Finding the best color laser printer isn’t easy with all the options out there. But we’re here to help you make a sound and educated decision. We’ve researched and found the best laser printers for home use and small businesses.
Laser printers have become a must-have for small businesses and at-home enterprises. They no longer have the hefty overheads. They’re more efficient and cost-effective than other printing alternatives. So they’re the best solution to your printing needs!
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The Best Color Laser Printers
There is something for everyone on this list. We have printers for small businesses and home-based professionals for personal and family use.
All the printers on this list have wireless printing features… but if you’re wondering what else to look for in the best color laser printer or why you need one, we have answers for you in the buying guide at the end of the article.
The HP Color LaserJet Pro MFP M281fdw has all the functions and features you need to run a small business. It’s an all-in-one machine with print, scan, copy, and fax options. It’s small enough for home if that’s where you run your business. But it’s more than capable of holding its own in a professional office.
The overall performance is fantastic, with duplex printing at 22 pages per minute. The print quality is excellent, with sharp text and vibrant color toning. The paper tray holds 250 sheets. And there’s an automatic document feeder for improved efficiency.
This printer is wireless. It has Wi-Fi through Wi-Fi Direct options. And you can make the most of mobile printing with the HP Smart App on your phone or tablet. And ordering replacement cartridges is a one-click operation with the app.
The HP Color LaserJet Pro MFP M281fdw is equipped with a flatbed scanner. The scan to email feature means you can send paper documents anywhere. And faxing is another option available to you.
The flatbed scanner also allows you to photocopy paper documents. It can copy in black and white and color at the same rate as printing.
You can use the ethernet connection if your Wi-Fi network is unstable. And the USB ports give you the option to print directly from storage devices like pen drives and hard drives.
The Dash Replenishment feature is a highlight of this machine. It recognizes when your cartridges go below 10% and order new ones automatically. You’ll never run out again! You can activate this service on the printer with no subscription fee.
The standard cartridges (HP 202A) aren’t cheap. And the cost-per-page level is something that lets the HP Color LaserJet Pro MFP M281fdw down. The high-yield cartridges (HP 202X) actually offer better cost efficiency in the long term.
- Excellent-quality prints and color tones
- One-click or automatic cartridge ordering
- Scan, fax, and photocopy options
- Option of high-yield cartridges
- Expensive standard cartridges
- High cost-per-page (standard)
Best for a Home Office
If you’re looking for a simple solution to your home-printing problems, the Lexmark C3224dw could be the laser printer. It has a compact cube shape, making it easy to fit in your house or office. And it still has all the features you need for efficient printing, but the print quality is not as good as others on this list.
The Lexmark C3224dw can turn out 24 pages per minute. And it can maintain that speed with duplex printing in black and white and color. The paper tray has a maximum capacity of 250 sheets, so you don’t need to get up and reload it after large print jobs.
It may look like a simple machine, but the Lexmark C3224dw still has excellent wireless printing capabilities. You simply connect the printer to the local Wi-Fi network, and you can print from any computer, tablet, or phone. You can also join using ethernet and USB ports.
You have plenty of options for mobile printing, with several printing apps available. There’s the Lexmark mobile print app, Mopria. Or you can go for Air Print or Google Cloud Print. They all work with this printer, giving you more printing and organization options.
The Lexmark C3224dw has 256MB of internal memory. And the machine will remember documents that you often print, which is a fantastic time-saving feature.
Lexmark is conscious of the environmental issues we face. And they want to reduce running costs for their users. The C3224dw has energy-saving modes and uses double-sided printing as a standard to save paper. They also have a free cartridge recycling system.
The black toner cartridge (C3210K0) yields up to 1500 pages before they need replacing. And all three color cartridges (cyan, magenta, and yellow) have a similar yield of 1500 pages. That gives you a healthy cost-per-page average if you do a lot of color printing.
- Small and compact
- Remembers documents you print often
- Environmentally conscious features
- Good cost per page
- Lower-quality print
Best Professional Laser Printer
The HP Color LaserJet Enterprise M554dn is a professional-level printer. It was made for a life in a busy office, producing high-quality prints at a rapid pace—perhaps too big for use in the home. And with features geared towards companies, it’s an ideal color laser printer for a growing business.
You get automatic duplex printing for efficiency. There’s a paper capacity of 650 sheets, so you won’t spend all your time restocking the machine. And the printer has the highest output on this list at 35 pages per minute. That’s quick, especially for double-sided color printing.
The color touchscreen is intuitive to use when you’re at the machine. But you can also set up remote access with the HP Web Admin feature. You can give new devices access to the printer, remove old ones, and update features and settings. This gives authority to the person who needs it.
Wireless connectivity is essential in an office environment. And the HP Color LaserJet Enterprise M554dn has plenty of wireless options. You have standard Wi-Fi connectivity. Plus, there is the Wi-Fi Direct option and Bluetooth if you don’t have internet access.
Security isn’t an issue with the HP Color LaserJet Enterprise M554dn. With HP Wolf Enterprise Security, your private information is secure. It employs defense layers to protect against malware and unauthorized access.
The printer has toner cartridge anti-fraud technology. It recognizes when you’re not using genuine HP cartridges. It means you can’t buy third-party toner. But it also ensures your printer functions well, producing top-quality black and white and color prints.
You need HP 212A cartridges. All colors, including black, are sold separately. The black toner gives you up to 5500 pages from a full cartridge. And the color cartridges produce less, at approximately 4500 pages.
- High-quality prints
- Fast print speeds
- Holds lots of paper
- Secured against malware and unauthorized access
- You can’t use third-party cartridges
Best Print Quality
The Canon ImageClass LBP622cdw is one of the smaller machines on the list. It might be small, but it has all the excellent features you need for running a business. It’s one of the best color laser printers for homes or small businesses.
The paper tray can hold 250 sheets of paper. And the print speed is a respectable 22 pages per minute. It won’t keep you waiting, and the print quality is superb. The text is always crisp, and the color graphics are vibrant and professional.
The recommended print volume for the LBP622cdw is between 150 and 2500 pages per month. You can put the printer through its paces if you are a single professional. That’s also enough for a small business, with scope for increased output if your business is growing.
The Canon ImageClass LBP622cdw has all the wireless features of the larger Canon printers. It has Wi-Fi connectivity. And you can also connect without an internet connection using the Wi-Fi Direct option.
Apple Air Print also gives you remote printing access if you download the app to your mobile device. And you can connect the printer to an Alexa device for voice-activated printing. The control pad on the printer is easy to use. But voice activation takes ease to a new level.
Business documents contain sensitive information. And when you connect the printer to the internet, you might be worried about online security. But the Canon ImageClass LBP622cdw has security features that keep your documentation safe. And all security settings are hidden behind an administrator login.
- Vibrant prints
- Compatible with Apple print
- Voice activation with Alexa devices
- Security features to keep documents safe
- Cartridges sold in a set
- A lower yield of color prints from one set of cartridges
Best for Small Businesses
The HP Color LaserJet Pro M454dw is another wireless printer perfectly suited to busy business life. It’s ideal for small offices and small businesses. And it will even service larger ones very well. The size is also suitable for a home office. But it might be expensive for personal use.
The regular input tray holds 250 sheets of standard paper. But you can fill the optional trays to take the total storage to 550 sheets. You won’t have to reload in the middle of a big print job.
The lack of an automatic document feeder lets this model down, certainly from an office-use standpoint. But it is proficient with a printing speed of 28 pages per minute. The quality is excellent, producing sharp lines and vivid colors. And duplex printing is the automatic option, saving you paper.
Wireless printing is easy with the HP Color Laserjet Pro M454dw. You can connect the printer to your Wi-Fi service. And there’s the HP Wi-Fi Direct option for wireless printing without an internet connection. It allows you to join the printer to a mobile device directly. You can also get the HP Smart App for remote printing.
Connecting devices to the internet can be worrying to some. But the HP Wolf Pro Security feature keeps your documents and information safe and secure. This is an essential feature for businesses handling sensitive information.
- Sharp-quality prints
- Fast print speeds
- High-capacity paper tray
- Security feature for sensitive information
- Lack of automatic paper feeder
- Expensive for personal use
Best for Color Photos
The Brother HL-L3270cdw is the perfect color laser printer for working from home or office with a few employees. It’s compact and has excellent features. And the color print quality is second to none.
The Brother HL-L3270cdw may be small, but its output is impressive. It’ll give you 25 pages per minute when it gets cooking. And that’s with duplex printing and double-side as an automatic selection.
The paper tray will hold a maximum of 250 sheets. That’s plenty for a home office setup. And you can adjust it for letter-sized and legal-sized paper. The printer will also accept glossy photo paper, meaning you can print color photos too.
It’s Wi-Fi compatible, so wireless printing is accessible from any device. And you can also print remotely using the Google Cloud Print App. You also have USB ports to print directly from storage devices.
The color toner is only available in standard cartridges. They’ll give you about 1300 pages before you need to refill. But if you are printing color photos, the total yield will be less. The color printing from the Brother HL-L3270cdw is excellent. But the cost adds up.
- Lower price
- Fast double-sided printing
- You can print color photos
- Expensive cost to print color photos
Best for Busy Offices
The Canon ImageClass MF741cdw is a bigger unit, better suited for busy offices with a few employees needing to print. It’s a hardworking machine. And it can cope with all the requirements of a small business.
The print speed is impressive. The Canon ImageClass MF741cdw produces 28 pages per minute. Color prints are slower, but it’s still a respectable pace. It’s a versatile laser printer able to print on different types of paper (thin, recycled, color, and coated).
There are three USB ports for direct connection to devices. And it can read media storage drives directly. You can connect and print wirelessly with the Wi-Fi Direct option if you’re more high-tech.
You can download Canon’s Print Business App onto your Android or iOS device. And it allows you to print and organize your documents remotely. As long as your printer is connected, you can print from anywhere!
You might be disappointed to hear Canon no longer includes fax features in its laser printer models. But you can add voice control to your printing by combining it with an Alexa device.
You can purchase the Canon color cartridges as a set. The initial overhead is expensive. But the black cartridge will yield 7600 prints before exhaustion. The color cartridges aren’t so fruitful, only delivering 5000 sheets.
- Allows printing on different paper
- Voice control with an Alexa device
- Cartridges sold in a set
- No fax features
Best for Reducing Costs
The Brother HL-L8360CDW can handle high demand. It’s designed for a busy work environment and can put out a high print volume. It’s ideal for busy offices. But you can use it at home if you’re running a small business.
The HL-L8360CDW has automatic duplex printing, meaning double-sided sheets are the norm. You also have dual-loading trays, so you don’t have to refill the paper constantly. Each tray holds 150 sheets of paper, so 300 prints before you need to reload.
This Brother laser printer leads the field when it comes to print speeds. It can put out 33 pages per minute, ideal for large meetings, conferences, and company-wide memoranda.
The Brother HL-L8360CDW gives you wireless printing options. You connect it to the local Wi-Fi network, then you can print from any device on the same network. You can also use the Google Cloud Print add for remote print work.
The color touchscreen works well, and the menus are straightforward to navigate. The printer has a USB port so that you can connect without Wi-Fi. And you can print directly from other USB devices like drives and external storage units.
The Brother HL-L8360CDW gives you options to reduce running costs. There’s toner save mode and energy save mode. The first reduces the amount of toner used for each print. They’ll appear slightly faded, but it’s acceptable for the less important documents. Energy save mode puts the printer to sleep when you’re not using it, bringing down power costs.
The toner cartridges are another strong point for Brother laser printers. They have Brother brand high-yield toner cartridges that can turn out 4500 pages. You have to buy each color separately, which drives up the price. But in terms of cost-per-page, it doesn’t get much better.
- Very fast printing
- Dual loading trays
- Wireless and remote printing options
- Easy-to-use touchscreens
- Toner and energy-saving mode
- High-yield cartridges
- Cartridges sold separately
The HP Color LaserJet Pro M255dw is the best all-rounder on our list. It has excellent functionality in a compact body. It’s affordable to buy and has reasonable running costs. It’s ideal for home use, professionals, and small businesses.
Laser printers have a reputation for being big and bulky. But the HP Color LaserJet Pro M255dw bucks that trend. It’s a compact machine with a cube shape, so it’s easy to find a spot for it in your office space.
This HP Color LaserJet has automatic two-sided printing. You don’t need to fiddle with the settings when you want double-sided prints. And it’s a fast printer, giving you a rate of 22 pages per minute.
You have reliable HP wireless connectivity. Connect the Wi-Fi network at home or in your office, and you can print wirelessly from any device on the same network. And there’s a front-side USB port if you prefer printing that way.
HP has taken wireless printing to another level with the HP Smart App. It’s available for iOS and Android systems. And it gives you more freedom and control over your printing, allowing you to print from anywhere. You can also set up shortcuts for repetitive tasks and organize your files on your mobile.
The 2.7-inch color touchscreen makes controlling the HP Color LaserJet Pro M255dw easy. And you also have the option of voice-activated printing, which is another fun feature.
The toner cartridges available for this model offer a high yield of prints. The introductory cartridges with the printer give you about 800 black and white pages and 600 color pages.
Replacement cartridges can be pricey, primarily because HP sells the cartridges separately. You can’t buy a set of all four (black, cyan, magenta, and yellow). The HP brand cartridges yield 1350 pages per cartridge. But there are third-party cartridge sets that will give you more pages.
- Affordable and economical
- Decent rate of printing
- Easy-to-use touchscreen
- Wireless app options for Android and iOS
- Voice activation
- Cartridges sold separately
Why You Need a Laser Printer
Color laser printers are the perfect machines if you need a lot of paper documentation. Whether for personal use at home or as a small business, they meet your needs and help streamline your business.
Until recently, a laser printer at home was unthinkable. They were too big and too expensive for small companies. But the situation has changed. Now laser printers are more compact and more affordable.
Laser vs. Inkjet
It’s not just the initial overhead cost of buying the printer. Color laser printers are quicker and more cost-effective than inkjet alternatives. Inkjet printers are cheaper to buy and more versatile. But they’re slow and inefficient for businesses.
Plus, ink cartridges are expensive. And inkjet machines don’t always use the ink wisely, wasting precious ink on test pages and cleaning procedures. The unnecessary use of ink adds to running costs and hurts your budget.
Toner cartridges for color laser printers can be pricey too. But they give you far more prints from one cartridge than the ink alternatives. And laser printers have a much better cost-per-page efficiency than inkjets. Simply put, a laser printer gives you more for your money.
Inkjet models are better for printing color photos. But if you need a lot of documents in black and white or color, a laser printer is more beneficial. They’re quicker, cheaper to run, and more efficient. A laser printer makes sense if you have a home office or small business.
What to Look For in a Color Laser Printer
The best color laser printer for you might not be the best for someone else. You need to consider certain factors before you buy a laser printer. How much do you need to print? How important is paperwork to your business? And how many employees and clients do you have?
The price is the detail most people look at first. And many professionals and business owners are pleased to see the overall cost of laser printers has come down in recent years. They are no longer a luxury exclusive to large offices and corporate spaces.
While color laser printers are still more expensive than inkjets, it’s not just the initial retail price you need to look at. You want a printer that’s more cost-effective to use over a period of time. That might mean buying a pricier machine at the start. But the lower running costs will save you money in the long term.
Cartridges, Wireless Features, and Other Options
You need to look at the price of toner cartridges and how many pages you get from them. This will give you a good idea of the cost per page. And you need to think about print speeds too. You don’t want to waste time waiting for color documents to print.
Some newer models now have wireless printing features that give you more flexibility. Printing via Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, or an app reduces the number of cables you need and gives you more freedom to print from anywhere.
More advanced models have email capabilities. You scan a document in the printer and send it directly to an email address. Newer models also create and file PDF documents. It’s a handy, time-saving feature.
Forget inkjet printers. If you’re running a business with relentless paperwork, you need a color laser printer—it’s an all-in-one printer solution with fast print speeds and lower running costs. They’re far more cost-effective for large print jobs.
We’ve included laser printers for home business setups and small and large offices. Whether it’s a one-person operation in your living room or a small business on the grow, this list has something for you.
We’ve got small and large printers. But they all have the functionality to meet the need of people busy with their work. They all have wireless connectivity. Plus, you have remote options for printing and organization with mobile apps. In case you’re looking for smaller printers, check our post on portable printers, too!
Choose the best color laser printer that meets your needs. You’ll see improved efficiency and productivity straight away!
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