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Best Printers for College Students

Best Printers for College Students

Zach Cabading
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Despite the digitization of practically everything, the Internet Age hasn’t entirely phased out the printed page.
Although many students use their laptops to take notes, they often print out hard copies for studying. And most professors still require students to turn in a printed copy of their research papers and assignments. A printer is your best friend in college, capable of either causing or relieving you of great stress.
While these devices might seem like an extra financial or space-hogging burden, especially if you’re living in a dorm, they offer some serious benefits. There are lots of great printers that have just the right combo of capability and portability, while also falling within a college student’s budget. Let’s look at the best printers for college students, and also examine why you need one.

Why should I get a printer for college?

Your term paper is due today. You pulled an all-nighter to pump out the last five pages and you did well. You’ve written an A-worthy paper. But you have ten minutes to spare before class starts.
Uh-oh. You’ve forgotten to print it out!
There’s already a long line of students waiting for the common room printer. Room 4C has a printer, but you’re not on good terms with them. Your friend in 2A has a printer, too, he’s not there.
So, you dash to the library - five minutes left! You’ve saved the paper to your email, so you find an open computer, log into your account, and click print. You run to the printer. You frantically insert your printing card.
Oops! Your printing card doesn’t have enough funds! You get everything sorted, print the paper, and dash to the professor’s office to submit the paper.
Unfortunately, your A paper is now a B because you turned it in ten minutes late.
Every student has been here. Just think, you could avoid the situation described by investing in your own printer which saves you time, stress, and even money.

Cost advantages of a personal printer

A personal printer can help streamline your academic to-dos so you’ll be able to devote more time and attention to your studies. Remember, a college education can cost you thousands of dollars. Buying a printer is an affordable way to protect your investment.
  • But you don’t have to lose out on the financial end. The right printer will actually save you lots of money in the long-run. Here’s why: Most colleges require you to pay by the page. Costs can add up quickly.
  • Printers at your college library may have a limited number of printing options. For more advanced printing options you might have to go elsewhere and pay more money.
  • You’ll spend additional money if you drive to (or pay for transit to) facilities where you can print.
If you have roommates who would like to share the printer, you could always split the costs of the paper, ink, and even the printer itself.
Savings aside, don’t forget that a personal printer can give you something that no public printer can - privacy. If you want to print a private document or photos for your dorm room, it’s a bit awkward to do so where there are eyes peering over your shoulder.

What makes a printer good for college?

Here are the four ways we evaluated the best printers for college students:

1. Functions

Does it print fast? Does it print well? What else can it do besides printing? Scan? Copy? Is it durable?

2. Wireless capabilities

Modern college students have more than a pen and notebook in their arsenal. Most students nowadays also have laptops, tablets, and smartphones. A good college printer should have wireless connectivity with all those devices.

3. Size

Many college students live in dorm rooms or share tight spaces with other students, so a good college printer should be relatively small. It shouldn’t cause any border disputes between you and your roommates.

4. Budget

Most students have a tight budget. Buying a printer shouldn’t leave you begging for scraps at the dining commons.

HP printers with the best value

Here are the HP printers that’ll give you the most bang for your buck. These printers deliver the most printing options, at the best printing quality, for the cheapest prices.

1. HP DeskJet 3755 All-in-One printer

Functions
HP DeskJet 3755 All-in-One Printer
As the name implies, you can carry out a variety of tasks with this one single printer.
  • Printing (1-sided and 2-sided)
  • Copying
  • Scanning
  • Color resolution: 4800 x 1200 dots per inch
  • Speed: 8 pages per minute for black and white printing, 5 pages per minute for color printing
  • Supported paper pizes: Letter, legal, custom (from 3 x 5 inches to 8.5 x 11 inches), plus No.10 envelopes
The HP DeskJet 3755 all-in-one printer is fast enough for basic printing needs and it can still print color images at an impressive 4800 x 1200 resolution. Plus, it supports a variety of paper sizes.
This handy device also supports high yield ink cartridges - a major bonus if you’re trying to limit the number of trips to the local office supply store.
With a monthly duty cycle (the number of pages you can print without risking damage to the printer) of 1,000 pages, the HP DeskJet 3755 is a simple but versatile desktop printer.
The printer is also conveniently compatible with HP Instant Ink, another great way to save money.

Wireless capability

Enjoy wireless connectivity via HP ePrint. You can print documents or photos from your smartphone, tablet, or laptop as long as there’s a shared internet connection.

Size

The HP DeskJet 3755 is the world’s smallest all-in-one printer. It’s 15.9 inches wide and weighs only 5 pounds so it’s easy to move and doesn’t take up too much precious real estate in a cramped dorm room.

Budget

The HP DeskJet 3755 is priced right considering its variety of features and high-resolution color printing.

2. HP OfficeJet 5255 All-in-One printer

Functions
HP OfficeJet 5255 All-in-One Printer
The HP OfficeJet 5255 all-in-one printer has a nice design with elegant, rounded edges. Let’s delve into the important details:
  • Printing (1-sided and 2-sided)
  • Borderless Printing (up to 8.5 x 11 inches)
  • Copying
  • Scanning
  • Color resolution: 4800 x 1200 dots per inch
  • Speed: 10 pages per minute for black and white printing, 7 pages per minute for color printing
  • Supported paper pizes: Letter, legal, custom (from 3 x 5 to 8.5 x 14)
This printer is built for photo printing with its borderless printing capability as its key feature. You’ll be able to print professional-quality photos for a research paper, presentation, or for your dorm room walls at a high resolution. You’ll enjoy beautiful, crisp lines and well-blended colors for total clarity in all of your photos.
Plus, this printer is compatible with HP Instant Ink for all of your ink cartridge needs.
Wireless capability
Wireless features are enabled through the HP Smart app. You can download this app on your phone or tablet to easily print photos from those devices. You’ll also be able to print from social media, iCloud, Google Drive, Dropbox, and other cloud services.
Size
At 14 pounds and only 17.5 inches wide, it’s still perfectly compact for tight college living spaces.
Budget
The HP OfficeJet 5255 is slightly more expensive than the HP DeskJet 3755 due to its better photographic printing capabilities and more advanced wireless connectivity. But it still falls into the bargain printer category.

3. HP ENVY 5055 All-in-One printer

Functions
The HP ENVY 5055 AiO printer has fantastic wireless features. In fact, your friends just might be ENVY-ous.
Here are some of the specs:
  • Printing (1-sided and 2-sided)
  • Borderless printing (up to 8.5 x 11 inches)
  • Copying
  • Scanning
  • Color resolution: 4800 x 1200 dots per inch
  • Speed: 10 pages per minute for black and white printing, 7 pages per minute for color printing
  • Supported paper sizes: Letter, legal, custom (from 3 x 5 inches to 8.5 x 14 inches), No. 10 envelopes
The high color resolution and borderless printing capabilities make this a great printer for printing photographs. As a bonus, the printer is compatible with HP Instant Ink so you won’t have to make constant trips to your local office supply store.
Wireless capability
This printer has dual band WiFi so you’re able to print wirelessly from your laptop. It also has HP Smart app functionality so you can print photos and documents from your mobile device.
Size
The HP ENVY 5055 all-in-one printer boasts a stylish and sleek design. It’s 17.5 inches wide and weighs just 11 pounds. Compact and light, this printer would complement any dorm space or small apartment.
Budget
Priced between the HP OfficeJet 5255 and HP DeskJet 3755, the HP ENVY 5055 printer is one of the best-valued printers on the market, especially considering its advanced wireless capabilities.

Alternative Printers

What if you’re only interested in printing out photographs? Or what if you only need to print documents - lots and lots of documents?
Here are a couple of printers that suit more specialized needs:

1. HP Sprocket photo printer (2nd Edition)

Let’s say you take a great selfie with friends, and you want to print it out and hang it up in your dorm. The new HP Sprocket is a fun and portable printer for fun-sized photographs.
Printers aren’t really known for being user-friendly but this printer is changing the game. Just follow these steps and you’ll be on your way to printing out photos from sorority get-togethers or the big homecoming game.
  • Connect the HP Sprocket to your smartphone or tablet via Bluetooth
  • Use the HP Sprocket app to customize your photos with emojis or text before you print them
  • Print the photos on either glossy paper or stickers
The HP Sprocket photo printer is incredible portable (it’s only the size of a cell phone), lightweight, and prints great quality color photos. Slip it into your backpack so you can print out photos the moment inspiration strikes. It’s a great way to preserve your college memories and add a personal touch to a college living space.

2. HP LaserJet Pro M102w printer

Functions
HP LaserJet Pro M102w Printer
HP®’s fleet of LaserJet printers are capable of printing ultra-high-quality photographs at rapid speeds. Most laser printers are typically too large for college living spaces and inkjet printers are usually a better option for students. The HP LaserJet M102w printer, however, is an exception to the standard size and cost of the most laser printers.
Here’s what it can do:
  • Printing (1-sided and 2-sided)
  • Scanning
  • Copying
  • Speed: 23 pages per minute for black and white printing
  • Supported paper sizes: Letterl, legal, custom (from 3 x 5 inches to 8.4 x 14 inches), No. 10 envelopes
This printer is for students who dive deep into their studies. The HP LaserJet can print at a wicked-fast pace of 23 pages per minute, and the input tray can hold 150 sheets.
If you’re going to be writing lengthy research papers or if you need to print hundreds of pages of notes and documents, this is your optimal printer. The monthly duty cycle is 10,000 pages, so you won’t have to worry about overworking it.
Wireless Capability
Wireless printing is enabled via HP ePrint. You can connect your smartphone, tablet, or laptop to the printer through a shared internet connection.
Size
This is one of the smaller-sized HP LaserJet printers. It’s 7 inches tall, 14.3 inches wide, and weighs just 10 pounds. You could easily fit it on your desk or store it under your bed when it’s not in use.
Budget
The HP LaserJet Pro M102w is priced about the same as the HP OfficeJet we talked about earlier. That’s a major steal for an HP LaserJet printer.

Save time and money with HP Instant Ink

It’s no secret that most of the money you spend on a printer will be spent on ink cartridges.
HP Instant Ink is a subscription-based service that aims to save you money on ink. When you sign up, your printer will notify HP® when you’re running low on an ink cartridge, and we will can send you a replacement right to your door or college post office box.
With this service, you won’t get charged by the ink cartridge - instead, you pay by the page. There are 4 plans available, and you can cancel or change your plan at any time:
  • Free Printing Plan: 15 pages per month, absolutely free
  • Occasional Printing Plan: 50 pages per month at just $2.99
  • Moderate Printing Plan: 100 pages per month at just $4.99
  • Frequent Printing Plan: 300 pages per month at just $9.99
HP® will send you an ink cartridge loaded with the amount of ink allocated by your plan. You won’t have to travel to the store to buy ink cartridges, and you’ll save money because you’ll only be purchasing the amount that you need. You’ll save up to 50% on ink costs.
The HP Instant Ink service is also better for the environment because it helps reduce waste. HP® sends a return envelope with each new cartridge so you can send back the empty cartridge to be recycled.
About the Author: Zach Cabading is a contributing writer for HP® Tech Takes. Zach is a content creation specialist based in Southern California, and creates a variety of content for the tech industry.

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