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Printers have come along way since the 80s when HP introduced the ThinkJet, the company’s first personal inkjet printer grinding at a snail's pace of two pages a minute and comes with a whopping price. Nowadays you can have full colour prints, with a scanner and copier option throw in and with pages flying out at a rate of 30 a minute, and still have change out of £50. Even 3D printing is possible, although here we are leaving those aside and focusing on conventional home printers.
Whatever your needs, buying a new printer can be a confusing process. Not only do you have to worry about the upfront cost and whether it can print a good photo, you've also got to consider print speeds, ongoing costs and a host of potential additional features.
Types of Printers
- Inkjet. Inkjet tends to be cheaper than laser, but the ink can smudge. The single function version is a budget machine as it only prints. A handy option for the occasional printer.
- Laser. The process involves static electricity transferring tone from the cartridge and heating it on to a page, producing high quality results. Laser printers typically offer higher page yields (the amount of pages printed per cartridge) than inkjets, but the cartridges are more expensive. Laser printers are a good option if you are regularly producing quality plain text, but typically less useful for photos.
- All-In-One. Alongside the print option, you can also photocopy and scan documents. These are usually inkjet printers, but you can get laser versions. All-in-ones tend to have single cartridges for each solid colour, so you need only replace the colour you are low on.
- Photo. Printers specifically designed for producing photos, often with editing options, memory card slots and/or a USB connection so you can upload your shots directly. Many allow you to connect your camera to the printer if both are compatible with PictBridge.
- 3D. D printers are gradually becoming more accessible for home use, and offer an exciting entry into rapid prototyping and small scale manufacturing. Whatever you can design, you can create, so whether you want to test-fit parts before expensive machining or simply fancy knocking up a unique phone case, 3D printers make complex manufacturing easy.
Where can I find Cheap Printer Deals?
Shopping for a printer isn't the most enthralling thing you're ever going to do, but if you're in the market for one and need to find a decent device at a good price, it's the right time to be looking. Sale season has passed but deals seem to be sticking around and there are loads of printers with big discounts to choose from.
But instead of spending hours searching sites looking for a few pennies off, we’ve compiled a list of all the best printer bargains that could see you save hundreds of pounds. Our massive team of bargain hunters are always on the lookout to find the best possible printer deals, the latest voucher codes from UK online retailers, Black Friday printer deals UK, wireless printer scanner offers and even printers’ reviews to ensure you will get the best savings and printer around. Get massive discounts from Argos printers’ sale, printer Tesco offers, cheap printers Asda deals, Currys printers’ clearance and more.
So if you're looking for an inkjet that can print some high-quality snaps without much effort, or a laser printer that can spew out reams of monochrome documents at lightning speeds, then you’ve come to the right place.
Best printer deals 2018 from UK retailers:
- Canon Pixma TS8151, £100 at Currys
- HP Envy Photo 7130, £99 at AO
- Samsung Xpress M202, £40 at Currys
- Epson Workforce Pro WF-3725, £100 at Currys
- Epson WorkForce WF-2750DWF, £57 at Amazon
- HP LaserJet Pro M102W, £80 at Amazon
- HP OfficeJet 3831 Printer, £35 at Argos
- Samsung C430W Wireless Colour Laser, £99 at Amazon
- Canon Pixma MG2550S £24 at Amazon
- Find a good printer deal and check the price of cartridges.
- Check how many pages a cartridge is quoted as doing.
- Read user reviews online.
- Consider different brands.
- Think what you normally print at home.
- Buy a printer because it is on sale.
- Assume cheap cartridge are better value.
- Blindly follow in-store recommendations.
- Just buy Kodak because "they're cheap".
- Buy a top-pick printer thinking it suits you.
How many pages does the black cartridge do?
Most home printers need a lot of black prints, whether it's normal documents or homework for the kids, yet there are still home printers available that have tiny-yield black cartridges. Make sure to check how many pages they do before purchasing!
How many cartridges does the printer take?
Choosing between a printer which takes 2 or 4 cartridges is a fine balancing act.
If you print more than a few pages every couple of days get one with more than 2 cartridges, you'll see cheaper running costs as you only replace each cartridge as-and-when it is empty.
If you print incredibly infrequently get a 2 cartridge printer, they typically use less ink maintaining themselves when you turn the printer on and off. Also, if the ink ever dries up from lack of use it will only block the cartridge, not the printer
Features to Lookout For
- AirPrint. Print directly to your printer from an Apple device.
- Card Reader. If you use digital cameras or other card-devices a lot, a built in card reader slot saves a lot of time.
- Duplex. Printing onto both sides of the page automatically, a great money-saver if your home printer does a lot of work documents.
- ePrint. You can email your printer documents and it will automatically print them, perfect for leaving things ready for you at home.
- Networking. Most homes will have wireless access now but if you need a wired connection make sure your printer has it.
- PictBridge. Essential for budding photographers, some printers now even support Wireless PictBridge to automatically connect your camera.
- Paper Trays. Extra paper trays and feeds are ideal if you find yourself printing on different paper frequently.
- Wireless. Can connect wireless to your network.