These days most colour printers come with a scanner and photocopier as standard. The quality of colour printers range however, from excellent to really quite shoddy. And when you consider that in some cases you are paying more for the ink cartridges than the actual printer itself, it’s hard to know where to put your cash.
For the record, I will never buy an HP printer again in my life. The paper always jams up and never feeds into the printer correctly.
As for other makes of colour printers, there are some guidelines when it comes to buying.
Colour printers either come with two ink cartridges (one black, the other multi-coloured) or three coloured ones. The benefit of buying a printer with three is that you only replace the one that has run out, rather than the multi-coloured one.
Many of the full-sized colour printers have Wi-Fi, meaning you can print from anywhere in the house; for smaller prints you might only need a portable printer, for larger sizes the Epson Stylus Photo prints up to A3.
Here are our suggestions for the best colour printers:
Quick and speedy device that prints in under one minute. You get full-colour prints that do not smudge and come with peel-backs in a 2×3” size. Works with iOS and Android devices. Charges in one and a half hours, no ink or costly ribbons required.
A good portable printer that prints small sizes (15 x 10cm), and is very versatile with tons of ways to connect, including USB, wireless and SD card. If you only need a printer for postcard size prints this one prints exceptional quality, albeit quite slowly.
A fun printer here that works as a phone case you fit onto any iPhone model from the iPhone 5s upwards. Using the app to take pictures, you can add various text, filters, and then print and your photograph pops out of the case. Your photographs come with sticky peel-backs and are 5 x 7.6cm in size.
The Epson Expression comes with six ink cartridges, one black and five coloured, to provide great picture quality. This means when one cartridge runs out you can replace it. You get two sizes of paper tray and whereas some printers guarantee photo durability at 100 years, Epson stick their neck out at 300.
Another printer that comes with an impressive six cartridges, including a grey one. This is to help reduce the appearance of shading and reduce graininess in photographs. Has a large touchscreen which is really neat to use and it allows you to sync with your smartphone via the Canon Print app. Good all-rounder for a decent price.
A very large printer that will take up a lot of desk space, probably because it has the capacity to print A3 sizes. A very good price for a printer that can print this size, you tend to spend much more. Comes with six ink cartridges but you will run out quickly if you are printing a lot of A3 sized photographs. Good quality prints with great colour contrast.
This printer looks like a standard A4 printer but despite this it has the capacity to print up to A3. You do need to add on a telescopic adjuster for A3 prints. Comes with six ink cartridges, dual paper tray, and can scan and photo-copy.
This printer is an all-in-one device that scans, copies, faxes and faxes. Great printer for small businesses or families, you can connect to the Cloud and any mobile device for wireless printing, also instantly print using the USB memory stick.
We were talking about printers costing less than the ink cartridges before, well this is the reverse of that, the printer is expensive but this is because of the way the ink is distributed. Epson has created a high-capacity ink tank system that comes with sets of two ink bottles, one black bottle and three different colour ones, which they say is enough for 11,000 pages. Slow to print but the quality is very good.
For those businesses that deal with handling sizes bigger than A3 (called A3+) this is about as good as it gets. A brilliant printer that comes with ten ink tanks that deliver the best quality prints we have ever seen. Running costs are not as high as you would expect, thanks to the ink tank system.