Back to School: Best Printers for Different Types of Students

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Even though most documents and class assignments are moving into the digital domain, sometimes a good old-fashioned printout is still needed. Whether this is for your final term paper, notes for a group study session, or handouts to get everyone on the same page, so to speak, you are going to need a printer to get it done. Budding photography students also may want their own printer for complete control over their final images. Here are a few options that would make a great choice for a dorm room or apartment.

The Workhorse: Brother HL-L2350DW

If all you need is a simple printer to get your papers from your computer to class, the Brother HL-L2350 Monochrome Laser Printer will get the job done. It can work at speeds up to 32 ppm, and run paper sizes up to legal, helping you get to class faster, especially on the day you wake up late. Automatic duplex printing can help you, saving on paper and allowing you to create booklets with ease. A maximum resolution of 2400 x 600 dpi also ensures sharp text for your documents. Additionally, it has Wi-Fi connectivity, meaning you don’t have to worry about running cables around your room, although USB 2.0 is still an option. The only downside to this model is that it only offers black-and-white printing.

Brother HL-L2350DW Monochrome Laser Printer

Brother HL-L2350DW Monochrome Laser Printer

All-in-One Upgrade: Brother MFC-L2710DW

If you want more than basic printing, an all-in-one like the Brother MFC-L2710DW can fill the bill. By incorporating a scanner, this unit opens up the door for scanning, copying, and faxing, in addition to its speedy printing features. It shares many basic specifications with the HL-L2350DW mentioned above, including its monochrome limitation. Scanning, on the other hand, employs 2400 x 600 dpi optical resolution to create sharp, full-color images or black-and-white scans. Additionally, it has USB 2.0, Ethernet, and Wi-Fi connectivity.

Brother MFC-L2710DW All-In-One Monochrome Laser Printer

Brother MFC-L2710DW All-In-One Monochrome Laser Printer

Space Saver: HP OfficeJet 250 Mobile All-in-One Inkjet Printer 

For the student who is pressed for time and space, the HP OfficeJet 250 is the perfect fit. This printer is compact and mighty, producing vibrant, full-color prints in resolutions of up to 4800 x 1200 dpi. It can print in batches, is capable of scanning and copying, and works on a variety of media including envelopes, labels, and cards. Additionally, the OfficeJet 250 supports standard plug-in and battery options for on-the-go printing, making it well-suited for the impromptu late-night study session or group project. With wireless and standard USB 2.0 connectivity options, you and your peers can print directly from a smartphone or tablet.  

HP OfficeJet 250 Mobile All-in-One Inkjet Printer

HP OfficeJet 250 Mobile All-in-One Inkjet Printer

The Do-Everything: Canon PIXMA G6020 MegaTank

The Canon PIXMA G6020 MegaTank printer is a one-stop shop, full-color printer offering scanning, copying, and faxing. The priciest part of owning a printer is always the ink, and the new MegaTank designs should help alleviate a good portion of that stress. Able to print up to 6,000 black or 7,700 color prints on a single fill, this printer will last you for a long time before you even have to think about ink. It even comes with an extra pair of black inks for getting another 12,000 pages out—hopefully enough for all your papers. Generally, the G6020 is very capable, with 4800 x 1200 dpi resolution and speeds of up to 13 ipm in black and 6.8 ipm in color. There is even Wi-Fi and mobile printer support for wireless workflows.

Canon PIXMA G6020 Wireless MegaTank All-in-One Printer

Canon PIXMA G6020 Wireless MegaTank All-in-One Printer

For Photographers: Epson SureColor P700 

Photographers looking to create professional-grade prints might seek a cut above a standard inkjet or laser printer. Epson offers the Surecolor P700, a reasonably priced and exceptionally capable unit that builds upon the qualities of its predecessors. This photo-specific printer distinguishes itself with a broad swath of pigmented ink to render sharp and bold, gallery-quality prints. For black-and-white printing, the 10-channel print head has dedicated channels for matte black and photo black printing, meaning no manual switching to achieve your desired photo finish. All printing settings for the SureColor P700 are adjustable and easily accessible through a color touchscreen. And, as with many of the other units, it has Wi-Fi alongside more conventional USB 2.0 and Ethernet connections. 

Epson SureColor P700 13" Photo Printer

Epson SureColor P700 13" Photo Printer

If You Want Bigger Photos: Canon imagePROGRAF PRO-1000

The imagePROGRAF PRO-1000 was a seriously impressive release from Canon when it first came out, and is still one of the best professional desktop printers available today. Able to work with all types of media up to 17" wide, this model can help you start expanding your portfolio to include some sizeable prints. For enhanced quality, the PRO-1000 uses an 11-color LUCIA PRO pigment-based ink set with four monochrome inks. Also, a Chroma Optimizer is employed to reduce metamerism in your prints. One other nice feature is the use of a two-way vacuum feeder that avoids damaging your media as it is fed through. It has Wi-Fi and Ethernet for networking alongside its standard USB 2.0 connection. This array of features and quality is part of why the School of the International Center for Photography, or ICP, uses these printers in its digital labs.

Canon imagePROGRAF PRO-1000 17" Professional Photographic Inkjet Printer

Canon imagePROGRAF PRO-1000 17" Professional Photographic Inkjet Printer

Bonus: Datacolor SpyderX Pro Colorimeter

When photographers first start printing, one of the most common questions is, “Why doesn’t this look like it does on the screen?” A solution to that is to calibrate it using a device like the Datacolor SpyderX Pro Colorimeter, which measures the color and luminance of your screen and creates a profile that ensures a more consistent and accurate display for your color-editing work. Why tear your hair out over wasted ink? It’s a great idea to calibrate your monitor—and calibrating will ensure that your prints match what you see on the display.

Datacolor SpyderX Pro Colorimeter

Datacolor SpyderX Pro Colorimeter

Do any of these printers appeal to you, or seem as though they will fulfill the requirements for your courses? Discuss with us in the Comments section, below!

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