The Best Printers for a Home Office

The best printers for a home office share a few key characteristics: reliability, print capacity and operating costs. However, individual needs and requirements dictate different types of home office printers, depending on your circumstances.

What Do You Need?
Do you need a photo printer or a high-volume laser printer? Do you want to print directly onto envelopes and special stock? There's more than different brand names to separate one printer from another. Each company has built a reputation by serving a certain kind of user. Knowing who's best in business printers or who makes the best color inkjet printers can help you narrow your selection.

If you need to print from more than one machine, consider a network or wireless printer. For multitasking, look for best all-in-one printers. If you do lots of color and photo prints, you might want to consider an inkjet printer. Finally, if you're focused on volume and cost-effectiveness, a laser printer might be the perfect choice for you.

Best All-in-One Printer
The Epson WorkForce 600 All-in-One Printer leads the way when it comes to compact multifunction machines. With a footprint that doesn't take over your home office and high speed and volume capacity, up to 38 pages per minute, this is one of the best printers for all-in-one needs.

The WorkForce 600 can print, scan, copy, fax and work directly from a photo card inserted into the photo slot. Round it out with WiFi connectivity, a two-year warranty and a very reasonable price tag, and the Epson WorkForce 600 provides the best value for the money for home office all-in-one machines.

Best Color Inkjet Printer
If you're focused on high-quality color prints, the Epson Artisan 800 is at the front of the pack of the best color inkjet printers. Like the WorkForce 600, the Artisan 800 is an all-in-one machine that boasts fast print speeds and high-quality prints. However, the Artisan's higher price point is due in large part to the LCD screen on the front of the printer and the superior quality of prints it produces.

With up to 38 pages per minute, this color inkjet printer delivers high-speed prints. However, the more expensive photo-quality ink makes this an ideal choice for color print jobs at home, not for general high-volume or black-and-white printing.

Best Laser Printer
Brother rounds out the best printers for the home office, with its $100 offering, the Brother HR-2170W. With 23 pages per minute, this home office laser printer offers solid speed at an affordable price. With network and WiFi connectivity, you have plenty of options to connect to the Brother for your home office needs. You can print on envelopes and letterhead via the bypass tray, and it comes standard with a 250-sheet tray to hold plenty of paper for big print jobs. While this Brother laser printer won't win any awards for extra features or a pretty design, it's a workhorse laser printer for your home office at an affordable price.

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While laser printers create an image and throw powdered ink (toner) to paper that passes over an electrically charged drum, an inkjet printer sprays tiny dots of ink onto the page to create the image. A laser printer is standard equipment in offices around the world.

With all the different types of print technology available, the decision of whether to get an all-in-one color laser printer or some other type of printer could be tough. While inkjet printers are losing ground to all-in-one color laser printers in some respects, they're still a better choice for some applications.

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If you're like most people, you follow the instructions to change laser printer toner when it's necessary and then forget about it. However, you might be missing out on opportunities to extend the life of your laser printer toner, and you may not be disposing of it properly.

Laser printers can still hold their own against ink jets when it comes to speed, text resolution and ownership costs.

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