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Home » Printers » Best Cheap Laser Printer in 2020 – Buyer’s Guide

Best Cheap Laser Printer in 2020 – Buyer’s Guide

For a long time now, laser printers have been setting themselves apart and being positioned as premium printers, especially that they use toner cartridges instead of ink cartridges, which diminish any possibility of smudges on paper, print sharp and crisp text and graphics, and also provide high yield which gives them a long-lasting cycle before replenishment.

However, being positioned in the premium category also comes at the cost of a misconception that laser printers are unaffordable, which is far from reality. In fact, laser printers can offer the price cost per page and have the least running costs.

Whether you’re looking for a printer for home use or your office, read on for our list of the 7 best cheap laser printers that will give excellent value for money along with a well-rounded set of benefits that will make your printing experience a seamless one. By the end of this read, you’ll be able to determine which is the best cheap laser printer for you!

List of the Best Cheap Laser Printers:

  • Brother HL-L3210CW – Best Overall Cheap Laser Printer
  • Brother HL-L2300D – Cheap Black and White Laser Printer
  • Samsung Xpress M2020W – Cheap Wireless Laser Printer
  • Canon ImageClass MF249dw – Cheap All-In-One Laser Printer
  • HP LaserJet Pro M254dw – Cheap Color Laser Printer
  • HP LaserJet Pro MFP M31W – Compact Laser Printer
  • Dell C1760NW – Budget-Friendly LED Color Laser Printer

Our Top Picks

PrinterPrint ResolutionPrint SpeedsConnectivity Options
Brother HL-L3210CW2400 x 600 DPI18PPM black and colorMobile Printing, Apple AirPrint, Google Cloud Print, USB 2.0, WiFi
Brother HL-L2300D 2400 x 600 DPI27 PPMUSB 2.0
Samsung Xpress M2020W1200 x 1200 DPI21 PPMWiFi, WiFi Direct, USB 2.0, NFC, Apple AirPrint, Google Cloud Print
Canon ImageClass MF249dw 1200 x 1200 DPI28 PPMUSB, Wi-Fi, Wi-Fi direct, and mobile printing
HP LaserJet Pro M254dw600 x 600 DPI21 PPM black and color, 12 PPM black and color (duplex printing)WiFi, WiFi Direct, Ethernet, Google Cloud Print, Apple AirPrint, HP ePrint, USB
HP LaserJet Pro MFP M31W600 x 600 DPI21 PPMUSB, Wi-Fi, Wi-Fi Direct, Ethernet, Mobile Printing
Dell C1760NW600 x 600 DPI15PPM black, 12 PPM colorWiFi, WiFi Direct, Ethernet, Mobile Printing, USB 2.0

The 7 Best Cheap Laser Printers in 2020

1. Brother HL-L3210CW – Best Overall Cheap Laser Printer

Brother HL L3210CW

The Brother HL-L3210CW is the best laser printer on the market, being among the cheapest ones that offer insanely low print cost per page yet with versatile paper handling and fast printing, making it a perfect pick for almost everyone.

On average, printing with the Brother HL-L3210CW costs around 2.6 cents per black page and 15.5 cents per color page when using Brother’s highest-yield toner cartridges, which is definitely a price that you won’t find at your nearby print shop, or even in other color laser printers.

What’s more, this printer strikes two in a row by offering both a low upfront cost and low running costs, while it’s more common to find only one among these.

Specs-wise, the Brother HL-L3210CW prints at a speed of 18 pages per minute or a maximum of 19 PPM, which is not the fastest speed but still average. As for resolution, your prints are produced at 2400 x 600 DPI, which is exceptional and in line with Brother’s top-class print quality.

The paper tray can take in 250 sheets at once, with a one-sheet override tray and a 30,000-page monthly duty cycle, which is also up to the mark.

The printer incorporates the Amazon Dash Replenishment service that allows your printer to order toner when your current one is running out automatically, so forget about having to track toner cartridges, especially if you’re in a work environment. 

On the connectivity front, the printer supports Wi-Fi, Wi-Fi Direct, which offers peer networking, USB, and mobile printing, including Apple AirPrint, Brother’s iPrint and Scan app, Google Cloud Print, Mopria, and more. Unfortunately, however, it lacks Ethernet connectivity, which means it’s unlikely that you’ll be able to share this printer with a group.

Pros:

  • Low upfront cost
  • High print quality 
  • Wi-Fi and Wi-Fi Direct support
  • Lowest running costs
  • Decent print speeds
  • Amazon Dash Replenishment service

Cons:

  • Lacks automatic duplex printing (two-sided printing)
  • Lacks Ethernet connectivity

Bottom Line

The Brother HL-L3210CW is the overall best laser printer uniquely tailored for those who are in dire need of color printing but can’t afford the average costs of a laser printer. It’s among the cheapest color printers on the market with extremely low running costs that also delivers exceptional quality prints at acceptable speeds.

2. Brother HL-L2300D Monochrome Laser Printer – Cheap Black and White Laser Printer

Brother HL-L2300D

The Brother HL-2300D is an entry-level monochrome laser printer that suits small offices that frequently print black documents as well as simple graphics from time to time. 

For starters, the setting up of the printer is a hassle-free and quick process supported by an instructions guide along with installation software that’s straightforward to follow.

What’s more, this laser printer doesn’t take a long time to power up and get set in motion, as is the case with other printers. On the contrary, you can issue a print command as soon as the printer is powered up.

When it comes to print quality, the Brother HL-L2300D has exceptional quality for office documents of 2400 x 600 DPI along with a first-print-out speed of 8.5 seconds after the job is commanded, with an overall print speeds of up to 27 pages per minute, which is perfect for those times when time is just too tight.

For convenience, a variety of print options support your process, including a 250-sheet capacity paper tray, duplex printing (two-sided printing), and reducing paper curl, which can ruin prints. 

What further makes this laser printer an ideal one for offices is that it’s exceptionally quiet. Even when it’s printing, the sound it makes almost resembles a soothing humming sound. To add, its recommended monthly print volume is 10,000 pages. 

To help you save on costs, the printer features a toner saving mode, and the Brother toner cartridges are high-yield ones that can print up to 2,600 pages before requiring replenishment, which lowers the running costs. 

In terms of compatibility, the Brother HL-2300D is compatible with Windows and macOS. As for connectivity, the printer is connected via a USB 2.0 port. Unfortunately, it doesn’t support Wi-Fi or Ethernet connectivity.

Pros:

  • High-resolution prints
  • Fast print speeds
  • Automatic duplex printing (two-sided printing)
  • Toner saving modes
  • High-yield Brother cartridges
  • Small footprint

Cons:

  • Monochrome
  • Lacks Wi-Fi and Ethernet connectivity
  • Resetting the drum print is tedious

Bottom Line

The Brother HL-L2300D is the best laser printer for complementing offices or for personal use, offering fast print speeds, high-quality resolution prints, high-yield toners, and a decent print volume. With an easy setup process and fast power-up time, this printer is great for entry-level printing.

3. Samsung Xpress M2020W – Cheap Wireless Laser Printer

Samsung Xpress M2020W

If you’re one who often likes to change setups and spaces, whether home or office, and you need an affordable laser printer, you’ll need the Samsung Xpress M2020W to help you move around your workstations whenever you like since it weighs as little as 8.8 pounds.

This laser printer will not only save you space; it will further save you time and money. For starters, you won’t have to worry about having to get up to plug in your printer to your laptop or computer every time you need to print. It supports Wi-Fi, Wi-Fi Direct, NFC, and mobile printing, allowing you to print on the go through apps such as Apple AirPrint, Google Cloud Print, or the Samsung print app.

In addition, the printer also has a one-touch, WPS (Wi-Fi protected setup) to make the connection between your router and the printer faster and easier, so you will spend less time navigating the printer.

As for money saving, the printer features Samsung’s Easy Eco Driver, which saves up to 20% on toner cartridges through using an advanced image technology that strikes a balance between preserving the quality of your prints while keeping running costs at a minimum.

Given its small footprint, the Samsung Xpress M2020W provides decent print speeds of 21 PPM at a resolution of 1200 x 1200 DPI, making it suitable for low to moderate print jobs. Furthermore, the printer is equipped with Samsung’s ReCP technology (Rendering Engine for Clean Pages), which delivers top-notch prints from the first attempt through enhancing text, graphics, and images.

Pros:

  • Small footprint
  • Lightweight
  • Easy setup
  • Diverse connectivity options
  • Includes Samsung’s ReCP technology
  • Features Samsung’s Easy Eco Driver to save on toner

Cons:

  • Monochrome
  • Lacks duplex printing (two-sided printing)

Bottom Line

The Samsung Xpress M2020W is a compact monochrome laser printer for home use, home office, or small offices, or virtual offices. Its small size doesn’t make it any less inferior concerning options or print quality since it supports Wi-Fi, NFC, and mobile printing, all at a resolution of 1200 x 1200 DPI, making it the best laser printer for those looking to print on the go.  

4. Canon ImageClass MF249dw – Cheap All-In-One Laser Printer

Canon ImageClass MF249dw

The Canon ImageClass MF249dw is an all-in-one laser printer that presents versatility on a plate of gold for those who are just multitaskers by nature and require all sorts of functions, so they would definitely benefit from having a printer that can do it all.

With the Canon ImageClass MF249dw, you can print, copy, fax, and scan documents. Knowing that those who admire all-in-one printers are probably always running around in circles, the printer includes an automatic document feeder for 50 papers that allows you to scan and copy. At the same time, you get other things done simultaneously.

Similarly, it also includes a 250-sheet paper tray that supports automatic duplex printing (two-sided printing) to save on both your time and money.

Also, the printer includes the Canon Print Business app, which allows you to scan hardcopy originals directly, create identification cards using an ID Card Copy feature, or create several ID card copies on one single page. We all needed that at one point, right?

When it comes to speed, the Canon ImageClass MF249dw can print 28 pages in a minute, which is more than satisfactory, at a resolution of 1200 x 1200 DPI, which is higher than average.

Since connectivity is usually an issue for those who can’t stand in place, the printer offers maximum connectivity options, including USB, Wi-Fi, Wi-Fi direct, and mobile printing, allowing you to print from Google Cloud Print, Apple AirPrint, Mopria Print Service, or more. 

Pros:

  • Includes Canon Print Business app
  • High print speeds
  • Good print quality
  • Diverse connectivity options
  • Low running costs
  • Automatic document feeder
  • Automatic duplexing (two-sided printing)

Cons:

  • Monochrome
  • Has to be woken up manually post-saving mode

Bottom Line

The Canon ImageClass MF249dw is a versatile, all-in-one laser printer for those who have a wide variety of needs and could use a printer that could help them save on their time at a cost-effective price. With this printer, a scanner, fax machine, or a copier, won’t be needed, since it can do them all by being a multi-purpose printer.

5. HP LaserJet Pro M254dw – Cheap Color Laser Printer

HP LaserJet Pro M254dw

High quality, reliability, and convenient printing are just a handful of the features that the HP LaserJet Pro M254dw has to offer.

The HP LaserJer Pro M254dw is a wireless color laser printer that prints at exceedingly high speeds of 21 pages per minute, along with a first-page-out speed of 10 seconds for black prints and 11 seconds for color ones, so you can print last-minute as much as you would like to.

Ready to use right out of the box with a simple installation process, this printer speaks convenience on so many levels. For one, you are granted access to multiple connectivity options, including Ethernet, Wi-Fi, USB, mobile printing, and Wi-Fi Direct. It’s also Alexa-enabled for those who rely on voice commands.

In addition, in line with the fast printing speed, the navigation of the printer is also super fast through an LCD touch-screen that gives you all the controls and settings you would need.

The paper tray has a capacity of 250 sheets, so that you don’t run out of paper very often, and the printer has a monthly duty cycle of 40,000 pages, so you’ll be very productive and get the most you can out of the HP LaserJet Pro M254dw. To support that, it also includes the automatic duplexing feature.

Unfortunately, these high-end features come at the expense of the resolution, with the HP LaserJet Pro M254dw producing prints at a resolution of 600 x 600 DPI.

Pros:

  • Incomparable print speed
  • Suitable for high-volume printing
  • Alexa-enabled
  • Diverse connectivity options
  • Automatic duplex printing
  • LCD touch-screen
  • Easy to use

Cons:

  • Inferior print resolution

Bottom Line

The HP LaserJet Pro M254dw is the best laser printer for those who need to print in high-volumes but don’t have the luxury of time to wait for hours to receive their final prints. The printer brings about a set of features that deliver a high-end experience, with the most important being its unmatchable print speed and various connectivity options.

6. HP LaserJet Pro MFP M31W – Compact Laser Printer

HP LaserJet Pro MFP M31W

The HP LaserJet Pro MFP M31W is not only one of the most affordable laser printers you’ll come across, but also the smallest and most compact all-in-one printer that occupies a minimal footprint, so if your space is at a premium, this is the best laser printer for you.

With the HP LaserJet Pro MFP M31W, you can get your scanning, copying, and printing just by buying one single printer, but to enjoy those features at a minimal cost, unfortunately, you’ll have to get things done manually, such as duplex scanning. The printer does, however, include an automatic document feeder (ADF), which can hold 35 sheets.

The HP LaserJet Pro M31W can print at a speed of 21 PPM, which is higher than average, at a resolution of 600 x 600 DPI, which isn’t the greatest but can be accepted given the price of the printer.

As for connectivity, the HP LaserJet Pro M31W can connect through Wi-Fi, Ethernet, Wi-Fi direct, or through a USB cable. It further supports mobile printing through Wi-Fi direct, so you can use AirPrint, Google Cloud Print, Mopria, HP ePrint via email, or more.

For easy navigation, the HP LaserJet Pro M31W incorporates a 2.7-inch color touch LCD through which you can issue your jobs and control the settings.

Pros:

  • Exceptionally compact
  • Satisfactory print speed
  • Easy to set up
  • Wi-Fi and Wi-Fi Direct support
  • Extremely affordable
  • LCD touchscreen

Cons:

  • Lacks automatic duplexing
  • Inferior print resolution
  • Relatively high running costs
  • Monochrome

Bottom Line

The HP LaserJet Pro MFP M31W is the cheapest all-in-one laser printer that you can get your hands on; a multi-function printer that produces clear, detailed text and acceptable graphics, making it a great choice for those who are budget-conscious or those who have their hands tight at the moment but can’t surrender to not having a printer. 

7. Dell C1760NW- Budget-Friendly LED Color Laser Printer

Dell C1760NW

The Dell C1760NW is for the ones looking for a budget-friendly laser printer but are not willing to compromise with the option of color printing. It ticks those two boxes and more, offering a compact design and a LED-based print engine for a rapid printing process.

Upon purchase, the printer comes with a batch of black and color toner, standard-yield ones, with the color toner providing you with around 500 papers and the black toner providing you with around 1000 papers to get you started on the right foot.

On the speed front, the Dell C1760NW offers a print speed of 15 pages per minute in black and 12 pages per minute in color at a print resolution of 600 x 600 DPI.

The monthly printing capacity of the printer is up to 30,000 pages, which means you can easily use it for high-volume or heavy-duty printing purposes, and it will live up to your expectations efficiently without crashing.

When it comes to connectivity options, this laser printer also doesn’t fail. It supports Wi-Fi, Wi-Fi Direct, mobile printing, Ethernet, and USB. Upon setting up the printer, you will primarily need the USB for the installation process, but after that, you’re free to connect the printer via your preferred method.

Last but not least, you can navigate the printer and issue jobs through a 5-button control panel accompanied by a 2-line LCD screen.

Pros:

  • Suitable for high-volume printing
  • Diverse connectivity options
  • Fast print engine
  • 10-sheet bypass tray
  • Includes only one drum unit

Cons:

  • Inferior print resolution
  • Lacks automatic duplex printing

Bottom Line

The Dell C1760NW is the best laser printer for small businesses or small offices whose documents are more often than not full of colorful splashes and highlights, and for those who love to present their work in attractive ways. With its diverse connectivity options, fast print engine, and its ability to cope with high volumes of printing, this printer will give you a smooth time.

What to Expect from a Cheap Laser Printer

1. Benefits:

Low Printing Cost

Laser printers may not necessarily be the cheapest, especially if compared to inkjet printers. However, they certainly provide low printing costs in the long run, even if their upfront cost is not the most economical.

While laser printer toners do require replacement, they have a much higher yield than ink cartridges, which is why they need exceedingly fewer replacements. Also, they won’t clog, even if you go weeks without using the printer.

Noiseless Operations

Laser printers from the cheapest to the most expensive offer superb performance while making a negligible sound. Therefore, don’t worry about waking anyone up if you’re printing at home, or disturbing your colleagues’ peace if you’re printing at the office.

High-Quality Prints

Forget about ink smudging and smearing all over your paper or your fingerprints, making all sorts of stains on paper. With laser printers, you’re guaranteed to get crisp, high print quality, and you’ll forget all about the sight of blotches and smears.

Automatic Duplexing

Most laser printers have an automatic duplexing option, by which you can print on both sides of the paper, with the same applying to scanning, copying, or faxing in the case of multi-function laser printers in the form of an automatic document feeder (ADF).

Easy Navigation

The majority of laser printers, even cheap and budget ones, include a touch-screen interface that makes controlling the settings of the printer a seamless experience, giving you the ability to perform a range of functions directly through the screen.

2. Drawbacks:

Monochrome

The majority of cheap laser printers are monochrome models that can only print in black. That doesn’t mean that cheap color laser printers aren’t on the market; they are, but they won’t be as cheap as monochrome laser printers, they can sometimes be twice as expensive as the cheapest monochrome one.

Low Print Capacity

For the most part, cheap laser printers are only adequate for low-volume printing. Accordingly, you need to consider whether that will suit your printing requirements, because otherwise, you may need to consider mid-range or high-end laser printers that would suit higher volumes of printing.

Not Ideal for Images

Laser printers are more fitting for handling text and simple graphics, which they’ll deliver at superior print quality, but they’re not the most ideal for complex images or photos.

Inferior Media Handling

Glossy, matte, frame-worthy photos and paper types are, for the most part, not an option with laser printers in general. The same applies to CDs, DVDs, and the like since inkjets are more versatile in this regard. 

What to Look for When Buying a Cheap Laser Printer

1. Running Costs

The first aspect to consider and which is of top performance is the running cost of the printer or the printing costs. Don’t get deceived by a low upfront cost since many printers are cheap at first sight, but then they break the bank through printing costs, including toner cartridges and paper replacements. Make sure that the long-run printing costs aren’t too high.

Just like you research the printer itself, research the costs of its toners and its yield as well, which is the number of pages that can be printed per toner cartridge before it needs replacement.

Also, you should consider the automatic duplex printing feature, which enables you to print on both sides of a paper as well as scan and copy, overall resulting in lower printing costs with regard to paper too.

2. Monochrome vs. Color Laser Printers

Monochrome printers are those that only print black prints, while color printers can print both black and colored prints. The choice of which to choose comes down to your printing needs, but either way, it’s a crucial factor to consider.

If your printing is for office, home, or college purposes such as reports, documents, invoices, memos, and the like, a monochrome laser printer will serve your purposes efficiently. 

On the other hand, if you’re buying a printer to be able to print color documents, images, photographs, or similar, a color laser printer would serve you best.

3. Print Speed

Print speed refers to the number of pages per minute (PPM) that a given printer can produce. The higher the speed, the more time you will save on printing, which can come in handy in numerous situations where time is tight. A print speed of 20 PPM or higher would be ideal.

4. Print Resolution

While conducting your research, you’ll probably notice that many laser printers have a print resolution of 600 DPI. DPI refers to dots per inch, the measure used to determine the resolution of print output. Like print speed, the higher the DPI, the better the print quality.

600 DPI is the minimum acceptable level of print resolution in laser printers since, below that, you have a higher chance of seeing jagged lines on your paper or image.

What’s worth taking note of about resolution is that today, some laser printers integrate technologies to fix the issue of jagged lines when the printer is of a low-resolution. This is most commonly found across HP laser printers, which use advanced Resolution Enhancement Technology.

5. Connectivity

Wired or USB connections are the dominant connectivity options among budget-friendly laser printers, which is fine if you’re printing for home use and through a laptop or a PC. However, for more convenience and flexibility, it would be a plus to have a printer that would allow you to share the printer with others using an Ethernet connection to a router, particularly in office settings.

Also, most of us are technologically savvy nowadays and prefer to perform our tasks on the go or directly from our mobile devices. That’s not impossible; many laser printers are capable of mobile printing through Wi-Fi, NFC, Wi-Fi Direct, Bluetooth, and more! 

6. Paper Handling

Paper handling refers to the versatility of the printer when it comes to the different types of paper sizes it can handle. Therefore, if you plan on printing on different types of paper and not only standard A4 paper sizes, you will need to make sure that your printer can handle your choices.

Some laser printers go as far as offering you a multi-purpose tray that prints envelopes, cards, legal paper, and much more; the sky’s the limit!

7. Multi-Functionality

Many laser printers now go beyond their duties of just providing superior printing capabilities; they now have a range of functions that include copying, scanning, faxing, and more. A multi-functional printer can be of help when you’re likely to need these features occasionally, but of course, they do add to the price of the printer.

Frequently Asked Questions:

Are Laser Printers Cheaper to Run?

Yes! If you’re looking for the lowest cost per page, a laser printer should be your companion. While inkjet printers can be cheaper upfront, their operating costs are much more expensive than that of laser printers. While laser printer toners are more expensive than ink cartridges, their yield exceeds the yield of liquid ink.

What Color Laser Printer is the Cheapest?

The Brother HL-L3210CW is currently the cheapest color printer on the market, which even incorporates the Amazon Dash Replenishment service that allows your printer to order toner automatically when your current one is running out.

How Long Does a Laser Toner Last?

Laser toners last for around two years since their purchase if they’re stored properly. However, always make sure to look at the “best used before” label on your cartridge when you first buy it for a definite date.

How Much Does Toners Cost for Laser Printers?

Toner costs vary from one laser printer to another, but it’s safe to say that toner cartridges start from $20. 

Final Thoughts

The above list of the best cheap laser printers that are currently on the market certainly has a printer for everyone, ranging from those who prefer print speed over print quality and vice versa, those who want to print in low-volumes and others who require the opposite, those looking for the connectivity options, and more.

Whichever scenario you’re most interested in, choosing thoroughly is a must, particularly that printers are replaced as often as is the case with smartphones, for instance. Make sure to specify your needs and work down from there. 

However, while the choice is yours, our top pick for the overall best cheap laser printer would be the Brother HL-L3210CW, enjoying the lowest running costs that have ever been made possible while being a robust printer that delivers impeccable print quality at reasonable speeds, providing an optimal mix of features.

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