most economical printers for students

If you are a student, or about to go to college, the chances are you’ll be looking around for essential purchases, one of which is likely to be a printer. Below you will find a list of the best printers for students, which we hope will help you on your way.

Make your money last

When you become a student, often it is the first time in your life you have had compete control of your finances. It is also at this point you discover that as a student, money doesn’t go very far and that every penny really counts. The sooner you discover that shopping wisely will pay dividends in the long run, the further your money will go. Nobody likes being in debt, so there are steps you can take along the way to minimise the risks.

Save money on essentials

As a student, there are certain things that are essential, including books, a laptop, and a printer, as well as food and beer! Where books are concerned, you have the option of reducing your costs by buying your books from a senior student who no longer needs his own copies. Where a laptop is concerned, if money is extremely tight, you can find excellent reconditioned models at greatly reduced prices. However, because you will keep so much vital information on your laptop, whether brand new or reconditioned, we cannot stress the importance of regularly backing up your content to an external memory source.

What, exactly, are you likely to be printing most?

When it comes to choosing the right printer, you might think “A printer is a printer” and not consider more closely what functions each printer has which, ultimately will affect the price. Additionally, and of perhaps greatest importance if you are going to use your printer regularly, is the rate at which you have to change the ink cartridges, and whether the printer cartridges you need to buy are ‘all-in-one’, or individual colours for each ink cartridge.

If the majority of your printing is going to be text in black and white, then it may make more sense to buy a printer which has a separate black ink cartridge from the colour ink cartridges, as otherwise you are paying for coloured ink you don’t use. If the volume of work you are going to be printing is high, then you need to make sure you don’t get a printer that guzzles ink!

Even more economical, if you know you won’t be needing any colour, you can buy monochrome printers which saves you having to buy any colour ink cartridges, or colour toner.

Canon PIXMA MG5760 $89.00 or less


Compact, stylish and very capable. At under MG5760$100.00 this is an excellent student-level printer with great all-round capabilities. Wi-Fi capability allows you to connect to all your Wi-Fi enabled devices such as a tablet or smartphone – allowing you to print photos direct as opposed to downloading images first. The 2.5” LED screen makes operating this printer very simple, while quality is what you would expect from a name like Canon.

Sample review (verified purchase)

Great printer for the cost. Perfect photo quality prints and fast. As for the other review, the machine has a pull out guide which is designed to stop the paper in the tray from falling to the floor. Easy to setup, great photo software


Various Colour Options

Direct Wireless Connection

Quick Prints

Auto Two-Sided Printing

Easy Printing App

Smartphone Based Printing

Printing Resolution 4800 (horizontal) 1 x 1200 (vertical) dpi

Print Speed B&W: 12.6 ipm, Colour: 9.0ipm, 4”x6” photo paper: Approx. 41sec

Wireless LAN Range indoor 50m (depends on the transmission speed and conditions)

Dimensions (W x D x H) Approx. 455 x 369 x 148 mm.

Consumables: PGI670BK, CLI671BK, CLI671C, CLI671M, CLI671Y, PGI670XLBK, CLI671XLBK, CLI671XLC, CLI671XLM, CLI671XLY.

Epson Expression Home XP-220 $89.00 or less


A keenly priced 4-function printer/scanner with a XP220great space-saving design. Epson have a reputation for making some of the most reliable printers available today, and this one also comes with the added advantage of having four individual Epson ink cartridges which makes it even more economical to run for students. W-Fi capability allowing you to do without annoying USB cables also means you can connect via any Wi-Fi-enabled device such as a smartphone or tablet – printing photos direct from your phone is a real treat.

Sample review (verified purchase)

I have had an Epson printer/scan/copy for a long time when you find something good you stick with it


Small-in-One printer – space-saving design with great performance.

Wireless printing and scanning – share one Small-in-One Printer at home.

Simple to use – easy to set up in minutes, with one-touch copying and scanning. The intuitive touch panel gives you everything you need, right at your fingertips.

Epson DURABrite™ Ultra resin coated instant-dry pigment ink – water, fade, and smudge resistant, laser-sharp results – ideal for text documents.

4 individual ink cartridges – only replace the cartridge colours that are used, with a range of Epson ink cartridge sizes available.

Variable Sized Droplet Technology – delivering enhanced productivity, enabling users to admire accurate document and photo reproduction at up to 5760 dpi resolution.

EPSON Connect2 – print and share from anywhere – convenient mobile printing from smartphones, tablets and more.

Consumables: C13T293192, C13T293292, C13T293392, C13T293492, C13T293692, C13T294192, C13T294194, C13T294292, C13T294392, C13T294492, C13T294692.

Epson WorkForce WF-2630 $129.00 or less


Epson are well known for printers, and this WF2630all-in-one model with 4 separate Epson ink cartridges and Wi-Fi capability, all at under $130.00 is a great buy. Only lightly bigger than some other models, this is still the most compact one in its specific class; the power of this printer and ease of use will more than make up for it. We particularly like the fact you can change each individual Epson ink cartridge as it runs out as seldom do we all use equal amounts of the same colour, especially black!

Sample review

Very happy with my new printer. It was easy to install and has high quality print. Has Fax & Copy functions which is useful. Cartridges are reasonably priced which was a big consideration for me.


Fast printing – professional-quality prints at speeds of 9 ISO ppm (black) and 4.7 ISO ppm (colour).

Wireless and Wi-Fi Direct® – easily print from iPad®, iPhone®, tablets and smartphones.

Affordable individual Epson ink cartridges – replace only the colour you need.

Smallest footprint in its class – save space in your home office.

Do More – 100-sheet paper capacity; plus a 30-page Auto Document Feeder.

Documents that last – smudge, fade and water resistant prints.

Sharp documents – professional-quality black text delivers crisp, high-quality proposals, reports and brochures.

Increase productivity – print, copy, scan and fax; plus scan to the cloud.

Consumables: C13T293192, C13T293292, C13T293392, C13T293492, C13T293692, C13T294192, C13T294194, C13T294292, C13T294392, C13T294492, C13T294692.

HP Envy 4520 $99.00 or less


This is a great all-in-one printer having the HP_Envy4520almost obligatory scanning function as well as good-quality printing capabilities. We particularly liked the wireless easy photo printing option to enable you to print direct from your smartphone. Any phone or tablet can be wirelessly connected, saving on messy USB cables, while the 2.2-inch display makes choosing the right printing options as simple and uncomplicated as possible. Add the optional ‘quiet mode’ to auto deploying output tray, and we like this printer a lot.

Sample review (verified purchase)

Features are awesome, I especially love the fact that it prints both sides without having to do it manually. Easy to use and convenient. Great value for the price. Highly recommended!


Copy resolution (black text)

600 x 300 dpi

Copy resolution (colour text and graphics)

600 x 300 dpi

Copy reduce / enlarge settings

25 to 400%

Copies, maximum 50

Print quality (best) Colour: Up to 4800 x 1200 optimized dpi colour (when printing from a computer on selected HP photo papers and 1200 input dpi)

Black: Up to 1200 x 1200 rendered dpi (when printing from a computer)

Minimum dimensions (W x D x H) 445 x 367 x 128 mm

Consumables: F6U61AA, F6U62AA, F6U63AA, F6U64AA

Canon PIXMA MG2960 $34.00 or less


This may be described as a basic printer, MG2960and at this price point you’d think you wouldn’t be getting much. Well think again. This is a great printer for students with the world-renowned name of Canon behind it. While you can connect this via a 2.0 USB, this gem has Wi-Fi capability, allowing you to print direct from your tablet or phone, as well as offering ample cloud storage which you can print direct from. We particularly liked ‘quiet mode’ which is ideal if you are working in a group and all need access to the printer.

Sample customer review (verified purchase)

Wi-Fi etc., quality ok, every day use, good enough. will last for 7 years.


Printing Resolution 4800 x 600 dpi

Print Speed B&W: 8.0 ipm Colour: 4.0 ipm

Supported Paper Sizes A4, A5, B5, LTR, LGL, 4″x 6″, 5″ x 7″, European DL/US Com

Wireless LAN Range. Indoor 50m (depends on the transmission speed and conditions)

Scanning Resolution 1200 x 600 optical dpi

Scanning Bit Depth (Input/Output) Greyscale: 16bit/8bit, Colour: 48bit/24bit (RGB each 16bit/8bit)

Maximum Document Size A4/LTR (216 x 297 mm)

Dimensions (W x D x H) 426 x 306 x 145 mm

Consumables: PG645, CL646, PG645XL, CL646XL

Epson Expression Home XP-420 $129.00 or less


This is a well-designed printer which epitomisesXP-420 Epson’s commitment to quality and functionality. This is a small yet powerful colour printer (390mm x 300mm x 145mm) with the option of either a 2.0 USB connection, or wireless Wi-Fi to save on cable tangles. Scanning is such a useful option on a printer, and this one scans at a resolution of 1200 x 2400dpi, while printing at a range of clarity and precision, up to an impressive 5760 x 1440 dpi. Speed is competent at 33ppm B&W and 15ppm colour.

Sample Review (verified purchase)                                                 

The main reason for purchasing this printer was the Wi Fi direct feature, this enables you to print directly from a smart phone to the printer without using a Wi Fi router.


Small size without compromise – space-saving design with great performance.

Easy set up and menu navigation – large, intuitive 2.5″ colour LCD and touch panel means easier navigation and easily view, crop and print photos.

The complete wireless solution1 – connect to wireless network in seconds including Wi-Fi Direct.

EPSON Connect™ – easily print from iPad®, iPhone®, tablets and smartphones; print and share from anywhere.

Remarkable print quality – get crisp, sharp documents and brilliant colour photos.

Print customised & borderless photos – built-in card slots for PC free photo printing.

Better image enhancement tools2 – red-eye removal, photo restoration and correction of over/under exposed images.

Print templates – easily create calendars, envelopes, message cards and lined paper.

Simple to use – easy to set up in minutes, with one-touch copying and scanning; intuitive touch panel for ease of use.

Epson DURABrite® Ultra resin coated pigment ink – for water resistant and highlighter friendly laser sharp results.

Brilliant results, smart value – 4 individual Epson ink cartridges and only replace the colour that is used.

XL size cartridges – For 2.5x more prints, 3 different sizes to suit your needs.

Quiet operation – Whisper-quiet printing and scanning prevents noisy distractions.

Consumables: C13T293192, C13T293292, C13T293392, C13T293492, C13T293692, C13T294192, C13T294194, C13T294292, C13T294392, C13T294492, C13T294692


Fuji Xerox DocuPrint P115w $30.00 or less


An ultra-compact wireless printer with an P115weye-catching design and great price sets this Fuji Xerox printer aside from many of its competitors. This definitely falls into the affordable entry-level type of printer with a great name behind it. The ‘toner save’ mode will help reduce the running costs and will save you from running out of Fuji Xerox toner or Fuji Xerox ink at vital moments too!

Sample Review (verified purchase)

Easy setup with no fuss on windows 10 good quality printing. The price it’s great for a cheap laser printer.


The DocuPrint P115W prints documents of up to A4 size.

It can print at speeds of up to 20 impressions per minute.

The print resolution of 2400 x 600 dpi ensures your documents look great.

Always have paper ready to go with a 150 sheet capacity.

It utilises USB 2.0 and Wireless IEEE 802.11b/g/n connectivity.

It is compatible with the following Fuji Xerox consumables: CT202137 toner (approx. 1,000-page yield) and CT351005 drum unit (approx. 10,000-page life).

It is recommended for environments with a monthly print volume of between 250 and 1800 pages.

You can print from your mobile or tablet device using the Fuji Xerox Print Utility App.

The machine comes with a USB cable for your convenience.

Consumables: CT202137, CT351005

Brother DCP1510 $149.00 or less


Another great and compact little printer from DCP-1510Brother. For a wireless monochrome printer this certainly meets your needs and can operate at speeds of up to 26ppm on A4 paper. Wi-Fi compatible means no need for messy cables (apart from the power one!) and dual-sided printing helps reduce running costs. Crisp sharp printing comes from the 2400 x 600 dpi capability. No waiting for it to warm up either; 17 seconds from start up or 8.5 seconds from standby makes this a dream for those who don’t need a printer running 24/7.

Sample Review (verified purchase)

Fast and easy to use. My first laser printer, very happy with speed and easy to use. Compact for small areas


Up to 26ppm print speed

Automatic 2-sided (duplex) Printing

Hi-Speed USB 2.0 & Wireless Network + Wi-Fi Direct

32MB Memory

250 sheet lower paper tray

Apple AirPrint & Google Cloud Print

Standard yield toner up to 1,200 & High-yield toner up to 2,600 pages

Consumables: TN1070, DR1070