Printers with USB port allow you to print files from your thumb drive and to save your scans to the thumb drive – if they offer a scanner too.
This is particularly helpful when you do not have a PC or Laptop access and still want to use the printer. Obviously, you can use the Fax function in the same way.
Printers are generally equipped with USB 2.0 ports which are of two kinds.
First, there is the device port that can only connects to the host ports of computer, laptops etc.
Secondly, there is the printer host port which allows devices like thumb drives to connect to the printer.
In this article we are concerned about the latter. Here will talk about the best printers with USB port for thumb drive support.
Comparison Table of Top Printers with Front USB Port
|Model||Notable Features||AIO||Speed (ppm)||Connectivity||Price|
|Canon MF644Cdw||Color Laser Printer||Yes||22||USB, Ethernet, WiFi, WiFi Direct, USB Thumb Drive|
|HP 7740||Wide Format Printer||Yes||21 (Mono)|
|USB, Ethernet, WiFi, WiFi Direct, USB Thumb Drive|
|Brother MFC- J995DW||Supertank High Yield Printer||Yes||12 (Mono)|
|USB, Ethernet, WiFi, WiFi Direct, USB Thumb Drive, SD Card, NFC|
|Epson XP-960||Wide Format Photo Printer||Yes||8.5 (Mono)|
|USB, Ethernet, WiFi, WiFi Direct, USB Thumb Drive, SD Card|
|Canon SELPHY CP1300||Portable 4x6" Printer||No||1||USB Type A, Mini USB|
Choosing Flash Drive for Printers
Some rule to follow when using thumb drives with printers.
- Always format using FAT32 option
- Ensure that thumb drive does not have too many extra files that are not relevant to printing. When you connect the thumb drive to the printer, it is read by the printer and the supported files are searched which may take a long time otherwise.
- Connect the thumb drive directly to the printer USB port. Don’t use a HUB for example.
List of Best Printers with USB Port for Thumb Drive Support
We have selected the following as the best printers with support for thumb drive. They all have there unique advantage.
- Canon Color imageCLASS MF644Cdw – All in One Color Laser Printer
- HP OfficeJet Pro 7740 – Wide Format All in One Color Inkjet Printer
- Brother MFC-J995DW – Printer with Supertank
- Epson Expression Photo XP-960 – For the Photo Enthusiasts
- Canon SELPHY CP1300 – For On-the-Go Printing
1. Canon Color imageCLASS MF644Cdw – All in One Color Laser Printer
The Canon Color imageCLASS MF644Cdw is an all-in-one color laser printer offering print, scan, copy, and fax services with high-quality color image printing.
It offers crisp color image printing at a speed of 22 ppm for letter size paper which is just absolutely dazzling; a notable feature.
You have one 250 sheets cassette to work from which may seem a bit less if you are a heavy user. The output tray can hold 75 sheets as with most printers. You can print duplex and also have the Direct Print option.
Your scanning options include 50 sheet ADF with single-pass duplex scanning with a zooming speed of 27 ipm for double sided color scanning.
Your copying is done at the speed of the printing with many presets and other useful features available.
Coming to the FAX options, the modem offers max super G3 33.6kbps while you have a good range of other software features that get your business communication rolling.
Whether you want to use Ethernet of Wi-Fi from your computer or Wi-Fi direct from your mobile devices, you have the liberty to choose. Of course, the USB ports option is there with 2 x USB 2.0 host ports available.
One the down side the MF644Cdw has a rather high running per page cost and is bulky and heavy. Also, it does not offer NFC which is becoming more common due to its convenience.
In the end, if you need a robust color laser printer for your small-medium sized office, then this among the best printers with USB port.
2. HP OfficeJet Pro 7740 – Wide Format All in One Color Inkjet Printer
The Pro 7740 from HP is an all-in-one inkjet color wide-format printer offering copy, scan and fax functions.
It will print your documents at 22ppm for BW and 18ppm for color with a clean print result and the wide-format of a Tabloid or A3. Additionally, you can print double-sided with auto-duplex.
The wide-format; Tabloid or A3 11”x17”, is a particular feature of this printer which is available in printing, scanning, and copying.
Its two cassettes of A3 250 papers each, providing 500 sheets input and has an output capacity of 75 sheets.
The scanner is 11”x17” flat-bed, with a 35 sheet ADF and single-pass duplex scanning of standard format pages. Also, the copy function allows up to 600 dpi 18 cpm for BW and 13 cpm for color.
Your connectivity options do not include NFC but are otherwise many including Ethernet, Wi-Fi, Wi-Fi Direct, USB 2.0 and additionally 2 RJ-11 Modem Ports.
To add to the wide-format good quality printing the printer offers a very impressive running cost of 2.1 cents per monochrome page and 8.1 cents per color page.
The downsides are that it is bulky and heavy and does not include the convenient NFC connectivity of today.
If you work in a firm that has to print tabloid or A3 sized charts and designs, then this is among the best printers with USB port.
3. Brother MFC-J995DW – Printer with Supertank
The Brother MFC-J995DW is an all-in-one color inkjet printer with a super thank and a very high yield of printing that too at a very low cost.
The printer has enough ink to last for a year worth of nominal printing. Depending on the type of ink you choose (super high yield or ultra high yield), you can get about 3000 to 6000 pages per cartridge (black) and 5000 for color.
The ink is supposedly meant to last for a year but that still does not affect the per page printing cost; more of a convenience feature. Mind you, the per-page printing cost is quite reasonable still.
The “INKvestment” Tank offers a hybrid of cartridges and refill tank where you purchase cartridges rather than re-fill containers, but the cartridges when loaded, empty out into fixed tanks in the printer. Again, a matter of convenience.
It offers a combination of good features and convenience. Another plus is the ability to print from various memory devices (USB + SD Cards) that you can also scan to. Other connectivity options are Ethernet, Wi-Fi, W-Fi Direct and NFC.
You will have this bulk-ink ink jet printing for you at reasonable quality and speeds of 12 ppm BW and 10 ppm at standard format.
It prints double sides and is best known for supreme quality text printing. Image print quality is quite fine though but not as great as a photo printer.
The input cassette holds 150 sheets and the output container holds 50 sheets, with a recommended print volume of 1500 sheets per month.
The scanner has a 20 sheet ADF but only offers single-side scanning.
The downsides are the low input and output capacity, ADF without auto-duplexing and slight sluggishness.
On the whole, the MFC-J995DW is an excellent entry-level choice for a home office or the likes that have bulk printing needs. Due to its many connectivity option, this is certainly one of the best printers with USB port.
4. Epson Expression Photo XP-960 – For the Photo Enthusiasts
The Epson Expression Photo XP-960 is an all-in-one inkjet with a plus of wide-format support with high-quality image printing, thanks to its 6 ink cartridge system.
The printer cost is more on the higher side because its niche is narrow; large color photo printing along with availability of Multi Functions.
Besides that, if you need studio grade photo prints, then this is excellent not just for your business but also for personal use.
The XP-960 has duplexer but no ADF. Its printing is slower i.e. 8.5 ppm BW and 8 ppm Color but that is because high quality prints take time.
The quality of text printing is subpar and Black and White printing is also just reasonable. Having said that, it prints excellent color photos of up to A3 size, in particular, if using Epson’s Premium Photo Paper Glossy.
This printer will also let you do away with printing labels for CDs and DVDs as it prints straight onto them in color and high quality.
The XP-960 offers several ways of connectivity like Ethernet, W-Fi, W-Fi Direct, USB and SD Card.
The downside of the XP-960 is the paper-handling. It has an input capacity of 100 papers for 8.5”x 11” paper.
For A3 size, there is a rear tray for one paper at a time. The paper is placed only after print command when the printer signals to place the paper.
On the whole, this option is one of the best printers with USB port, for a media oriented home user who needs a multi-function photo printer.
5. Canon SELPHY CP1300 – For On-the-Go Printing
Unlike the earlier four printers discussed, the Canon SELPHY CP1300 is not an All-in-one. It is a portable color ink printer that uses Dye-Sublimation printing technology.
When ranked among the portable ink printers of today, the general market hype is mobile-device-controlled printers for wallet sized prints.
This printer stands out as being extremely portable but self-sufficient in printing.
The Canon SELPHY CP1300 offers great print quality with maximum print size 4” x 6”. You will have to run 4 print cycles to complete the print because one color prints in one cycle.
You may send your prints by multiple connectivity methods including USB Type-A for camera, thumb drive connection and mini USB for connection to PC. Wi-Fi connectivity is also there. The 3.2” non-touch LCD Screen can be used conveniently to handle the print jobs.
The printer comes complete with power adapter and battery pack that can print around 54 Postcard size prints in one charge.
One downside to the CP1300 is that the mini USB cable does not come packed with the printer. It has to be arranged separately, which could pose a difficulty because mini USB cables are more of a part of the past and could be hard to find in your vicinity.
On the whole, the Canon SELPHY CP1300 is one of the best printers with USB port if you are always on the go.
Read: Best 4×6″ Photo Printers
When is a printer with a USB helpful?
The traditional method of printing is to connect the printer directly to your computer.
This can be done to day with the use of LAN/WLAN connectivity. This option is fine for home use, but when you want a printer for your home-office or small to medium-sized business, you will find it very helpful and productive to have printer access options that do not need computers.
USB Connectivity eliminates the need for computers to print or receive scanned files.
Your employees can simply take the files to be printed on the thumb drive to the printer and get the documents printed.
Similarly, the scanned documents can be copied to the thumb drive and taken where ever they are needed.
What to look for in printers when buying printers with USB?
What you need to look for is the printer specifications and particularly the heading of “Connectivity”. I have pasted some screenshots as examples below. The specifications must mention USB as a type of connectivity. Normally the version number and port type are also mentioned like USB 2.0 Host Port or Device Port.
How Does Printer Print from Thumb Drive?
There is a feature in printers with a USB port called Direct Print.
This particular feature of the printers allows you to print directly from your thumb drive.
It handles the reading of the thumb drive and providing you with an interface through which you can select the files you wish to print and then to let you decide how you wish to print these files i.e. selecting the print options.
In this article we looked at some of the best printers with USB port from various price ranges and categories. Some are large bulky printers for office use, other are small enough to be carried in your back pack.
Printers offering USB connectivity are abundant in the market and since this is a connectivity feature, it is independent of the qualities of the printer like whether it is Laser or Inkjet; Color or BW; Multi-purpose of not; Large, Heavy or small and portable.
The presence of the USB interface adds to the value of printers, no matter what kind they are.