4 Of The Best Printers For Connecting To A Wireless Network

wifi printers   4 Of The Best Printers For Connecting To A Wireless NetworkUp until a few years ago, a small home printer had to be attached directly to the computer it was servicing. Or, if you had several computers, it had to be attached to at least one of them, and that computer had to be sharing it for others to be able to use it. Thanks to the modern wonder of Wi-Fi, this is no longer the case. Many inexpensive printers don’t have to be connected to anything these days, except for power of course.

These smart wireless printers can connect to your home or small office wireless network, and process print requests from any computer on the network. Heck, if you don’t print often, you could even hook one of these up in a storage closet and forget about it until it’s time to print something.

The printers I will be sharing below are not for heavy office use, and are not all brand-new. Instead, I’ve tried to find printers that would work for typical home or small office use, have wireless functionality, and are solid printers in other respects (including ink cost).

Kodak Office Hero 6.1

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At $200, the Kodak Office Hero 6.1 wireless printer has several compelling features. Not only is it wireless, but it also supports Google Cloud Print letting you send print jobs from your Android phone or tablet. With a 18.9” by 17” footprint, the Office Hero is not a compact printer, but you do get a lot for the space you sacrifice.

It has a built-in scanner capable of scanning multiple photos at once and outputting a separate file for each photo. That same scanner also supports automatic duplexing, meaning it can scan both sides of a piece of paper automatically.

Epson Artisan 725

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Like the Office Hero, the Epson Artisan 725 retails for $200. It even has a similar desk footprint, 18” by 17.56”. It features what Epson calls “PC-free printing,” and supports Wi-Fi, Ethernet, USB, and PictBridge. It has a built-in card reader that supports every well-known format, including SD (MicroSD), MMC, CompactFlash, and Memory Stick.

The Artisan 725 shines in one important aspect, which is ink costs. Its black cartridge retails for $17.09 and yields 520 pages, which works out to 3.3 cents per page – a decidedly competitive rate. I won’t bore you with color cartridge costs, but printing a full-color page costs 9.4 cents – again, an inexpensive rate.

Also (and this is entirely subjective), I must say the Epson looks lovely. It like its low profile and flat-looking top.

Canon Pixma MG5320

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The MG5320 is part of Canon’s Pixma line of printers, focused on printing photos. But make no mistake. This printer produces crisp-looking text at a respectable 7.7 pages per minute. At $150, the MG5320 is noticeably cheaper than the two models shown above. Like them, it supports Wi-Fi connectivity, and is a combined device including a fax and scanner.

Both the Pixma’s intake tray and output paper tray fold neatly into the printer body, making it compact and helping to protect its innards from dust. This is a particularly valuable feature for home and small office environments where you don’t use the printer all that much, and it ends up picking up lots of dust. Its output tray holds fifty pages, and pops open on its own as soon as you send something to print.

Epson Workforce Pro WP-4020

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The boxiest-looking of the lot, Epson’s Workforce Pro WP-4020 looks like a printer aimed at small workgroups, except for the price. At an MSRP of $150, the Workforce Pro 4020 costs just like the more svelte Canon Pixma MG5320, and offers stunningly low printing costs. A black page would run you 1.6 cents, and a four-color page costs 7.6 cents. The starter cartridge lasts for some 900 pages – this is obviously a printer for higher-volume printing.

Not a departmental laser printer, but not too shabby either. If you print quite a bit and want easy Wi-Fi functionality, the Epson Workforce Pro WP-4020 might be just the ticket.

Your Own Choice?

With so many options to choose from, picking four excellent wireless printers for this roundup was not easy. Did I miss a printer you’ve tried and liked? Is one of these printers actually horrible? Let me know below!

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11 Comments -

0 votes

Don Paul Fuller

I recently bought an Epson Workforce 840 for around $200 – best printer I’ve ever had… Cheap to run, and a dream to set-up on my LAN as a wireless printer. Scans duplex, from an automatic document feeder, and the fax works great on a “duet” land line. Has 100 odd pages in the (2) cassettes. Hard to pass…

0 votes

Erez Zukerman

It does sound excellent — it might be the 725′s older brother. :)

0 votes

Dan

A very interesting and helpful article, but I’m interested to know if you take into account how much ink the printers use when they perform self maintenance? From experience Epson printers seem particularly fond of chewing ink in tests/self maintenance whenever they start up or have been idle for a long period. While it obviously means less issues with print quality, it can still make the ink costs a lot higher than specified.

0 votes

Erez Zukerman

Hi Dan,

The ink consumption numbers used were provided by manufacturer ratings and/or verified in PCWorld labs using their own methods. I would say the numbers are uniformly tested — i.e, if self-test is accounted for in one printer, then it is accounted for in all.

0 votes

Peter Hallman

Costco sells the HP6700 for $135 including shipping. How does it compare on ink cost per page to the above printers? It would be useful if there was a web site that actually tested how many pages one can print per cartridge and compare that to the manufacturer’s claims. My experience with HP inkjet printers is that you get about 10% of the claimed pages printed on the color cartridges.

0 votes

Erez Zukerman

Hi Peter,

A site like that _would_ be great, really.

Just to confirm: With HP you got 10% of the claimed pages? Meaning, cartridge would say “good for 200 pages” and would run out after you printed 20 pages?

0 votes

Peter Hallman

Yes that is correct. The color cartridges are terrible. The ones that come with the printer are the worst. I am on my 3rd set of genuine HP XL920 cartridges in addition to the standard cartridges that came with the HP6500aplus printer (which I bought Feb 2011) and I have only printed 1,084 pages (and most of those pages have been black ink only).

Prior to that I had HP Photosmart C7250 which ate through many HP02 cartridges.

I would just like some reference point of cartridge usage from users of competing brands.

0 votes

Erez Zukerman

That’s pretty terrible, actually. I’m sorry to hear that. :\

As for reference: The reference I trust the most is PCWorld Labs. These guys are -really- good about evaluating printers, and are some of the most experienced in the industry. This is where I got my numbers. When they review a printer, they always include ink stats.

0 votes

5e404c14171331253eafb9b821aa9c9f

By the way the Canon MG5320 doesn’t include a fax — its just a printer scanner combo, unless Canadians get a different version to their American counterparts.

I don’t think any of the Canon Pixma line include a fax, would be a nice feature — cause sometimes an old school fax just plain works in a pinch.

0 votes

Erez Zukerman

Oh wow, you’re absolutely correct! The 5320 does -not- have a fax. I must’ve confused it with the MX410 (another Pixma printer) which does have a fax. Thank you for the correction.

0 votes

Alex Olariu

great article