Finding a printer that fits your family’s needs requires some research. With dozens of printers on the market, the printer you choose should continue to offer value as your family grows and your children get older. In this quick guide, we will cover all of the key components worth considering so you can find the best option. Start by answering a couple of basic questions about your printing expectations. Once you have your expectations laid out, continue reading to learn more about some of our favorite family friendly printers.
- Is it easy to use?
- Do I need to print in color?
- Do I need to make copies?
- How much do I want to spend on printing?
- Is wireless connectivity a necessity?
- Does it work well with social media?
Best Budget All-in-One
Picking a printer that keeps the family budget in mind is easy if you know what to look for. Pro-tip: factor in the total cost of operation, not just the upfront cost of the printer! Total cost of operation includes the printer price, plus the cost of replacing the cartridges and the cost of printing with those cartridges. At $149.99 on Amazon, the MFC-J985DW is a great budget option, offering a large print volume for very little money. Part of Brother’s “Inkvestment” printer line; copy, fax, scanning and wireless connectivity all come standard. The LC20E XXL cartridge series offer incredibly generous page yields at a respectable price. Brother sells the black cartridge for $23.99, which prints around 2,400 pages. Each color cartridge is $15 and prints 1,200 pages.
LD brand compatible LC20E cartridges are an even better deal. At just $8.49* for the black cartridge and $7.49 per color, you can get comparable print quality to the original Brother brand for a fraction of the cost.
Social Media Friendly
HP® Sprocket Wireless Photo Printer
Turn your digital Instagram photos into actual photos using HP’s Sprocket Wireless Photo Printer. Instead of ink cartridges, the printer use HP’s ZINK® Photo Paper, a special paper that applies heat activation technology to produce the color details in your prints. Capable of printing 2 x 3 inch photos or stickers from any of your preferred social media platforms, the Sprocket’s photos are fun to share and print fast. HP also offers an editing app so you can add a personal touch on your photos before you print. Amazon currently sells the printer for $129. A 20-sheet refill or the Zink photo paper goes for $9.99, making the printing costs pricey, but for the novelty, it may be worth it.
Best for Heavy Duty Use
Epson® WorkForce® Ecotank ET-4500
If your family prints at a high volume weekly, Epson’s Ecotank ET-4500 printer is a smart buy. The printer uses four extra-large, refillable ink tanks, with the black ink tank printing up to 6,000 pages and each color tank printing around 6,500 pages. The refill process can get a bit messy, since you’ll need to transfer the ink from the bottles into the tank system. Be sure to have a roll of paper towels nearby, just in case!
Epson sells each bottle for $12.99 and you can find an even cheaper option from LD Products at just $4.99 per compatible. The $279.99 price tag on Amazon is a bit expensive compared to other printers in its class, but the generous cartridge yield will likely make it worthwhile for families that go through a lot ink.
Best for Photos
Canon® Pixma iP8720
If you have a budding photographer at home, a quality photo inkjet printer is a must-have. The Canon Pixma iP8720 Wireless Color Photo Printer is a great option, priced at $214.99 and capable of printing sharp 4×6 photos in under 21 seconds.
Canon sells the PGI-250XL high yield black ink cartridge for $24.99, printing approximately 500 pages. CLI-251XL color cartridges are $19.99 each and sold in six colors: black, cyan, magenta, yellow and gray. Each cartridge prints around 660 pages. Keep in mind, two different black cartridges are required for this printer; the PGI-250 black cartridge is pigment based for printing text, and the CL-251 black cartridge is a dye-based ink for photo prints. LD brand compatible cartridges are far less expensive at $6.49 each, and you can get a bundle set of 6 cartridges for $35.94!
Now that you have a couple of options to choose from, you can make the best buying decision for your family. Before you settle on one, take a moment to list out all of your printing needs. Then, compare that list to your potential printer’s listed features; if they match up, you have a winner!
*Savings based on price comparison between remanufactured/compatible cartridge prices on www.LDProducts.com and OEM cartridge and printer prices from Amazon. All prices effective as of July 26, 2017. OEM names are registered trademarks of their respective owners and are not affiliated with, and do not endorse LD Products.