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Best Printers for Students

Best Printers for Students

Print your homework and save on printer ink with these popular student printers.

Printers used to be pretty far down the shopping priority list for students, but with many returning to class virtually this fall, owning a reliable printer is more important than ever.  Here we will review some of our favorites and break down the cost per page of each machine, so you can compare printing costs and get the most value.

 Canon® PIXMA® TS8320

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Canon’s PIXMA line is an incredibly popular printer series and the TS8320 is one of their least expensive options.  It offers print, scan and fax capabilities and an easy to setup wireless option is compatible with a number of printing apps, including Canon Print, Apple® AirPrint® and Google® Cloud Print.  With dimensions of  14.7  x 12.6 x 5.6 inches, the TS8320 is compact and storable, perfect for placing just about anywhere in your bedroom or dorm room.   The printer uses five separate cartridges.  There are 2 black cartridges, a standard black for printing text and a photo black – you’ll need both in order print!  Cartridges are sold in a standard yield and high yield size but high yield cartridges are generally a better deal if you print regularly due to their higher ink capacity. The Canon PGI-280XXL high yield black cartridge goes for $34.99 and prints 600 pages. The Canon CLI-281XXL color cartridges go for $26.99 apiece and prints approximately 820 pages.  The cost per page for the black cartridge is 5.8 cents per page and the color cartridge is 18.9 cents per page.  To bring the cost down significantly, consider buying the LD compatible version of the cartridges.  LD sells the compatible PGI-280XXL black cartridge for $11.99, touting a cost per page of just 2.3 cents.  The LD compatible color cartridges are priced at $10.99 and offer a cost per page of 11.6 cents.

Cartridge Price Cost Per Page Comparison
Original Canon PGI-280XXL Black Cartridge $34.99 5.8 cents per page
Original Canon CLI-281XXL Color Cartridges $26.99 each 18.9 cents per page
LD Brand Compatible PGI-280XXL Black Cartridge $11.99  1.9 cents per page
LD Brand Compatible CLI-281XXL Color Cartridges $10.99 each 7.2 cents per page

Brother® MFC-J805DW

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The Brother MFC-J805DW is a bit more expensive but a low cost operating easily makes up for the high initial price point.  Print, copy and scan features are standard and a convenient automatic duplexing features lets you quickly print on both sides of the page, ideal for saving paper on those lengthy study guides.  Part of Brother’s Inkvestment series, the printer’s LC3035 ultra high yield black cartridge prints up to 6,000 pages and the LC3033 color cartridges print 3,000 each.  With that many prints per cartridge, there is a good chance you won’t need to replace your cartridges at all during the school year.  Thanks to the ingenuity of Brother’s Inkvestment ink tank system, your cartridges won’t dry out if they go unused, which means you can leave your printer  over spring break and still have a working cartridge when you return.  LD brand compatible cartridges can cut down printing costs considerably, with the LD compatible black cartridges goes for $22.99 and each color cartridge is just $12.99.

Cartridge Price Cost Per Page Comparison
Original Brother LC3035 Black Cartridge $55.99 .9 cents per page
Original Brother LC3035 Color Cartridges $62.49 9.2 cents per page
LD Brand Compatible LC3035 Black Cartridges $22.99 .3 cents per page
LD Brand Compatible LC3033 Color Cartridges $12.99 each 1.5 cents per page

Epson® WorkForce Pro WF-3730

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Epson’s WorkForce Pro WF-3730 printer is a quiet, versatile machine that is easy to set up and wireless ready.  Print, scan and copy options are convenient features for any student and smartphone printing is a breeze with Epson’s printer app. Download the Epson Creative print app to print directly from Facebook or Instagram and pair the printer with Alexa for convenient voice activated printing.  The printer’s four Epson 702 cartridges are offered in a standard yield and high yield size.  The Epson 702XL high yield black cartridge prints 1,100 pages and sells for $39.99.  Each color cartridge prints 950 pages and is for $25.49.   LD brand remanufactured 702XL cartridges are just $16.99 for black and $12.99 each for color.

Cartridge Price Cost Per Page Comparison
Original Epson 702XL Black Cartridge $39.99 3.6 cents per page
Original Epson 702XL Color Cartridges $25.49 each 11.6 cents per page
LD Brand Compatible 702XL Black Cartridges $16.99 1.5 cents per page
LD Brand Compatible 702XL Color Cartridges $12.99 each 5.6 cents per page

HP® Envy® Photo 7155

Buy on Amazon

The Envy Photo 7155 is an all-in-one machine that’s a solid space-saving option for students that print occasionally.  Wireless printing is a breeze with the HP smart app and it’s scan to email and copy features are a definite plus for class projects.  The cartridges are not quite as generous in terms of capacity compared to some of the other printers mentioned here, but it’s low price may be worth it if you don’t want to invest a lot of money upfront.  The printer uses both a black and tri-color HP 64 cartridge, which are offered in a standard yield and high yield cartridge size.  An original XL black cartridge sells for $41.99, printing 600 pages and the tri-color XL goes for $45.99, which also prints 415 pages.   The LD brand remanufactured version of the black 64XL cartridge is far cheaper at $29.99 and the color version goes for $32.99.

Cartridge Price Cost Per Page Comparison
Original HP 6XL Black Cartridge  $41.99 6.9 cents per page
Original HP 64XL Tri-Color Cartridge  $45.99 39.5 cents per page
LD Brand Compatible 64XL Black Cartridge  $29.99 4.9 cents per page
LD Brand Compatible 64XL Tri-Color Cartridge $32.99 28.6 cents per page

Now that you have a few different printers that are worth considering, you can make the best buying decision based on your needs and your budget.  Before you buy, make a note of how much the cost per page is for the prospective machine and compare it against your average monthly printing output.   If you are printing a fair number of pages every week, you are better off buying a slightly more expensive printer that uses economical cartridges!


*Savings based on price comparison between remanufactured/compatible cartridge prices on and OEM cartridge and printer prices from Amazon and Staples. All products are reviewed independently. As an Amazon associate, LD Products earns from qualifying purchases through links on this page.  All prices effective as of August 26, 2020.  OEM names are registered trademarks of their respective owners and are not affiliated with, and do not endorse LD Products.

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