Printer printing color document
If you're choosing a home printer, the best plan is to know what your priorities are first. — Getty Images/Asawin_Klabma

With the current coronavirus situation forcing many 9-to-5 office workers to work from home, the home office (or makeshift office) has become more important than ever. However, many new at-home workers are realizing how difficult it is to be productive without usual office comforts such as printing and scanning.

While many folks have gotten rid of printers in their homes over the years, it’s still a staple in small business and corporate offices for a reason. Printers are important for all sorts of things, whether you’re signing and scanning documents, printing out documents or spreadsheets for review, testing print-quality photos and images, making copies and more.

If you’re in need of a printer for your home office, here are seven features you should consider when buying.

One of the most important factors to consider in a home printer is how much room it will take up in your office.

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Compactness

One of the most important factors to consider in a home printer is how much room it will take up in your office. Given that not everyone has a dedicated home office and they may need to create an office in the kitchen, living room or guest room, compactness matters.

One example of a great compact printer option is the HP LaserJet Pro M15w Wireless Monochrome Laser Printer, which is one of the smallest laser printers on the market at 13.6-by-7.5-by-6.3 inches. It prints up to 19 black-and-white pages per minute, connects to a mobile printing app and more.

Value

Because a home printer may be a personal expense instead of a business expense, workers may look at lower-priced (but still good) printers. Most of the major printer brands offer low-cost printers, but one thing to watch out for is whether the printer requires an ink subscription service, which is not for everyone.

One example of a high-value printer is the Canon MG Series PIXMA MG2525 Inkjet Photo Printer, which retails for less than $40. This unit features basic printing, scanning and copying.

Paper and ink capacity

One home printer frustration for home workers is the chore of adding more paper or replacing an ink/toner cartridge. If you’re constantly refilling paper or ink, it can be disruptive to your workflow. Laser printers, which are more often found in offices than homes, are a good option to beef up capacity versus common inkjet printers.

One example of a high-capacity printer is the Brother Monochrome Laser All-In-One Printer, which has a tray for 250 sheets and the ability to print 1,200 black-and-white documents before needing a new standard replacement laser ink cartridge.

Scanning and copying

Some jobs require workers to scan and copy documents, so those working from home will quickly need to find a well-featured printer that has an emphasis on scanning and copying. Make sure you do your research about what exactly the printer can do in terms of scanning and copying if you’re going to be doing it often.

One example of a good printer for scanning and copying is the HP OfficeJet Pro 9015 All-in-One Wireless Printer, which includes the ability to scan and print from your phone and it can print 22 pages per minute.

Photo and color printing

If you work in any job that involves reviewing photos or color documents, you should prioritize printers that can produce high-definition, photo-quality prints. Make sure whatever printer you’re looking at can print large photos and not just 4x6 and 5x7 prints.

One example of a good printer that makes photo and color printing a priority is the Epson Expression Photo HD XP-15000 Wireless Printer, which can produce color prints up to 13-by-19 inches and offers 6-color printing that provides more depth and detail than many other printers.

Stylish design

Despite the ability to print stunning images, most printers themselves are not stylish or pretty. If you care about your home printer having any sort of style to match your office, you’ll likely need to look high and low in order for them to not look bland.

One example of a printer with a sleeker-than-usual design is the Canon Wireless Pixma TS9120 Inkjet All-In-One Printer, which has a 5-inch touchscreen, built-in Wi-Fi, and 6-color printing.

All-in-one printers

Finally, if shopping around for specific features is too stressful or too hard to crack, home workers may simply want to look closely at good all-in-one printers. Generally, these printers offer the ability the print, scan, copy and fax with wireless connectivity. However, not all of these printers are built alike and can be a costly choice if you’re buying something that’s just for simple usage.

One example of a high-quality, all-in-one printer is the Brother MFC-J895DW Wireless All-in-One Inkjet Printer, which includes Wi-Fi connectivity, printing from mobile devices and a 150-sheet paper tray.

CO— does not review or recommend products or services. For more information on choosing the best printer, visit our friends at business.com.

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Published March 15, 2020