What are the Top Printers with Cheap Ink?

True Score Methodology

v1.5

147,768

Reviews Analyzed

Updated Jun 10, 2024 7:38 PM

Table of Contents

best printer with cheap ink guide that shows the top best printer model

A whopping 75% of electronic and appliance reviews are untrustworthy. That’s why every reviewer gets a Trust Rating so our True Score System filters out the fake reviews. See how we do it.

There’s nothing more frustrating than running out of ink. Then suffering sticker shock at the price of replacement cartridges for your printer. When shopping for a printer that can use cheap ink, it’s essential to consider the initial cost and also the cost per page in B&W and color.

In our latest guide, we highlight five winning printers out of 26 evaluated based on their performance and test data. We examined 147,768 customer reviews and certified the best that excelled in testing while filtering out fake and low-quality reviews. Our unique approach leverages our scientific True Score to ensure you get reliable, cost-effective options. These models not only save on ink but also rank as some of the best printers available today, combining cost-efficiency with top-notch performance across various printing tasks.

How Did We Rank the Best Printers with Cheap Ink?

Our guide to the best printers with cheap ink is based on an extensive review of over 200 websites. We analyzed testing methodologies, customer feedback, and expert opinions to determine the most critical criteria: 2 must-have specifications. This rigorous approach allows us to deliver precise, dependable recommendations, helping you find a printer that combines affordability with top performance.

Our commitment to unbiased reviews is powered by our ‘True Score’ system, targeting low quality and fake reviews. When you shop through our links, you’re backing our mission. Dive deeper to see how.

? Test Criteria

  • Print Speed: Black & White Printing Speed exceeds 20 pages per minute (ppm).
  • Printing Costs: Printing costs are less than 5 cents per page.

Latest Updates

  • 06/10/2024: Republished the list to include the best printers with cheap ink based on our True Score system.

Top Best Printers with Cheap Ink For 2024

Prices accurate at the time of publishing

See how we test the testers

  • Runner Up

    Best Value

    Best Budget

    gr recommended award

    Best Mid-Range

    Epson Ecotank ET-5850

    • Best For Cheap Ink

    The Epson Ecotank ET-5850 excels in speed and economy, blending high-volume capability with cost-effective ink usage at a premium price.

    Epson Ecotank ET-5850 Review →

    True Score

    90
    90
    3

    Experts

    88
    795

    Customers

    $549.99

    Snapshot

    Reasons to Buy

    • High-quality, reliable printing
    • Great scanning features
    • Low running costs
    • Blazing print speeds

    Reasons to Avoid

    • Mediocre color accuracy

    Specifications

    Automatic Document FeederAutomatic Document FeederYes
    Automatic Two-Sided PrintingAutomatic Two-Sided PrintingYes
    Copier Resolution (B&W)Copier Resolution (B&W)
    Copier Resolution (Color)Copier Resolution (Color)
    DepthDepth32.4"
    Duplex Scan FunctionDuplex Scan FunctionYes
    Energy Star CertifiedEnergy Star CertifiedYes
    HeightHeight13.8"
    Integrated FaxIntegrated FaxYes
    Max Number of CopiesMax Number of Copies999
    Max Paper WidthMax Paper Width8.5"
    Mobile PrintingMobile PrintingYes
    Number of Ink Cartridges RequiredNumber of Ink Cartridges Required4
    Paper FeederPaper FeederCassette tray
    Print Speed (B&W)Print Speed (B&W)25 ppm
    Print Speed (Color)Print Speed (Color)
    Printer Resolution (B&W)Printer Resolution (B&W)
    Printer Resolution (Color)Printer Resolution (Color)
    Printer TypePrinter Type
    Scanner ResolutionScanner Resolution
    Scanner TypeScanner Type
    Tray CapacityTray Capacity
    WidthWidth
    WirelessWirelessYes

    All Specs

    Test Results

    B&W Print Speed (ppm)23
    Color Print Speed (ppm)18
    B&W Printing Costs (¢ per page)1
    Color Printing Costs (¢ per page)2
    Color Accuracy (dE)7

    All Retailers

    • $549.99

      Availability

      In Stock

      Free Shipping

      Yes
    • $699.99
      $850
      Save $150

      Availability

      In Stock

      Free Shipping

      Yes
    • $699.99
      $850
      Save $150

      Availability

      In Stock

      Free Shipping

    • $849.99

      Availability

      In Stock

      Free Shipping

      Yes

    Our Verdict

    For those seeking a high-end option in printers with economical ink usage, the Epson Ecotank ET-5850 stands out, not just for its premium stature but notably for its exceptional print speeds. With a best-in-class black-and-white print speed of 23 pages per minute (ppm) and a color print speed of 18.1 ppm, this printer ensures efficiency in handling high-volume print tasks, making it an ideal choice for environments where time is of the essence.

    The ET-5850 prioritizes economical ink usage, with a low printing cost of just 0.5 cents per page, not far off from the 0.3 cents of the Epson Ecotank ET-3850. Its connectivity options are extensive, supporting both wired and wireless connections. These and mobile printing capabilities offer the flexibility required in today’s varied printing scenarios. The printer’s 550-sheet tray capacity, all-in-one design, and support for multiple ink cartridges further ensure that it can handle substantial print jobs without frequent interventions for paper or ink replenishments. Moreover, its color accuracy, with a delta E of 7.02, indicates reliable color reproduction for most documents and presentations, although those with exacting color requirements might seek more specialized solutions.

    With its comprehensive features and stellar performance, the Epson Ecotank ET-5850 stands out for regular office work and shines in scenarios requiring bulk document printing and even the odd photo print job. This printer strikes an excellent balance between print speed, output quality, and ink usage cost efficiency, making it ideal for those prioritizing a mix of performance and economy, provided the higher upfront cost is within their budget.

  • Runner Up

    Best Value

    Best Budget

    gr recommended award

    Best Mid-Range

    Epson Ecotank ET-8550

    • Best For Large Format

    The Epson Ecotank ET-8550 is an excellent upper mid-range printer with impressive performance and ink efficiency. It is a versatile choice for various printing needs.

    Epson Ecotank ET-8550 Review →

    True Score

    85
    85
    3

    Experts

    88
    3k

    Customers

    SAVE $200
    $799.99
    $599.99
  • Runner Up

    Best Value

    Best Budget

    gr recommended award

    Best Mid-Range

    Epson Ecotank ET-3850

    • Best For Epson

    The Epson Ecotank ET-3850 shines with its low cost per page and solid performance, making it an ideal pick for efficiency and quality in-home or small offices.

    Epson Ecotank ET-3850 Review →

    True Score

    84
    83
    7

    Experts

    85
    4k

    Customers

    SAVE $80
    $399.99
    $319.99

    Did you know 73% of printer reviewers are untrustworthy?

    Our research found only 23 of 83 printer reviewers as of July 2024 can be trusted. This is why Gadget Review is committed to calculating the most accurate product scores on the web.

    To do this, we give every printer review site a Trust Rating, which measures how trustworthy the site and their testing claims are. We then leverage AI & a machine learning model to combine and calculate the Trust Rating with data from experts and consumers to deliver the True Score, the web’s most accurate product quality rating.

    147,768

    Printer Reviews Analyzed

    26

    Total Products Analyzed

  • Runner Up

    Best Value

    Best Budget

    gr recommended award

    Best Mid-Range

    Epson Ecotank ET-8500

    The Epson Ecotank ET-8500 excels in efficiency and versatility, making it a top choice for diverse printing needs with its low per-page cost.

    Epson Ecotank ET-8500 Review →

    True Score

    82
    81
    6

    Experts

    89
    2k

    Customers

    SAVE $150
    $699.99
    $549.99

    DON’T SEE WHAT YOU’RE LOOKING FOR?

    Curious about the technology? Learn how inkjet printers work to understand the mechanics behind your prints. A Canon printer is known for its quality and versatility, while an Epson printer offers impressive color accuracy. Those using Google’s OS will benefit from printers for Chromebooks, ensuring seamless compatibility.

    For creative projects, the best printer for crafters provides precision and vibrant colors. Creating custom T-shirts is easy with heat transfers to create T-shirts, requiring a reliable printer. Mac users should look for the top printer for Mac to ensure full functionality with their devices.

    Exploring printer options? Learn how to hook up a fax machine with a cable modem for seamless office connectivity. Discover the advantages of all-in-one printers versus single-function models to streamline your workflow. Wondering about the benefits of inkjet versus dye-sublimation printers for vibrant prints. Need to go wireless? Here’s how to make your printer wireless effortlessly.

  • Runner Up

    Best Value

    Best Budget

    gr recommended award

    Best Mid-Range

    HP LaserJet Tank MFP 2604SDW

    • Best For HP

    This HP LaserJet Tank MFP 2604SDW excels in value and versatility without sacrificing quality, especially for cost-conscious users.

    HP LaserJet Tank MFP 2604SDW Review →

    True Score

    82
    82
    2

    Experts

    80
    2k

    Customers

    SAVE $220
    $419.99
    $199.99

    Category Snapshot

    Printers

    • Total Brands/Products Tested

      5 Brands, 26 Products

    • Top 2 Brands

      Epson, Canon

    • Price Range (Budget-Premium)

      $30-$1,000

    • Average True Score

      80.95

    • Important Test Criteria

      Mono & Color Print Speed (in/s, cm/s)

      Color Accuracy (dE)

    • Most Trusted Testers

      rtings and tech gear lab logos

    • Top Printer Experts

      Ryan Lim, Lesley Robinson

    • Typical Warranty

      1 year

    • Covered by Insurance

      Yes – AKKO

Which Criteria Matters for Testing Best Printers with Cheap Ink?

By focusing on these criteria (2 required), anyone can quickly and easily compare these printers and how they’ll perform. This helps you make an informed decision and purchase a printer that has cheap ink.

CRITERIARANGEREQUIREDDEFINITION
B&W Print Speed> 20 ppmYesHow fast a printer can produce purely black and white pages while printing.
B&W Printing Costs< 7 centsYesHow much a black and white page costs to print.

Our Trusted Data Sources

We looked at 80+ printers reviewers and found that 23 are trustworthy (60%+ Trust Rating). The three we have listed below are our most trusted for printers.

  1. Ryan Lim – Rtings, LinkedIn
  2. Lesley Robinson – TechGearLab, LinkedIn
  3. Ben Keough – Wirecutter, MuckRack, LinkedIn

Interested in a comprehensive analysis of our data sources? We’ve got you covered. Below, you’ll find a detailed list of every printer review website we’ve identified, organized by their respective Trust Ratings from highest to lowest. But we didn’t stop there. We’ve meticulously reviewed each publication and verified the data by checking whether the authors have bio links to MuckRack or LinkedIn. We’re committed to not only checking the facts but ensuring their veracity.

Printers Test Data & Results

1. Print Speed, Black & White (PPM)

The primary job of a printer is to print out pages, and black & white print speed tests are just measurements of how long it takes a printer to produce pages that are purely black and white. The better a printer is at printing in black and white, the more pages it’s able to produce in a minute.

Print speed is largely a matter of convenience, so while we have a minimum speed we suggest (generally around 20 pages per minute) there’s no real downside to a printer being slower if you’re using it at home – you’ll just end up having to wait longer to finish printing out a document. However, printers in professional settings need to be snappy because they’re going to be used constantly, and the faster a printer is able to produce documents, the better.

Print Speed, Black & White (PPM; higher is better)

2. B&W Printing Costs (Cents per page)

Using your printer uses up ink, which means it costs money. Printing costs are usually measured as cost per print (or page) and are gauged by calculating how much each print costs by comparing the cost of an ink or toner cartridge to the total number of pages printed by the cartridge.

Print costs should ideally be as low as possible, with the greatest number of pages per cartridge being the obvious “goal” to aim for. Black ink, being the cheaper ink, means that black and white printing costs are usually lower on a per page basis. If you’re printing constantly, getting the cost as low as you can means you’ll be spending less on cartridges in the long run.

B&W Printing Costs (in cents per page; lower is better)

Best Printers with Cheap Ink: Mistakes To Avoid

  1. Ignoring Initial Cost vs. Long-Term Expenses: A printer with a low upfront cost may have higher ongoing expenses for ink. Consider the total cost of ownership, including the price of replacement ink cartridges, over the printer’s lifespan to determine the most cost-effective option.

  2. Focusing Solely on Ink Price: While cheap ink is important, prioritize overall print quality and reliability. Low-cost ink cartridges may compromise on print quality or reliability, resulting in faded prints, smudging, or frequent cartridge replacements.

  3. Not Researching Compatible Ink Options: Some printers offer compatibility with third-party or generic ink cartridges, which can be significantly cheaper than OEM (original equipment manufacturer) cartridges. Research compatible ink options to find affordable alternatives without compromising on quality. When considering cost-effective printing solutions, comparing EcoTank vs cartridges is essential. EcoTanks, with their refillable ink tanks, provide a lower cost per page and reduce waste compared to traditional cartridge systems, making them a compelling option for high-volume users.

  4. Overlooking Page Yield: Consider the page yield of ink cartridges, which indicates the number of pages a cartridge can print before needing replacement. A higher page yield cartridge may offer better value for money, even if the upfront cost is slightly higher.

The Best Printers with Cheap Ink Tests Compared

Product
True Score
B&W Print Speed
Color Print Speed
B&W Printing Cost (per page)
Color Printing Cost (per page)
Color Accuracy

Epson Ecotank ET-5850

  • Best for Cheap Ink

90
  • 23 ppm

  • 18.1 ppm

  • 0.5¢

  • 2.15¢

  • 7.02 dE

$549.99

Epson Ecotank ET-8550

  • Best for Large Format

85
  • 15.45 ppm

  • 8.95 ppm

  • 0.4¢

  • 2.6¢

  • 6.48 dE

$599.99
$800
$200
84
  • 15.45 ppm

  • 5.5 ppm

  • 0.87¢

  • 3.37¢

  • 10.4 dE

$319.99
$400
$80
82
  • 13.4 ppm

  • 7.35 ppm

  • 0.3¢

  • 2.55¢

  • 0

$549.99
$700
$150
82
  • 12.85 ppm

  • No Data ppm

  • 0.65¢

  • No Data¢

  • 0

$199.99
$420
$220

Printers with Cheap Ink Questions (FAQ)

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