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What are the features that make for a high-quality black and white printer? First and foremost, you should expect your monochrome printer to be the best when it comes to printing black ink. Your prints should be crisp and clear with a solid black color that doesn’t look faded.
The best black and white printers for home use also offer a fast printing speed. Since you’re not using color ink, your printer can focus on a single task, which usually results in faster printing overall. Depending on the type of monochrome printer you purchase, you will likely still maintain a high level of print quality with speed, as well.
Finally, top-rated printers like black and white printers still offer multifunction capabilities. If you purchase an all-in-one black and white printer, then you’ll be able to send faxes, scan documents, and store higher amounts of paper and ink. You may even get advanced connectivity options like wireless and Wi-Fi Direct.
Keep reading to learn more about the best black-and-white printers for any application, whether at home or at the office.
Award: TOP PICK
WHY WE LIKE IT: This printer comes with a fantastic auto document feeder that helps to handle high-volume workloads without missing a beat. It also supports a wide variety of paper sizes right out of the box without modifications.
The Brother HL-L2300D Monochrome Laser Printer is a high-speed, high-volume printer with many printing functionalities to get the job done as fast as possible. However, that does not mean that it lacks in the print quality department. It can go as high as 2400 x 600 Dots Per Inch in terms of its printing resolution and handles text very well. However, it does not have any form of wireless connectivity.
It produces those sharp results extremely fast, as it can print out 26 A4 sheets full of text within one minute. And best of all, it has auto-duplexing for printing both sides of a paper without any hassle. And it does not slow down by a considerable margin even there, as it can easily print out up to 13 A4 sheets full of text within the same one minute in the auto duplex printing mode.
Award: HONORABLE MENTION
WHY WE LIKE IT: We love this printer’s WiFi connectivity, as it is fairly necessary for printing out forms and essential documents directly from your phone or tablet. And we also love the fact that it comes with an included cartridge starting kit.
The Pantum P2502W Wireless Laser Printer is a reliable black-and-white printer that features a reasonably fast printing speed. Unlike many of its competitors, it features a built-in WiFi chip that is capable of directly connecting to a multitude of wireless devices (e.g., smartphones, tablets, laptops, WiFi-enabled DSLR cameras, etc.) for hands-free printing. But, its lack of an auto document feeder hurts this printer’s performance badly when it comes to high-volume printing.
This printer is capable of printing out up to 22 pages per minute when you feed it A4-sized sheets. However, when it comes to printing letters, it does an even faster job by achieving speeds of up to 23 pages per minute on a continuous basis. Best of all, it comes with an included ink cartridge set (starter kit) that can handle up to 700 pages on its own before the user needs to put in their own ink.
Award: BEST FOR POWER EFFICIENCY
WHY WE LIKE IT: It has a long-range WiFi chip built-in for hands-free printing. And thanks to its auto document feeder, this printer can print out up to 19 pages per minute without slowing down. It is also more power-efficient than its competitors.
Even though the Canon ImageCLASS LBP6030w Monochrome Printer is mainly a laser printer, it is extremely power efficient. It consumes below two watts in the energy saver mode. It also has a reasonably compact body, which is fantastic for carrying it everywhere as a portable printer. However, as a direct consequence of the small body, it does not handle high-volume printing workloads well enough despite having ADF.
This printer also has a long-range WiFi chip built-in, and once you get it all set up along with your home network, you can easily connect it with any smartphone or tablet and Canon cameras. It is exceptionally efficient in terms of ink usage as well, as it is capable of printing out up to 1600 pages per Canon 125 cartridge. Its printing speed is no slouch either, as it can print out up to 19 pages per minute.
Award: BEST PRINTING SPEED
WHY WE LIKE IT: This printer can print out up to 40 pages per minute, which is fantastic for high-volume printing projects. It also supports almost all paper sizes, from 3 x 5 to 8.5 x 14 inches.
At about 40 PPM, the HP LaserJet Pro M404n Printer is one of the fastest printers you can get your hands on. This model handles high-volume printing workloads exceptionally well with its 250-sheet top-feeding paper tray. And best of all, it completes almost every job reliably fast without any hitches. However, it does not have any form of wireless connectivity like WiFi. As a result, you can not print using AI voice assistants or IoT devices.
Despite not featuring WiFi, it does take a LAN-based wired ethernet connection. And as long as your smartphone, tablet, or laptop is connected to the same home network (WiFi router), you can easily control this printer wirelessly. In addition, although it is a laser printer, it is also very power efficient. And it also does not consume a ton of ink from its HP 58A and HP 58X toner cartridges, unlike many of its competitors’ models.
Award: BEST FOR VERSATILITY
WHY WE LIKE IT: It has a 40-sheet auto document feeder, which is superb for handling extremely high-volume printing work. Its top paper tray can also hold up to 250 sheets for fast-tracking the process. It also protects sensitive data through security measures.
While the Xerox B205NI Monochrome Multifunction Printer might be a laser printer, it does not consume a lot of electricity. It has built-in auto duplexing functions for seamlessly printing both sides of a paper, which also saves costs in the process. And it has wireless connectivity for hands-free printing using smartphones and other smart devices. This printer is very lightweight as well for easy carrying. But its copying function does not work very well.
It can print out each page fully within 8.5 seconds, which equates to about 30 black and white A4 prints per minute. However, it can go at an even faster rate of 31 pages per minute when it comes to letter-sized sheets. Moreover, it has security measures like Mac address filtering and IPV6/IPsec filtering for protecting your important documents, and it automatically activates these features while uploading. It also has a built-in scanner.
Award: MOST ECONOMICAL
WHY WE LIKE IT: This printer is highly efficient both in terms of ink usage and electricity consumption. It reliably prints up to 2500 pages per month without facing any issues.
The Xerox B205NI Monochrome Multifunction Printer is an exceptionally efficient laser printer with high printing speeds. It can print out up to 36 pages per minute reliably and can handle up to 2500 pages per month without facing any hurdles. However, it does not do well during continuous high-volume printing workloads.
It has a built-in 1 GHz SoC and 256 MB RAM, which is highly beneficial for editing content directly from the printer before printing. In addition to that, it easily connects to smartphones and other smart devices with WiFi for hands-free printing, and it even supports AI voice assistant-based printing.
Black and white printers are the same as traditional office printers, with one exception. They don’t print in color. Unlike great teacher printers, monochrome printers come in all shapes and sizes. You’ll even find some listed under the best laser printers, but they all still offer the same core functionality as a run-of-the-mill office printer.
These types of printers also offer a wide variety of functionality, depending on the model you purchase. You’ll be able to purchase all-in-one black and white printers that give you scanning and faxing options. You’ll also be able to purchase options that are good for photo printing, as long as you’re fine with black and white pictures.
Monochrome printers and traditional office printers offer the same core functionality. Ultimately, the reason for purchasing any kind of printer is to print black and white documents and photos onto paper. In this regard, black and white printers don’t differ much at all from traditional printers.
However, looking at the two categories from a bird’s eye view, you start to see more noticeable differences. For example, the best monochrome printers are most often laser printers instead of inkjet printers. This is simply because the best black and white laser printer can generally print faster and sharper than a black-and-white inkjet printer.
Many black and white printers are also larger than traditional printers, allowing them to print faster, store more paper, and store more ink. This is why you’ll often find black-and-white printers in commercial settings. However, consider the top-performing Bluetooth printer if you need to print in color.
Of course, there’s also the question of the overall cost of operation. The best black-white printer will almost always win against traditional office printers when it comes to affordability. This is because monochrome ink cartridges and toner are much cheaper options than color ink. Thus, the price of black and white printers is ideal, especially for small businesses.
As might be expected, black and white printers work in the same essential way as traditional office printers. In layman’s terms, the printer receives data from your computer about the image or text you want to print. Then, it tells the printhead how to deposit the ink in that specific pattern.
Whether they’re wireless printers, networked via ethernet cable, or even manual, basic printers without a wireless connection, they can still print easily.
Let’s take a look at the most common types of monochrome printers and how they work:
If you’re looking for a fast, efficient, and cost-effective printer, then a black and white printer is an excellent choice. These reasons and more are why monochrome printers have still remained popular, even after color printers became widely available. If you need to print barcodes for your items, always use a high-quality barcode printer to ensure that the printout is perfect.
Most black & white printers will last you a grand total of three to four years, according to studies by leading technology consulting firm InfoTrends. However, this total lifespan can be extended or decreased based on your usage and the place where the printer is stored.
In general, it’s a good idea to keep your monochrome printer in a clean and dust-free environment. The dirtier the surroundings, the more likely your printer is to experience debris in the printhead or other internal components. As such, keep the area around your printer clean and free from other non-essential items.
The lifespan of your printer can be affected by how frequently you use it, especially if it uses a laser toner cartridge. If you’re running the printer all day long, every day of the year, you can expect to see a diminishing lifespan. Fortunately, wear from continuous printing usually affects the printhead, which can be repaired or replaced.
For those interested in more details about black-and-white printers, check out our resource guide to learn what is a monochrome laser printer.
When it comes time for you to make a purchasing decision, there are a few key considerations to make. This buying guide section will explore these considerations in-depth, so you know what to look for.
As you research the different black and white printers available on the market today, ask yourself these questions to help determine your needs.
There are a few different types of black and white printers to consider. This is an important first point to determine before making a purchase because it will affect nearly everything else about owning a printer moving forward. Take a look at the different types of printers:
While every black and white printer you purchase will offer the core functionality of printing text or images onto paper, there are a wide variety of additional features and functionality that you should consider. Let’s take a look at the most common things you might see in multifunction printers:
Connectivity is an important aspect of any black and white printer you purchase. Connectivity refers to the way your printer connects to your computer for printing purposes. Let’s take a look at some of the most common connectivity options:
Another important consideration to make when purchasing a new black and white printer is how many sheets of paper it can hold. Most monochrome printers for home use only offer a single paper tray that can hold a single ream of paper. However, if you venture into the industrial printer realm, you’re more likely to find multiple paper trays that can store a ton of paper. This way, you won’t need to refill paper as often.
Similar to paper storage, different black and white printers can store different amounts of ink or toner. If you don’t want to refill ink as often, consider printers with ink tank features like the Epson EcoTank or a high-capacity black toner cartridge. More ink means your printer can handle larger print jobs with ease.