If you are a college student out looking for a printer for school, you may have realized that the options are limitless.
There are printers of all shapes, sizes, capabilities, and prices. Here, we address some of the best printers for college students by going into detail about what you get from each and how it will fit into your use case as a student.
The daunting task is finding a printer that is suited for your needs while still being student-friendly in terms of the purchase price and operating costs. While you carry the final burden of choice, here are some things to consider when making a decision.
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Comparison Table of Best Printers for College Students
|Model||Print Speed||Printing Cost (cents)||AIO||Printing Size||Duplex||Connectivity||Price|
|Epson ET-2720||10.5 ppm (mono)|
5 ppm (color)
|Yes||A4||No||USB, WiFi, WiFi Direct||See details|
|Epson ET-2760||6 ppm (mono)|
4 ppm (color)
|Yes||A4||Yes||USB, WiFi, WiFi Direct||See details|
|Brother HL-L2350DW||32 ppm||3.6||No||A4||Yes||USB, WiFi, WiFi Direct||See details|
|Brother MFC-J995DW||12 ppm (mono)|
10 ppm (color)
|Yes with ADF||A4||Yes||USB, WiFi, WiFi Direct, Ethernet, NFC, USB Thumb Drive, SD Card||See details|
|Epson ET-7750||13 ppm (mono)|
10 ppm (color)
|Yes||A4||No||USB, WiFi, WiFi Direct, Ethernet, USB Thumb Drive, SD Card||See details|
What to Look for If You Are A Student
All printers are inherently different from one another. Even when they seem alike, some differences usually emerge. As a student, you need to look at your needs first before committing to buying a particular model.
An important factor to consider is the overall running cost. Printers that have a SuperTank are best for cheap prints as you will see from some of the devices mentioned. These are the best when you need to save money on prints.
Some printers come with an Automatic Document Feeder (ADF) which makes scanning easier by automating the process. While this is a great feature, you may realize that the cost of a printer with an ADF is high and you may not even need it as much.
Additionally, features like fax can drive up a printer’s cost. However, for most students, there’s no need for a fax.
Most college students will need to scan, copy and print documents. So, when shopping for a printer, it is best to pick one that serves all these functions, an all-in-one device. This will save you the trouble of buying separate devices and it will come in handy.
List of Best Printers for College Students For Home Use in 2020
We have selected the following printers based on the fact they are affordable and also have very low operating costs.
- Epson EcoTank ET-2720 – Low Operating Cost SuperTank Printer
- Epson EcoTank ET-2760 – Low Operating Cost with Duplex Printing
- Brother HL-L2350DW – Extremely Fast Monochrome Laser Printer
- Brother MFC-J995DW – ADF Printer with Extensive Connectivity Options
- Epson Expression ET-7750 – Great for Creative Arts, Media, and Photography Students
1. Epson EcoTank ET-2720 – Low Operating Cost SuperTank Printer
Dimensions and Weight
- 7 x 14.8 x 13.7 Inches
- 13 Pounds
While the Epson EcoTank ET-2720 was not built specifically for portability (which a college student may need), it is relatively light, comes in an attractive design and has some features that make it a great buy.
Firstly, the printer is relatively inexpensive to buy. Furthermore, being an All-in-One means that you get to print, copy and scan from just one device. This makes it convenient for students who need to perform these tasks on a budget.
What makes this device one of the best printers for college students is its low operating cost. With the help of its SuperTank, this device will cost you just a mere 0.3 cents for a black page print and 0.9 cents for a colored page, letting you save money on printing.
It has entry-level speeds of 10.5 ppm for monochrome pages and 5 ppm for colored pages. As a student, having a super-fast printer is not necessary so this speed is okay.
While a college student can benefit a lot from an ADF, the fact that this model lacks the feature is not a big deal. To print or scan two-sided documents, you will need to flip the document manually.
The device has support for WiFi, WiFi-Direct and USB 2.0 which will let you print from a wide variety of devices.
Read more: Best Home Wireless Printers
2. Epson EcoTank ET-2760 – Low Operating Cost with Duplex Printing
Dimensions and Weight
- 4 x 14.8 x 13.7 Inches (HxWxD)
- 13 Pounds
At first glance, the ET-2760 looks almost similar to the ET-2720 above. However, they are not and as you shall see, some minor improvements make the ET-2760 the better (although costlier) alternative.
The most remarkable step-up feature for this device is the support for two-sided printing which the ET-2720 doesn’t have.
With two-sided printing (duplex printing), you can automatically print on both sides of a sheet of paper. This is more convenient for a college student compared to having to manually flip the document.
Furthermore, the device is quite compact. College students with little space will find this printer appealing as it can be easily set up in a small space.
Just like its sibling, the ET-2720, this printer also lacks an ADF. This means that scanning will still need to be done manually page by page.
As far as the printing cost is concerned, it has the same low cost per page of 0.3 cents for mono and 0.9 cents for color pages.
The device has four ink reservoirs that are easily accessible and work together to produce quality prints.
Upon purchase, you get enough ink for 7,500 black pages or 6,000 colored pages. Replacement bottles are mildly inexpensive and its running costs are just like those of the ET-2720.
Along with WiFi and USB, this printer also supports several other mobile printing options.
The same features that acclaim the ET-2720 as a great printer also praise this device as one of the best printers for college students. The addition of a an auto duplex mechanism only makes it better.
Read more: Best Printers With Double Sided Scanner
3. Brother HL-L2350DW – Extremely Fast Monochrome Laser Printer
Dimensions and Weight
- 2 x 14 x 14.2 Inches (HxWxD)
- 9 Pounds
Brother HL-L2350DW is a monochrome laser printer with a compact size and a budget price tag.
This device marries the features of speed and affordability, hence its appearance among the best printers for college students. I say this because a student will benefit from the fast printing speeds and the low purchase cost, especially when what they need is a monochrome printer.
The printer prints at a speed of 32 ppm. This is lightening fast as compared to the printers above.
The printer can easily handle bulk prints as it has a 15,000-page maximum monthly duty cycle. This makes it easy to share the printer with a few friends on campus.
The 250-page paper input tray is large enough to let you print easily without having to constantly top-up the sheets. This results in a faster and easier printing experience.
Running costs are on par with what is expected from a laser printer. It costs 3.6 cents per page. So, with small print volumes per month, you can save money.
Text quality is very crisp making it ideal for monochrome documents like essays and assignments.
For connectivity, you get the standard WiFi and WiFi-Direct which many modern printers come with and USB which lets you connect to and print directly from a PC.
Unfortunately, this is not an AIO. So, while you get a fast printer with duplex two-sided printing, you miss out on the scan, fax and copy features.
Read more: What is Printer Duty Cycle
4. Brother MFC-J995DW – ADF Printer with Extensive Connectivity Options
Dimensions and Weight
- 7 x 17.1 x 13.4 Inches (HxWxD)
- 2 Pounds
A student is bound to find this AIO not only affordable but quite handy for college. This is because it is on a class of its own when it comes to connectivity.
Unlike the previously discussed devices, this model also offers support for Ethernet apart from the standard WiFi, WiFi-Direct, and USB. Additionally, the device can print through thumb drives, SD cards and NFC. This means you may not even need a PC or a smartphone to print and save to.
Let’s talk about the fact that it has a 20-sheet capacity ADF. This makes scanning easier since you can place up to 20 documents on the scanner input tray and the device will insert the documents into the scanner automatically, letting the student be productive with other things.
If that’s not enough then you should know that the device has relatively low operating costs. Thanks to Brother’s INKvestment tank technology which significantly increases the capacity of the ink cartridges, you won’t have to buy cartridges often.
As far as the printing cost is concerned, it costs about 1 cents for monochrome and about 5 cents for a color print. While the monochrome prints are reasonably priced, the color prints a bit expensive.
Even so, the color prints are not as expensive as an average inkjet printer.
The device is rated at 12 ppm for monochrome pages and 10 ppm for colored pages. Moreover, it supports automatic print duplexing.
Overlooking the fact that it’s a bit sluggish and its costlier to print as compared to the Epson EcoTank series printers, this is one of the best printers for college students.
Read more: Best Printers with NFC
5. Epson Expression ET-7750 – Great for Creative Arts, Media, and Photography Students
Dimensions and Weight
- 8 x 20.7 x 29.3 Inches
- 7 Pounds
Right off the bat, this device is quite expensive. And it’s the costliest device on this list based on purchase price alone. However, it matches its price tag quite effectively as you will see.
It has a 5-ink system with the addition of a “Photo Black” pigment which enriches the blacks in graphics. This is something that photography or art students would appreciate due to the high-quality photo prints.
Moreover, the best part about this is that even though the initial purchase price for this device is high, the running costs lie at just 0.3 cents to print a monochrome page and 1.1 cents for a colored page. This will result in a lot of savings for a student who invests in this device.
And you must remember that here we are talking about colored prints that worthy of photo quality.
The device has a decent array of connection options which include WiFi, Ethernet, WiFi-Direct, USB thumb drives, and SD Cards. This makes work easy as you can print a class project from Flash drive.
Furthermore, device has a rated speed of 13 ppm for monochrome pages and 10 ppm for colored pages. Although moderate, the speed is okay for personal use.
Sadly, the device lacks an ADF. Therefore, you can only scan manually using the flatbed.
If you’re looking for the best printers for college students and price is not an issue, this device is highly recommended especially if you value color quality.
You will notice here that most of the best printers for college students in our opinion are the ones with a “supertank”. These printers have the lowest operating cost of all the printers in the market.
Sure, they may a cost a bit more to procure, but in the long run, they can be highly valuable. With these printers you can literally spoil yourself with the amount of prints you can perform on a single full tank.
The best part is that you don’t have to replace the ink cartridge in most such printers. All you have to do is refill the reservoirs with replacement inks that you can get in bottles.
Besides that, laser printers are also great. They may have a high operating cost, but they are highly reliable, their inks do not dry out, and are much more durable than their inkjet counterparts.
They are also lightening fast in comparison and their text quality is second to none. This is quite essential for document printing.