Many people don’t realize that homeschooling requires more forethought and preparation than you might think. There is plenty of equipment that you’ll need for your homeschoolers. For instance — a printer.
Think about it — there will be a lot of tests, assignments, and other documents that you’re going to have to print out. And sure, while you could theoretically write things by hand; that would detract from the overall experience for the homeschoolers. If you want kids to perceive their assignments as something serious — you’ll be doing a lot of printing.
So, with that in mind — what kind of printer should you buy? Well, to say it right off the bat, we believe that the Canon TS5120 is the best option. But as you’ll soon see, the list of the best printers for homeschoolers in 2020 is quite long; there are many options available. We’ll give you a rundown of our top picks, and then help you in choosing the one that’s best for you!
Canon TS5120 Wireless All-In-One Printer with Scanner and Copier
The first model we’ll take a look at is an excellent all-in-one model that was released a couple of years ago. To this day, it remains one of the best choices for printers for homeschoolers. Canon is obviously regarded as a manufacturer of optical products; though their lineup of printers is nothing to sneeze at either.
For instance, the TS5120 allows you to print from any place in your household. You can control it via the Canon app on your phone or tablet; while you can also connect it wirelessly to your computer as well. Apart from that, it’s important to mention that the printer contains both a copier and a scanner. It’s one of those devices that solves multiple problems for you at once; a worthy addition to the household.
It’s pretty easy to use as well, with an LCD screen that clearly outlines all of the settings and options that the printer has. The only downside we see here is that it doesn’t have automatic paper feeding capabilities.
● Decent paper tray
● Wireless capabilities
● Copier and scanner
● No automatic doc feeding
Brother Compact Monochrome Laser Printer
Next up, we’ve got a laser printer by Brother — an excellent choice for homeschoolers and home offices alike. First of all, it has an excellent auto-duplex option; allowing you to copy, scan, and print on two sides of any paper. And yes; it also has copying and scanning capabilities.
Unlike the previous model we’ve reviewed, it also comes with a document feeder with a 70-sheet capability. If you’re going to be printing multiple modules or doing other high-volume work for your kids, this is going to be very useful. And its tray is also quite large — there’s room for a whopping 250 sheets.
This is a unit that allows for maximum productivity. It’s highly efficient, which is perfect if printing speed and volume are your main concerns while purchasing a unit. Plus, the fact that you don’t have to load sheets manually is a big advantage. The only problem with this unit is that the printing quality is somewhat mediocre; though not too bad for a laser printer.
● Roomy paper sheet with 250 capacity
● Subpar printing quality
HP Office Jet 5255
The HP OfficeJet 5255 is certainly one of the higher-quality products on our list. First of all, its DPI resolution is one of the better ones; the color intensities are surprisingly accurate for this kind of compact model as well. You can use it for the printing of all kinds of formats, from greeting cards to bona fide photographs. If you want to focus on your kids’ creative side, this is certainly a plus.
Also, the device can be used as a scanner and photocopier as well; which is surprising considering its incredibly compact size. That means you’ll be able to extract plenty of functionalities from a printer that won’t take up too much space in your home.
However, its significant downside is its speed. You won’t be able to do high-volume work quickly and efficiently with this model, though everything you print will look amazing.
● High printing quality
● All-in-one printer
● Compact size
● Very slow speed
Canon Selphy CP1300 Wireless Compact Photo Printer
Next up, we’ve got another model that provides you with an amazing degree of quality. First of all, the Canon Selphy CP1300 is one of the best models on this list when it comes to pure connectivity. You can pretty much connect any device that’s capable of holding photos to this printer and have them in your hands after a couple of minutes.
The Canon iOS and Android app for printing ensures that you can use your smartphone or tablet to print things out wirelessly; though this printer also supports printing from an inserted USB flash drive or even an SD card from your camera.
The machine is certainly quite compact, and the printing quality is outstanding. However, as you might have expected — it’s not designed for high-volume work. For instance, the CP1300 takes almost 40 seconds to finish a photo that’s card-sized and even more for a postcard format.
● Wireless connectivity
● Excellent image quality
● Waterproof printing
● Takes a lot of time for high-res images
HP ENVY 4520 Wireless All-In-One Photo Printer
The HP Envy 4520 is pretty much the best pick on this list for multiple reasons — and that’s something we’ll clearly state right away. Firstly, it has perfect wireless capabilities — you can connect it to every conceivable device and transfer your photos via WiFI for printing. It also has copying and scanning capabilities that are incredibly precise. But, it manages to do all of that and still remain compact. In fact, it even has a “quiet mode” if you want to print something at night; it takes slightly longer, but the printer remains virtually silent.
Best of all, this is one of the rare printers where you don’t have to sacrifice printing speed in order to maintain quality. Not only can this printer hold the standard 100 sheets in its tray, but it manages to print fifteen pages each minute in color printing mode! If you’re printing black and white, this goes up to twenty pages. This kind of speed isn’t something you see often in inkjet high-quality printers. The only downside we can think of here is that the cartridges for this printer can be quite expensive if you use it extensively.
● High-quality color printing
● Amazing speed for inkjet printer
● Wireless connectivity
● Expensive ink over long-term use
Canon Color Image CLASS MF644Cdw – All in One
After being dazzled with HP’s high-class model, our next pick comes from Canon. The Canon Color Imageclass model is a decent entry-level model in the world of printing. It’s a mainstay in plenty of offices around the world, especially in small businesses. The output quality that it provides is above average, which is why the price is somewhat steeper as well. Plus, it manages to maintain more than an acceptable printing speed; along with a set of richly varied features.
When it comes to color laser printing, you won’t get much closer to inkjet quality than this. Its speed is sufficient for a homeschooling environment that mostly depends on black and white text printing. However, in that case — we have to point out that the price might be a bit too high at almost $400.
● Excellent print quality for laser printer
● Decent speed
● Extremely steep price for this purpose
HP ENVY 5055 Wireless All-in-One Photo Printer
The HP Envy 5055 is the next iteration of the 4520 model, which comes with a couple of excellent improvements. However, you may notice that we’ve mentioned the 4520 model as being the most optimal pick on this list already. The reason for that is that the improvements that this new iteration contains aren’t exactly worth the higher price for a homeschooler printer.
First of all, the throughput of the printer is still the same — meaning average. On the other hand, it does come with Bluetooth connectivity and other Internet of Things improvements. And it’s a compact printer, just like its slightly older brother. Now, if you really appreciate smart home improvements, this will be the device for you. But we don’t think that the Alexa and Google Home connectivity is enough to warrant an upgrade from the 4520.
● Bluetooth connectivity
● Compatible with Amazon Alexa and Google Home
● Not really that much of an improvement over the 4520
Brother Compact Monochrome Laser Printer, HL-L2350DW
As we near the end of our list of the best printers for homeschoolers in 2020, we’ll take a look at another modestly priced model. The only downside of this model is that it only prints black and white; if you’re not thinking about printing out more than documents and tests, this is pretty much the perfect model for you.
It’s compact enough to fit into any home environment, and it won’t set you back more than a hundred bucks. Best of all, even though the initial cost is low — its ink is also the cheapest on the market.
Of course, as you expect out of a monochrome printer — you can get an insane volume of pages out of this device. It is capable of putting out an astounding 15000 pages on a monthly basis without breaking down; which is probably more than you’ll need for a homeschooling environment.
● Huge volume
● Monochrome (black and white) only
HP Deskjet 1112 Compact Printer (F5S23A)
The HP Deskjet 1112 has two main purposes — to be compact and to provide a reliable platform for color printing. If you’re working within a confined space where you don’t have a lot of room for a bulky printer; this is a great solution.
One of the other great things about this printer is that it’s extremely eco-friendly. In fact, it has an Energy Star certification because it uses up the minimal possible amount of energy.
It can put out 1,000 pages per month, which is okay for a color inkjet printer — and around seven pages each minute.
● Doesn’t use up a lot of energy
● Slow printing speed
Things to Consider when Buying a Printer
Now that we’ve taken a look at the ten best printers for homeschoolers in 2020, the question is — how do you pick one among them? Or even more importantly, how do you make a choice for yourself if you intend on looking elsewhere? Don’t worry — we’ve got a detailed buying guide that goes over all of the aspects of a high-quality printer, so take a look below.
Luckily for you, printers are definitely not one of those devices that you have to splurge a lot of money on in order to get some quality. As you’ve been able to see from above, quality printers aren’t always prohibitively expensive. In fact, there are plenty of models that are for anyone’s pocket. Although it’s not always the purchase price of the printer that matters — it’s about the price of the ink as well!
People that don’t do a lot of printing personally may not know that toner and ink are not that cheap. Though, printing a lot of text for homeschoolers means that you’ll be able to use draft mode to save on ink or cartridges.
Still, if budgetary concerns are important for you — we recommend getting a printer that works with cheaper third-party toners and inks. Many of them don’t, due to varying cartridge sizes and shapes. However, finding a compatible printer will mean saving a ton of money on ink in the long run.
Seeing as you’ll be buying a printer for primarily household use, we guess that you’ll be able to handle a printer of any size. Luckily, the printers of 2020 aren’t what they used to be a couple of decades ago. These days, you can find high-quality printers that can comfortably sit atop your desk without taking over too much space.
One of the first questions that you need to ask yourself while buying a printer is — just how functional is it? What kind of print quality can you expect? After all, you’re going to be doing quite a lot of printing in a homeschool. Of course, seeing as this printing is mostly going to be text — we recommend getting a device that balances quality on the one hand and cost-effectiveness on the other.
One of the biggest questions when it comes to picking a printer for homeschoolers is whether you’re going to go with an inkjet or a laser printer model. In order to make the right call, you’ll have to know how these two technologies differ from one another.
In terms of functionality, laser printers are known for their far superior printing speed. That’s why businesses that rely on constant printing tend to favor laser printers. They do a marvelous job when it comes to printing text documents. However, we do have to point out that they’re far below inkjet printers when it comes to printing photos and graphics.
Inkjet printers are your other option. These use droplets of liquid ink to produce the images we see on the paper; laser printers utilize LED beams of light to do the same thing. Now, as we’ve mentioned, inkjet printers are superior when it comes to image quality; but they’re slower than lasers, and they tend to run out of ink much faster.
So, while you will find that inkjet printers are initially more affordable than laser printers — that all evens out when you factor in the running costs that are noticeably higher.
When it comes to homeschoolers, we’d say that most people would probably be better off with a laser printer. You don’t have to print out a lot of images for your homeschooler because all of that can be presented on a screen.
These days, most devices are expected to have more than one function. Let’s face it, you don’t expect your phone to just be a simple device for calling. And the same is true for printers, albeit in a smaller sense. Still, most people expect these devices to perform more than one function.
For instance, plenty of printers have copying and scanning functions. In a homeschooling environment, this could be hugely beneficial because it allows you to quickly digitize and backup the work done by any of the kids. That’s why having an all-in-one device is definitely not a bad idea, if you can afford it. Luckily, these advanced printers aren’t that much more expensive compared to the regular kind these days.
Portability is not generally something you’ll probably be interested in too much, seeing as your homeschool classroom doesn’t tend to move around that often. Ideally, portable printers are smaller devices that are used by movers and people who travel often. They rarely weigh more than a couple of pounds, and they’re most commonly inkjet printers; again, something of a downside for homeschoolers.
The main point of these printers is that they’re easily movable. So, you shouldn’t expect much printing quality or speed out of these.
The resolution of a printer refers to the DPI (dots per inch) which the printer can put out. This calculation is performed vertically and horizontally. And the DPI value can vary wildly from printer to printer. The printer’s horizontal resolution depends on its nozzles and its thickness, while the vertical one depends on the type of system for paper feeding.
Another thing you need to think about is printing volume. Naturally, that depends on the number of children you have in your homeschool. But if you’re going to be printing often — you will need a high-speed and high-volume printer that is able to match your needs.
Try to estimate your monthly printing volume judging by the average amount of printing you do in a single day. Then, look for a machine that’s able to handle a little more than that. This gives you some breathing room in case you face an unexpected surge.
The last thing you want is to find yourself spending money on a printer that isn’t able to match the required volume. Bear in mind that printers can be worn out if they’re low-quality, or they tend to overheat if you push them beyond their limits in terms of printing speed and volume.
The volume of printing that you’ll be able to achieve also depends on the paper handling aspects of the printer. For instance, both laser and inkjet printers have the ability to handle regular paper; though the inkjet ones also print out photographs on special types of paper. Apart from that, you want to look for a printer that has a tray with space for at least 100 sheets of paper. Luckily, most printers have that — barring one of the portable ones we’ve mentioned above.
These days, plenty of printers can be connected with computers or portable devices wirelessly; allowing you to control the printer from any location in your home. This can be quite useful if you’re tending to homeschoolers and your household at the same time. Knowing you can just print anything you need from anywhere is definitely an advantage; you’ll save a lot of valuable time by not having to physically approach the printer every time you want to copy or print something.
Apart from wireless capabilities, look to see what devices the printer can be connected with. Don’t waste your time with a printer that can’t be connected to a tablet or smartphone. Apart from that, the ability to use a flash drive is a must; while an SD card is only really going to be important if you’re printing pictures from a camera. Still, you want to have the widest possible range of options.
Duplexing has become something of a staple among advanced printers these days. As you may have already guessed — duplexing refers to printing on two sides of a single paper, without having to do the flipping by yourself manually. It’s definitely a neat feature to have the printer do it for you.
As you may have concluded yourself, the amount of things that you have to consider while buying a printer for homeschoolers is truly astounding. Yes, there are many factors to a quality printer — and most of them depend on the purpose you’re going to use it for.
If you need the simplest possible printer to have the ability to print out a couple of tests, then the Brother Compact Monochrome Laser Printer will prove to be the most cost-effective option. Otherwise, as pointed out, we recommend the Canon TS5120 as the best choice.