5 Best Printers For College Students In 2020

If you are attending college this year you should probably get a printer. Having your own printer for a college student is a necessary and smart investment. Over the course of your degree, you’ll end up saving a ton of money as well as time if you get a printer for yourself rather than relying on a commercial printer in an internet cafe, the college library or the computer lab. It’s also greatly convenient to have a printer lying around so you can quickly, cheaply and efficiently print out your coursework, essays, assignments or notes.

Over the years, home printers have become widely accessible and therefore a great reduction in price and an increase in overall value for money is noticeable. You can get a decent printer within a few hundred bucks and it’ll last you a few years, printing out text as well as photographs and colored graphics. If you’re an English major and all you need a printer for is printing out text documents, you’d be perfectly fine getting a monochrome printer. However, if you’re a business, engineering or art major, you’ll likely need to print out colored images as well as graphics and colored statistics for your course. This means you’ll need a slightly more expensive printer, whether it’s inkjet or laser, but it’ll still save you money in the long run.

So we’ve created this list of the best printers for college students, so you can easily make a reliable choice with appropriate knowledge and reasoning. We’ve selected these monitors based on value, features and functionality for college students to make the whole process faster and easier.

1. Brother MFC-J995DW

Best Overall

  • Good print quality
  • Duplex printing
  • Low running cost
  • Slow print speed

Category: All-in-one Inkjet printer | Paper Sizes: 4x6 up to 8.5x14 inches | Printing Speed (text): 12 | Sheet Capacity: 150 | Weight: 19.2 pounds | Dimensions: 7.7 x 17.1 x 13.4 inches | Connectivity: USB 2.0, Wireless, Ethernet, NFC, Smartphone Apps

Last Update on 2022-11-08 using Amazon Product Advertising API

The first printer on our list is one from the infamous printer manufacturer, Brother. The all in one MFC-J995DW INKvestment Tank inkjet printer is a fantastic entry level color printer which produces prints with minimal costs. It does all its basics well, while providing good connectivity options as well as duplex printing, for further savings on paper usage. It has a slightly slow print speed compared to other modern printers but it’ll still print out your essay in less than a few minutes with ease.

The MFC-J995DW uses ink tanks instead of cartridges, which last longer and are in turn much cheaper to use and print with in the long run. The savings you’ll make if you use this printer moderately for a year will pay for its relatively high initial cost, which isn’t premium but it isn’t the cheapest either. The ink tank refills last you about 2 years according to Brother, which is a pretty long time. The print quality for text as well as photos is more than decent. You’ll find no flaws in your printed pages as long as you’re not running low on ink.

The printer has other features such as auto document feeding (ADF) for scanning and copying, as well as auto duplex printing, which prints both sides of the paper automatically when selected. It also allows scanning, copying and faxing. The size is compact and the build is durable. It isn’t small enough to be called portable but it’ll easily fit on a desk and since it weighs about 19 pounds, it isn’t hard to move either. It has a wide range of connectivity options for the ease of users. You can simply use Google Cloud Print or Airprint to print out your documents on the fly. The printer also supports NFC for further ease and compatibility. If that’s not easy enough, you can print files directly from a USB or an SD card as well.

Overall, it is a fantastic choice if you’re looking for an inexpensive, long term printer for high printing volumes and don’t mind a slightly sluggish print speed. If you’re an English or Humanities major and expect to be printing a lot of assignments, coursework and essays throughout your college degree, this is definitely the printer you should get for maximum savings, ease and comfort.

2. Canon PIXMA TR4520

Excellent Color Printer

  • Excellent print quality
  • Extensive connectivity options
  • Low print speed
  • High running cost

Category: All-in-one Inkjet printer | Paper Sizes: 4 x 6 up to 8.5 x 14 inches | Printing Speed (text): 8.8 | Sheet Capacity: 100 | Weight: 13 pounds | Dimensions: 7.5 x 17.2 x 11.7 inches | Connectivity: USB 2.0, Wireless, Smartphone Apps

Last Update on 2022-11-08 using Amazon Product Advertising API

Coming in the number two spot on our list is the Canon PIXMA TR4520. It’s an all in one inkjet printer, which facilitates copying, scanning as well as faxing along with fantastic color printing. The quality of the PIXMA is what you expect from a Canon printer, even at about a 100 bucks, it prints fantastic quality photographs as well as sharp, accurate text even in small fonts. It has a wide array of connectivity options including WiFi and smartphone applications on both Android and iOS. It also has duplex printing so you can save paper by printing on both sides. However, it does have high running costs overall, since the ink isn’t exactly the cheapest and the color cartridges need to be replaced sooner than most printers. It also has a relatively low printing speed.

The TR4520 has a plethora of features and connectivity available at a very inexpensive, competitive price. Its print quality is undeniably excellent. It doesn’t match consumer grade photograph printers, but it does its job extremely well, churning out high quality color prints as well as monochrome text documents. This greatly enhances the value of the printer, since you can rely on it to print high quality images, text documents, graphics and art. However, it does so at a slow place. Slower than most printers available in this price range. It also has a higher cost per page of print than a lot of printers out in the market.

This printer is definitely suitable for a college student due to its relatively compact size and low weight. It has a wide range of connectivity options, including USB 2.0, Wireless and smartphone apps for both Android and iOS phones. This makes it easier for students to print on the fly, waste little time and have their assignments ready in a jiffy. Although the running cost is on the higher end of the spectrum, the printer supports duplex printing which does help reduce the use of paper and in turn reduce costs.

Overall, the Canon PIXMA TR4520 is a fantastic printer for college students who don’t need to print a ton of text every week. It’s best for low-print volume usage. If you’re an art major who needs high quality prints or a graphic designing student wanting to print out their assignments in high res, this is the printer for you. It’s affordable, has amazing print quality, especially for photograph and color printing. It has a number of useful features and supports a wide range of connectivity options to make it easier and faster for students to print out whatever they want. As long as you can deal with the slow printing speed and don’t intend to be printing out a ton of text documents, since it’ll cost you more than it should, this printer is the best choice for you.

3. Epson EcoTank ET-2760

Economic Printing

  • Excellent print quality
  • Low running cost
  • No Ethernet
  • No auto document feeding

Category: All-in-one Inkjet printer | Paper Sizes: 4 x 6 up to 8.5 x 14 inches | Printing Speed (text): 10.5 | Sheet Capacity: 100 | Weight: 13.2 pounds | Dimensions: 9.4 x 14.8 x 13.7 inches | Connectivity: USB 2.0, SD card, Wireless, Smartphone Apps

Last Update on 2022-11-08 using Amazon Product Advertising API

The Epson EcoTank ET-2760 is an all in one inkjet printer featuring a cartridge-free super-tank, which helps users save on ink costs by replacing cartridges with larger, more efficient ink tanks for low running costs. It produces excellent quality prints, with great detail and accurate color production as well as text sharpness. However, it sacrifices a couple of useful features which you come to expect in this price range, including Ethernet and auto document feeding.

It prints high quality images and text documents. It does so at a relatively slow speed of 10.5 pages per minute. It’s definitely not the best in its price range but it’s not the worst either. It supports 100 pages in its tray at a time. The printer is compact and easily fits a desk without being a large, distracting nuisance. It has a few connectivity options for users, including USB, SD card, Wireless and Smartphone apps for both Android and iOS. Since it’s an all in one printer, it allows users to scan, copy and fax as well.

Overall, it is a fantastic all in one printer with an extremely low running cost. The initial cost is well worth the quality of prints you get, and the eventual savings you make after prolonged usage. If you’re a power user and expect to be printing a lot of documents, whether colored or monochrome, the ET-2760 is one of the most economical and sensible choices for you if you’re not bothered by the lack of an automatic document feeder and Ethernet connectivity.

4. Brother MFCL2710DW

Best Monochrome Printer

  • Excellent text quality
  • Low running cost
  • High print speed
  • No color printing

Category: All-in-one monochrome laser printer | Paper Sizes: up to 8.5 x 14 inches | Printing Speed (text): 32 | Sheet Capacity: 250 | Weight: 22.7 pounds | Dimensions: 12.5 x 15.7 x 12.5 inches | Connectivity: USB 2.0, Ethernet, Wireless, Smartphone Apps

Last Update on 2022-11-08 using Amazon Product Advertising API

Another printer from Brother, the MFCL2710DW is an excellent, entry level all in one monochrome laser printer. It produces high quality monochrome prints, with excellent text documents a common and dependable output. It has relatively low running cost and features a high print speed, which favors students expecting to print a lot of pages in a short period of time. However, since it’s a monochrome printer, there’s no color in the printed pages so if you’re an art student, it’s best to stay away from this one.

This monochrome laser printer produces sharp text documents with excellent quality and detail. It’d be difficult to find any flaws in a normal text document due to the precise laser printing method it uses. You can use it to scan, copy and fax colored documents and photographs but the printer output will only be black and white. It has a high print speed, which is best for students who want to print out text books, long essays, research papers and coursework. The MFCL2710DW features a wide range of connectivity options for the ease of users, including the basics of USB, WiFi and Ethernet, as well as smartphone applications on both Android and iOS.

In conclusion, the Brother MFCL2710DW monochrome all in one laser printer is a great choice for college students who expect to be printing a ton of black and white documents, usually text, for their degree. It has low running costs and high detail for text documents. The initial cost isn’t expensive either which is a big plus for a laser printer. All in all, it’s a great monochrome printer for college going students who want a printer for text documents and pretty much nothing else.

5. HP ENVY 5055

Exceptional Value

  • Good print quality
  • Low running cost
  • Inexpensive
  • Lacks ADF

Category: All-in-one inkjet printer | Paper Sizes: up to 8.5 x 14 inches | Printing Speed (text): 10 | Sheet Capacity: 100 | Weight: 11.9 pounds | Dimensions: 5 x 17.7 x 14.5 inches | Connectivity: USB 2.0, Ethernet, Wireless, Smartphone Apps

Last Update on 2022-11-08 using Amazon Product Advertising API

The HP ENVY 5055 is a solid, high print quality all in one inkjet printer with a compact size and an inexpensive price tag. It has relatively low running costs, especially if you use Instant Ink subscription. The print quality is high but the print speed is relatively low, but decent enough for a single person’s usage. The printer doesn’t have an auto document feeder tray since it lacks the feature altogether, which at this price point is slightly disappointing for users who’d like to copy notes or scan an assignment with ease.

With a weight of 11.9 pounds and sleek dimensions, the ENVY 5055 is compact enough to be highly suitable for a college student’s desk. It’s got an adequate sheet capacity of 100 pages and a wide range of connectivity options, including USB 2.0, wireless, Ethernet and a number of smartphone applications. The print quality is what you’d expect from an entry level all in one inkjet printer. It prints high quality photographs as well as sharp text documents. The printing costs are relatively low if you utilize the instant ink subscription that HP offers, and the printing speed is slightly slow but not slow enough to be an annoying aspect of the printer.

Overall, the HP ENVY 5055 gives you everything you need as a student who wants a printer. It provides copying, faxing and scanning features with auto-duplexing when printing, to lower page usage and increase savings. The print quality is exceptional for the price. All in all, you get an inexpensive printer with low running costs, decent features and great value. The 5055 is perfect for any college student who doesn’t require a very large volume of monthly prints and wants a high quality printer with low running costs and investment.

Eric Jones

A tech enthusiast and avid gamer, Eric Jones has been into the gaming world for over a decade. With a wide array of experience including putting together a number of gaming PCs for himself and his friends, he imparts the knowledge he's curated because of his curious nature to you in an informative and entertaining way as a tech writer.

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