Best laser printer 2021: top picks for color and mono printing

Best laser printer

Image credit: Brother

If you’re after the best laser printers of 2021, then you’ve come to the right place. We’ve got the very best color and mono printers on this page, and they all combine excellent print quality with affordable upfront prices and running costs.

So, why should you pick a laser printer over an inkjet? While inkjets are better at printing photos, and are generally cheaper upfront, the best laser printers are much better for printing large volumes of documents quickly and quietly – making the best laser printers ideal for office use.

Laser printers also won’t demand a new ink cartridge every hundred or so pages. In fact they don’t use ink at all. They rely on toner cartridges which are capable of printing thousands of pages before they need replacing. In other words, laser printers are considerably cheaper to run.

And where inkjet nozzles can become blocked or dry up when you leave them for long periods, laser printers don’t care how often you use them. They need less attention in general and they’re always ready to leap into action, which brings us to the other key advantage, speed. We’ve tested a Xerox machine that prints at a rate of 55ppm (pages per minute), which is more than double the speed of the fastest inkjet. And if you’re comparing pages of black and white text, the best laser printers will almost always produce prints that look more crisp and consistent.

Perhaps best of all, the best laser printers are more affordable and flexible than ever before. This means they make great home printers as well as being used in offices. The best laser printers come in every shape and size, and we’ve listed our top recommendations so that you can find the right laser printer for your home or office.

Xerox VersaLink B600DN

(Image credit: Jim Hill)

1. Xerox VersaLink B600DN laser printer

Turbo-charged printer for heavy print loads

Specifications

Category: mono laser printer

Print speed: 55ppm

Paper sizes: up to A4

Paper capacity: 550

Weight: 22.3kg

Reasons to buy

Record breaking speed   High paper capacity 

Reasons to avoid

ExpensiveWi-Fi is extra

With a print speed of 55 pages per minute and room for a whole ream of paper on board, this compact device can keep a large work group printing continuously – more than justifying its place among the best laser printers around. The initial cost for a monochrome print-only device might seem high, but this premium machine is actually very economical to run and its consistent print quality justifies the price tag. The intuitive five-inch touchscreen interface will further cut down your operating time.

Brother HL-L5100DN

(Image credit: Jim Hill)

2. Brother HL-L5100DN laser printer

Compact unit for the very busy SMB

Specifications

Category: mono laser printer

Print speed: 40ppm

Paper sizes: up to A4

Paper capacity: 300

Weight: 10.7kg

Reasons to buy

High print speed  Compact unit

Reasons to avoid

No inbuilt Wi-Fi Tiny display

This little grey box can really churn out the pages and despite the size, it will hold a lot of paper too. This makes it ideal for the small office with a high demand for black and white documents. The quality is consistent and the per page print cost is attractive. It’s light on features with no Wi-Fi or a front USB port, but what it does, it does very well.

Kyocera Ecosys P6230cdn

(Image credit: Jim Hill)

3. Kyocera Ecosys P6230cdn laser printer

Heavy duty printer for heavy workloads

Specifications

Category: colour laser printer

Print speed: 30ppm

Paper sizes: up to A4

Paper capacity: 500

Weight: 28.3kg

Reasons to buy

Paper capacity  Rapid print speed

Reasons to avoid

Tiny display panelNo inbuilt wi-fi

Kyocera’s hefty print-only device feels well built and it has enough capacity for 500 sheets of paper and large toner cartridges, which makes it suitable for a big workgroup or a busy home office. It prints quickly in duplex mode and runs very quietly too. The display and buttons are rather small, but it is well armed with security features to prevent private documents going astray. 

Xerox B215

(Image credit: Jim Hill)

4. Xerox B215 laser printer

Affordable 4-in-1 laser with touchscreen appeal

Specifications

Category: Mono laser printer

Print speed: 30ppm

Paper sizes: A4

Paper capacity: 250

Weight: 11.5kg

Reasons to buy

30ppm print speed  Useful touchscreen 

Reasons to avoid

Limited print resolution   Slow to wake up

By Xerox’s standards, this compact four-in-one laser printer is a modest affair, offering print, scan, copy and fax functions in a small and relatively affordable package. Despite the low price, however, you still get a large tilting touchscreen for easy operation and a none-too-shabby print speed of 30ppm. You can fit 250 sheets of paper in the main paper tray and it comes with enough toner for 1,500 monochrome pages and has a fairly low per page print cost of around 2.2 pence per page

Canon i-Sensys MF740

(Image credit: Canon)

5. Canon i-Sensys MF740 laser printer

Premium AOI packs all the features

Specifications

Category: Colour laser multifunction printer

Print speed: 27ppm

Paper sizes: A4

Paper capacity: 300

Weight: 26.7kg

Reasons to buy

Duplex scan and print Five-inch touchscreen

Reasons to avoid

Premium price tagNot the fastest print speed

Canon’s latest iSensys laser printers includes this flagship four-in-one device, featuring a five-inch colour touchscreen control panel and impressive specifications. It can print, scan, copy and fax, while including key features like an auto-duplex mode and Wi-Fi Direct connectivity. More unusual is its ability to scan both sides of the page on a single pass and hold up to 300 sheets of A4 paper with scope to upgrade. It’s fast too, with a matching print and scan speeds of 27ppm. 

Lexmark B2236dw

(Image credit: Lexmark)

6. Lexmark B2236dw laser printer

Compact and cost-effective laser printing

Specifications

Category: mono laser printer

Print speed: 36ppm

Paper sizes: up to A4

Paper capacity: 250

Weight: 6/8kg

Reasons to buy

Compact unit  Fast print speed

Reasons to avoid

Tiny display panelSmall starter cartridge

This unassuming square box provides an affordable means of churning out monochrome pages in a busy small office atmosphere. It can hold 250 sheets of paper and a toner cartridge capable of delivering up to 6,000 printed pages. The included starter cartridge can manage only 700 pages, but by including all of the key features, such a Wi-Fi, duplex printing and robust security at a competitive price, we can strongly recommend it.  

Lexmark MB3442adw

(Image credit: Lexmark)

7. Lexmark MB3442adw

Speedy printing

Specifications

Category: Colour laser multifunction printer

Print speed: 42ppm

Paper sizes: A4

Paper capacity: 350

Weight: 13kg

Reasons to buy

Rapid printing Duplex scan and print

Reasons to avoid

Clunky design style

It might look a little top-heavy, but this all-in-one laser printer gets the balance between price and specifications just right. It can print, copy scan and fax with the ability to both duplex scan and print. There’s plenty of room for paper inside and high-capacity toner cartridges available to keep you printing at volume. With a print speed of 42ppm, it’s one of the fastest available at this competitive price point. 

Kyocera TASKalfa 4052ci

(Image credit: Kyocera)

8. Kyocera TASKalfa 4052ci

Serious printer with a professional finish

Specifications

Category: Colour laser multifunction printer

Print speed: 40ppm

Paper sizes: A3

Paper capacity: 7,150

Weight: 95kg

Reasons to buy

High capacity  High print quality

Reasons to avoid

Bulky and heavy   Expensive

For very heavy workloads and a professional finish, this uncompromising laser printer will not let you down. The latest TASKalfa device has a huge capacity for any size paper from A6 to SRA3 and beyond. It prints and scans quickly and at very high quality with 1200dpi resolution and advanced colour technology. It can even staple your perfect printed pages together for you.

HP Color Laser MFP 179fnw

(Image credit: Jim Hill)

9. HP Color Laser MFP 179fnw laser printer

World’s smallest 4-in-1 laser printer is also pretty affordable

Specifications

Category: colour laser 4-in-1 printer

Print speed: 18ppm (mono)

Paper sizes: A4

Paper capacity: 150

Weight: 14kg

Reasons to buy

Small Inexpensive

Reasons to avoid

Limited capacity    No auto duplex

HP has scored another ‘world’s smallest’ with a multifunction device that misses nothing out. It will print, scan, copy and fax and has a 40-sheet automatic document feeder for scheduled jobs. It also has Wi-Fi built in, but we should warn you that there is no auto-duplex mode. If that’s not an issue this strikes us a very low price for such a conveniently compact laser printer.

Ricoh SP C261DNw

(Image credit: Jim Hill)

10. Ricoh SP C261DNw laser printer

Well rounded printer for the small office

Specifications

Category: colour laser printer

Print speed: 20ppm

Paper sizes: up to A4

Paper capacity: 250

Weight: 23.8kg

Reasons to buy

Vivid colour pages   Duplex and Wi-Fi

Reasons to avoid

Noisy and slow Not user-friendly

Ricoh’s colour printer comes with the essential features, such as Wi-Fi connectivity, duplex mode and secure printing built in. It looks a little dated with those wobbly plastic panels and its print speed is somewhat slow compared to other laser printers, but the print quality is particularly pleasing with both mono and colour pages and the price is competitive. 

  • Check out our list of the best printers, no matter if they are ink jet or laser
January 19, 2021
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