Best printers 2018: the best home printers for printing photos, documents and more

From HP to Canon to Epson, these are the top inkjets to get your family or home office printing

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Whatever you might think, buying one of the best printers on the market isn't an easy thing to do. You can't just rock up to your favourite store and buy a printer that meets your budget, because that initial cost is only the first factor to consider.

How are you going to use that printer, and how often? What precisely are you looking to print, and how fast? Is the additional cost of a printer/scanner/copier worth the outlay? What are its running costs likely to be over time? Selecting the best printer is a complex equation which continues to baffle scientists the world over.

Well, T3's expert team knows the answers. We've hit the streets and online stores to pick the best printers on the market, and we've considered the printer ink, photo paper (and photo printing potential), along with every other factor that goes into that equation when compiling this selection. Your needs may not be the same as others, though, so you're going to need to do a few calculations yourself.

Good looking printers are perfect if they're going to sit on a prominent desk. Airprint printers - or other wireless printers - can do the business while tucked away, so aesthetics might not be quite as big a consideration.

Think, also, about who's using it; a printer with a built-in screen and SD card support might suit the less computer literate or those in a hurry. If you're going to be doing a lot of printing, look around for third-party toner options, which will slash running costs at the price of, possibly, less printing fidelity.

We've rounded up the best home printers to suit all styles and budgets, from printing large quantities of documents, to making memories for the family photo album.

EPSON ECOTANK ET-2750

1. EPSON ECOTANK ET-2750

Cheap to buy and, with three years worth of ink, cheap to run too

Specifications
Best for: Cost-conscious printing
Touch Screen: No
Wireless: Yes
Airprint: No
Reasons to buy
+Multifunction skills+Easy refill tanks
Reasons to avoid
-No touchscreen

Ink is, famously, more expensive than gold. And it seems that Epson is aware of quite how ridiculous this fact is, as its Ecotank system (which stores liquid ink in refillable tanks, rather than relying on expensive cartridges) proves.

The company reckons this multi-function printer will cut down on your ink spending by up to 90%, and bundles an estimated three years worth of ink (equivalent to 88 cartridges) along with the printer.

There's no touch screen, although there are on-device buttons to help you scan and copy documents, and while the print quality and speed might not be up to the same standard as some much pricier models, the economics of the ET-2750 are such that it pays for itself before it's even left the box.

CANON PIXMA TS6150

2. CANON PIXMA TS6150

A tiny all in one with big results

Specifications
Best for: The compact home office
Touch Screen: Yes
Wireless: Yes
Airprint: Yes
Reasons to buy
+Multifunction smarts+Desk-friendly
Reasons to avoid
-Sluggish print speed

Nobody wants to give up 50% of their desk to a printer. Not even us. Canon's versatile all in one has the smallest footprint a decent printer could realistically muster, and crams a huge number fo features into that space.

It's high on connectivity options, supporting Airplay, Bluetooth, cloud printing and more, and does the usual combination of printing, scanning and copying through a 7.5cm touchscreen. Photo printing is a neat extra.

It's a little slow to print, and ink isn't the cheapest, although you can save a little, and prolong the time between changes, by opting for XXL cartridges.

EPSON WORKFORCE WF-7210DTW

3. EPSON WORKFORCE WF-7210DTW

Go big with an A3-capable monster

Specifications
Best for: Large scale printing
Touch Screen: No
Wireless: Yes
Airprint: Yes
Reasons to buy
+Print up to A3 size+Ploughs through the pages
Reasons to avoid
-It's massive. Understandably

Large scale printing isn't the easiest thing. If you need to print A3 pages,  but can't stand the hassle of heading to your local print shop for posters or other large documents, a large home printer could be a great solution.

Epson's option, which is surprisingly affordable, can print documents up to A3 size, great for (light) business use or home users who want a little more than the usual. Instructions are a little on the light side, and you'll need a hefty desk, but once you've found the space and figured it out it's reasonably intuitive.

There are plenty of connectivity option in there - we're particularly taken by the NFC printing option, which will drag files from your phone when you place it on the appropriate spot.

HP DESKJET 2630 ALL-IN-ONE PRINTER

4. HP DESKJET 2630 ALL-IN-ONE PRINTER

A super-budget printer that's cheaper than some cartridges

Specifications
Best for: Budget buy
Touch Screen: No
Wireless: Yes
Airprint: Yes
Reasons to buy
+Print, scan, copy+Wireless printing 
Reasons to avoid
-One-cartridge design

If you're looking for an inoffensive printer, or just want a splash of colour to enjoy while you're waiting for your documents to be done, HP's amazingly cheap little all-in-one is the printer for you.

We're amazed at what it can do; this model steps up from its predecessors by adding wireless and Airprint capabilities, and offers up good-quality colour prints, scanning and copying with the scanner on top, and a three-month subscription to HP's Instant Ink program. This means that, should your cartridge run low, the printer will automatically order up a new one and have it sent to you.

There's only one cartridge, though, so you'll either need to waste a little ink or make sure every single document you print is equally balanced between all colours. Wastage it is, then.

EPSON EXPRESSION PREMIUM XP-830

5. EPSON EXPRESSION PREMIUM XP-830

Photo printing made super-simple

Specifications
Best for: Photos
Touch Screen: Yes
Wireless: Yes
Airprint: Yes
Reasons to buy
+Simple paper handling+Easy to use
Reasons to avoid
-Ink can be pricey

Into photography? You need a printer that can print physical versions of those photos, and do it well. That's what you get here; in the he Epson Expression Premium XP-830's photo printing mode, which can automatically pull photo paper from one of its dual paper trays, you get high quality prints with a professional sheen.

Naturally, photo paper isn't cheap. Neither is the copious volumes of ink required to print on it. And while it takes a little while to get set up, switching modes and sources is quick and easy when you're up and running. You don't even need a PC or Mac to get it done - plug your phone or camera in, or insert an SD card, and you can print directly from there. This very well could be the best home printer for photos.

Best printers

6. HP Envy 5540 All-in-One Printer

A pretty printer with some serious skills

Specifications
Best for: Occasional printing
Touch Screen: Yes
Wireless: Yes
Airprint: Yes
Reasons to buy
+Print, scan, copy+Edge-to-edge photos
Reasons to avoid
-Single cartridge

If you can get over its one big drawback - the single cartridge system, which means you'll need to replace everything if you run out of a single colour- this is a decent printer indeed. There's a surprising number of features, high quality photo printing, scanning and copying, and a setup which absolutely anyone can do. That latter feature and the single cartridge match up, really: if every there were a beginner printer, this would be it.

Not that it's totally basic. If you want to take things further, Airprint support means you can print from your phone, and the LCD touch screen is a very nice touch. Printing isn't super-fast, though, so this is more for occasional use than a home office situation.

CANON PIXMA IP7250

7. CANON PIXMA IP7250

Printing, printing, and nothing but printing

Specifications
Best for: Basic printing
Touch Screen: No
Wireless: Yes
Airprint: Yes
Reasons to buy
+Slickly designed+Not loo loud
Reasons to avoid
-Very basic

Some of us don't need to scan or photocopy. If you're not fussed about having a machine that can do it all, particularly if you'll only ever use a third of its features, then Canon's basic model will serve you well for a vastly reduced outlay.

Not that its price means it's basic. The Canon Pixma IP7250 is slim, it looks damn sleek, and it's surprisingly capable, with a speedy output and the chops to print photos to a high standard. It has twin trays to make that easier, and wireless printing so you can tuck it away in a corner. Best hope this is your pick for an occasional use printer, though: ink is expensive.