The Finest Laser Printer for 2021

Color-only printer

We tested the Brother HL-L3270CDW and found it fell short due to the lack of single pass duplex printing, a bypass print slot for odd size media, and a USB port for printing from a USB stick . The overall print quality was mediocre and the colors were clearly greenish in color.

We also tested the Canon Color ImageClass LBP622Cdw but were disappointed with the user interface, apps, and occasional slow printing. It’s a good device – its printouts are actually a bit nicer than the HP M255dw’s, but the HP is just a lot nicer to use.

The HP Color LaserJet Pro M454dw is the big sibling of our main selection, the M255dw, with slightly faster printing, more paper handling options, and a slightly lower cost per page. But it also usually costs a lot more upfront. If you can find the M454dw for sale, go for it, but we believe that at normal prices, the M255dw will strike a better balance between price and performance for most people.

The Xerox Phaser 6510 / DNI is a powerful color laser machine and both owner and editorial reports have reported very good print quality. However, they also mention network problems with some routers as well as part failures.

Black and white printer

The Brother HL-L2315DW isn’t much cheaper than our budget, the Brother HL-L2350DW, but it is much slower and only has 25 percent the memory that it may struggle with larger print jobs.

The Canon ImageClass LBP6230dw is cheap and small, with automatic duplexing and Wi-Fi connectivity. However, the cost per page is too high and AirPrint or Google Cloud Print are not supported. This is a problem if you own a Chromebook or want to print from a mobile device.

The affordable HP LaserJet Pro M118dw is really fast printing and has positive reviews from owners. Unfortunately, the cost per page is relatively high and we’ve seen several reports of dubious graphics and photo quality.

The HP LaserJet Pro M203dw is low-cost-per-page and reasonably priced, but owner reviews are poor and complain of difficult setup, unreliable internet connections, and outages.

Monochrome multifunction and all-in-one models

The Brother HL-L2390DW and HL-L2395DW are essentially the same machine as our budget pick, the Brother HL-L2350DW, but with a flatbed scanner screwed on at the top plus or minus some additional software features. We like these models, but over time, based on feedback from readers, we have preferred multifunction printers with automatic document feeders. If you don’t have to scan multi-page documents very often, they are still worth a look.

HP’s LaserJet MFP M234dw and LaserJet MFP M234dwe are the same model with the same specifications. The “e” version costs $ 50 less because it is part of HP +. To do this, you need to create an account, connect your printer to the internet, and use only first-party toner cartridges. At the same time, they offer an extended warranty and a six-month warranty trial version of the HP print subscription program. We also didn’t test because they have flatbed scanners instead of automatic document feeders.

The Canon imageCLASS MF113w is limited by its flatbed scanner. We prefer models with an automatic document feeder.

The Brother DCP-L2550DW is a good bargain option if you don’t need some of the features our monochrome multi-function pick has. In particular, this model lacks duplex copy and scan functions, fax functions and a touchscreen interface.

Although the Brother MFC-L2710DW is similar to our preferred MFC-L2750DW, it lacks the device’s touchscreen interface and automatic duplex scanning and copying. It also only has 25 percent as much onboard memory (which means it may not work for large print jobs) and runs a little slower.

Similarly, the Brother MFC-L2690DW and MFC-L2730DW – both available exclusively from Walmart – are similar to the MFC-L2750DW, but with downgraded specifications. The former has a button-operated, non-contact surface and slower print speeds, while the latter works generally similar to our selection, but has half the memory and cannot do single-pass duplexing. If the extras of the L2750DW don’t matter to you, these junior siblings are a cheaper way to get similar print and scan quality.

We tested the Canon ImageClass MF269dw and found that while it printed fast and gave nice looking results, it was a lot less fun than our mono MFP pick, the Brother MFC-L2750DW, with a frustrating touchscreen interface, annoying software and ridiculously slow scanning over wifi.

The Canon ImageClass MF264dw and MF267dw are very similar to the MF269dw we tested, but both have smaller ADF capacities and do not offer duplex scanning or copying. The MF264dw also lacks the fax function.

The HP LaserJet Pro MFP M227fdw has an attractive cost per page and a nice touchscreen interface, but owner reviews are deeply mediocre.

Colored all-in-one models

We have tested the Brother MFC-L3770CDW but found that it cannot compete with our AIO laser pick in terms of ease of use or raw performance. The resistive touchscreen did not react as quickly as the capacitive panel of the HP M479fdw, and the Brother iPrint & Scan software repeatedly froze when scanning multiple pages on our MacBook. Because duplex printing is not done in a single pass, two-sided documents took almost twice as long to print as the HP.

The older Brother MFC-9340CDW seems like good business with all-mode duplexing, affordable toner, and a relatively low acquisition cost, but it’s slower than our AIO color choices and has received a number of one-star reviews that are complaining about melted toner rollers and Wi-Fi connection problems.

On paper, the Canon Color ImageClass MF644Cdw and MF743Cdw compete well with our all-in-one color laser. Unfortunately, while they showed great speed and performance in our tests, their clunky user interface, resistive touchscreen, and outdated PC and Mac software made them much more difficult to work with than the HP M479fdw. We also had problems getting the printers to accept a properly formatted USB stick. This seems like one thing that shouldn’t be hard to find.