While many home or office users buy inkjet printers, laser printers are a class apart and have their own advantages.
They are expensive at times, but we will try to come up with some affordable options in this article that fit into your budget.
So stick along for best budget laser printers in 2021.
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A note on budget laser printers in this list
For starters, a budget laser printer is still at least twice as much expensive as a budget inkjet printer.
You must also note that cheapest laser printers that you find in the market are usually just monochrome models meaning they only print in black.
Color laser printers are about twice as more expensive as the cheapest monochrome laser printers.
Finally, if you consider procuring an All in One, aka multi function, COLOR laser printer, then even the cheapest option will be fairly expensive.
In a nutshell, what we mean is that while you can find inkjet printers costing less than $50 at a time, you cannot find laserjets at this price.
Also Read: Best Inkjet Printers Under $50
Budget Laser Printer Comparison Table
Mono / Color
USB, Ethernet, WiFi, WiFi Direct
USB, WiFi, WiFi Direct
USB, WiFi, WiFi Direct
USB, Ethernet, WiFi, WiFi Direct, NFC, USB Flash Drive
WiFi, WiFi Direct, Ethernet, Thumb Drive Support
Upfront Cost vs Operating Cost
Another point to note here is that there is a difference between upfront, or purchasing cost, and operating cost of a printer.
Printers that have a low upfront cost does not mean that they would also have a cheap cost per page. The cost per page depends entirely on the model.
In this article, our primary goal is to list the laser printers with a budget “upfront” cost. However, worry not, we have also taken operating cost into consideration.
List of Best Budget Laser Printers 2021
Here is our list of best affordable laser printers.
5 Best Budget Laser Printers Reviewed
1. Brother HL-L2370DW – Recommended Budget Monochrome Laser Printer
Brother HL-L2370DW checks plenty of boxes for us. It is not just affordable, it is also one of the fastest and one of the most compact printers of its class.
For starters, you must note that this is the upgraded version of the older Brother HL-L2350DW. The previous version had lacked an Ethernet port.
This however not just includes the Ethernet port but also offers other connectivity options including USB, WiFi and WiFi Direct for printing via mobile devices.
Furthermore, compared to the older version, the Brother HL-L2370DW also offers faster speeds and has a slightly more economical prints.
As such, this printer has speed of 36 pages per minute and it costs about 3.5 cents per monochrome page.
Of course, this is a specialized printer suitable only for those who print black and white documents very often.
People often use monochrome laser printer with a combination of a cheap inkjet printer. While inkjet printers are great for photo prints, the monochrome laser printers can be used for affordable and high quality B&W prints.
All in all, for the monochrome class of laser prints, we find this to be one of the best budget laser printers in the market.
2. HP M31w – All in One Compact Laser Printer – Monochrome
- Legendary quality – Print, scan, and copy...
- World's smallest in-class printer – Work...
- Fast print speeds – Breeze through your...
- Best-in-class mobile print app – Print from...
This is not just one of the cheapest laser printers out there, it is also THE SMALLEST AIO model currently in the market.
It measures at only about 14.2 x 10.4 x 7.8 (WxDxH) inches which is truly an accomplishment by HP.
This is a monochrome laser printer with a flatbed scanner on top. As such, it can scan and copy your documents.
Unfortunately, while being the smallest AIO laser printer is quiet a feat, this printer falls short in other aspects.
With a speed of 21 ppm, this printer is neither the fastest nor the one with the cheapest operating costs.
Furthermore, while it does offer WiFi and WiFi Direct, the lack of Ethernet port hinders its network capability.
All in all, if you want the cheapest AIO option, then this is best budget laser printers as far as monochrome goes.
Also Read: Best small office laser printers.
3. Brother HL-L3210CW – Compact Color Laser Printer
- Fast printing to keep you moving: The Brother...
- Enjoy easy and affordable color printing:...
- Versatile paper handling helps increase...
- Print and connect your way: The HLL3210CW...
This is one of the most budget friendly color laser printers out there.
It costs almost as much as any inkjet printer for photos and offers highly competitive running costs.
The printer prints a monochrome page at 2.6 cents per sheet and a color page at 15.5 cents. For those of you who are not aware of the norm, these figures are lower than the average for most color laser printers.
Unfortunately though, while this printer has a low upfront cost and also reasonably low operating costs, it suffers from a few issues.
Firstly, the graphics printing quality of this printer is sub par, which is something that you would expect at this price range.
Secondly, the speed on this printer is on the lower end of the spectrum at 19 ppm.
Thirdly, it lacks Ethernet port that makes it less viable for large work groups. Fortunately, though, it does have WiFi, and WiFi Direct connectivity options.
Finally, this is NOT a duplexing printer and therefore, cannot print on both sides.
All in all, if you want a color laser printer and if you are seriously limited financially, then this is the best budget laser printers that we can recommend.
Also check out the best printers for home us with cheap ink.
4. HP LaserJet Pro M254dw – High Grade Budget Color Laser Printer
- Big performance in compact size – this...
- A faster pace for business - This HP color...
- High-impact color quality – count on HP...
- Easy mobile printing – The highly rated HP...
Sure the Brother HL-L3210CW above is quite affordable, however, the fact that it suffers from a few issues including sub par graphics quality makes it less ideal for most.
Therefore, if you can dish out a few extra dollars, you can get this color laser printer that is not only recommended by us, but also by expert reviewers.
Basically, this is a complete package (minus the scanner feature). It offers a compact form factor, a very comfortable touch screen for configuration, and a myriad of connectivity options.
Along with the standard USB connection, this printer offers WiFi, WiFi Direct, and also Ethernet. On top of that, it also features the much coveted NFC for mobile printing as well as support for thumb drive printing.
While this printing speed of 19 ppm is below average, it does offer competitive printing rates. The printer prints at 3.2 cents per monochrome and 16.3 cents for color.
While the operating cost is not as low as that of the Brother HL-L3210CW, its print quality is much better in comparison.
Finally, unlike the printers mentioned above, this is a duplex printer. Thus it can print on both sides.
All in all, if you need a robust yet affordable color printing option, then this is one of the best budget laser printers in our opinion.
5. Canon Color imageCLASS MF644Cdw – AIO Color Laser Printer
- Standard Dimensions (Desktop): 16.9" W x...
- USABILITY: A unique, customized device...
- QUALITY AND RELIABILITY: Canon's signature...
- WORKFLOW EFFICIENCY: Supports mobile...
So basically this is a rather expensive machine. However, if you want a multi function (AIO) laser printer THAT TOO with COLOR, then this is about the cheapest available in the market.
Sure there are slightly less cheaper COLOR AIO options out there, but this stands out the most in terms of functionality.
The first thing you will notice is that it is slightly bigger than the rest of the printers mentioned above. That is because not only does it have a flatbed scanner on top, it also has a sheet fed scanner with an ADF for automatic batch scanning.
Another very lucrative aspect about this printer is that both the printer as well as the scanner are duplex. Therefore, this can print on both sides as well as scan both sides of your documents in a single pass through.
Top complete the AIO package, it also includes a fax machine which essential for office environments.
The printer has a reasonably fast speeds of 22 pages per minute and quite competitive printing costs of 3.2 cents for monochrome and 16.4 cents for color printing.
Finally, this printer offers a myriad of ease-of-use functionalities including a large and a comfortable touchscreen as well as a plethora of connectivity options.
The connectivity options include the standard USB, Ethernet, WiFi, WiFi Direct and USB flash drive support.
All in all, this is actually the cheapest machine here considering the fact that it includes 4 machines in one including a printer, flatbed scanner, ADF scanner as well as a Fax machine. Each machine if bought separately would cost so much more.
Therefore, if you want a complete package, then this is one of the best budget laser printers.
Also Read: Best Multi Function Color Laser Printers
People Also Ask (FAQs)
Benefits of Laser Printer
There are many benefits to the best budget laser printers.
As compared to their inkjet competitors, laser printer offers better speed. You can rely on them for fast printing action.
Low Printing Cost
Laser printer may seem pricey while buying, but they reduce the printing cost considerably. Inkjet printers need to refill their cartridges more often. Though, the toner of laser printer need replacements too but less often than ink cartridges.
Laser printers offer great performance without disturbing the peace of your workplace.
Laser printers offer better quality prints as compared to the inkjet printers. There is no incidence of ink smudging or blotches with laser prints.
Heavy Duty Cycle
Laser printers are designed for heavy printing needs. They are excellent for high volume printing. They offer heavy duty cycle and are more suitable for professionals.
Disadvantages of Laser Printers
There are some disadvantages of laser printers.
Not Good for Complex Images
A laser printer can handle texts and simple graphics very well, but they cannot do justice to more complex images or photos.
Covers More Space
There are some compact options in laser printers too, but generally, they are bigger and heavier than inkjet printers.
Do not Handle Different Paper Formats
Laser printers can handle limited paper formats as compared to inkjet printers. Inkjet printers can even deal with versatile paper formats like plastic sheets.
Laser Printers are Costly
Laser printers are more costly as compared to inkjet printers. The purchase price is a bit higher, but then they are easy to maintain and offers more saving on prints.
Monochrome or colored laser printers which one to choose?
That depends on your individual needs. If you only need high volume printing of documents, then you can go for a monochrome laser printer.
On the other hand, if you need colored prints or think there is a possibility for color print requirement, then choose a colored printer.
Monochrome Printers are efficient for specific black and white prints and also cost less than a colored printer.
The point to note here is that laser printers are generally much more expensive than their inkjet counterparts even the cheapest ones.
However, they are fast, reliable and offer better print quality especially for documents and graphics. As such, they are mostly suited for offices, schools and firms.
Andrew White is the founder of TechGearoid, a leading technology review & information website that is designed to help consumers make better decisions when it comes to their IT purchases. As a specialist tech writer (nerd) with over 10 years of experience, he enjoys writing about everything there is to do with modern technology & the newest market innovations. When he isn’t providing value for his readers, he’s usually drinking coffee or at the beach. Andrew lives in Sydney, Australia with his wife and family.