Five of the best: All-in-one printers
We’re not in a paper-free world yet, so while they’re not sleek and far from sexy the reliable old printer is a must-have accessory for any household or small office. Now ubiquitous is the all-in-one printer which prints, scans and reproduces digital pictures with ease. Here’s are five of the best workhorses…
EPSON Expression Premium XP-820
This inkjet printer’s main selling point is its excellent reproduction of colour photos with a dedicated photo tray which allows you to print 6x4in pics of your loved ones in under 12 seconds. There’s even a built-in photo suite giving you a wide variety of editing options. It also allows you to print double-sided paper, while coping with day-to-day tasks like scanning and copying with little complaint. Speed-wise, it pumps out 14 A4 sheets a minute (that's one every four seconds). The hardware is easy-on-eye, with a 4.3in colour touchscreen and an iPrint app that allows you to print from any mobile device using Google Drive, Evernote or One Drive.
This Samsung printer is squarely aimed at the small office, so looks wise, it’s on the bulk side. To keep costs down, it doesn’t feature a colour touchscreen, so it’s not one for gadget aficionados but with NFC technology, wireless printing, through tablets and mobile phones is a cinch, as long as you have an Android phone – sorry Apple fans. Slightly quicker than the EPSON model, it spits out an impressive 17 pages per minute, with a 6x4in photo taking 18 seconds. One thing it lacks is a fax machine, but seriously who faxes anymore?
Canon Pixma MG-550
Canon has a fine heritage in printers and the Pixma MG-550 is another tidy addition. Sleek in black or white or if you prefer to stand out, burnt orange, it’s the best-looking device on test. There’s a 8.8cm touch screen at the front of the machine, which houses a photo tray, and paper tray which holds 125 sheets of paper, plus it prints superb high-resolution photos. Connectivity is generous; with NFC, Apple’s AirPrint, Google’s CloudPrint and Wi-Fi Direct. Print speeds are respectable, with 15 sheets per minute in black and white and 10-inch colour.
HP Laserjet Pro
Another stable name in the office world, HP’s Laserjet Pro is another larger model but if you have the space, it offers a speedy, reliable performance. Connectivity-wise, it’s loaded with HPDirect, which will allow you print from your iOS, Android phone, tablet or laptop wirelessly with a WiFi. It’s the fastest machine on test with 20 sheets a minute (or one every three seconds) and will scan documents to a very high quality. You can even send faxes...if you really want to.
Brother’s USP is affordable printers, so if you look beyond its modest spec sheet - reflected in the modest price – you’ll find a printer with most of the basic boxes ticked. Beyond the standard copier, scanner and fax machine, you can use Google Cloud Print and Apple’s Air Drop, print double-sided paper and there's even a small touch screen to direct operations. There’s also a memory card reader and separate photo tray for all your holiday pics. Slightly slower than other models, with 10 sheets a minute, it is nevertheless, a solid choice.