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The 5 Best Printers Under $100 in 2020 [Buying Guide]

It doesn’t make sense to spend a fortune on buying a fancy printer when you’ve just started out your business, or you need to print your assignments.

Finding an affordable option is your best shot, especially if you’re not the only one who will be using it, so you can all chip in to buy a new printer and finish your tasks. That said, we picked up five of the best printers under $100 on the market that will get you up and running regardless of what you need the printer for.

Also, we made sure to go through the essential aspects that you should look for when finding an affordable printer so that you can make an informed decision regarding which of these models is the most suitable for you. Let’s dive right in!

Our Top Picks

PrinterBlack Printing SpeedColor Printing SpeedPrint ResolutionAuto-duplexingADF
HP OfficeJet 38308.5 ppm6 ppm4800 x 1200 dpiNot supportedSupported
Canon Pixma MG36209.9 ppm5.7 ppm4800 x 1200 dpiSupportedNot supported
HP DeskJet 37558 ppm5.5 ppm4800 x 1200 dpiNot supportedSupported
Canon PIXMA TR45208.8 ppm4.4 ppm4800 x 1200 dpiSupportedSupported
HP OfficeJet Pro 697820 ppm11 ppm600 x 1200 dpiSupportedSupported

The 5 Best Printers Under $100 in 2020

In this part of the article, we’ll go into more details to highlight the best features that you’ll be getting with each printer, as well as the downsides that you should look out for.

1. HP OfficeJet 3830 – Editor’s Choice

HP OfficeJet 3830

The HP OfficeJet 3830 has a lot to put on the table, yet it’s one of the least expensive office printers. To start off, it’s an all-in-one printer, so you can legitimately use it for other purposes rather than printing.

The user-friendly interface makes it a perfect machine for home and office use as it comes with a monochromic touch screen panel. Additionally, it features a Quiet Mode to avoid disturbing your workmates or households. Not to mention, the HP Smart app will keep you aware of the ink level, and you can use it to scan documents from your smartphone.

In terms of functionality, as you can tell from the table, the HP OfficeJet 3830 prints around 8 pages per minute (ppm) if you print in black and white, while the speed is 6 ppm for colored prints.

The printing quality is satisfying as well, and with some mode adjustments, you can get laser-quality prints. All that aside, Instant Ink is a must-get if you’re opting for any HP printer, particularly if you’re low on cash.

Also, with the automatic document feeder, there’s no need to manually switch to a different paper when scanning or copying. The feeder can handle around 35 sheets at a time. Unfortunately, it doesn’t support auto-duplexing, so you’ll have to manually turn over the pages if you want to print on both sides.

Last but not least, the printer comes with HP’s 1-year limited warranty, so you don’t need to worry about any bugs that users usually encounter on buying cheap printers.

Pros:

  • Excellent resolution for the price range
  • Compact design can fit anywhere
  • Instant Ink lowers ink expenses
  • Features an automatic document feeder (ADF)

Cons:

  • Doesn’t support Ethernet connection
  • Lacks auto-duplexing
  • High running costs without Instant Ink subscription

Verdict

The HP OfficeJet 3830 offers an excellent value for your money, especially that you can use it for scanning and faxing as well as printing. Moreover, you can use all of these functions through your phone, iPad, or tablet using Google Drive, iCloud, or even Dropbox.

2. Canon Pixma MG3620 – Best for Photo Scanning

Canon Pixma MG3620

The Canon Pixma MG3620 is another all-in-one printer that does an amazing job with printing photos onto standard and 4 x 6-inch paper. It supports auto-duplexing; although it’s a bit slower than average, it’s still worth some credit at this price range.

On the other hand, copying and scanning are surprisingly fast, even when compared to other popular and more expensive models like HP Envy 5540.

Another thing that makes the printer ideal for anyone into photo printing is that it utilizes pigment inks for the black cartridge to deliver sharp text and dye color cartridges to deliver vibrant colors.  All in all, the colors are rich, and the dark shades are quite bold; however, the fine details aren’t as sharp as you’d expect.

The setup is pretty easy, and it’s compatible with various devices, so pairing the printing with your smartphone or iPad isn’t problematic at all. Additionally, Windows users can use “My Image Garden” to access some interesting templates, including calendars and different cards.

Pros:

  • Decent print quality
  • Fast color printing and scanning
  • Supports auto-duplexing
  • Compatible with a variety of devices
  • Easy and quick setup
  • Windows users can access “My Images Garden” collections
  • Lightweight and compact

Cons:

  • Lacks an automatic document feeder
  • Fine details could be sharper

Verdict

If you’re into photo printing, the Canon Pixma MG3620 would be a convenient option to opt for that will help you deliver your projects right on time. Furthermore, the control panel is user friendly, and with wireless connectivity, you can work up the printer in no time.

3. HP DeskJet 3755 – Most Compact

HP DeskJet 3755

The HP DeskJet 3755 is designed for show off with its ultra-compact and sleek build. You can easily find a good spot for the printer with such size, so it can always be within reach.

Being an all-in-one printer, you can use it for other office purposes like copying and scanning, and of course, it’s compatible with the majority of devices through the HP Smart app. As for speed, it can print 8 black and white papers per minute and 5 colored ones in the same interval. The resolution is as good as the two previous models; all come with 4800 x 1200 dpi.

Ink consumption could be a bit too expensive with all HP printers unless you went with Instant Ink. On the bright side, sticking to HP ink doesn’t only cut down the expenses, but it guarantees an excellent quality as well, so it’s a win-win.

As you might have noticed, it’s not common to find a printer that supports both auto-duplexing and automatic document feeding (ADF) for less than $100. With most HP printers, you’ll get away with ADF and leave auto-duplexing behind. This is why we think it’s a great printer for occasional printing purposes and frequent scanning or copying tasks.

Pros:

  • Portable design
  • Outstanding output quality
  • You can subscribe to Instant Ink
  • HP smart app makes a user-friendly interface
  • Supports wireless connectivity

Cons:

  • No borderless printing 
  • Doesn’t feature automatic document feeding
  • Relatively slow

Verdict

The HP DeskJet 3755 is an excellent choice if you’re looking for a portable printer. It comes in head-turning hues, and it’s extremely easy to set up, so you’ll have a trouble-free printing experience.

4. Canon PIXMA TR4520 – Best All-in-One Printer

Canon PIXMA TR4520

The Canon PIXMA TR4520 is the go-to printer if you want a full package. For starters, it supports wireless connectivity, but what makes it truly stand out is that you can add Alexa Control, which is absolutely game-changing.

Whatever you want your printer to do, you can sound it out rather than manually adjusting the settings; not to mention, Alexa can detect the ink and toner percentages and notify you or even order new cartridges when they’re running low.

Another feature that seals the deals for most users is that unexpectedly, it features auto-duplexing as well as automatic document feeding. However, at such a price, it’s pretty understandable that the Canon PIXMA TR4520 is a bit slow, particularly with colored documents.

Also, the running costs are a bit higher than average. Still, they can be even more expensive with other models, so you’ll still be saving up to a good extent. In addition, if you subscribe to Dash Replenishment, you can order your printing essentials at a lower cost.

Pros:

  • Supports Alexa Control
  • Features auto-duplexing and ADF
  • Excellent print quality
  • Can print on glossy photo paper

Cons:

  • Slow printing
  • Relatively high running costs

Verdict

The Canon PIXMA TR4520 is as good as any other expensive printer in terms of features. You have nothing to worry about, except maybe the print speed. Accordingly, it’s not the best option for office work, but it’s more than enough for artistic and gallery work. As for the running costs, subscribing to Dash Replenishment is free of charge, so you’ll be getting yourself such a good deal.

5. HP OfficeJet Pro 6978 – Fastest Affordable Printer

HP OfficeJet Pro 6978

Speed is usually a bummer when you’re looking for an affordable printer. However, with the HP OfficeJet Pro 6978, you can print around 20 black papers and 11 colored ones per minute.

The printer beats all the other models on the list in terms of speed, but you’ll sacrifice some resolution in return as the maximum resolution is 600 x 1200 dpi.

Apart from that, you’ll be getting many advantages with respect to usability and running costs. Among the most impressive features that come with the printer is that it supports many media types, including glossy photo paper, card stocks, labels, envelopes, high-resolution paper, and of course, standard printing paper.

As mentioned earlier, Instant Ink will save you some expenses and with Alexa Control, managing your ink cartridges is a piece of cake. Other aspects like compatibility and connectivity are pretty standard with all HP models and apply to the OfficeJet Pro 6978 as well.

Pros:

  • Fast
  • Features Alexa Control
  • Compatible with different devices
  • Supports multiple media types
  • ADF and auto-duplexing are both available

Cons:

  • Relatively low resolution

Verdict

The HP OfficeJet Pro 6978 is excellent for professional office use, where the printing rate is higher than usual. The low resolution doesn’t interfere with the text quality, but it’s not the best when it comes to images.

How to Pick an Affordable Printer

Speed

In our humble opinion, speed should be your priority if you’re using the printer for work because you’ll need to deliver your tasks on time.

It’s worth mentioning that some manufactures offer speedy, affordable printers at the expense of quality. Hence, we wouldn’t recommend going for speed if you don’t actually need it.

Media Features

Be on the lookout for the type of media you work with. Printing on plain paper is pretty standard.  Nonetheless, if you’re planning to print on specialty paper or fabrics, it’s essential to make sure that the printer you’ll opt for supports this type of media.

Another thing to consider is the size of the paper you’ll be printing on; the last thing you need is to have a paper size issue.

To wrap up, you should make sure that your printer supports the type, size, resolution, etc., of media before making any purchases.

Duplexing

Auto-duplexing is one of the features that can save you so much effort and time. Simply put, the feature entails automatically flipping or turning over the sheet of paper to print on its back. This means that you don’t have to manually place the paper on the opposite side to get the job done, which is called manual duplexing.

As you can tell, manual duplexing is supported by all printers, so if you don’t have a time frame that you need to follow, you can save up some money and buy a printer that doesn’t support auto-duplexing, and do it manually if you ever needed to.

Document Feeders

Document feeders are found on multifunctional and all-in-one prints as well as desktop scanners. They allow the user to feed a stack of papers into the scanner for copying.

Interestingly, there are several types of document feeders on the market. The most widely used type is the automatic document feeder or the ADF. Although ADFs can only scan one side of the page, they save you plenty of time because they “automatically” work their way through the stack, one paper after the other.

The more advanced document feeders are more expensive, so you probably wouldn’t find them in this price range. With that in mind, it’s more affordable to get a printer with a scanning system than to invest in a dedicated scanner, so we recommend going for the first option if you need to save some money.

Going back to ADFs, One should bear in mind that they have different capacities depending on the printer model, so make sure not to feed your scanner more sheets than it can handle.

Compatibility

As you already know, printers don’t work as separate units; they’re typically connected to other devices to function. Thus, it’s crucial that they’re compatible with the device you usually work with.

The good thing is, you can find plenty of affordable options that are quite versatile and work with Windows, Mac, Android, iOS, and other systems.

Connectivity 

Connectivity is another thing to keep on the top of your list. For many users, wireless connectivity is a must-have to avoid the hassle that comes with wires, while others prefer the traditional wired connectivity, and so on.

Whatever you like to work with, whether it’s Bluetooth, Wi-Fi, USB, Ethernet, you name it, simply check if it’s supported by the printer you have your eyes on.

Final Thoughts

Opting for an affordable printer doesn’t imply settling for unsatisfactory outcomes. On the contrary, if you put your hands on the features that matter the most, you can end up with excellent prints.

From where we stand, the HP OfficeJet 3830  seems to be the best printer under $100 that’s currently available on the market because it gives the best value for your money without making any significant compromises.
Meanwhile, the Canon PIXMA TR4520 gives a couple of extra features that can come in handy if you don’t mind slow printing.

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