Best all in one printers for home use: Copy, scan and print while remote working


Investing in a multi-tasking all-in-one printer can be a gamechanger in these heady times when so many of us work from home, essentially offering an instant, do-it-all ‘office in a box’ solution.

The applications for leisure users are widely beneficial too, from scanning important documents to printing plane tickets, invitations and photos of loved ones.

Thankfully, many models now feature wireless functionality, untethering us from a tedious reliance on cables. Combined with the surprisingly compact nature of many all-in-one printer models, this makes finding a place to stash your new productivity toy around the house a doddle. Plus, you don’t even need a computer thanks to the ability to print or scan from smart devices such as smartphones and tablets, overseeing the job remotely via dedicated apps created by the manufacturers.

Some things don’t change though. HP, Epson and Canon have long been the big ‘go to’ brands in the space, with Brother and Xerox among the other serious players.

Costs and options vary widely. While budget models can be noisier, and you can expect slower printing speeds and lower resolution colour images, if that doesn’t unduly bother you, and your needs are relatively light, you really needn’t break the bank, with plenty of serviceable all-in-one printers available for under £100.

As with any printer purchase, however, the initial outlay is only part of the picture. Considering the ongoing running costs should be a major consideration when choosing between all-in-one printer models. Ink costs in particular can prove prohibitive in the long term, especially if you are tied to using a manufacturer’s proprietary cartridges. Sales perks such as free ink or toner, or subscriptions such as the Instant Ink subscription offered by HP as part of HP+, can result in major savings.

Typically speaking, ink models from the likes of photo specialist Canon are great for those who focus on printing photos and high-quality images. Models which forsake traditional ink cartridges for refillable ink tanks can prove cheaper to run although as with ink cartridge models, there’s always a risk that all that lovely ink can clog up inside if you don’t use the machine regularly, at best proving a big pain to clean up and at worst spelling the end of your machine.

All-in-one models with laser printers, which use toner rather than ink, can be a better bet if you aren’t going to be printing regularly and they’ve become surprisingly affordable in recent years. While not as good as ink models for tasks such as printing photos, and being typically larger and more expensive, they offer a range of pluses, being fast, quiet and relatively affordable to run in the long term, not least for those looking to make lots of prints and copies in mono.

Differing budgets and printer types aside, other user ‘asks’ that will limit your options include the ability to handle larger paper sizes than A4, such as A3, or thicker paper or card such as 300gsm. Having the ability to automatically print – or scan and copy as well as print – double sided, or ‘auto duplex’, will be another dealbreaker for many. If you’re anything like me, having not a fax for more than 20 years, you may be willing to live without this still common all-in-one function, however.

Here’s a look at some of the best options on the market right now.

Epson EcoTank ET1810 & Ink Bottles

Best for: Affordable ink tank all-in-one printer

Cartridge cost: From £8.06 black

Pages per minute: Up to 10 prints per minute (PPM)

Scan, copy and fax: Yes

Wireless: Yes

Dimensions: H169 x W375 x D347mm

It’s hard to argue with the value for money offered by this Epson model which, all told, makes a nice introduction to the world of ink tank printing. Thanks to those lovely, roomy ink tanks, it can prove pretty cost effective in the long term although I’ll have to take Epson’s word for it when they claim users can save up to 90 per cent on printing costs.

Set up is simple and intuitive using the supplied guide and you’ll be up and running using the four 65ml individual ink bottles in minutes, printing effortlessly from your computer or smart device using the Epson Smart Panel app. That ink, incidentally, is good for printing up to 4,500 monochrome pages and up to 7,500 colour pages, according to Epson, with each ink tank equivalent to 72 cartridges.

Buy now £154.99, Currys

HP Deskjet 4120E AIO Printer

Best for: Budget all-in-one printer

Cartridge cost: From £10.99 black

Pages per minute: Up to 8.5 prints per minute (PPM)

Scan, copy and fax: Yes

Wireless: Yes

Dimensions: H261 x W428 x D456mmm

With the ability to wirelessly scan, copy, fax and print in colour and mono from your smart device via the HP Smart app, this multi-tasking maestro is a great budget addition to any student digs or family household and it’s a great bet for anyone with light needs who doesn’t want to pay more for added bells and whistles.

Welcome features include the 35-page automatic document feeder (ADF) – a lifesaver when scanning or copying multiple pages – and the inclusion of a USB port, offering a handy wired connectivity option. Nice and compact, measuring 26.1(H) x 42.8 (W) x 45.6 cm (D), it comes with a one-year guarantee and Apple users will appreciate its AirPrint compatibility. Another potential attraction for some users is the ability to sign up for the manufacturer’s HP+ programme, which includes a six-month subscription to Instant Ink. With the latter, HP claims potential savings of up to 70 per cent on ink costs where the printer orders fresh ink supplies before you run out. Handy stuff as long as you don’t mind getting locked into using the manufacturer’s cartridges.

Buy now £64.99, Robert Dyas

Brother MFC-J4540DW

Best for: A A4 inkjet all-in-one printer

Cartridge cost: From £20.10 black

Pages per minute: Up to 20 prints per minute (PPM)

Scan, copy and fax: Yes

Wireless: Yes

Dimensions: H250 x W435 x D335mm

Brother features a solid range of affordable, dependable all-in-one printer models and this 4-in-1 wireless offering is no exception, representing a great home office or small business inkjet solution at a reasonable price point.

With a 400-sheet capacity and its large ink cartridges – a full complement of which are good for printing up to 3,000 page black and 1,500 colour pages, according to the manufacturer – rest assured you won’t need to be fiddling around replacing the ink too often. More importantly, this model offers decent printing speeds and if you don’t mind taking a slight hit in speed, you can opt to use the quiet mode.

While looking the part, it’s not overly bulky so can be squirrelled away on a shelf or even the corner of a desk. Set up is a breeze via the LCD touchscreen and it comes supplied with a full complement of ink cartridges. There’s even a 20-sheet automatic document feeder (ADF) for copying and scanning multi-page documents. It does not offer duplex scanning or copying unfortunately, which users working with lots of double-sided docs will surely miss. Other than that, it’s a nice, robust pro-looking purchase.

Buy now £219.99, John Lewis

HP OfficeJet Pro 7740

Best for: Low-maintenance wireless A3 all-in-one inkjet printer

Cartridge cost: From £27.90 black

Pages per minute: Up to 22 prints per minute (PPM)

Scan, copy and fax: Yes

Wireless: Yes

Dimensions: H215 x W264 x D192mm

Another solid home use option, this weighty 19.5kg inkjet model is a major step up from the budget HP model mentioned elsewhere in this feature. Whether controlling tasks via the HP Smart app or the upfront adjustable angle touchscreen, it’s a joy to use. A major selling point is its ability to not just print but to scan, copy and fax in A3. Other very and welcome functions include printing or scanning double-sided via the 35-sheet duplex automatic document feeder (DADF). It’s fast too, with HP claiming a maximum print speed of up 34 pages per minute (PPM), backed by a 500-sheet paper capacity across two trays. All for under £300. Cor.

Buy now £282.00, Amazon

Canon Pixma TS8350

Best for: A six ink compact all-in-one printer for photos

Cartridge cost: From £11.80 black

Pages per minute: Up to 15 prints per minute (PPM)

Scan, copy and fax: No fax

Wireless: Yes

Dimensions: H141 x W373 x D319mm

With an attractive, sleek design available in red, white or black, this stylish ink tank model is a fun to use all-rounder. It is ideal for home leisure, offering wireless connectivity and the ability to print, copy and scan via the user-friendly 10.8cm colour touchscreen or Canon app.

At just 37 x 32 x 14cm, it’s a nice compact package too, although the real headline grabber is its ability to reproduce high-quality photographic images up to a resolution of 4800x1200 DPI using a range of six different inks. It’s a breeze to print photos stored on SD cards via the front-facing SD card slot and it also offers borderless photo prints (Canon claims it can deliver a 10x15cm borderless photo in 17 seconds) and there’s direct disc printing.

There are two input trays, the rear one handling ‘multimedia’ such as photo paper. It also offers some fun functionality such as the ability to print nail stickers using theNail Creator app. Other nice features include the auto-duplex function which while not the quickest, taking a noticeable breather between pages, is a nice addition. Note, this model lacks a fax machine in case that’s a dealbreaker.

Buy now £149.99, Argos

Xerox WorkCentre 6515DNI A4 Colour Multifunction Laser Printer

Best for: An auto-duplex wireless all-in-one laser printer

Toner cost: From £87.90 black

Pages per minute: Up to 28 prints per minute (PPM)

Scan, copy and fax: Yes

Wireless: Yes

Dimensions: H500mm x W420 x D506mm

Xerox makes some very tempting home office solutions and this highly capable, affordably priced all-in-one laser printer is a decent workhorse for the money. It’s a solid all-rounder covering print, copy, scan and fax duties admirably.

At 30.7kg and 42 (W) x 50.6mm (D) x 50 cm (H), you’ll definitely notice the size and weight but for a laser model it doesn’t have that big a footprint. Other selling points include the ability to do double-sided multi-page scanning via the generous 50-sheet duplex automatic document feeder (DADF) and its decent speeds.

Xerox claims print speeds of up to 28ppm with print resolutions of up to 1,200 x 2,400 dpi, and if you run out of colour toner, it will continue printing in mono, handily. While that 250-sheet input tray and 50-sheet bypass tray isn’t a beast in the capacity stakes it’s decent enough and Apple users will welcome the AirPrint functionality. Plus, those not bothered by its wireless connectivity and automatic double-sided printing features can save some printer pennies by plumping for a cheaper sibling such as the Xerox WorkCentre 6515DN.

Buy now £377.95, Amazon

Canon Pixma G7050 All-in-One Wireless Inkjet Printer

Best for: All-in one printer with 4800x1200 DPI and fax

Cartridge cost: From £8.98 black

Pages per minute: Up to 13 prints per minute (PPM)

Scan, copy and fax: Yes

Wireless: Yes

Dimensions: H234 mm x W403 x D369

This model is well worth a look for those who need fax functionality along with the ability to print, scan and copy. Offering a print resolution of up to 4800x1200 DPI, and capable of handling papers up to 300gsm in weight, this refillable inkjet ‘Megatank’ all-in-one printer has a rich feature set. These include automatic duplex printing, a 35-sheet automatic document feeder (ADF) and borderless printing, which is great for photos.

Measuring 40.3 x 36.9 x 23.4cm and weighing 9.6kg, size-wise it’s decidedly manageable and it comes supplied with six large-ish ink bottles, including one each of cyan, yellow and magenta and three black ink bottles, the latter good for up to 8,000 pages, according to Canon. While the two-Line LCD screen does seem a bit limited and outdated as interfaces go, it does the job, plus you can also use the Canon Print app.

Buy now £309.99, Currys

Epson EcoTank ET-16600

Best for: A compact A3 all-in-one printer with fax for under £1,000

Cartridge cost: From £13.74 black

Pages per minute: Up to 25 prints per minute (PPM)

Scan, copy and fax: Yes

Wireless: Yes

Dimensions: H350 x W500 x D515mm

Another dependable ink tank offering from Epson’s EcoTank range, this all-in-one wireless A3 Inkjet printer model is fast, durable and dependable. It’s a great ‘buy once and forget’ option for small home businesses and home workers.

Offering print, scan, copy and fax functionality it squeezes some impressive components into its relatively compact footprint (35 H x 51.5 D x 50cm W). This includes but is not limited to the dependable PrecisionCore printhead, those large ink tanks and the two paper trays that can hold 500 sheets, including A3.

Impressively speedy, it’s capable of scanning and printing up to 25 images a minute and printing out a first page in just over five seconds. Plus, it’ll automatically print double sided. Printing is a cinch using the Epson iPrint app and I also like the model’s decent sized, easy to navigate 10.9cm LCD touchscreen and function keys. Available in any colour as long as it’s black, it comes with a full set of ink and a 12-month guarantee, good for up to 150,000 pages.

Buy now £999.00, Robert Dyas