It’s no wonder that laser printers are a staple in just about every business, no matter how big or small. They’re fast, they’re economical, and now they can even print in color. At HP, we know a thing or two about laser printers. After all, we developed the very first desktop laser printer in
1984 with the original HP LaserJet. Today, we build a huge variety of laser printers so you can find one that suits your printing needs perfectly.
But with so many different laser printer models available, how do you find the one that’s right for you?
Let’s identify the best laser printers for the 5 most common printing needs:
- Home use
- Office use
- High-volume printing
- College use
- All-in-One printing
What’s the difference between a laser printer and inkjet printer?
An inkjet printer uses ink, which is sprayed onto the paper via small nozzles (jets). The paper slides beneath a roller, which fuses the ink to the paper. Ink droplets spread minutely when they hit the paper, and inkjet nozzles can only move vertically and horizontally, so they can’t produce diagonal lines as well as laser printers.
A laser printer doesn’t use traditional ink. Instead, it uses a grain-like substance called toner. A laser mechanism “traces” the image on a steel drum and then toner is applied to it with a static charge. The laser marks where the toner is going to be applied.
The laser-and-toner mechanism is much faster than the ink nozzle mechanism, and that’s why laser printers are generally faster than inkjet printers. The laser mechanism is also more precise than the nozzles.
Traditionally, laser printers could only print in black, but nowadays you’ll find lots of HP laser printers that can also print in color
. Inkjet printers are still our choice to produce the highest-quality color images, but the gap is narrowing. If you need to print standard color documents, like reports, memos, or letterhead, you’ll be delighted with the quality of our HP color laser printers.
1. Best laser printers for the home
When laser printers were first developed, they were used almost exclusively in offices. But nowadays, lots of people are using laser printers in their homes. Here are the best HP laser printers for your home.
Black and white option: HP LaserJet Pro M404dn printer
Laser printers are generally larger than inkjet printers because the laser mechanism requires more machinery. That’s one of the reasons why they’re not as common in homes – there’s just not as much room in the home office.
But if there’s one thing you should know about HP, it’s that we’re experts at building complex machines in compact sizes. That’s what we’ve done with the HP LaserJet Pro M404dn
. This laser printer only measures 15 x 14.06 x 8.5 inches, which makes it one of the best laser printers for home use.
This print-only device can’t scan, copy, or fax, and it only prints in black. But it prints really fast at 40 pages per minute (ppm), so you’ll love it if you frequently print a large volume of documents. Maybe your kids are always printing school reports, or you may have to print lots of spreadsheets for clients now that you work from home.
It’s also compatible with Apple AirPrint and Google Cloud Print, features that make it even more suitable for home. And you can print directly from your smartphone or tablet via HP Smart.
Color option: HP Color LaserJet Pro MFP M283fdw printer
Upgrading to a color laser printer may be on your wish list, and the HP Color LaserJet Pro MFP M283fdw
offers more functionality than simply adding color to your printing to your repertoire. It combines print, copy, scan, and fax features into one smart package.
Plus, it gives you HP Smart print technology so you can print from anywhere with just a tap. The 50-page automatic feeder supports two-sided printing, too, so you can get the most from every page.
2. Best laser printers for your small business
A laser printer is perfect for your small business. Small businesses primarily print memos, records, and other types of documents that don’t require professional-quality color images. And since businesses print a large volume of documents, laser printers are well-suited for that use.
If you have employees in your office, they’re less likely to be stuck in line at the printer when you’ve got a laser printer. Here’s our picks for the best laser printers for your small business.
Black and white option: HP LaserJet Enterprise M607n printer
The HP LaserJet Enterprise M607n
is one of the best printers for small offices. This isn’t the smallest HP laser printer but it’s not the largest one, either. It’s just perfect for a small to medium-sized office space; compact enough for a business electronics table or front desk, while large enough to do high-speed printing.
You can print black and white documents as fast as 55 ppm. You also have the option to save paper by printing double-sided (duplex) if you want, and amazingly, duplex printing is nearly as fast as single-sided printing. The 550-sheet input tray ensures that you’ll cut the amount of time you spend loading the printer with new paper.
This printer doesn’t have a lot of bells and whistles, but that’s why it’s optimal for an office where you need to print a large volume of black and white documents. If you need a printer that can also scan and copy, check out one of our All-in-One printers
Color option: HP Color LaserJet Enterprise MFP M776dn printer
Small business owners who want to make a splash may want to consider the HP Color LaserJet Enterprise MFP M776dn printer
, which boasts print, scan, and copy features, plus a seamless digital send function. With print speeds of up to 45 ppm in black and white and in color, you no longer have to choose between vibrant hues or crisp lines on your next big project.
The impressive 200-sheet auto-feed tray and auto-duplexing features give you the hands-off flexibility to do more while your print or scan job is finishing, too. And with the versatility to handle a variety of media types, you’ll be poised to do more of your printing in-house, which may save you money in the long term.
3. Best high-volume laser printer
Laser printers are built to print a high volume of documents fast. High-volume laser printers are built to handle a very large volume of documents fast. These types of printers are great for small to medium-sized offices that have to print an enormous number of documents each and every week. Check out our choice for the best high-volume laser printer for your small business.
HP Color LaserJet Enterprise Flow MFP M776z printer
The HP Color LaserJet Enterprise Flow MFP M776z printer
is affixed to a wheeled base. It’s portable, making it easy for employees to share anywhere in your office space. It boasts an incredible paper capacity of up to 2,300 sheets, and it can print at speeds up to 45 ppm. That means your team will enjoy more print jobs in less time.
This multi-functional printer can print, copy, scan, and fax, and the easy-to-use touch screen display makes it simple for even new users to get the job done. It’s even compatible with SRA 3 paper, too, so you can print full-bleed A3 marketing assets and cut them to size.
Whether you choose to print from email, a connected device, or the HP Smart app, improved security stops malware and external attacks
as they happen. Plus, the firmware is installed automatically, so you always know your HP software is authentic.
4. Best laser printers for students
A lot of people think a laptop or tablet is the most important device for college students, but let’s not forget how important a printer is. Nothing is more frustrating than having worked all night on a term paper, only to receive a late grade because you couldn’t get to the library fast enough to print your paper.
While lots of college students may prefer student-oriented printers, like the HP Sprocket or a compact inkjet printer
that can print photos for your dorm room wall, laser printers are actually a great choice for students.
Students often have to print lengthy term papers, notes, and reading material, so a speedy laser printer is actually a great option. Here are the best laser printers for students.
Black and white option: HP LaserJet Pro M15w printer
Student printers need to be compact so they can easily fit in a student’s dorm room or campus apartment. Unfortunately, laser printers tend to be a little larger than inkjets – except for the super-compact HP LaserJet Pro M15w printer
It’s the perfect size for college living spaces. This just might be the most compact laser printer ever made. It weighs only 8 lbs and you can easily fit it on a small desk, or tuck it in a corner out of the way.
This device prints black and white documents only, but you can print as fast as 19 ppm. You’re able to print on plain paper, envelopes, postcards, and labels.
Often, college campuses have unreliable WiFi. Thankfully, you’ll be able to print using WiFi Direct when you’re unable to secure an internet connection. WiFi Direct sets up a WiFi connection from your printer to your device – you don’t even need a router.
With the HP Smart app, students can print from their smartphone or tablet or from the cloud. We’ll go over HP Smart and other HP printing programs at the end of this article.
Color option: HP Color LaserJet Pro M255dw printer
If you need a color laser printer for college use, check out the HP Color LaserJet Pro M255dw
. This compact printer quickly creates both black-and-white and color copies or prints while taking up very little room in an already-cramped dorm or apartment. You’ll love the print speed of up to 22 ppm, while the 2.7-inch color touch screen makes using this printer a breeze.
Use your school wireless network to send jobs between your computer and printer, or connect your phone to your printer for secure direct printing. You’ll be able to do it all quickly, too, because setup takes just minutes from opening the box.
5. Best All-in-One laser printers
All-in-One printers can print, copy, scan, and fax. You can perform a variety of home or office tasks all with one device. Here are the best All-in-One laser printers from HP.
Black and white option: HP LaserJet Pro MFP M148fdw printer
The HP LaserJet Pro MFP M148fdw
is a compact and affordable All-in-One laser printer that’s great for a small workplace or home office. It can’t print in color, but it can print black and white documents at speeds up to 30 ppm. You can control the printer via the simple control panel, and there’s voice-command functionality, as well.
Color option: HP Color LaserJet Pro MFP M479fdw printer
Need the best color laser printer All-in-One? If your workflow calls for scanning and copying along with printing in color, check out the HP Color LaserJet Pro MFP M479fdw
printer. This is a very compact laser printer that features an easy-to-use touch screen display.
You’re able to print color and black and white documents at speeds up to 28 ppm, and you can scan directly to email thanks to built-in wireless support. There’s a ton of wireless connectivity options, for that matter, including built-in dual-band WiFi. Dual-band WiFi enables you to print from your device without having to use a shared internet connection.
6. HP printing programs and software
HP has a variety of great printing programs. Many of our HP laser printers
are compatible with one or more of them.
Printers with HP ePrint
have a unique email address where you can send documents or images for printing. This enables you to print things from your computer from anywhere in the world, as long as you have an internet connection or roaming data.
HP Smart is an app that enables you to print directly from your smartphone or tablet. You can even print images from your device’s camera roll.
HP Instant Ink
HP Instant Ink
is our simple subscription service where you can have new ink or toner cartridges delivered straight to your doorstep. Compatible printers can monitor your supply levels and will automatically order new ink or toner for you when you’re running low.
Whether you’re looking for the best HP color laser printer, the best home laser printer, or the best laser printer for small offices, HP has a device that fits the bill. As technology improves and our workflow changes to include more work-from-home and school-from-home scenarios, you can still get all the benefits of fast and accurate laser printing from HP.
Popular HP Laser Printers