With increasing workload, the printer has become the essential inexpensive asset to buy whether it is for home or office for the smooth operation. Whatever you want/need to print, there is a type of printer available for every need these days. Whether you want to print a vibrant colored photo print for your kid’s school assignment or worksheets for your office. All you need is just the right printer according to your requirements. If you don’t want to invest much in printers for your daily needs, there are plenty of the best printers under $50 available in the market.
But among this huge competition between top brands of printers and electronics, it becomes challenging to find the best printer under $50. To make things easy for you, we have curated this buying guide to suggest you excellent printers under $50 according to your requirements, usage, and purpose. But before diving into the suggestions, let’s first check the types of printers available in the market to figure out which one will be the right for you.
10 Best Printers Under $50 in 2021
Printer Types Available in the Market
When we talk about the types of printers, there are multiple varieties available in the market. Today, we are going to talk about all the popular ones to make the decision easy for you. Here are the most common printer types available in the market that you must know about:
1. Inkjet Printer
As the name suggests, Inkjet printers use liquid ink to print beautiful images or text you want to get printed on paper. Inkjet printers are the most common type available in the market and ideal to choose if you want high-resolution photo color printing. The price of Inkjet printers are generally low as compared to that of Laser Printer (as they use an old printing technique). But if you will see in the long-term, the replacement cost of ink cartridges generally costs you more than that of a laser printer, because they come with the small ink tanks.
Another thing you must keep in mind while choosing the inkjet printer is that the print obtained by it gets smeared if exposed to humid conditions. So you have to be really cautious about it. But the good thing about Inkjet Printer is that they are easy to use & handle. They are known for their high accuracy & speed for regular work needs.
One of the best Inkjet Printers under $50 available online that you may consider for smooth operations is Canon MG2520 Colour Photo Ink Jet Printer. It is a modern and fashionable wireless all-in-one printer under $50, designed to provide you magnificent color quality with Full-photolithography Inkjet Nozzle Engineering technology. The best thing about this printer apart from its sleek design is that it is compatible with almost all devices from Windows 7 to Mac OS X v10.6.8 – 10.9.x7 & mobile devices.
2. Laser Printer
Contrary to Inkjet Printers, Laser Printers are known for their fast speed operations and thus highly recommended in organizations that have bulk printing requirements. As the name suggests, laser printers use laser technology to generate print on paper in just a few seconds (takes very little time than Inkjet printers), using less ink. Laser printers work by melting toner powder (instead of using ink drops as Inkjet printers) to generate print.
Although laser printers are ideal for bulk printing and office documentation printing, they are not recommended for high-resolution color photo printing. This is because you won’t get as good quality as inkjet printers in the case of color printing or photo printing by laser printers. But if you want a printer for your regular office or home printing work, then a laser printer is the right option to consider. Since these printers use the latest laser technology for printing, they are generally more expensive (yet economical in long run) than Inkjet printers.
One of the best printers under $50 for effective laser printing you can find is Brother HL-L2320D Mono Laser Printer. Brother brand is known for its excellent quality laser printers under an affordable price range. With this model, you can print up to 30 B&W pages in a minute with high accuracy, making it a great printer for both home and office work.
Inkjet Printer vs Laser Printer
Most of the time, people remain confused to choose between Inkjet Printer vs Laser Printer as they both are the most common types of printers available in the market. To make the right decision, you must check the pros and cons of both printer types:
Pros and Cons of Inkjet Printers
Advantages of Inkjet Printers:
- Requires Less Space
- Limited Warm-Up Time
- Produces High-Resolution Colour Photos
- Fast First Page Out Time
Disadvantages of Inkjet Printers:
- Per Page Print Cost is higher than Laser Printer
- Prints slower than laser printer
- The ink of Prints can be smeared in humid conditions
- Less reliable than Laser Printers
Pros and Cons of Laser Printers
- Provides faster printing than inkjet printers
- Highly reliable and accurate
- Requires less ink for Printing
- Low Per Page Printing cost than Inkjet Printers
- Ideal for Bulk Printing
- Requires more foot front
- Colour Printing or Photo Printing is not as sharp as Inkjet Printers
So, depending upon your purpose, type of printing you want, and your budget, you can choose the one amongst Inkjet and Laser Printer after comparing their advantages and disadvantages.
3. Dot Matrix Printer
Dot Matrix printer is one of the oldest types of printers available in the market. It works by drawing tiny dots on paper to print images or text when the printing head comes in contact with the ink-soaked cloth. The dot-matrix printers don’t give you a premium finish as what you get with Inkjet or Laser printer, but the biggest advantage of this type is that its cartridge is inexpensive. Also, you can use this printer anywhere in your office or home due to its versatile nature. Here are some of the pros and cons of Dot Matrix Printers:
- Inexpensive to buy
- Cheap Maintenance Cost
- Versatile Printing
- Easy to Use
- The old type of Printer
- Less advanced technology
- Low-Quality Printing
- Takes more printing time than Inkjet or Laser ones
- Loud Noise
If you want a regular printer for your office or home with basic printing quality at an inexpensive buying & maintenance cost, then Dot Matrix is a good option to consider. One of the best Dot Matrix printers available in the market at an affordable price range is . The best thing about this Dot Matrix printer is that it comes with a 24 pin printer head to print 416 characters per second with extreme clarity. It takes less space and comes with 2 years of Warranty.
4. Solid Ink Printer
Solid Ink Printer is the ideal photo printer choice for graphic designers as it uses a unique technology to give you more glossiness and depth in print. Unlike Laser Printers or Inkjet Printers, Solid Ink Printers uses ink waxes instead of ink cartridges/toner to give you desired printing results. The ink waxes get melted to generate print on paper and thus you can feel the waxy texture on the paper after printing. The biggest advantage of this type of printer is that it eliminates the need of disposing of ink cartridges or toners, saving space & packaging costs.
- Generates Vibrant & Glossy Prints
- Requires less footprint
- Compact design
- Easy & Low Maintenance
- Wax made from non-toxic vegetable oils
- Doesn’t dry out when not in use
- Excellent Photo Printer
- Requires more warm-up and cooling time
- Prints generated by Solid Ink Printers cannot be laminated
- Slightly Expensive
- Requires more time for printing
One of the best solid ink printers under $50 available in the market for regular printing and excellent performance is Epson C11CC24001 LX-350 Dot Matrix. Epson LX-350 dot matrix printer is known for its reliable performance and excellent printing quality. It can print up to 347 characters per second with high reliability of 10,000 operating hours. Its compact design and energy efficiency make it an ideal photo printer for both home and office work.
5. Continuous Ink Printer
Continuous Ink Printer is the latest printer type that comes with advanced ink tank technology to provide high accuracy and reliability. Like laser and inkjet printers, Continuous ink printers also use ink and toner for printing but you can refill the ink tank instead of replacing them. This is the biggest advantage of these printers.
Although Continuous Ink Printer takes more space than usual Laser or Inkjet Printers, it reduces Print Per Page cost at the same time by providing higher page yields. They are expensive to purchase initially but in long term (including maintenance costs), they seem to be an affordable option for both office and home printing needs.
- Comes with the latest technology
- Eliminates the need of replacing ink cartridges
- Reliable and Accurate
- Low Print Per Page Cost
- Low Maintenance Cost
- Generates high-quality prints
- Requires more space than Inkjet or laser printer
- Slightly expensive to purchase
- Ideal for big organizations with bulk printing requirements
One of the affordable Continuous Ink Printer available online is Canon Pixma G1220 Single Function Mega Tank Printer. This color inkjet printer comes with refillable ink tanks that let you print up to 6,000 black / 7,700 color pages with one set of ink bottles at an extremely low cost.
6. A3 Printer
As the name indicates, the A3 printer comes into use when you want to print photos or text on A3 documents for home or office printing needs. Normal printers don’t allow you to print on large-size papers such as A3 documents as they are built to print on standard a4 size pages. But with an A3 printer, you can take prints on both A3 and A4 documents hassle-free with its numerous input trays.
A3 printers are usually used by organizations or design companies that want prints on large paper instead of the normal ones, and they tend to take more space than the other types. Also, a3 printer is slightly expensive than other types available in the market.
- Offers Wide Range of Printing Options
- Allows printing on large-sized documents
- Also allow A4 printing for standard printing needs
- Slightly Expensive than a standard printer
- Takes more space than a regular A4 printer
Although an A3 printer comes at an expensive price than a normal A4 printer, if you want one at an affordable price, you can go for HP Officejet Pro 7740 Wireless All in One Printer under $50. The HP OfficeJet printer is known for its versatile printing options from wireless printing to 2-sided printing on both A4 and A3 paper. Also it reduces the cost per page up to 50% than laser color printing.
7. LED Printer
LED Printer is one of the most inexpensive and innovative printer types available in the market. It uses Light-Emitting technology to generate prints rather than ink cartridges or toner. In terms of accuracy and reliability, nothing can compare to LED printers, making them suitable for large organizations with huge printing needs.
LED Printer comes with low-cost maintenance but it is tricky to replace or repair them in case if anything gets damaged or broken down inside.
- Takes very little time to print
- Highly accurate and reliable
- Low Cost Per Page
- Comes with Free Warranty Extensions
- Low Maintenance Cost
- Very Few in Production
- Slightly Expensive
One of the affordable and best LED printer available online is HP LaserJet Pro M15w Wireless Printer under $50. HP LaserJet Pro M15W is one of the smaller laser printers in its class, known for its fast printing (up to 19 pages per minute) and built-in wireless capabilities. It comes with an LED display along with both wired & wireless connectivity for seamless operations in an affordable price range online.
Single Function Printer vs Multifunction Printer: Which one is better?
Whichever printer type you consider buying, you will find two styles available in the market in all these printer types: Single Function Printer and Multi-Function Printer. To decide which one is the right choice for you, we first need to understand everything about them. Let’s see.
As the name suggests, Single Function Printer only allows printing function while the Multifunction Printer or all-in-one printer allows you to perform other functions as well apart from printing, like Fax, Scanning, Xerox, etc.
Since Single function printer comes with single printing functionality, it is generally suitable for home printing requirements and not for firms or businesses where you need more functions apart from printing. Multifunction printer is suitable for large organizations as well as for small businesses, but in terms of the price range, it will cost you more than Single Function Printer due to its advanced functionalities and features.
As you can perform printing, scanning, and copying altogether in a Multifunction printer, it is also known as an All-in-one printer. Multifunction printer comes in both Inkjet and Laser Printer types, while the single-function printer comes in different models as per your printing requirements and budget.
So, for those who want simple black and white prints for their basic office or home needs, they can go for a single-function printer on a low budget. While the others who want more functionalities along with printing can go for a multifunction printer at a slightly expensive cost.
One of the best wireless all-in-one printers that are recommended by everyone for daily home and office needs is HP Officejet 5255 M2U75A. HP OfficeJet 5255 is a compact wireless all-in-one printer under $50 that caters to your everyday needs like printing, scanning, copying, etc. HP Officejet 5255 comes with improved wifi connectivity and faster print speed at an affordable price. You can consider HP Officejet 5255 a great all-in-one printer for under 50 dollars for your workday requirements. The best thing about HP Officejet 5255 printer is its wide connectivity options like Bluetooth, WiFi, Cloud, Alexa, etc., that eliminates the dependency on desktop devices for the printing operations. You can give commands from any device for the hassle free operations.
Crucial Printer Features to look for while buying the best printer under $50
Whichever printer type you choose, there are some crucial printer features that you must need to understand and consider to buy the right one for your home/office needs, and these are:
Modern printers come with multiple connectivity options and it can be a deciding factor while buying the best printer for your space. Here are some of the common connectivity options that come in modern printers to make the process smoother and convenient for you:
WiFi Direct: WiFi Direct is a great option for wireless printing and is usually available in all modern printing devices whether it is wireless or wired. It establishes a direct connection between a printer and a device to cater to on-the-spot printing needs at a great speed securely.
USB Connection: USB connection is the commonest and oldest connectivity type found in all types of printing devices. USB cable helps you to physically connect your printer to any device (compatible with it) to generate prints or operate other functions without relying on the WiFi connection. But still, there are some models available, especially in-home printers that don’t support a USB C port. So, you must take care of it while choosing the one for your space.
Ethernet: Ethernet is another common connectivity type available in various printer types to provide a secure wired connection between the printer and the internet router for seamless printing operation. Ethernet connection is extremely useful for home printers and in some cases, for office printers as well (if you have small space or fewer devices to connect).
Cloud Printing: Many smart and modern printers (especially wireless all-in-one) comes with the option of cloud printing. Thus option let you access the photos or data stored in your drive for printing purpose. Cloud Printing provides you a remote printing option on any device you have connected your printer to, whether it is a smartphone, tablet, or any other device. But to access this option, you must need a strong WiFi or internet connection.
NFC: Near Field Communication or NFC is a modern connectivity option available only in limited printer models. NFC allows you to connect your printer hassle-free to your smartphone or tablet with a single touch.
SD Cards: Modern printer types come equipped with an SD card slot to allow you directly select the file from the SD card for printing. It is an extremely useful feature for photographers as they can directly place their SD card from the camera to the printer to generate prints.
One of the best printers that come with all these connectivity options is Canon Pixma MG3620 wireless all-in-one color inkjet printer. Canon Pixma MG3620 wireless printer comes at an affordable price with all the modern connectivity options like Cloud printing, NFC, Bluetooth connectivity, etc. Another feature that makes Canon Pixma MG3620 wireless a great printer is its double-sided printing ability that reduces the number of pages used to reduce carbon footprint.
Duplex Printing is one of the most useful and trending features available in modern printers that let you scan and print both sides of the page without flipping it over manually. The feature works by printing the one side first, then the printer pulls back the page, flip it and prints the other side automatically. But Duplex Printing only works in all-in-one printers having Auto Document Feeder feature. Without an automatic document feeder, you won’t be able to scan and print both sides of pages using duplex printing.
One such printer that comes with an auto-duplex printing feature is HP Envy 5055 wireless all-in-one photo printer. HP Envy 5055 wireless all-in-one printer prints, scan and copy borderless documents. It generates high-quality photos and documents with crisp, sharp text for the seamless printing experience at both home and office. The other best thing about the HP envy 5055 wireless printer is that it is compatible with all devices from Windows to Mac and comes with an LCD screen.
Auto Document Feeder
As the name indicates, Automatic Document Feeder is one of the valuable features coming in multifunction printers that allows the printer to automatically feed one page after another. This feature can be really useful when you want to copy, scan or print the multipage documents. The auto document feeder saves both time and effort by automatically scanning documents with high accuracy and reliability. But this feature works only with either laser or LED technology.
It is crucial to check the paper handling option of the printer before buying it. Many modern printers come with numerous paper handling options to let you print on all kinds of paper sizes varying from legal envelopes to index cards. They have a dedicated feed tray that let you print on papers of different sizes and weight.
It is also crucial to check the size of the input tray to understand how much it can handle at once especially if you have high printing requirements. A small paper handling tray can carry fewer papers at once and thus require frequent refilling which is not the case with a big tray size.
Duty Cycle refers to the expected number of pages a printer can print in a month without any wear and tear. It is crucial to check the duty cycle of the printer to get a fair estimate of its performance and efficiency, especially if you want to buy it for an organization with heavy printing requirements. The duty cycle is a useful feature to consider but it doesn’t make much difference if you need it for basic home-related work.
Resolution of Printer determines its printing quality and thus can be a crucial deciding factor to generate high-quality prints. In most printers, the resolution is measured in DPI (dots per inch). DPI tells how many ink dots a printer can print on a square inch of paper. More the DPI more will be the resolution.
For example: If a printer has 500*500 dpi, it means it can print 500 dots per inch vertically and horizontally on paper. So by checking the DPI of the printer, you can determine its resolution and printing quality as per your requirements.
Printer speed is another crucial feature you should not ignore while checking the best printers available online or in the market. The printer speed is usually determined through PPM (pages per minute). PPM tells how many pages a printer can print in a minute. The more will be the PPM, the faster will be that printer.
PPM can differ from B&W printing and color printing. If your printer supports both kinds of printing, it may have two different PPM depending upon the printing type. PPM or Printer speed is relevant for organizations with heavy printing requirements to save time while it makes less difference for home needs. The average PPM for black & white printing is 15-20, while the same for color printing is around 10-15. So, always check the PPM of the printer to determine its speed and performance.
If you want fast speed with high reliability and accuracy, you can consider HP Deskjet printers available online at an affordable price range. There are various HP Deskjet models available online that you can choose according to your requirements, budget, and printing type for your home or office space.
Other Important Things to Consider in Printers under $50
Apart from the crucial features we have mentioned above, there are some other important things you need to consider in printers under $50 to get the best deal, like:
Number of Ink Colours
The number of Ink colors is one of the crucial aspects that determines the cost of the printer. It is crucial to consider according to your printing requirements and budget. Some printers come with 2 ink cartridges, i.e., Black and White. They are less expensive than those that come with 4 or 6 ink cartridges or tanks for color printing. So depending upon your requirements, you can choose how many ink colors you will require to get the right deal in your budget.
Cost Per Print
It is crucial to decide Cost per print or Ink cost initially to decide how much you have to invest in your printer in the long run, especially if you have bulk printing requirements. Because in bulk printing requirements, even a small cost difference can also makes a huge difference.
The lower the Cost Per Print, the more affordable will be the printer for your needs. It also helps in determining the ink usage and ink costs in the long run.
Different model types come with different printer uses and depending upon your requirements you can choose the right type for you. For example, if you need high-quality color photo prints, then Inkjet is the ideal type for you but if you want normal print quality for work-related documents then a Laser printer is the right type.
Not every printer comes with a brand warranty and can cost you expensive in terms of maintenance, repair, and replacement. Always try to go for reputable brands like Canon, HP, Epson, Brothers, etc., that come with a decent brand warranty to provide you long-term support without spending much.
Some printer models come at an inexpensive price to buy initially but due to their high maintenance cost, they can be really expensive in the long run. That is why it is crucial to determine the maintenance cost of the printer initially so you don’t have to spend much money time and again on its replacement and repair service. Try to choose the one that comes with low maintenance costs to get better returns on your investment.
Frequently Asked Questions
1) How long do printer inks last?
The expiry of printer ink depends upon your usage. If you use the printer ink at regular intervals for decent printing requirements, then they tend to last for 1-2 years. But if you don’t use it for a long time, the ink will lose its properties and might end up drying soon.
2) Which printer is cheaper and better for home use – Inkjet or Laser?
In terms of initial buying cost, an Inkjet printer comes at a low price than a laser printer. But in terms of maintenance cost and Ink usage, Inkjets printers seem to be an expensive option than a laser printers. If you have normal printing requirements for work-related documents, then the laser is a good option to consider for home use. But if you want high-quality prints and have very few printing requirements, Inkjet is the better option.
3) Is it possible to use Black Ink if color ink finishes in the printer?
Yes, you can use black ink even if colored ink is finished in the printer to get black & white prints.
There are plenty of great printers under $50 available online or in the market from which you can choose the right one according to your requirements, usage type, and printing needs. We hope that our detailed buying guide will help you to make the right decision. Always check the brand’s reviews and ratings before buying the best one for your space. If you have any other queries related to printers or their working, drop us your queries in the comments section and buy smartly!