We’ve tested inkjet and laser printers to assess the quality and speed of their printing and copying, as well as their usability.
Our overall score combines test performance (how well the appliance works) with predicted reliability (how likely models from the brand are to remain free of faults) and owner satisfaction (how likely owners of the brand are to be very satisfied).
We’ll only recommend appliances you’ll love to own, that work well and keep working well for a long time.
It’s no good if a product lasts for several decades if it doesn’t work well in the first place. A disappointing product will soon become unloved and unwanted. For this reason, our independent lab testing still forms an important part of our overall lifetime score.
Our printer test includes:
We measure how quickly printers can print and how accurate the final product is, for a variety of print jobs including photos, letters and spreadsheets.
For multifunction printers, this score also includes scanning and copying performance.
Ease of use
This test covers everything from how involved it is to connect the printer to a laptop, to whether it can print from an SD card or USB drive, to how long it takes to start up.
It’s reasonable to expect a new device to remain fault-free for the first five years. Our predicted reliability won’t tell you whether the printer in your study will start jamming tomorrow, but it does show which brands make models that are less likely to fail.
Satisfaction is important – no device should be a source of buyer regret. Printers with very satisfied owners are more likely to get maintained well, and owners are more likely to keep hold of them rather than chop and change.
Ink usage and cost (coming soon)
Over an inkjet printer’s lifetime, you’ll likely spend more on ink than the printer itself, generating plenty of plastic waste in the process. But it doesn’t have to be like this. Some printers use a lot less ink in their everyday operation, while some are cheaper and less wasteful to refill.
We want to capture the ongoing costs of owning each printer we test, which means a lot of extra work monitoring prices for ink and toner. We haven’t gathered this information yet, but it’s an important next step in our quest for true lifetime evaluations for these products.
Survey data 101
In our annual reliability and satisfaction survey, consumers tell us about faults that have left an appliance they own unusable or mean they’ve had to change how they use it. We also ask them how satisfied they are with the appliance. We use their data to produce our predicted reliability and owner satisfaction scores.
We use a statistical test to rate the relative performance of each brand. Compared to data we have for all products (of the same type) in the survey, we rate each brand with excellent, good, average, poor or terrible reliability and satisfaction. You can compare the rating of different brands for the same product type (for example, the reliability rating for Miele and Haier washing machines), but you can’t compare the results for different product types (for example, satisfaction of LG TVs and Samsung phones).
We analyse brands that get at least 30 responses in our survey. That means there are some brands we can’t analyse because we don’t have enough data. For those brands, we assume they have average predicted reliability and owner satisfaction.
Our data is based on responses for 1475 printers in our November 2021 survey.
We've tested 60 printers.
Find the right one for you.