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Home » Printers » Best Printer for Mac in 2020 – Buyer’s Guide

Best Printer for Mac in 2020 – Buyer’s Guide

If you use Apple products, whether it’s an iMac or iPad, you probably know the struggle of finding compatible devices. And if you’re a mac user looking for a good compatible printer for your device, you’ve probably done some futile searching.

But don’t worry, this guide is here to save you the time and effort. The main idea is to look for a printer that has compatible drivers with Mac OS, and you can check that in the user manual online. You can also go for a printer with wireless connectivity that enables you to connect to the cloud, and consequently print from Apple AirPrint.

In this article, we’ll list the best printers for Mac that can even enable you to print from an iPad, iPhone, or Apple devices in general.

Our Top Picks

PrinterResolutionSpeed (Mono) Dimensions
Canon Pixma TS91204800 x 1200 DPI15 IPM12.8 x 14.7 x 22.6 in.
HP Tango X4800 x 1200 DPI20 PPM14.8 x 8 x 3.5 in.
Brother MFC-J895DW6000 x 1200 DPI12 PPM15.7 x 13.4 x 6.8 in.
Canon PIXMA Pro-1004800 x 2400 DPI0.8 minutes/page27.2 x 15.2 x 8.5 in.
Epson EcoTank ET-37104800 x 1200 DPI15 PPM14.8 x 13.7 x 7.4 in.
HP PageWide Pro 552DW2400 x 1200 DPI70 PPM20.9 x 16.0 x 16.5 in.
Brother HLL2395DW2400 x 600 DPI36 PPM10.7 x 16.1 x 15.7 in.
Epson Expression Premium XP-71005760 x 1400 DPI15.8 PPM15.4 x 13.3 x. 7.2 in.
HP OfficeJet 38301200 x 1200 DPI20 PPM17.7 x 14.3 x 8.8 in.

The 9 Best Printers for Mac in 2020

1. Canon Pixma TS9120 – Best All-in-One Printer for Mac

Canon Pixma TS9120

The Canon TS9120 serves as an all-in-one inkjet printer with copying and scanning functions.

Its flexibility allows it to be run with Windows and macOS, which makes it easy to include it in our list for Mac-compatible printers.

It comes with two trays. The second one is dedicated to full-size paper, which allows you to load –for example- letterhead paper and allows you to print directly on inkjet-printable DVDs and CDs. Its print speed can reach 15 IPM for mono prints and 10 IPM for color ones at a 4800 x 1200 DPI resolution.

Moreover, it’s equipped with a 5.2-inch touchscreen display, which allows you to manage its activities. Through it, you can print documents from the memory card reader or wirelessly. Of course, you can also directly connect it to a PC with a USB cable or to a network router through an Ethernet cable.

When the Canon TS9120 is set up for use, it fits in the space of 12.8 x 14.7 x 22.6-inches and weighs around 14.8 pounds, which makes it incredibly portable.

The only drawback is that it doesn’t have WiFi Direct and NFC connectivity options, which would have made the connection to it a lot easier, but it’s no deal-breaker.

Pros:

  • Very compact design
  • Lightweight
  • Additional ink cartridges for higher-quality printing
  • Two input trays available

Cons:

  • Lacks an ADF (Automatic document feeder)
  • Doesn’t have NFC or WiFi direct features

Bottom Line

Although it doesn’t have an ADF, it does produce text, graphics, and photos at exceptional quality. The Canon TS9120 is one of the best rated wireless printers on the market, and its wireless printing makes it suitable for use with Mac devices.

2. HP Tango X – Best Smartphone Printing

HP Tango X

The HP Tango X has been designed from the ground up to match our modern lifestyle and break the mold of typical home printers. This brings you 100% wireless printing, which means that the setup is based around your smartphone through the HP Smart app rather than your PC.

Without the need for the hassle of wires, the Tango X comes in a compact package (14.8 x 8 x 3.5 inches) and performs as quietly as ever. However, this does prove an issue for placement as it still needs a power supply. Plus, it requires a solid WiFi connection as there’s no USB port for connection when it stops working.

Moreover, it comes with a textured wraparound cover/output tray that you can use to hide your printer when it’s not in use.

The HP Tango X doesn’t have the highest print speeds as it’s typically lower than the draft mode of the 20 PPM in monochrome and 11 PPM in color. It also has a 30-second wait time before your first page appears, so you can expect around three or four pages per minute. While that isn’t top-notch, it’s good enough for the occasional printing that the Tango X was designed for.

The great news, though, is that you can expect amazing quality. Generally, the longer a printer takes to produce its prints, the better its quality is, and this one uses a black pigment ink that makes texts solid and three-color ink cartridges that produce strong graphics with excellent photos.

What’s more, HP’s photo paper produces some of the best prints that are durable and last a lifetime while HP’s instant ink helps you save so much money on running costs. There are a couple of caveats, however. You have to print your photos from your phone and not the PC, as well as provide the photo paper.

Not only does the Tango X work as a printer, but it also doubles as a copier and a scanner. All you have to do is to open your HP Smart app and press the copy button or scan to email. The app also integrates with Dropbox and Google Drive to allow you to print out PDFs and JPEG photos.

Pros:

  • Quiet and compact
  • High-quality prints
  • Free photo prints
  • Voice control with smart home UIs support
  • HP’s Instant Ink highly reduces printing costs

Cons:

  • Borderless prints limited to 5 x 7 inches
  • Only scans or copies through smartphones
  • Single, small paper input

Bottom Line

This smart printer comes with voice activation and smart home features, so it’s all about printing from a mobile device. What makes it such a great printer for Mac is its unique free-snapshot printing angle, which makes it super easy to print from Apple products.

3. Brother MFC-J895DW – Best for Low-Volume Printing

Brother MFC J895DW

The Brother MFC-J895DW is a reasonably-priced color printer. Being AirPrint-enabled makes it one of the best printers for Mac, and its 6000 x 1200 DPI resolution combined with a 12 PPM print speed for black and 10 PPM for color prints make it a great one by and large.

It’s quick to deliver both photos and documents, and it can function as a scanner, copier, and fax machine. With the 2.7-inch color touchscreen, you’ll be able to manage all the processes and monitor them.

Moreover, it’s equipped with a 150-page cassette capacity with a maximum print size of 8.5 x 14 inches and an auto-document feeder, which makes it convenient to use.

Add to that, its 4-cartridge ink configuration is long-lasting as they’re twice the size of a regular cartridge. This means that while other printers would be running out of ink, your Brother MFC-J895DW would still have 40% in its reservoirs. You can access those cartridges from the front panel and easily swap them out.

While its print resolution is impressive, however, the Brother MFC-J895DW isn’t particularly the best choice for printing photos. This is because its photos look a little less colorful and high-contrast when compared to the ones delivered by Epson and Canon models.

Pros:

  • Large ink cartridges
  • 2-year warranty
  • Easy to use
  • Great print resolution and speed
  • Supports SD cards and USB thumb drives

Cons:

  • Relatively high running costs
  • Paper capacities are low
  • Graphics fills, and background aren’t the best

Bottom Line

This entry-level unit is a superb AOI, mac-friendly printer. It works fast and comes with a couple of high-end features that make it worth the price. However, its running costs are a bit high, which means that it’s best for low-volume duties.

4. Canon PIXMA Pro-100 – Best for Photos

Canon PIXMA Pro 100

The Canon PIXMA Pro-100 produces great prints in both the smaller (4 x 6) photo size and the larger (8.5 x 11) photo size, as one would expect from a large-format Canon printer. If you want to print those from a Mac device, you’ll enjoy this AirPrint-enabled unit.

It leaves no space for errors and gives you an output that is crisp, rich in details and has consistent color quality.

However, its relative affordability does mean that it might have slightly muted tones or casts over pictures when compared to high-end photo printers.

Add to that, its printing speed is rather slow as it prints smaller photos at a 0.8 minute/page speed and bigger ones at a 1.5 minute/page speed. It’s not the fastest, but it does deliver an impressive 4800 x 2400 DPI resolution.

Moreover, the Canon PIXMA Pro-100 comes with eight dye-based ink colors, including black, light gray, gray, photo cyan, cyan, magenta, photo magenta, and yellow.

Even though dye-based inks aren’t as durable on paper as pigment-based ones, they’re still more than enough for that research you have to turn in or the word document you need to print.

It’s pretty versatile as you can choose your finishing preference, including mate, semi-matte, luster, glossy, and semi-gloss. It also gives you a borderless printing option (13 x 19 inches) and has a disc tray dedicated to printing labels onto DVDs and CDs.

You can connect to your Canon PIXMA Pro-100 through an Ethernet cable, WiFi, USB, or both wired and wireless PictBridge to print directly from a camera.

Moreover, you can print from a smartphone or a tablet using a wireless connection or the Canon Easy-PhotoPrint app. However, there is no option to print from external storage.

Finally, the Canon PIXMA Pro-100 weighs around 40 pounds, which makes it one of the heavier choices on the list.

Pros:

  • Great value for the price
  • Prints photos with amazing quality (4800 x 2400)
  • Relatively fast
  • Its color cartridges are separate

Cons:

  • Can face some graphics color issues
  • Doesn’t have a preview display

Bottom Line

The Canon PIXMA Pro-100 is an amazing photo printer that works well with Mac OS. It gives you output that is comparable to photo-dedicated printers, so it’s definitely worth your consideration if you’re a photo enthusiast.

5. Epson EcoTank ET-3710 – Best for Cartridge-Free Operation

Epson EcoTank ET 3710

This all-in-one wireless inkjet printer works as a scanner and copier as well. What makes it stand out from other options on the list is that it’s a cartridge-free printer. This means that it uses large ink reservoirs instead of cartridges, enabling it to hold more ink as well as make refills a lot more budget-friendly. Out of the box, the Epson EcoTank ET-3710 has enough ink to print 7500 black prints and 6000 color ones.

The ET-3710 is a mobile-ready printer that supports Google Cloud Print, Mopria Print Service, and Apple AirPrint. Moreover, it supports USB connection, Ethernet, and WiFi Direct and is a voice-activated machine.

As for the print quality, it boasts a 4800 x 1200 DPI resolution, which is quite decent enough to create sharp and vivid documents, especially with the 4-color ink set. Its speed reaches 15 PPM for black prints and 8 PPM for color ones, which isn’t the fastest but is a good average.

Furthermore, the Epson EcoTank ET-3710 features duplex printing to save both time and paper. However, with a 150-sheet input tray, you’ll have to refill the tray more frequently, especially if you do medium to high-volume printing.

Through the 2.4-inch color touchscreen, you can check your print settings and make any required adjustments. The screen size could have been bigger, though, as the unit itself measures 14.8 x 13.7 x 7.4 inches and weighs 13.23 pounds.

Pros:

  • Low running costs
  • Decent output quality
  • Plenty of mobile connectivity options
  • Small footprint
  • 2-year warranty

Cons:

  • No ADF
  • Doesn’t support flash memory devices
  • Low duty-cycle
  • Not the fastest

Bottom Line

Although the Epson EcoTank ET-3710 delivers decent quality output at low running costs, it doesn’t stand out in terms of being an all-in-one inkjet printer. It’s a good choice overall for its small footprint, mobile connectivity, and 2-year warranty.

6. HP PageWide Pro 552DW – Best for High-Volume Printing

HP PageWide Pro 552DW

The HP PageWide Pro 552DW does an excellent job of combining speed, quality, and ink-conscious operation. It can print at speeds up to 70 PPM in the General Office mode, or 50 PPM in the professional mode. This is at a resolution of 2400 x 1200 DPI, which isn’t the best on the market, but not too bad if you’re doing text documents.

This beast of a printer is compatible with many print features, including HP ePrint, Google Cloud Print, and Apple AirPrint. It also features a front USB port, Ethernet connectivity, NFC, and WiFi for wireless mobile device printing.

Not only is it versatile in its connectivity options but also in the sizes of paper it can work with as it accepts media types and sizes ranging from 3 x 5 inches and up to 8.5 x 14 inches.

Moreover, the HP PageWide Pro 552DW is equipped with a 4.3″ color touchscreen that allows you to adjust its settings and check the printing status. Its size is quite proportionate with the printer’s 20.9 x 16 x 16.5-inch dimensions.

Thanks to its size, the Pro 552DW features a larger-than-average input tray that accommodates 500 sheets. There’s also a 50-sheet multipurpose tray that extends the versatility of this printer. With an 80,000-page duty cycle, you can be sure that you’ll tackle all your printing needs with no trouble.

Pros:

  • Very quick
  • Low running costs
  • High paper capacity
  • Touchscreen is easy to control and navigate
  • Good range of connectivity options

Cons:

  • Prints can get smudged
  • Dull colors when printed on plain paper

Bottom Line

The HP PageWide Pro 552DW is an excellent inkjet printer that’s so capable that it can compete with laser printers for small to midsize offices. It combines superb speed, decent paper capacity, and laser-quality text.  

7. Brother HLL2395DW – Lowest Running Costs

Brother HLL2395DW

If you’ll be printing text more than color graphics or photos, I’d highly recommend this laser printer. With only one cartridge to refill, you’ll be keeping your running costs and cost per page down to a minimum.

The Brother HLL2395DW combines affordability, ease of use, and plenty of positive customer reviews. Its print resolution is 2400 x 600 DPI, which can deliver at an impressive speed of 36 PPM.

Moreover, it’s equipped with a wide range of connectivity options, including WiFi connectivity and support for Google Cloud Print, Mopria Print Service, and of course, Apple AirPrint.

You can also connect to it through WiFi Direct, Ethernet, and USB connectivity. All these connections and the printer’s processes can be controlled through the 2.7-inch color touch LCD screen.

With the original black toner cartridge, you’ll be able to print 700 pages. Once this one runs out, you won’t have any trouble replacing it with an affordable new one.

When it’s set up, the Brother HLL2395DW occupies a space of 10.7 x 16.1 x 15.7 inches and weighs 22 pounds. Those aren’t the smallest dimensions, but nothing impossible to fit around the office or even at home.

Pros:

  • Good quality for both graphics and text
  • A good range of connectivity options
  • Low running costs
  • Integrated Nuance PaperPort software

Cons:

  • Photos aren’t the best
  • No ADF

Bottom Line

At first glance, the Brother HLL2395DW doesn’t really stand out from competitors that much. However, when you consider the running costs, it’s definitely one of the most affordable Mac-friendly printers out there. If you’re only going to be printing black and white documents, this one would be a real bang for your buck.

8. Epson Expression Premium XP-7100 – Best for High-quality Prints

Epson Expression Premium XP 7100

Although it comes in a compact package measuring only 15.4 x 13.3 x. 7.2 inches, the XP-7100 fills a wide range of needs. For starters, it’s an all-in-one unit, so you can use it to print, scan, and copy documents.

At speeds of 15 PPM in black and 11 PPM in color, it boasts a maximum resolution of 5760 x 1440 DPI, which beats most printers on the market of its price range.

With a 100-page input tray and a 30-page ADF, the XP-7100 works for printing in high volumes, especially with its automatic, double-sided printing.

In terms of connectivity, it’s compatible with WiFi Direct and allows you to set up network-free wireless connections between tablets or smartphones and the printer. In other words, between your iPad and your printer. It’s also compatible with USB flash drives and SD cards.

Through its 4.3-inch touchscreen, you can navigate the menus and adjust the settings of the prints according to your preferences.

Pros:

  • Superb output quality
  • Single-pass duplexing ADF
  • Control panel is large and easy to use
  • Robust connectivity options

Cons:

  • High running costs
  • Low paper capacity

Bottom Line

The Epson Expression Premium XP-7100 is a compact printer that’s capable of producing some high-quality output. Whether you’re going to use it for a small office or at home, you’ll enjoy what this compact mac-friendly printer has to offer.

9. HP OfficeJet 3830 – Best Budget Printer for Mac

HP OfficeJet 3830

With the HP OfficeJet 3830, you can utilize all the integrated functions, including scanning, copying, built-in faxing, and the automatic document feeder. It’s compatible with both Windows and macOS, so it’s a great wireless printer for macs.

It can print at 20 PPM for black prints at a 1200 x 1200 DPI resolution, which isn’t the most impressive but not too bad for an affordable printer.

Although its color-printing capabilities are impressive and it can produce color prints at a 16 PPM speed, its cartridges aren’t separate. This means that when one color runs out, you’re going to have to replace the rest, which may be half or even nearly full.

The mini paper tray has a capacity of 60 sheets –rather small compared to rivals. It does accept a variety of paper types and sizes ranging from 3 x 5 inches and up to 8.5 x 11.7 inches.

Moreover, it’s equipped with a 2.2-inch touchscreen display, which is an excellent addition, especially on a printer this affordable.

You can connect to your HP OfficeJet 3830 directly through a PC, a USB cable, or wirelessly through WiFi through your network router, so you can easily connect to Apple AirPrint and print from your iPad or any Apple device. It can connect directly via the downloadable apps available in the printer.

After it’s set up, the HP OfficeJet 3830 has a 14.3 x 17.7 x 8.8-inch footprint and weighs 12.37 pounds.

Pros:

  • Highly affordable
  • Light and compact design
  • Equipped with a 35-sheet ADF
  • Touchscreen

Cons:

  • Running costs are quite high if HP Instant Ink is not used
  • Lacks auto-duplexing
  • Doesn’t support Ethernet cables or flash memories

Bottom Line

The low-budget HP OfficeJet 3830 combines sound output with affordability. Generally, it’s an excellent choice as a home printer. You can save up a lot on ink if you sign up for HP’s instant ink program. However, if you don’t, you’re going to be spending a lot of money on ink replacement.

What’s a Mac-friendly Printer Good For?

Macs are typically used by publishing professionals and graphic artists that use Adobe programs like Illustrator to get the best output quality. However, some quality may be lost when using non-PostScript printers, with some dropping in elements or formatting.

PostScript has been a staple of the graphic arts since it was integrated into the Apple LaserWriter printer in the mid-1980s.

And that’s why Apple is known for revolutionizing the market in this field, and why Mac-friendly printers are a guarantee to top-notch, true quality without any loss or compromise during the process.

How to Pick a Printer for Mac

When you’re shopping for a printer for Mac, there are a couple of things that you have to consider, and connectivity is the most important one. Once you check that off the list, there are some other essential features that we’ll discuss in this section.

Connectivity

You have to check your printer’s specs and make sure that it’s AirPrint-enabled. While you can use a third-party app or print from the cloud, an AirPrint-enabled printer would be your safest bet.

In terms of wired connection, however, you should make sure that the ports on both your printer and Mac device can be connected using the same cable, even if an adapter is used.

Once you get this aspect covered, you can continue your printer-shopping as you would with any regular printer.

Laser vs. Inkjet

One of the most important primary considerations should be whether you need a laser or inkjet printer. This is determined according to two factors: whether you’ll be printing text only and what work volume you expect from your printer.

If you’re mainly going to print text documents in black, you should opt for a laser printer. Those are pretty ideal if you’re going to do high-volume printing in an office environment or something similar. However, if you want to print photos, documents, and pie charts and use colors, you should go for an inkjet printer.

I wouldn’t recommend a color laser printer as those would have very high running costs, and a monochrome inkjet printer would defy the point as inkjet printers are usually sought out when colors, art, and graphics are involved.

Ink Budget

When it comes to cost, the initial price of your printer isn’t the real deal. You should always research the running costs, which are boiled down to ink or toner replacements. This is why you shouldn’t be fooled by a low upfront price, but make sure that you can afford your printer in the long run.

When you’re doing your ink or toner research, consider whether you can use refilled, remanufactured, or third-party cartridges, how many prints a single cartridge produces, and how much you’re paying to print a single page.

Some printers give you great deals for ink and toner cartridges, so make sure you look into those. For example, Brother printers come with many cartridges to spare you the need to buy ones for a good while after buying the printer. Canon and Epson printers come with ink tank models with bottles that you can refill with ink. Finally, HP offers an Instant Ink program that works like a subscription. Each month, you get a certain number of pages for a fixed monthly fee as well as ink cartridges as soon as the ones in your printer begin to run dry.

Print Speed

The printing speed you need depends on the volume of papers you want to print. If you’re in an office setting where you’ll be printing many documents, you should probably look for a high-speed printer. On the other hand, if you’re going to be using your printer at home, there’s no problem going for a slower printer if it’s more affordable.

Duplex Printing

Duplex printing refers to the printer’s ability to print on both sides of a paper fed into it. What makes this feature so essential is that it saves a lot of paper and time. Instead of manually flipping the paper, your machine does that for you.

Maximum Print Size

The paper sizes your printer allows you to print on determine what you can print, and that’s why you want to look for the most versatile range. Almost all available printers will allow you to print 8.5 x 11-inch paper, so you should look for more.

Consider whether you’re going print indexing cards, envelopes, and other paper sizes and weights.

You should also take the capacity of your paper tray into consideration. Most trays will be able to accommodate around 250 pages, which means you’ll need to refill them once every month. A lower number would mean more frequent refills.

Frequently Asked Questions:

Can any Printer Work with Mac?

The answer here is two-fold. If you have a wired connection set up, then it’s all about whether you can find an adapter that converts from one cable type to another that’s compatible with your Apple device’s ports.

If you’ll do wireless printing, then any AirPrint-enabled printer should work fine. And even if your printer doesn’t support AirPrint, there are plenty of third-party services that you can use, including Printopia and Presto, which you can download to your desktop.

You can also use a printing app like Samsung Mobile Print or Epson iPrint and connect the printer to the same network that your Apple device is on.

Moreover, you can use the cloud in your favor. Simply, you should send the document you want to print to a cloud server, which then sends it to your printer. Or you can use email printing in which you assign an email address to your printer and use it to print directly from your Apple device.

Does Apple Have a Printer?

Not anymore. But Apple did revolutionize the market with their LaserWriter printer that they launched one of the first laser printers in the mid-1980s. They have produced many printers from then on, many to be discontinued. The last of which was the Color StyleWriter 6500 that they launched in 1997.

There isn’t a printer that’s manufactured by Apple, but

How to Print from Your iPad?

iPads have become more popular in many offices and homes, and there are many methods through which you can print from your tablet. However, most people choose to use Apple’s own AirPrint service, which is built into all iOS versions since 4.2.

This enables any WiFi-connected iPad to communicate with a compatible printer on the same network. If your printer isn’t AirPrint-enabled, however, you can use a third-party app to print from your iPad.

Are Canon Printers Compatible with Mac?

Apple computers are becoming more and more popular, and that’s why printer manufacturers try to provide native support for Apple machines and updated drivers to make their products compatible with Mac OS. There’s little chance that a new Canon printer wouldn’t work with Mac, but even if it doesn’t, you can still download drivers and try online connections.

Are HP Printers Compatible with Mac?

HP printers particularly are highly compatible with Mac, and Apple even has a list on their website for compatible printers for Mac, which are all HP ones.

Are Epson Printers Compatible with Mac?

Epson printers are compatible with Intel-based Mac OS X Apple devices. However, the few ones that are running in Mac Classic mode, which might be a problem. 

Apple computers running OS 9 or lower are in line with those supported in Mac Classic mode.

Final Thoughts

Although each of the options I’ve mentioned can be considered the best printer for Mac, some of them are more superior in certain aspects.

For one, if you’re a mac user looking for a printer that’ll keep up with your high-volume print jobs at a busy office, you should opt for the HP PageWide Pro 552DW with its 36 PPM speed.

However, faster printing means compromising some of the quality, so if you’re looking for high-quality prints, you should opt for the Epson Expression Premium XP-7100.

The HP Tango X is a solid choice if you want to print directly from your iPhone or iPad as it allows you to establish direct connections.

Finally, the Canon Pixma TS9120 is a good option if you’re looking for a rounded AOI option.

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