Best printers to give as holiday gifts

Consumer Reports

All-in-one printers contin­ue to innovate with features, such as the abilityto print from your smart phone or tablet once you’ve downloaded the appropriate app. Certain printer manufacturers have expanded the capabilities of printer-related apps, for example, to let you access images on social networks, such as Facebook, and print them directly from those websites. Despite such new bells and whistles, prices on printers remain low. But note that not all models are equally frugal with ink. When comparing models check our Ratings for monthly cost calculations, as well as our rating of maintenance ink use.

Here’s a great gift for the owner of a home-based business who needs a fast but economical black-and-white printer. The Brother MFC-7360N all-in-one laser, $170, is just the ticket for printing out schedules, invoices, reports, and other documents. It spits out 14.3 pages per minute of black text with excellent quality at a cost of just 1.9 cents per page. It also produces black-and-white graphics well enough for most purposes, such as school reports,and the 250-sheet paper tray minimizes refills. This CR Best Buy also does a great job at copying and scanning and offers faxing capability, too.

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The paparazzo in your life should click with the Epson Expression Premium XP-800 all-in-one inkjet printer, $150. It churns out excellent photos, among the best we’ve seen in our tests, with decent speed and print costs. And he won’t need a computer to get his photos to the XP-800, which has a PictBridge port for direct printing from cameras and compatibility with a variety of memory cards. It’s no slouch at printing text and color graphics, either, and it offers scanning, copying, and faxing capabilities as well. No need for faxing? Consider the Epson Expression Premium XP-600, $100, a CR Best Buy, which is much the same, minus a few features.

This article appeared in the December 2013 issuse of Consumer Reports magazine.



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