5 Best Printers When Buying on a Budget 

Submitted by Nolan Fowler on Wed, 01/11/2023 - 09:00
A chalkboard with the word "Budget" written on it next to a magnifying glass

There is one thing we can all agree on when buying a product, no matter what it is: We want to save as much money as possible. 

This is especially the case when it comes to business-related purchases, like buying a printer. Nobody wants to break the bank for a machine that just prints/copies documents. 

For some workgroups, buying an expensive printer is the best long-term option. For others, going the cheaper route is more appropriate.  

The cheaper route is what we will be discussing in this article by listing five of the best printers when buying on a budget.  

We’ve been in the printer/copier industry for almost 40 years, and as a Xerox Platinum Solutions Partner, have become intrinsically familiar with the different types of machines out there. 

We will choose one printer from five notable printer brands in the industry and list them out with their specifications and a description of what you would be getting with each machine. We will then sum up who would be a fit for all five machines listed in this article. 

These are far from the only machines you can choose to buy when going the cheaper route but reading this will give you a sense of what your options are as you look for your next printer. 

IMPORTANT: Before getting into the list, it should be noted that if you use your printer on a daily basis, you SHOULD NOT buy a cheap printer. It will end up costing you more in the long run if you use a cheap printer to print documents at a high volume

Don’t know what to look for in your next printer? Download your free Guide to Purchasing or Leasing a Printer for Your Business and make sure you get the right machine the first time. 

Top 5 Printers on a Budget 

To compile this list, we are using our previous article listing the top five printer brands as a guide to formulating this list. 

In that article, we listed the following brands: HP, Canon, Xerox, Brother and Epson. Those will be the five brands whose printers you will see in this article. 

This list, just like the “Printer Brands” article, is not in any particular order and is simply put together so you can easily sift through some of your printer options. 

With that being said, here are the five best printers when buying on a budget: 

  1. HP OfficeJet Pro 8210 Printer 

Amazon.com: HP OfficeJet Pro 8210 Wireless Color Printer, HP Instant Ink or  Amazon Dash replenishment ready (D9L64A) : Office Products

Basic Specifications   

  • Print Speed: Up to 34 pages per minute (ppm)  

  • Recommended Monthly Print Volume: Up to 1500 pages   

  • Monthly Duty Cycle: 30,000 pages   

  • Base Model Dimensions: 19.5” x 16.5” x 8.0”    

  • Base Model Weight: 25 pounds     

  • Cost: Starting at around $180 

What You Need to Know 

-The HP OfficeJet Pro 8210 would be a good fit for small workgroups (up to five users) or anybody that needs a printer for their home office. 

-It’s small and versatile, meaning you can move it around as you need to. 

-It is a print-only machine, so you will not be able to copy, scan or fax documents. 

Defining Feature: Using the HP All-in-One Printer Remote app, you can manage and print documents using your smartphone or tablet.  

Photo courtesy of Amazon. 

  1. Canon PIXMA MG3620 Printer 

Canon PIXMA MG3620 | Canon U.S.A., Inc.

Basic Specifications   

  • Print Speed: Up to 9.9/5.7 ipm (images per month)  

  • Recommended Monthly Print Volume: Not specified  

  • Monthly Duty Cycle: Not specified    

  • Base Model Dimensions: 17.7” x ”12” x 6”   

  • Base Model Weight: 12 pounds      

  • Cost: Starting at around $70 

What You Need to Know 

-The Canon PIXMA MG3620 is your typical personal printer and should only be used as such since it runs out of ink quickly. 

-It’s the cheapest option among the printers on this list, but it will likely require more maintenance, like frequent supply changes, than the others. 

-It can produce high-quality prints, both color and black-and-white, and can also be used to print photos. 

-This machine is a multifunction, or all-in-one printer, so it can print, copy and scan documents (no fax). 

Defining Feature: It’s a built-in wireless device, so you can print and scan documents from any Wi-Fi-enabled computer. You can also download the Canon PRINT app to print and scan documents from your phone

Photo courtesy of Canon. 

  1. Xerox VersaLink C400 Printer 

A picture containing text, electronics, black, printer

Description automatically generated

Basic Specifications   

  • Print Speed: Up to 36 pages per minute (ppm)  

  • Recommended Monthly Print Volume: 8,500 pages  

  • Monthly Duty Cycle: 85,000 pages    

  • Base Model Dimensions: 19.3” x 19.2” x 15.7”    

  • Base Model Weight: 57 pounds     

  • Cost: Starting at around $749  

What You Need to Know 

-This is the most expensive printer out of the five listed in this article, but that’s because it can safely print the most pages out of the printers listed in this article, with a recommended monthly print volume of 8,500 pages per month. 

-The Xerox VersaLink C400 is built more for smaller workgroups or home offices that need a high-volume desktop printer and would not be the best option if used only on an as-needed basis.   

-This machine can only print documents, so it will not be a fit for those that need to copy, scan or fax documents. 

Defining Feature: The VersaLink C400 comes equipped with Xerox ConnectKey technology, which is an all-encompassing platform that includes a tablet-like touchscreen and apps, among other things. 

Read our review of the VersaLink C400 to learn more about the machine. 

Photo courtesy of Xerox. 

Disclaimer: We sell this product. 

  1. Brother MFC-L2710DW Printer 

Basic Specifications   

  • Print Speed: Up to 32 pages per minute (ppm)   

  • Recommended Monthly Print Volume: Up to 2,000 pages  

  • Monthly Duty Cycle: 15,000 pages   

  • Base Model Dimensions: 16.1” x 15.7” x 12.5”    

  • Base Model Weight: 26 pounds     

  • Cost: Starting at around $250 

What You Need to Know 

-The Brother MFC-L2710DW is a multifunction printer designed for home offices or small businesses that need to print around 2,000 pages per month. 

-It allows for automatic duplex printing (both sides of the paper) and has a 250-sheet paper capacity. 

-Like the other machines on this list, you can print wirelessly from your smartphone, tablet or computer with this printer. 

-It comes with a toner save mode that can help cut down on supply costs. 

Defining Feature: This printer is flexible with the types of paper it can print, as it has a manual feed slot that can handle various papers and sizes such as cardstock or envelopes.  

Photo courtesy of Brother. 

  1. Epson Expression Premium XP-7100 Printer 

C11CH03201 | Expression Premium XP-7100 Small-in-One Printer | Inkjet |  Printers | For Home | Epson US

Basic Specifications   

  • Print Speed: Up to 15.8 pages per minute (ppm)  

  • Recommended Monthly Print Volume: Not specified   

  • Monthly Duty Cycle: Not specified  

  • Base Model Dimensions: 17.2” x 23.5” x 8.1”    

  • Base Model Weight: 21.5 pounds     

  • Cost: Starting at around $240. 

What You Need to Know  

-We wanted to include a printer that specializes in printing photos, and the Epson Expression Premium XP-7100 Printer would be the best machine on this list for photo printing. 

-It has a maximum print resolution of 5760 x 1440 optimized dots per inch (dpi and it comes with five Claria Premium ink cartridges. 

-You can use the machine’s touchscreen to view, edit or print photos from a USB port or SD card. 

-You can print on specialty paper and inkjet printable CDs and DVDs. 

Defining Feature: The machine’s photo quality stands out, as well as some of its photo-related features like Auto Photo Correction.  

Photo courtesy of Epson. 

Which Printer Is Right for You? 

The five printers discussed in this article are quality options when shopping on a budget, but they are each a bit different in what they can offer you. Below are quick summaries of who would be a fit for each machine: 

  • If you need a basic print-only printer for a home office or small business, then the HP OfficeJet Pro 8210 would be the best choice.  

  • If you need a cheap printer to use on an as-needed basis, the Canon PIXMA MG3620 would be your ideal machine. 

  • If you need a more robust print-only printer for business use, the Xerox VersaLink C400 would be the choice for you. 

  • If you need a basic multifunction machine for a home office or small business, the Brother MFC-L2710DW would be a solid pick. 

  • If you need a machine that specializes in photo printing, the Epson Expression Premium XP-7100 would be your best option from this list. 

There are literally thousands of printers out there, so this list is barely a fraction of what you can find out there. But, at the very least, seeing these five printers and the different features they include will help you narrow down your list of options as you look to buy your next printer. 

We’re always looking to use our expertise to help consumers find the best solution for their situation. Because at the end of the day, a printer should never be a source of frustration in your life.  

Since you’re buying on a budget, read our three tips on saving money for your next printer/copier to learn more ways to get the best price possible for your next machine.