Printers are the unsung workhorses of the home office. Once you get them set up, they are good to go, quietly waiting to be called into action. Thanks to wireless technology, many of the printers released in the last few years require little to no setup. Of course, you’ll still need to replace the ink from time to time, but in general you can’t go wrong with adding one of the best wireless printers to your work space.
One of the advantages of using one of the best wireless printers is portability. Want to pick up your printer and move it to another room? Just do it – no muss, no fuss, no cords to unplug. Many of the best wireless printers for home use are small and lightweight. Weight and dimensions may be a consideration if you plan to move your printer frequently. On the other hand, the best wireless printers for office use tend to be quite a bit larger, and you won’t want to move them around as much.
Things to Consider About Wireless Printers
- When purchasing one of the best wireless printers you will need to keep the same considerations in mind as you would if buying a wired printer. You’ll want to think about print speed, image resolution, ink type, and cost. Unique to wireless printers, however, is the issue of connectivity and device compatibility. The best wireless printers are easy to get connected and keep connected. On the other hand, wireless printers with the lowest customer satisfaction ratings tend to suffer from difficult or overall poor connection.
- Near Field Communication, or NFC, is a technology that makes it easier to print from any compatible mobile device. Just touch your device to the printer and establish a connection with no need to connect to a network or login. Similarly, Wi-Fi Direct allows connection between device and printer without the need for a network.
- Print speed is measured in pages per minute, or ppm. Standards for measuring print speed are set the International Standards Organization (ISO) and reflect the printer’s speed on default settings.
- Resolution is measured in dpi (dots per inch). Resolution alone does not tell you all you need to know about image quality. The different elements that go into making a great-looking printed image are complex and varied, so unless you’re a techie, user reviews are the best way to find out how good the prints will look.
Top 10 Best Wireless Printers Comparison Guide
Reviews of the Top Rated Wireless Printers
The Epson WorkForce WF-2760 packs a lot of features and great performance into a reasonably-priced and reasonably-sized package. This is an excellent choice for general use or for home office use. It is an all-in-one printer that prints, copies, scans, and faxes, and does it all well. Print quality is excellent even on default settings.
Easy to set up and easy to use, the WF-2760 allows you to print directly from your iPhone, iPad or Android device. It also features NFC (Near Field Communication) technology and Wi-Fi Direct. The ink cartridges are relatively affordable, and each color is sold separately, meaning that you don’t have to replace all the color ink just because you run out of one color. Bonus: it comes with full-sized cartridges instead of the “starter ink” (read: only partially full, so you have to purchase ink soon after getting your printer) that many printers include.
The HP OfficeJet Pro 8720 features lightning-fast print speeds and lots of options for connecting to your computer and mobile devices. A 250-page input tray and fast two-sided printing make it a breeze to produce flyers and pamphlets. You’ll also have the ability to print envelopes, business cards, and borderless photographs up to 8.5×11.
Wireless network connection, wired ethernet connection, USB connection, NFC, WFi Direct, and AirPrint allow you to print from pretty much any nearby device, while a 4.3″ touchscreen makes it easy to manage print functions from the printer itself. Separate cartridges of pigment-based black, cyan, magenta, and yellow ink allow you to replace each color as it runs out. The cartridges can be purchased individually or in a multi-pack. While the size, capacity, and features of the OfficeJet Pro 8720 are probably overkill for most home users, it is ideal for a small office environment.
The Brother MFC-J480DW is a reliable, basic all-in-one that scans, copies, and faxes. It has an automatic document feeder, and the ink cartridges are sold by the individual color. The non-technically-minded crowd will appreciate the ease of setup and intuitive use. However, the print speed is relatively slow on default settings, and some users have reported issues with the scan functionality.
The MFC-J480DW does not feature a touchscreen, but it does come with a 1.8 inch color display and easy to navigate buttons. This is one of the first printers to consider if you want one for home use and don’t need a lot of bells and whistles, or if the auto-document feeder is important to you. It is definitely one of the best wireless printers under $100.
The HP Envy 4520 is an affordable, compact choice for home use. It doesn’t offer all the features of some of the pricier models; it isn’t equipped with NFC, fax capability, or an auto-document feeder. However, it does feature a 2.2 inch touchscreen, two-sided printing, and the ability to print remotely from your mobile device or from Google Cloud. It is also eligible for HP’s Instant Ink cartridge replacement service. This service automatically orders ink when the printer is running low. Sounds convenient, right? It may be, but the ink is on the expensive side and runs out fairly quickly on normal print settings.
If you decide not to sign up for Instant Ink, you are going to get pop-ups on the touchscreen reminding you to enroll. The pop-ups can be disabled, but it is a hassle that you may not want to deal with. Nevertheless, the low upfront cost of the Envy 4520 makes it a good value for light to moderate use.
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