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Best Color Laser Printer

Not everyone has need of one, but for those who do, whether because they are running a business from home or maybe just because they are in school or just want one, getting a printer has never been easier.  Likewise, using that printer has never been an easier thing, with the advent of printer technology that can be used either wirelessly on a home network, or that can be run from a USB port.  Heck, we even have printers these days that can be used to print photographs sent to them directly from mobile devices, like your cell phone or tablet!

But with such a wide variety of offerings, picking the best color laser printer for your uses can be a much more difficult task than you would believe.  Sure, you could go to your local department store and get a cheap printer that will work just fine (and will likely come with the first ink cartridge for free, since most of the profit made on printers comes from the price of ink), but if you want a quality printer that you can rely on for years to come, you will need to do a bit of research and look at a few options before you settle for one or the other.

Best Color Laser Printer – Comparison Table

Luckily, we’ve got a handy table to help you figure out exactly what you’re looking at when you look at these printers and one that will help make your choice a much simpler affair.

Name

Scanner (Yes/No)

DPI Printing Quality (Max Quality Value)

Wireless Networking (Yes/No)

Amazon URL

Brother HL-317OCDW Wireless Networking Printer

Yes

600dpi

Yes (Amazon Dash Auto Replenishment enabled

https://www.amazon.com/Brother-HL-3170CDW-Wireless-Networking-Replenishment/dp/B00BQU141C/ref=sr_1_3?s=office-electronics&ie=UTF8&qid=1485108229&sr=1-3&keywords=COlor+Laser+Printer

 

HP LaserJet Pro M277DW

Yes

600dpi

Yes

https://www.amazon.com/HP-LaserJet-M277dw-Wireless-Printer/dp/B00TVACKEE/ref=sr_1_7?s=office-electronics&ie=UTF8&qid=1485108229&sr=1-7&keywords=COlor+Laser+Printer

 

Dell E525W Color Printer

Yes

600dpi

Yes (Cloud-Ready)

https://www.amazon.com/Dell-E525W-Color-Wireless-Printer/dp/B00YBZE1M8/ref=sr_1_11?s=office-electronics&ie=UTF8&qid=1485108229&sr=1-11&keywords=COlor+Laser+Printer

 

Samsung Electronics Xpress SL-C430W/XAA Color Printer

No

600dpi

Yes (Amazon Dash Auto Replenishment enabled)

https://www.amazon.com/Samsung-Electronics-SL-C430W-XAA-Replenishment/dp/B0196HHDV6/ref=sr_1_12?s=office-electronics&ie=UTF8&qid=1485108229&sr=1-12&keywords=COlor+Laser+Printer

 

Canon ImageCLASS MF624Cw Printer

Yes

600dpi

Yes

https://www.amazon.com/Canon-Products-ImageCLASS-MF624Cw-Wireless/dp/B015IGWUW6/ref=sr_1_29?s=office-electronics&ie=UTF8&qid=1485109294&sr=1-29&keywords=COlor+Laser+Printer

 

 

This table is here to just give you an overview of what may be the best color laser printer for you.  Now that you’ve got a good idea of the basics, it’s time that we take a look at each printer in a bit more of an in-depth fashion.

 

1

Brother HL-317OCDW Wireless Networking Printer – The Contender

Years ago, when you were in an office or anywhere else you ran into a printer commonly, you never heard the name ‘brother’.  The brands were Xerox, Epson, Canon, things like that.  Brother is a fairly recent entrant, and one that has really bulked up their offerings in the market, and definitely a real contender in the market for ‘best color laser printer for home’. 

This thing can crank out pictures with 600dpi, which is about as good as you get when it comes to resolution in the average printer in an affordable range these days.  It’s also wireless enabled, which is obviously something that will make printing and networking a lot easier.  You can connect multiple mobile devices to it fairly easily, which makes it great for a house or small office, and may make it the best color laser printer being 2017 will have to offer for those looking for an affordable choice.

Amazon replenishment is a nice touch, but if you’re strapped for cash, I would suggest turning it off.  It basically auto-orders, via Amazon Dash, replacement ink as needed, but ink can be expensive, and you may not want a thirty-dollar shock like that.

Definitely a good printer from a real contender for the market, and one you will be happy to have.  A good contender for the best laser printer all in one combo pack as well.

PROS
  • Decently priced
  • Auto Replenishment can be a nice touch
  • Networking with ease is great
CONS
  • Not as well known a name as others
2

HP LaserJet Pro M277Dw – The Big Name Model

At this point in time, it can be argued that HP is better known for their printers and their scanners than they are for their computers, which continue to be more expensive and with lower quality than competitor models. That being said, this printer is definitely one that is worth considering if you’re looking to buy.

As with pretty much every printer that we reviewed for this post, it is a 600dpi printer, enabling you to get a decent amount of resolution in your printing.  Of course, it is also in color and black and white, because there are few things that are less useful today than a black and white printer.  It can also be said to be the best all in one laser printer on the list, not just because it is so easy to use, but because it is simple to hook up to a home network. 

It incorporates a scanner as well as a printer, and you can, with the correct applications, print directly to this printer from a mobile device of your choosing, which is another nice touch.  Definitely something that you will want to take a look at if you are looking for an easy to use printer with a big name to back it up.  Plus, I like that it doesn’t have Auto Replenishment on it; I realize that this service is there to make life easier, but it just adds hassle.

PROS
  • Good printer with a decent printing resolution (and good scanner resolution too, really)
  • Easy wireless networking
  • Decent warranty and customer service if you have any issues with the printer
CONS
  • Really bulky printer, honestly. Takes up a lot of space and may not fit under some desks.
3

Dell E525W Color Printer – The Standard

Dell is another one of those companies that spent most of their time in the PC market, not so much the peripheral market.  However, Dell computers are, in general, declining in quality, and the price is going up.  Dell computers also managed to tank Alienware computers in popularity.

But don’t hold their computer failings against them!  Their printers are, in fact, decent products, and ones that you should be happy to have under your desk or wherever it is you put your printer at home.

The Dell E525W may not be the best color printer for photos, but it is a good standard printer for someone who, say, just started their college career, or for a group of people who are running a small business out of a house or a garage or something like that.

It offers to print at a resolution of600dpi, which is pretty much standard and will give you decent resolution for a home printer that is looking to be used for simple printing and day-to-day uses.  Obviously, if you’re looking for something that can churn out high-quality printing that is meant to be sold, you’re going to want to look elsewhere.

This is also another printer that is well designed for networking, making it a formidable choice for the small business or the college student with a couple of roommates who will want to use their printer as well.  This is a great all in one color printer for anyone looking to buy.

PROS
  • Decently able to network
  • Good printing quality
  • Big name company means decent customer support backing it
CONS
  • Kind of a huge printer
  • Forward-facing USB slot doesn’t really make it convenient, be better with a slot for SD cards to print directly from or something similar
4

Samsung Electronics Xpress SL-C430W/XAA Color Printer – The Korean Competition

Samsung is a company that makes great equipment in almost any field they’re in.  They are dominating the android mobile market (although I think we can all agree that their Galaxy Note 7 was a huge mistake), they produce some of the most beloved and highest quality television, and their computers are well regarded.

So it makes sense that when they make a printer, it would be a good one.  However, before we get too far into this review, some dirty laundry must be aired.  This printer, for whatever reason, breaks from standard and refuses to have a scanner of any sort.  That’s right, it will not scan your documents, so if that is what you’re looking for, it is time to look elsewhere.

As far as its printing, it does a good job, printing at the standard 600dpi that you would expect.  It is also wireless enabled, and it works quite well at networking.  It is also Amazon Dash Auto Replenishment enabled, but my views on that have already been made clear, I would think.  Still, if you’re looking for a decently priced and quality printer, you’ll be well served to purchase this model, and it is likely the best wireless printer reviewed, even though it has no scanner.

PROS
  • Designed by Samsung, which means quality
  • Easy wireless networking
  • Great customer service backup, too, which is always important when looking at a printer
CONS
  • Amazon dash auto replenishment enabled. Be sure to shut this off if you don’t want your printer to decide when it needs more printer ink
  • The lack of scanner seems like a serious failing when you consider how standard they are
5

Canon ImageCLASS MF624Cw Printer – The Industrial Option

Canon is a name that has been involved in the printing of all sorts since the idea of the printer became mainstream.  They’re definitely a name and a company that is worthy of some trust, and they tend to put out decent products that are well backed by experience and decent design.

The first thing that needs to be mentioned about this MF624Cw printer from Canon is that it is not really the printer for you if you are just looking for a light-use printer.  Trust me, a lot of people who buy printers in school will end up spending more time in their college library printing, especially if your printer ink/ paper budget is sparse.  This is the kind of printer you buy if you’re going to be printing a lot of pages quite often.  It’s the kind of printer that you could buy five of and support an office of a hundred people with ease. 

That being said, there’s nothing wrong with going professional grade at home, and if you’re looking for a serious networking printer that is able to handle a lot of printing work and you’re not turned off by the price of feeding it, this is a great option for you, and it may well be the best all in one wireless printer reviewed.

PROS
  • Large paper tray capacity
  • Easy to network
  • Professional quality printer
CONS
  • Very bulky, meant to be on its own table
  • Noisy
  • Expensive to operate

Best Color Laser Printer - Buyer's Guide

If you’ve decided that you simply cannot live without a home printer for personal use, I’m sure that you have some questions about terms and features you’ve seen thrown about.  Luckily, here are a few answers to those questions.

What Is DPI?

DPI stands for ‘dots per inch’, and it is a measurement of resolution used both for printing and for scanning. The higher the ‘dots per inch’, the higher the resolution that you will be able to print at.

Now, if you’re not printing things that need to look good (for example, if you’re printing notes for yourself), then you don’t care about dpi.  But if you are printing things like presentations, it matters.

Is Wireless Networking Important To Me?

Wireless networking is really only important if you have more than one computer that you want to hook up, and you don’t want to be tethered.  With wireless networking, a handful of people can share one central printer and print from wherever, so long as they’re on the same network as the printer, or they can access the network with the printer on it. It’s definitely a great asset.

Conclusion


If you’re looking for a printer for your own use, any of these will be a good option for you to pick.  That being said, there was definitely one that stood out from the others.

After much consideration, it must be said that the Brother HL-317OCDW printer is the best one that was reviewed.  It may not have a name with the same pedigree as HP or Canon, but it offers everything that they offer and more, as well as having a great networking setup that makes it easy for many people to access one printer.

But the truth is that, whichever printer it is that you decide to go with, you will be happy with your choice, most definitely