Welcome to Engadget's back to school guide! Today, we're taking a look at printers. Head to the back to school hub to see the rest of the product guides as we add them throughout the month. Be sure to keep checking back; in early September, we'll be giving away a ton of gear, including some of the picks in our guides.
While you'll spend most of your time staring at a screen as you hastily pull together assignments at the last minute, you'll still need something to put your work to paper when the time comes to turn it in. Luckily, we're on hand to show there's much more to the wonderful world of inkjet printers than just pumping out projects, whether that be producing high-quality photos straight from your camera's SD card, or making memories tangible by printing straight from Facebook -- no computer required. There are scores of printers available at virtually every price point, so if you'd rather spend your last days of freedom not researching printers, then head past the break for our back to school suggestions.
On the cheap
HP Deskjet 3510 e-All-in-One printer
Want a printer with all the mod cons that doesn't suck too much out of your budget? HP's Deskjet 3510 does a lot for the asking price. In addition to being your scanner and copier, it lets you print via WiFi, ePrint (email-to-print) and straight from your smartphone with the help of free apps (AirPrint supported). It'll produce photos at a maximum of 4,800 DPI, and sports a 2-inch monochrome LCD for selecting printer features -- and for generally looking industrious.
Key specs: 4,800 DPI max resolution, HP ePrint, WiFi, smartphone printing, 2-inch LCD screen.
Price: from $60 on Amazon
You might also like...
Canon PIXMA MG2220
Canon's PIXMA MG2220 has no wireless credentials, and it doesn't ship with the USB cable you'll need to get going. That said, it can scan, copy and print borderless photos up to 8.5 x 11 inches, as well as handle your standard docs and spreadsheets. With a max color DPI of 4,800, this all-in-one's pretty capable when you factor in its most attractive feature: a very wallet-friendly price.
Price: from $30 on Amazon
Epson Expression Home XP-200
This Epson "small-in-one" matches the Deskjet 3510 in wireless features, with WiFi, Epson Email Print and remote printing. You can also print from mobile devices using apps, AirPrint or Google Cloud Print. It'll spit out photos at a maximum 5,760 DPI, and takes four separate ink cartridges, so you only need to switch out the reserves that you've exhausted.
Price: from $40 on Amazon
Willing to break the Benjamin barrier? Brother's MFC-J875DW all-in-one supports wired Ethernet networking as well as WiFi, and will print from mobile devices (including via WiFi Direct), USB drives and pretty much any memory card format you can think of. Its NFC chip means you can connect gadgets with a tap, and the 2.7-inch touchscreen display allows you to access Facebook, Flickr, Evernote and several other services directly from the printer. With duplex printing, a four-cartridge setup and a max DPI of 6,000, it offers plenty of bang for your buck.
Key specs: 6,000 DPI max resolution, Ethernet, WiFi Direct, instant access to web content.
Price: $149.99 from Best Buy
You might also like...
Like a younger, well, brother to the MFC-J875DW, the J475DW drops a few of the fancier features, but also $50 off the asking price. It's got a smaller LCD display, but maintains the "Web Connect" feature for printing straight from various internet services. Duplex printing and a max speed of 27 color pages per minute mean you can get those assignments in when you're perilously close to the deadline.
Price: $99.99 from Best Buy
HP Photosmart 6520
HP's Photosmart 6520 is quite the looker. It's feature-rich, too, with all the wireless capabilities you'd expect and a memory card slot for getting your shots straight from camera to page. A sizable 3.45-inch touchscreen accents the front of the unit, and can be used to print directly from online services. Auto-duplex printing is supported, but take note of the 4,800 max DPI before you drop over a hundred bones on one.
Price: from $118 on Amazon
Money's no object
HP Officejet Pro 276dw
This is for the
dorm room penthouse of students with trust funds that aren't going to spend themselves. This Officejet Pro printer only has a max color DPI of 1,200, but it will roll out black-and-white or color pages at speeds of up to 25 pages per minute. It boasts auto-duplex printing, copy / scan / fax functions and as many wireless options as you'd dare to try. It'll even serve as a WiFi access point, and has Ethernet, modem and USB ports. An SD card slot is on board, too, and a 4.3-inch touchscreen serves as your window to deeper features.
Key specs: 1,200 DPI max resolution, auto-duplex printing, up to 25 ppm, fax-capable, WiFi access point, 4.3-inch touchscreen.
Price: from $385 on Amazon
You might also like...
Capable of printing on paper sizes up to 11 x 17 inches, this Brother all-in-one hooks up with networks via Ethernet or WiFi. It'll take orders from mobile devices, and prints color at a max 6,000 DPI at 27 color pages per minute. It sports a 3.3-inch touchscreen LCD on the outside and, on the inside, there's space for four ink cartridges and 500 sheets of paper. The 35-page auto-document feeder means you can sit back and relax while it copies lecture notes.
Price: from $299 on Amazon
Epson Artisan 1430
A specialist printer for artsy types, the Artisan 1430 doesn't have any scanning or copying capabilities. It will, however, cough up borderless prints at sizes up to 13 x 19 inches at 5,760 DPI using six individual cartridges. Thanks to WiFi support, you can print any good shots straight from your smartphone with Epson's apps. Bonus: the printer comes bundled with a copy of Adobe's Photoshop Elements.
Price: from $300 on Amazon