ink but also works to automatically order replacement cartridges when you run low.
HP Instant Ink works as a subscription programme and begins with a 100-day free trial.
Best Printer Summary: This is one of the best printers for the money. Affordable yet packed with functions such as scan and copy. One of the best printers to look at. We like the instant ink subscription service too.VIEW AT CURRYS >
HP ENVY 7830 Wireless Printer – £129, AO.com
The undisputed older brother of the ENVY 5020, the 7830 has all of the features above (including the free trial to the HP Instant Ink subscription scheme) plus more!
The large touchscreen on the printer offers all controls at the touch of a button and offers copying and scanning alongside printing.
Best Printer Summary: Great for ink cartridges, scan and copy features too, if you have a bigger budget then this is one of the best printers you can buy. Available from ao.com.VIEW AT AO >
Brother HL Laser Printer – £230, AO.com
Truly the crème de la crème of laser printers, Brother HL Laser is ideal for those with a heavy course workload and lots of printing required, so law students, read on!
It prints in brilliant fine detail, automatically double-sides everything and is wirelessly connected to devices for easy commands.
Up to 24 pages can be printed a minute (that’s 48 sides, because of the aforementioned double-sided capabilities) and can be used as a scanner and copier too.
Best Printer Summary: Excellent for the money. A laser printer that really excels. Lots of features including scan and copy and an sd card too.VIEW AT AO >
HP OfficeJet Pro Inkjet Printer – £105, AO.com
As you may have guessed from the name, the OfficeJet Pro is more than capable of handling home office levels of printing demand and is a great all-rounder.
It also functions as a scanner, photocopier and even fax machine and too, double-sides documents as standard.
The HP Smart app mentioned in other HP reviews above applies too to this printer, so you can send commands wirelessly without the need for a router or network connection. It can also be linked to an Alexa or Google Assistant for voice command printing if you have one in the house!
The OfficeJet Pro comes with a 2-month free trial of the HP Instant Ink cartridges re-order scheme.
Best Printer Summary: Good enough to be used in an office as well as your bedroom, this printer has cheap running costs and an sd card port too.VIEW AT AO >
HP ENVY 6020 Wireless Printer – £69.99, Ryman
Another model from the HP ENVY family, the ENVY 6020 is a streamlined version of its predecessors and can be connected to numerous devices at once.
Its all-in-one capabilities mean it also works as a scanner and photocopier, and its easy-to-use interface allows it to be maintained and used by even the least tech-savvy member of the household.
Print whenever, wherever, seamlessly.
Best Printer Summary:: A great mid-range printer that has a nice level of features including print, scan and copy and inkjet cartridges. Make sure you consider this easy to use printer. Available from Ryman where there is a 10% student discount.VIEW AT RYMAN >
EPSON EcoTank Mono Printer – £129.99, Ryman
The younger brother of the first entry on this recommendation list, the EPSON EcoTank Mono printer offers the same high-quality printing and eco-friendly ink tank as its successor, but only functions in black and white.
If you have a heavy print load to take on but would like to keep a focus on using as little paper, ink and energy as possible, then make sure you consider this ideal printer purchase for your everyday printing.
It too comes with the equivalent of other three years’ worth of ink inside, so you’ll get great value long-term.
Best Printer Summary: A great Epsom expression printer. It has high resolution, wifi and great print quality including double-sided printing.VIEW AT RYMAN >
Canon PIXMA Pink Wireless Printer – £69.99, Ryman
Well, we had to include at least one fun colour, didn’t we?!
Printers aren’t best known for coming in a myriad of styles, but fans of bright, bold colours and fun office aesthetics will love this pastel pink Canon PIXMA printer.
Much like the standard, more understated, PIXMA, it has wi-fi and Bluetooth functionality and can be used as a printer, scanner or copier and can be used for thicker, specialist paper products and crafts with a good quality print.
It looks great and its appeal isn’t every day– but it can create some pretty damn special high-resolution prints too!
Best Printer Summary: This can print scan, has lots of functions including wi-fi, and is a unique pink colour for those style junkies amongst you.VIEW AT RYMAN >
Frequently Asked Questions About Printer for Students
As much as universities, colleges and workplaces seem to enjoy talking about the concept of ‘paperless’ courses, study environments and desks, realistically, we’re not quite there yet – and sometimes it’s easier to read things from paper rather than a screen and be able to doodle and make notes over it all! Also, printing costs can get expensive if paying each time you do it.
It’s not always easy to nip down to the local library or the student union to get printer access, so having your own printer for students to use when you need it is convenient and helps avoid any unnecessary delays to getting your work done.
Here are the most popular questions we get asked:
What are the Different Types of Printer for Students?
The most prevalent form of printers are an inkjet printer such as the Canon Pixma or a laser. These print in different ways and are suited to different usage levels.
Inkjet printers use ink and spray tiny droplets of it onto paper. They’re generally cheaper to buy, a little smaller than their laser counterparts, and can be used to print text and high-quality coloured photos. However, they do tend to cost more to maintain and to keep topped up with ink (as they have ink tanks).
Laser printers work by melting toner powder onto paper. They cost more to purchase up front, but their value kicks in long-term as they’re cheaper to maintain.
An inkjet printer is the best option for occasional print usage and a laser for heavier workloads. Inkjet printers are able to produce higher-quality detailed imagery (such as photos), but lasers work just fine for everyday colour printing that doesn’t need to be high-definition.
What’s an All-In-One Printer?
An all-in-one printer refers to a printer that also has the functionality to photocopy and scan documents. All-in-one printers are usually slightly large than those with less functionality as they contain a large glass screen for scanning and copying. Whilst these are very popular, and now very commonplace, such functionality is gradually waning in popularity as smartphones and devices begin to offer the ability to scan directly from their in-built cameras and link to printers wirelessly.
What is an A3 Printer?
Well, it does what it says on the tin really: an A3 Printer can handle A3-paper sized print-outs, as well as the usual A4 and sometimes smaller sizes too. For most students, this is excess functionality that isn’t really required, but those studying creative arts, engineering and some other subjects may find this a handy feature. If you’re unsure, check with a course coordinator or lecturer – as A3 printers cost more, and if you don’t need to print larger, it’s an expense you don’t need to make.
Do I really need a Wireless Printer?
If you’re always within walking distance of your printer whenever you need to print something off and have a device that can be plugged into it easily, then no, you probably don’t need a printer that connects wirelessly. However, if you’re ever likely to need to print from a phone, tablet or another wireless device, or find that you don’t want to spend the time plugging and unplugging things, a wireless printer is definitely worth it. Whilst not all printers are wireless, it is now the norm – so you’ll struggle to find anything but the very cheapest and most basic printers offering a wired connection as standard.
Are Cheap Printers worth it?
The printer market isn’t as big as it once was, but there’s still plenty of choice about and you will find models to suit all budgets and print quality. However, manufacturers rarely offer more than a basic guarantee on budget printer products, so ensure that you’re if you are opting for a cheaper version, that it has all the functionality you require and that you have access to some kind of support or repair should something with it go wrong. That’s not to say that cheap printers break or stop working more than more expensive models, but simply that manufacturers don’t tend to offer the same level of after-sales support with them – and if something does go wrong, you’ll quickly undermine the budget price tag if you have to fork out for expensive fixes or even a whole new printer. Bear in mind if you need a printer that is cheap, you might have to pay more for an ink subscription service. You might want to buy an Apple AirPrint instead.
Can I Print from my Phone?
Being able to print directly from your phone to a printer depends on both your phone and the printer. If the printer you want to use has either wi-fi or Bluetooth functionality, and so does your phone, then yes, you should be able to send the command to print a photo, image or document directly to it. However, some printers require specific apps to be downloaded onto a device in order to send the command, and others may be locked to only accept print requests from a list of ‘preferred’ or ‘allowed’ devices (which, if you’re the printer owner, you can set). Your phone and printer may need to be paired (linked) up in order to establish the initial wireless connection but once done, this should be remembered by both devices for future requests.
If you have decided that you do need to buy a printer or Apple AirPrint, remember to shop around and shop smart before making your purchase. Don’t pay extra for functionality such as wi-fi you’ll never use and don’t scrimp when it comes to value long-term – a cheap initial investment may turn into something bigger if you have to top it up with ink and paper every couple of weeks, which will quickly dampen your budget decision. As with anything, an educated and informed purchase decision is the best purchase decision; and where you can, use Student Discount Squirrel to save even more money.
What to look for in a printer?
When searching for a printer, there are several key factors to consider to ensure you make the right choice based on your needs. Whether it’s for home, office, or professional use, here are some important aspects to look for:
- Printing Technology: Different printing technologies are available, including inkjet and laser printers. Inkjet printers are versatile and produce high-quality color prints, while laser printers are better for black and white documents and offer faster printing speeds.
- Print Speed: Consider the number of pages per minute (ppm) the printer can produce. Faster printers are essential for high-volume printing or busy environments.
- Print Quality: Look for a printer that offers high-resolution output, typically measured in dots per inch (dpi). Higher dpi ensures sharp and detailed prints, especially for images and graphics.
- Connectivity Options: Determine if the printer supports the connectivity options you need, such as USB, Wi-Fi, Ethernet, or mobile printing. Wireless connectivity is particularly convenient for printing from multiple devices without cables.
- Paper Handling: Consider the printer’s paper capacity and whether it supports various paper sizes and types. If you require specific media, like cardstock or photo paper, ensure the printer can accommodate them.
- Duplexing: Duplexing, or double-sided printing, can save paper and reduce costs. Check if the printer has an automatic duplexing feature or if it requires manual flipping.
- Ink or Toner Costs: Investigate the cost of replacement ink or toner cartridges and their page yield. Lower-cost printers may have higher ongoing ink expenses, so weigh the long-term costs before purchasing.
- Additional Features: Some printers offer extra functionalities like scanning, copying, faxing, or integrated document feeders. Assess if these features align with your requirements to maximize efficiency.
- Software and Compatibility: Ensure the printer is compatible with your operating system and check if it includes useful software for managing printing tasks or adjusting settings.
- Brand and Reviews: Research reputable printer brands known for reliability, customer support, and availability of replacement parts. Read user reviews to gain insights into the printer’s performance and reliability.
By considering these factors, you can select a printer that best suits your specific needs, budget, and expected printing volume. Remember to strike a balance between upfront costs and long-term expenses to make an informed decision that will serve you well in the future.
Best Printer for Students Summary
We’ve come to the end of this guide to student printers. We’ve made our suggestion of the best printers at a range of price points from under £40 to £199. We’ve gone through the best functions including inkjet cartridges costs, laserjet, double-sided, black and white or colour, scan and copy and wifi.
Based on different requirements for students on different courses, we made our suggestions and recommendations to help you select the best student printer.
Check out some of our other student guides.
- Best Buy Guides
- Best Student Bank Accounts
- Best Student Desk
- Best Student Laptops
- Best Student Printers
- Best Students Free Stuff
- Gifts For Students
- Student Kitchen Set
- Student Storage
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