Having one of the best student printers can make study life so much easier. On hand to do everything from printing paperwork to full colour images, your own printer could be a lifesaver, especially when due dates loom.
The question is, which model do you need? There are a few things to consider when choosing the best student printer, most notably the type of printer, initial cost and how much it costs to replace the ink. Print quality and the size of the device, particularly if you are short on space, are also very important. Depending on your set up, you'll need to factor in connectivity options too.
We've spent a lot of time researching the best kit for students, as our guides to the best student laptops and the best keyboards prove. So we're well-placed to judge which printers are going to work for you. We've researched for hours to choose the best for price, portability and quality – reading thousands of reviews and gathering intel on reputation.
The best student printer in 2023
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We know cost is one of the biggest considerations when choosing one of the best student printers. And that's why the Canon Pixma TS3350 tops our list. It's cheap ( ridiculously so, in fact) and yet still offers quality prints and excellent wireless connectivity.
If art and photography is your thing, you're going to want to invest in something a little more heavy duty, but this handles text printing and small photos (up to 5x7 inches) nicely. And with the Canon Print app, it can all be done from a smartphone. The TS3350 also has a relatively small footprint, so won't take up too much space.
This model only has two ink cartridges, black and colour, meaning less to replace than printers with four. The black produces clear, solid text but the lack of individual colours means photo printing isn't as rich. XL-sized cartridges are available for the TS3350, which are more cost-effective and result in approximately 175 black or colour pages.
From over 1400 reviews on Amazon, this model scored a solid 4.3 out of 5 stars, with users commenting on how easy it is to use and set up, as well as it being great value for money.
Of the over 9,000 reviews of this Brother laser printer on Amazon, there's two re-occurring comments: great value for money, super-simple to use. This model is a rare find, with laser printers usually being much more expensive to buy initially and run. However the Brother HL-L2350DW breaks that mould, and doesn't, as far as we can see, compromise on quality.
Prints are fast, and the quality is crisp black text. The printer itself is limited to monochrome prints, however the scanner can deliver full colour with surprising accuracy for the price you'll pay. The machine comes with a 700-page in-box toner, however a couple of reviews mentioned it needing replacing before that stage. That said, at the time of writing, Amazon has toner for this model with 50 percent off, which makes the cost of running even cheaper.
If you have a little more cash to spend initially and would prefer a laser printer, this is the best student printer option for you right now.
If you're studying photography, you're going to want a quality printer to showcase all your best work. And the great news is, Epson has created this fantastic device, which, for a very reasonable price, will do just that. This machine has no less than six dye-based inks, that's two more than bog-standard printers, with light magenta and light cyan being added to the mix to really enhance colour accuracy in images.
This will also print documents with no issue, but be aware dye-based black isn't the best for text. While the device itself is very reasonably priced, the amount of inks you need for it to operate optimally run up the cost significantly, so you'll need to bare that in mind. The question here, really, is how much you will need to use it. If it's a medium to high output, the cost to both buy and run would almost certainly be cheaper than paying for individual prints.
3D printing has seen a surge in popularity in recent years, and if you're a fan, this Creality Ender 3 V2 3D printing will be of interest. As 3D printers go, this is a great price, and assembly is straightforward. It supports widely-used 3D printing materials, such as PLA, ABS, and TPU.
The build volume is ample or most things too, particularly when you think the majority of the time 3D printing is used, it's for smaller objects. This is a great starter for anyone wanting to get going with 3D printing, particularly as you can 3D print upgrades like material spool holders for it too.
There's a simple UI to allow you to preheat the printer ahead of time, monitor temperature and lots of other useful features. It's worth noting, however, the machine has no enclosure and features moving and hot parts, so should be kept in a safe place, away from small children.
If you're on the go a lot, or are really short on space, this quality portable Epson printer might be the solution. By some wizardry, Epson has created an inkjet printer that could easily fit in most work bags and, despite its size, doesn't compromise on quality.
The device houses four pigment ink (less smudge) cartridges, which, to replace will add up, but make it capable of printing to a super high quality, up to A4-size prints. Being a portable printer, it needs charging, which can be done at speed with the charger included, or via the supplied USB cable.
While it can charge quickly, the same can't really be said for printing, but this isn't really a surprise with the type of device it is. That said, it can manage up to 7 monochrome pages per minute, which isn't half bad for mobile printing. It's super-simple to set up, and its lightweight, compact design make it really easy to store when not in use.
If you're after a printer that can do it all, this HP Officejet Pro 7720 is a solid choice. You can copy, scan and print up to A3 size, and quickly too at up to 34 pages per minute (monochrome and colour).
The printer itself is very affordable, particularly for a device with so much functionality. It requires four cartridges, which add up, but if you go for HP high-yield ink HP claim you'll get three times as many black and white prints, and twice the amount of colour.
The main downside to this device is its size. The biggest and heaviest on the list, only go for this one if you have the space and won't need to move it around much.
Which printer is best for student use?
The best student printer to top our list is the Canon Pixma TS3350. It's affordable, has great connectivity options and produces high quality monochrome and colour prints.
And it's not just us who thinks so, over 1400 people rated it on Amazon, giving it an impressive overall score of 4.3 out of 5 stars for build, quality and value for money.
Is a laser printer better than inkjet for school?
The answer to this question will rely largely on what you will be using it for. If you're going to be printing lots (and we do mean a lot) of text-based paperwork, like assignments and dissertations, then a laser printer would be the better fit. However, laser printers are more expensive than inkjet printers and require expensive toner to run. But, if you have the volume it works out more economical in the long run, with overall lower cost per page and fast print speeds.
Inkjet printers are, on the whole, cheaper and can be used to print both text documents and high quality colour images. If you're wanting a printer for photos or colour artwork, an inkjet would be the better option. However, be mindful of replacement inks (and how many the model you choose needs) that can quickly add up.
Do I need a printer as a student?
With so much going digital these days, whether you really need a printer is tricky one. It also depends on your style of study and whether you like to print notes or just type them into an online document. That said, you'd be hard pushed to find any course that doesn't require any printed paperwork, and you can save a lot of time and money by having a device at home.
If you're studying photography, and are going to need regular prints, then we'd definitely advise having a printer at home to save on costs and for the convenience.