Unfortunately, the time for thinking about back to college is now. It seems to come earlier every year. When it comes to college, preparation is a good thing and being prepared with a reliable laptop and finding one of the best printers for college students is a must. You may have the laptop covered, but have you thought about getting a printer to take care of all those essential college tasks? If you’re looking for a printer, you may be thinking about which printers are the best printers for college students.
The best printers for college students have some key characteristics. They should be color and preferably capable of photo quality, wireless capability is the only way to go, duplex printing would be really helpful, they should be inexpensive (preferably under $100), should have copy capability, and they should have a built-in scanner. In other words you should buy an all-in-one printer. All-in-one printers or multi-function printers have the features you need that will get you through college. If possible choose a printer with all-in-one capability.
College Printing Policies
Policies on printing at colleges vary widely by institution. These days, many schools impose quotas or limit printing for students using their print kiosks or other facilities in the interest of saving the environment and reducing waste. So, although there are many other options for printing than having your own printer, you may want to have one just so you aren’t constrained by the school’s limitations.
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It’s a simple fact. We all want to print in color and no place is that more true than college. Probably the biggest use for a printer in college is to support class work, but coming in at a close second would be photos.
Sure it’s nice to look at a picture on your phone for Instagram, Facebook, or Pinterest, but what if you want to show off a picture on your desk or wall. It could be a picture of your family, pet, girlfriend, or boyfriend, but the important thing is that it means something to you and you want to have it as a reminder in your room. That’s where the best printers for college students come in. You can quickly convert that instant favorite photo into a lasting memory by printing it out on photo-quality paper and framing it for your wall or desk.
Wireless printing is not just for laptops and desktops anymore. While it’s still the most convenient way to print from your college laptop, new wireless printers can also print directly from your iPhone, iPad, iPod Touch or Android device wirelessly using Airprint printers technology! How cool is that! Print those awesome pictures immediately on your wireless printer.
We’re supposed to be working towards a paperless society and while that’s true, it seems like we still are using a lot of trees. One of the ways to cut down on the waste is to use a duplex inkjet printer. Duplex inkjet printers print on both sides of the paper effectively cutting paper use by half. In addition, when printing projects for class, nothing looks more professional than a report that looks like it was professionally printed.
Don’t forget about copying. Almost as important as a printer is copying capability. Whether it’s copying a friends study notes or any of a myriad of other copying possibilities at college, you will find a copier to be an invaluable tool.
Many college students overlook the usefulness of printer scanners to help them with their schoolwork. One of the biggest uses of a scanner at college is to scan textbooks for study notes. Students pick out the most pertinent pages and assemble them into a study guide for exams. It’s an easy way to keep up with some of the demands of college work. Scanning capability is also great for converting printed text into an electronic document that can be shared electronically. That capability is essential for college students and not as readily available as printers are at most schools.
These days you should be able to buy one of the more popular brands with all the features we’ve mentioned for less than $100. That makes an all-in-one college printer not only affordable, but also almost a necessity.
We searched college forums, social media, manufacturer sites, customer review sites, retail sites, and consumer sites to find the most popular, highly rated, best value back to college printers we could find.
Take a look at our list and see if one of these popular models is the best printer for your needs!
Best Printers for College Students: Top 5 All-In-One Budget Printers
HP is a powerful name in printers and the HP Envy 4520 Wireless All-in-One Photo Printer with Mobile Printing, Instant Ink Ready is a great example of their quality designs. With up to 6.8 ppm color printing, photo printing capability, and an included scanner and copier, this printer is a real value with great features. You can print from your laptop, smartphone, tablet, and even scan directly to your mobile device. Check out all the great features of this college-bound color inkjet printer.
Best Printers for College Students: Features
- Fast printing speed of up to 9.5 ppm black and up to 6.8 ppm color
- Mobile printing allows you to print from just about anywhere like your, smartphone, tablet, iPhone, internet-connected PC, iPad with AirPrint with the free HP ePrint app
- 1200 DPI scan resolution
- WiFi 802.1b/g/n capability
- Integrated 2-inch high-resolution monochrome LCD touchscreen display
- Quick and easy wireless setup
- Borderless, lab-quality, laser-sharp photo and document printing up to 8.5 x 11 inches
- Scan directly to mobile devices from 1200 ppi resolution flatbed scanner
- Copier reduces or enlarges 25% – 400%
- Large 100-sheet document input tray and standard 25-sheet output tray
- Separate black and color ink cartridges for the best print quality
- Automatic 2-sided printing (duplex)
- Optional high-capacity printer ink cartridges save money
- Instant Ink-ready so you will never run out of ink
- Energy Star-qualified
- Recommended monthly page volume of 100 to 400 pages
- Dimensions are 17.52W x 14.45D x 5.04H inches
- 1-Year limited hardware warranty and 24-hour, 7 days per week support
- Easy setup
- Great wireless capability
- Good quality printing for the price
- Handy touchscreen
- Instant Ink automatic refill printer ink subscription messages can be annoying
- Bulky and takes up countertop space
- Complaints of slow printing speed
Another printer from HP with great all-in-one capability and the flexibility to print from almost any device, the HP OfficeJet 3833 All-in-One Printer features print speeds of up to 8.5 ppm black and 6 ppm color ISO and the ability to print laser-quality documents and lab-quality photos from a smartphone or tablet. Other productivity features include wireless printing, borderless printing, and an automatic document feeder.
- All-in-one printer, copier, scanner, and fax machine with print speeds up to 8.5 ppm black and 6 ppm color ISO, optical scan resolution up to 1200 dpi, and copy flexibility to reduce/enlarge from 25 to 400%
- Wireless printing allows you to print and share with notebooks and PCs on your existing wireless network
- Use AirPrint
- Print and scan to email from your smartphone or tablet
- Mobile printing allows you to print using AirPrint for iPhone or iPad, the HP ePrint app for your smartphone or tablet, or even directly to the printer using Wireless Direct
- touchscreen display
- Borderless printing gives you the capability to print borderless 4 x 6-inch photos and documents up to 8.5 x 11 inches
- Fax resolution of up to 300 x 300 dpi black
- Instant Ink subscription service provides ink savings up to 50% by allowing your printer to automatically order ink cartridges for delivery directly to your door
- Optional quiet mode reduces disturbances
- Large 60-sheet input tray
- Scan and copy multiple pages quickly and efficiently using the built-in 35-sheet automatic document feeder
- ENERGY STAR
- Dimensions are 17.72W x 14.33D x 8.54H inches
- 1-Year limited warranty, 24-hour, 7 days a week support
- Easy to setup
- Good value
- Reliable wireless printing from a variety of devices
- Beautiful color and clarity
- Several reports that it’s difficult to establish a wireless connection
Brother printers are all about ease-of-use and it doesn’t get much easier than the Brother Printer MFC-J680DW Wireless Color Photo Printer with Scanner, Copier & Fax. With great connectivity, fast print speeds, and duplex printing, this printer will be right at home in any college environment. It even comes with an auto-document feeder for even easier copying, scanning, and faxing. It’s tough to find so many valuable features in such a low-priced printer.
- Step through the easy-to-setup wireless 801.11b/g/n wireless networking using Brother’s Wireless Assistant
- Fast print speeds up to 12 ppm black (ISO) and 10 ppm color (ISO)
- You get plenty of choices for connecting to Apple, Android, Kindle Fire, Windows Phone, or other mobile devices. It supports wireless printing from your mobile device via: AirPrint, Google Cloud Print, Brother iPrint&Scan, and Cortado Workplace
- You can access popular web services directly from your internet-connected printer using the WebConnect interface without a PC. Upload or download from web services like Facebook, Picasa Web Albums, Flickr, Evernote, Google Drive, Box, Skydrive, and Dropbox.
- Automatic duplex printing capability saves you money, time, and paper
- 2.7-inch Color Touchscreen LCD display makes changing options easier
- Free Brother Cloud Apps let’s you capture, convert, and share documents directly from the printer
- Flatbed color scanner has an optical scan resolution of up to 2400 x 2400 dpi and can be configured to scan to a printed image, OCR, email, or to a file
- Built-in 14.4 Kps fax modem with a fax page memory of up to 200 pages and a best transmission speed of approximately 7 seconds per page
- 20-page auto document feeder is a real timesaver allowing unattended scanning, copying, and faxing
- Large 100 sheet paper tray keeps you from changing paper as often and handy 20 sheet 4 x 6 inch photo bypass tray makes it easy to copy photos
- Copier enlarges and reduces 25 to 400% in 1% increments
- High-speed USB 2.0 connection available for direct connection to your laptop
- Easy-access, front-loading individual ink cartridges save money, reduce waste, and provide an Ink Save mode to even greater economy
- Comes with 4 LC201 series starter ink cartridges
- Lifetime phone support
- 1 – Year limited warranty
- Great value
- Separate ink cartridges provide nice flexibility
- Comes with full print cartridges
- Easy setup and use
- Relatively slow print speed
- Some reports of disappointing print quality
- Some reports of high ink usage
#2 – HP OfficeJet 4650 Wireless All-in-One Photo Printer with Mobile Printing, Instant Ink Ready (F1J03A)
If you’re looking for affordable college dorm printing on a budget and want to save on ink as well, the HP OfficeJet 4650 Wireless All-in-One Photo Printer with Mobile Printing, Instant Ink Ready is a great choice. It features easy printing from mobile devices like smartphones and tablets, easy setup to print from a variety of devices, and all-in-one capability that gives you the flexibility to print, copy, scan, and fax on your schedule. It has an integrated, easy-to-use 2.2-inch touchscreen display that makes controlling the printer fast and easy, an automatic document feeder to help you tackle multi-page jobs with ease, and automatic two-sided print capability that saves paper. Wireless printing means you can print from multiple notebooks or PCs connected to your wireless network. An optional Quiet Mode allows you to print in your dorm room without disturbing your roommate. This inkjet printer is truly one of the best printers for college students.
- All-in-one printer, copier, scanner, and fax machine that prints black up to 9.5 ppm and color up to 6.8 ppm ISO, scans with an optical resolution of 1200 dpi, and faxes with a resolution of up to 300 x 300 dpi
- Copy reduce/enlarge settings from 25 to 400%
- Wireless printing allows you to print and share with notebooks or PCs on an existing wireless network, using the freedom of built-in wireless
- Print from your smartphone or tablet directly to the printer
- Scan and copy multiple pages efficiently with the integrated 35-sheet automatic document feeder
- Optional Quiet Mode allows you to print in any room without disturbances
- Borderless printing capability allows you to print borderless 4 x 6-inch photos and documents up to 8.5 x 11 inches
- Streamline workflow by scanning a document as an e-mail attachment directly from the printer’s 2.2-inch touchscreen display
- Fast automatic 2-sided printing saves paper and time
- 100-sheet input tray keeps you printing longer without adding paper
- Save up to 50% on ink using HP Instant Ink subscription service that orders original HP 63 ink cartridges automatically from your printer, delivered to your door before you run out
- ENERGY STAR Qualified
- Dimensions are 17.53W x 14.53D x 7.5H inches
- 1-Year limited hardware warranty, 24-hour/7 days a week support
- Simple setup
- Great value
- Quiet operation
- Good quality materials and construction
- If not properly setup, Instant Ink notifications can be annoying
- Some reports of slow copy speed
- Small paper tray
- Several reports of slow print speeds
The Canon PIXMA MX922 Wireless Color Photo Printer, Scanner, Copier, and Fax is the star on our list of best printers for college students. Canon delivers award-winning service and reliability. This Canon printer beats most other printers in this category handily and does it at a very reasonable price. It has fast printing speeds, duplex printing and the photo-printing capability that Canon printers excel at. In addition, you will appreciate its connectivity options and the biggest list of features in this segment that make it one of the best printers for college students.
- Superfast printing speeds of 15 ppm black and 10 ppm color
- It can print a borderless 4 x 6 inch photo in 21 seconds at 9600 x 2400 dpi resolution
- Built-in WiFi (802.11 b/g/n) printing and scanning from virtually anywhere nearby your dorm along with built-in wired Ethernet
- AirPrint capability lets you print photos, emails, web pages, documents and more wirelessly from your iPad, iPhone, or iPod Touch devices
- Free EasyPhoto-Print app provides wireless print and scan capability to jpg and pdf files from compatible iPad, iPhone, iPod Touch, and Android devices
- Google Cloud print integration lets you print from Gmail and Google Docs from any mobile device and from Google Chrome browsers on Windows, Mac, Linux, and Chrome devices
- The MX922’s Super G3 Color Fax is the high speed (33.6 Kps) fax of choice for standard color and PC faxes on plain paper and includes 100 coded speed dials and up to 250 incoming pages memory
- At 250 sheets, the MX922 features one of the largest sized plain paper cassettes in the industry
- The MX922 uses its ChromaLife 100+ system combined with select Canon photo papers and inks to deliver beautiful borderless photos that will last 300 years stored in an archival-quality photo album
- High-speed USB 2.0 for faster data transfers
- Automatic, double-sided duplex printing capability saves you time and money
- Built-in disc tray provides custom CD, DVD, and Blu-ray design and print capability
- Printer uses built-in Auto Document Fix software to automatically analyze and correct text and image documents to clear readability and true colors
- With Auto Photo Fix II capability your MX922 automatically categorizes your images into one of five types and then applies optimal image and multi-zone exposure correction to ensure you get the best possible results
- A Full HD Movie Print feature can print photos from HD movies recorded on compatible EOS, PowerShot, or VIXIA cameras and camcorders.
- The flatbed scanner features a scan resolution of up to 2400 x 4800 dpi optical, document sizes up to 8.5 x 14 inches, and can recognize and save originals in the correct format using its one-button Auto Scan Mode
- You will appreciate the MX922’s Quick Start feature which allows you to begin entering commands shortly after pressing the power button
- The dual function, streamlined, 3.0-inch LCD control panel provides useful function buttons that transform into a keypad in fax mode for easier operation
- With built-in Advanced Media Handling, you can load plain and photo paper simultaneously for always-ready flexible printing
- Copier can duplicate photos as well as documents
- An integrated 35-sheet duplex auto document feeder provides unattended scanning, copying, and faxing
- Evernote integration makes scanned documents searchable on any device
- Print directly to the cloud
- 5 individual ink tanks saves money and reduces wasted ink
- An optional high-yield pigment black ink tank extends the time between cartridge changes
- The PIXMA MX922 comes with Matte Photo Paper (for automatic print head alignment) and starter ink tanks
- The PIXMA MX922 measures a compact 18.1L x 15.2W x 7.9H inches and weighs in at about 19 lbs.
- Great value
- Amazing number of features
- Helpful customer support
- Print from just about any device
- Some complaints of slow printing
- Bulky size
- Long warm-up time
Best Printers for College Students
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What do you think of these back-to-school printers? Do you think one of these budget printers might be the one for you? Which printer are you planning to buy? Please take a moment to leave a comment below.
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They will tell you that you don’t need a printer for college anymore due to the availability of college resources, but that’s not all an all-in-one printer does. Having scanning and copying capability at your fingertips in addition to printing can be invaluable. We sincerely hope that this article has given you valuable information that helps you choose one of the best printers for college students for your needs!