Back to school printers

As September approaches and a new school year begins, you may find a new school printer on your back to school to-do list. Whether you need the best printer for school projects ready to go at home or you’re looking for the best printer for university students to avoid campus prices and queues, we’re here to guide you through the buying process.

A guide to buying printers for students

Uni students in particular may struggle to find the perfect first printer. With a vast range functionality available it can difficult to separate the essential features from the inessential to find the best type of printer for students, all while keeping costs down. If you find you don’t know your inkjets from your lasers, here are a few things to keep in mind when choosing a printer for students.

Find the best printer for school work

Features with a purpose

When it comes to selecting the basic features or functionality of your printer you need to have a clear idea of what you need the printer for in the first place. The demands of your course or subjects will dictate your printer features, whether you need to print full-colour images on a regular basis, graphs and spreadsheets, or just essays and reports. Here are just some the basic features you’ll find available that could make a good printer for students depending on your needs.

Inkjet or laser

First and foremost, you’ll need to figure out whether you want an inkjet or laser. Both inkjet and laser can make good printers for students, it just depends on the type of school work you need to print. Inkjet printers offer superior image and colour quality, while lasers tend to print fine text faster. Where image and colour quality is important, such as in photography, art and design projects, inkjet should be a good fit. If text-heavy documents and reports are the norm, then a laser printer provides the best solution. You can find out more about the differences between inkjet and laser in this helpful guide.

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A3 capable printers

Most homes and students will only require an A4 printer, however A3 printers can provide the versatility needed to meet some more specialist needs. Art and design students may find A3 a must-have for large photographs or CAD projects, while students of other subject areas may be attracted to A3 for its use for presentations and even booklets.

Print speed and quality

When it comes to finding the best printer for students, you may find that print speed and even print quality aren’t priorities. While art and photography students may require a higher print resolution, many students may save money by opting for a slightly lower quality printer that can still produce crisp essays and graphs. Print speed particularly isn’t a priority for a personal use printer and will only add additional pounds to the price. If you’re shopping for a home computer print speed and quality may become more of a priority to meet the diverse needs of the whole household, from homework to office work.

Discover some of the best printers for students uk including gifts

How students can keep printing costs low

Cost is undoubtedly a top concern when choosing a uni or school printer. When it comes to finding cheap printers for students you need to look beyond the basic asking price and consider total running costs of printers. Often the cheapest printers can become the most expensive to run over time. Figure out how many pages you might be expecting to print a month and choose your printer accordingly. Here’s what to look out for when it comes to keeping costs low and finding quality but cheap printers for students.

  • The costs of the cartridges – you’ll be refilling them, so make sure they’re not going to break the bank when the time comes.
  • How many pages a cartridge can print – the more frequently you need to refill, the more money your printer will cost over time.
  • The cost per page – all printers should say exactly how much it will cost per a page for both black and colour. Use this in conjunction with the features you need to choose the best value for money.
  • The quality of the printer – read reviews and check out the printer warranty to gauge the quality. Poorer quality printers are more likely to break, meaning replacement parts or a whole new printer. This is both time consuming and a drain on finances.
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Your preferences

Finally, take a look at some of the extra features that are never really essential for students but might be valuable additions to complement your lifestyle and preferences. Many of these features can provide easier and faster printing, ideal for students and households alike.

Connectivity
There are now more connectivity options than ever before, with wireless now a standard feature for many new printers. Additionally, you’ll find printers with mobile printing abilities including AirPrint and NFC, and cloud printing that allows for sharing and printing straight from your shared cloud services such as Google Docs. While all students could probably live without these features, they often make printing and collaboration easier and are perfectly suited for on the go tech-savvy students and households.

All in one capability
If you’re just after something to see you through those coursework deadlines than a standalone printer might be the best printer for uni students at a cheaper cost. However, for added flexibility, there is a vast range of all in one printers to suit a student lifestyle. Multifunction printers are now competitively priced and subsequently offer considerable value for money, and means both students and households can be prepared for any situation with the ability to print, scan, copy and even fax.

The best printer for students

We’ve selected four of our top back to school features, all offering affordable prices and unique features to suit the student lifestyle whether it’s at home or on campus. Whether it’s meeting those important coursework deadlines or capturing those important uni experiences, you’ll find the perfect printer to see you through the term.

Last updated: September 2019
PrinterEpson EcoTank ET-2600Canon PIXMA IX6850Brother HL-L8260CDWCanon Zoemini C
Price£226.19£124.09£195.98£360.00
Best for…The householdThe art studentThe business studentThe social student
TechnologyInkjet, Refillable Colour InkInkjet, 5-Ink SystemInkjet, 3-Ink SystemInstant camera printer with ZINK technology
FunctionalityPrint, Scan & CopyPrinterPrint, Scan, Copy & Fax2-in-1 Camera Printer
ConnectivityUSB & Wireless with Mobile & CloudUSB, Ethernet & Wireless with Mobile & CloudUSB, Netowrk & Wireless with Mobile & CloudUSB, Micro SD
Print Speed10 ppm mono, 5 ppm colour14.5 ipm mono, 10.4 ipm colour35 ppm mono, 27 ppm colour50 seconds
Print Resolution5,760 x 1,440 dpi9,600 x 2,400 dpi4,800 x 1,200 dpi314 x 500 dpi
Paper HandlingUp to A4 Including EvenlopesUp to A3+ BoredlessA3 Printing (A4 Scan, Copy & Fax)ZINK sticky-back paper
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Quick student printer tips

Finally, here are a few quick tips for all students this term looking to keep printing costs low.

  1. Print in draft mode if it isn’t a final hand in document – uses less ink but is still legible so ideal for revision notes etc.
  2. Use print preview to see exactly how your document will print and fix any mistakes before they use up precious paper – eg. Excel sheets with just one column running onto the second page.
  3. Fit more on a page if it isn’t a final hand-in document- eg. Make text smaller, reduce line spacing, reduce margins etc.
  4. Use double sided printing to half the amount of paper used.
  5. Always have spare cartridges – buy a new set as soon as you refill your machine. This will avoid running out of ink at the last minute for an important piece of course work – particularly when most new printers won’t print if even one of the cartridges is empty.

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