Best Printer Under $400 $500 | Color Laser & Photo Inkjet
A printer is a need of every household or business. But the printing needs may vary accordingly; however, the best printer under $500 should offer great convenience, handsome paper capacity, vibrant printing results, multiple connectivity options, the ability to handle various sizes and types of media, duplex scan, printing, and so on.
With so many options out there, we selected the 24 laser and inkjet printers, tested them according to the above methodology and we got the list of 7 best printers under $400 and $500. The best out of all is Epson ET-4850 and Canon GX4020 due to their low cost per print. And the best laser printer under $500 is HP LaserJet Pro M283FDW due to its conveneint feeatures.
Best Printer Under $400 $500 | Laser & Inkjet Home Printers
1- HP Color LaserJet Pro M283fdw
2- Epson EcoTank ET-4850
3- Canon Megatank GX4020
4- Canon Color imageCLASS MF644Cdw
5- Epson Expression Photo HD XP-15000
6- HP Officejet 250
1. HP Color LaserJet Pro M283fdw – Best Color Laser Printer Under $500
- Voice-over printing with Alexa
- Energy efficient
- All-in-one print, scan, copy
- Duplex scan and print
- Convenient paper handling and sizes
HP Color LaserJet Pro M283fdw has won the first position on our list being a color laser printer packed with all-in-one features. From print quality to build quality and providing convenient features, the HP LaserJet Pro M283fdw performed exceptionally during the testing phase. The printer was bulky because the build quality seemed superior.
The package arrived along with the introductory toner cartridges and some cords. The cartridges weren’t marked as high yield and they provided adequate page yield as expected, the monochrome printing provided 800 pages, and color cartridges provided 700 pages.
The connectivity was seamless and the setup was simple for a tech nerd but a novice can also execute it thoroughly. The mobile printing via HP smart app was convenient which allowed us to make the custom templates reducing the stress of repeating the tasks each time for office work.
Not only wireless connectivity, but you can connect the devices via Ethernet and dual-band wifi. Equipped with fast printing speed, the printer printed 22 pages per minute in both printing modes, color as well as monochrome printing.
Although compared with HP Color LaserJet Pro M182nw which also has a similar price, this model provided more speedy printings along with an auto document feeder which lacks the LaserJet Pro M182nw model.
Equipped with a dual pass auto document feeder, we scanned and printed the documents via ADF without flipping the side manually because it supports dual scan and duplex printing. The printer supported a variety of paper sizes that helped us to print small-sized photos as well as office documents up to legal and letter sized.
Apart from ADF, the HP LaserJet Pro M283fdw supported two paper drawers, one is input that supports 250 sheets, and an output tray that can handle 100 sheets. They both were enough for us to print 2,000 pages per month and no excess refilling again n again was needed.
The print quality was appreciable for both monochrome and colorful images with adequate DPI, however, we observed it supports HP ImageREt 3600 technology that enhanced more texts and images to produce higher resolution images up to 3600×600 DPI for printing color photos.
Overall, the printer provided reliable and efficient features that easily fulfill the needs of an office as well as of a small business which makes it good to go printer.
- Excellent control panel with 2.7 LCD
- Sturdy build printer
- Easy to set up
- Page yield can be increased with XL Cartridges
- Easy to access paper jams
2. Epson EcoTank ET-4850 Wireless All-in-One Cartridge-Free
- Duplex printing via ADF up to 30 sheets
- Wire and wireless connections
- Low cost per print cartridge free solution
- Lightweight and compact
- Prints on special media
A cartridge-free innovation by Epson to eliminate the spending of big bucks on traditional cartridges. The nifty Epson ET-4850 won’t take up much space on your desktop because the building shape is compact and lightweight that easily adjusts itself on every small desktop. Whether you own a micro office or thinking to start a home-based business, the ET-4850 can be your best companion.
The initial price may cost an arm and a leg but that justifies in the long term by providing a great page yield and reducing the cost per print. The package had 4 ink bottles equipped with Ecofit technology that was effortlessly filling and refilling the Ecotanks once they were attached to the tank.
Thanks to the Ecotanks, checking the ink levels was visible at the front and we didn’t monitor via any app or our operating system along with that, those ink bottles produced thousands of pages before refilling.
Slow and steady always wins the race, the printing speed of the ET-4850 was relatively slower than the WF Epson models but faster than its predecessor ET-4750 producing the monochrome prints at 25 ppm speed and 12 ppm color.
Though the print quality was also outstanding even though we printed the nitty gritty images, the hairlines in the colored photos and the small texts below 4pt were clearly readable.
Thanks to the auto document feeder that wasn’t under our expectations because it was a cherry on the top to boost productivity by providing 30-sheet ADF capacity to scan, copy, and print in decent resolutions. However, there was a separate flatbed scanner too.
The paper sheet capacity of the ET-4850 is decent to handle 250 sheets of various sizes and it also supported a separate tray to handle the special papers. The downside is if you’re thinking to print super tabloid sizes then the ET-4850 does not tend to build for you. Because it supports maximum legal size along with duplex printing but the borderless printing it produced was the maximum letter size.
The control panel had the titled option for standing users which lacks Canon Megatank GX4020 below although they both provided similar looks.
- Works with Alexa voice-over
- Super fast printing
- Precise printing quality
- Tilting control panel
- No duplex scanning
3. Canon Megatank GX4020
- Featuring the Megatanks
- Small and durable build body
- Handsome paper capacity
- Excellent page yield
- Best for printing posters and banners
Not only Epson owns the tag of manufacturing the ink tank CISS printers but Canon is also one step ahead when it comes to producing quality products, Canon Megatank GX4020 is also one of them. Canon Megatank GX4020 also features a cartridge-free solution for its users eliminating the replacement of plastic cartridges each time.
The ink bottles inside the box were equipped with nozzles that easily refilled the ink tanks. When it comes to page yield you may get a low number of pages out of provided ink bottles when it is compared to the Epson ET models but still, drastically reduced costs by saving the 80% of the investment on the ink cartridges. Although it still provided around 5,000 pages depending on the texture and designs and it may be less in your case.
Thanks to its small size, even our moderate-size laptop desk was able to adjust the printer easily. So you can easily carry and adjust your printer at your workplace or office with ease. Further, the printer is packed with the all-in-one features to scan, print, and copy via ADF however, its ADF is mediocre at providing a small number of pages for a moderate workload and also doesn’t provide a duplex scan.
Whether you own a small business printing posters or banners for advertising or thinking to start a printing press, the printer is a handsome investment for you to produce versatile media up to 8.5 x 47 inches long papers.
Furthermore, you won’t get disappointed by its paper capacity because the Canon Megatank GX4020 offers a total 350 capacity split into two parts, one is a bottom tray to handle 250 sheets and 100 pages in the backside tray.
The navigation panel doesn’t provide a tilting option which may be a downside for you because ET models do offer tilting for standing or sitting users. Thanks to the miniature touchscreen LCD allows you to navigate options and connect the devices also helpful in the initial setup.
The sharp texts with great color accuracy are another admirable point of the printer. Along with printing with decent speed cannot be ignored though. While we didn’t find direct printing from the USB flash drive but it is convenient when it comes to mobile printing using your favorite apps like Canon Print, Mopria, and Airprint.
- Easy mobile printing
- CISS ink system
- All-in-one features
- Visible ink tanks to check the ink levels
- Best for small startups
- Cannot print super-tabloid
4. Canon Color imageCLASS MF644Cdw – All-in-One – Best Laser Printer Under $500
- Supports skew paper correction
- 5” bright touchscreen navigation
- Equipped with All-in-one features
- Legal maximum printing field
- Supports two-sided scan and printing
Another color laser printer on our list but slightly different from HP LaserJet Pro M283fdw. However, we also covered another same-series printer Canon ImageCLASS MF455dw in the best printers under $250 and $300. They both offer almost similar features but the main difference is the color printing. This printer, MF644cdw produces the prints in CMY although MF455dw provides slightly faster printing but only monochrome.
However, we didn’t observe much difference but the distinct feature was color printing. As usual, the box had 4 toner cartridges which provided a moderate page yield but it can be increased by getting the XL cartridges. From unboxing to setup via LCD using a wireless connection and installing the drivers, the process was straightforward and didn’t require much time.
The paper capacity is less than expected as it only supports a total of 300 sheets including the 50 sheets for multipurpose. The plus point is you can add the optional paper tray to extend the capacity but that is not included in the package price.
The Color ImageCLASSMF644Cdw offered a 50-sheet capacity in the auto document feeder although its auto document feeder is more flexible to handle multiple sizes of media. In addition, the scanning with the ADF was also effortless because it supported hands-free duplex scanning.
Say no to paper jams when it comes to printing thousands of pages to keep a streamlined workflow because the printer is equipped with advanced skew correction media that automatically straightens the media if there is any misaligned paper. However, HP Color LaserJet M283fdw is also equipped with this feature.
The monochrome printing speed is relatively less than the ImageCLASS MF455dw but thanks to the color printing quality and speed which we observed were similar to the ET-4850.
Supports mobile printing and scanning to balance the workflow during the printing process to execute important tasks directly from mobile. Thanks to the bright navigation LCD, access to the important features was clearly visible with a smooth interface.
- A color laser printer
- Strong security features
- Cost efficient printing
- Reliable and quality build
- Supports the Mac operating system too
- Heavy-weight and desktop size compatible issues
5. Epson Expression Photo HD XP-15000
- Super fast printing speed
- Prints up to 13 x 19 inches borderless
- Supports various sizes and thicknesses of media
- 6-color ink cartridges
- Higher resolution for photos
What makes the Epson XP-15000 stand out from other printers is supporting 6 color cartridges for photos. Two additional color cartridges specially for photos are used to get more enhanced colors and a clear color gamut which makes this printer the best photo printer under $500.
The output quality of the photos produced by XP-15000 was comparable with the commercial-grade photo printers because it produced vibrant colors with dense images. The body was extremely compact and didn’t feel like premium material but only passable it was 30% smaller than the other professional printers which let it adjust on any craft table, thanks to its compact size.
Although all the 6 color filled cartridges come with the package the cost per page was higher which was 14 cents when it comes to printing photos. However, the monochrome cost per print is passable which is 4 cents.
The navigation panel has the tilted option equipped LCD display but not the touchscreen so you can navigate it via buttons located at the right side of the screen. You can connect Ethernet and wireless connection to print from Apple as well as Android smartphones including laptops with various operating systems.
Featuring two paper drawers to be convenient but the downside is it doesn’t support an auto document feeder so you will need to feed the papers individually. You may be wondering the printer doesn’t support ADF so scanning but it is not the case, it features a built-in flatbed scanner to scan decent-resolution images.
The rear paper tray is specialized to handle 50 sheets for special media like printing on cardstock of 110 lb maximum weight and other media and supporting the maximum printing size of 13 x 19 inches wide borderless prints. While the main paper tray can accommodate 200 sheets to print plain documents and 20 additional photos.
Both paper trays are flexible according to your printing needs and paper guides are visible to guide the various paper sizes. So, if you want to print professional photos within the budget pick then get the Epson XP-15000.
- Compatible with both Windows and Mac
- Has a compact design
- Auto duplex printing
- Good value for the price
- Easy setup and operation
- Doesn’t have an auto document feeder
6. HP Officejet 250 All-in-One Portable Printer
- Supports HP mobile App printing
- 10 pages auto document feeder
- Utilize a lithium battery to last up to 500 pages
- Fast charging battery within 90 minutes
- Easy to carry anywhere
A premium portable printer that offers you to carry the printer around and fit on the desktop or whatever place you like. Just take the printer connect the phone via a wireless connection and start printing your photos or essential documents.
The width is only under 15 inches so a small place is also suitable to store the printer or carry inside the bag at your workplace. Thanks to the manufacturers, who made this printer also nifty and lightweight that is only 2.96 kgs.
The standout feature is it doesn’t require direct power to operate but instead it utilizes the lithium battery system which helps you to take the printer to your office or anywhere you want. The battery was also fast charging and surprisingly printed 500 pages with a single charge. But it may vary depending upon the type of documents you intend to print.
The battery didn’t require much time to get recharged as the time is significant as we observed it took 90 minutes to charge from 0% to 100% which we assume is superb.
Despite being a portable and compact printer, it never disappoints with its convenience as it supports 10 pages of auto document feeder to offer all-in-one features including scanning, copying, and printing. The input tray can handle only 50 sheets but it can also print on various media types including, photo paper, brochures, envelopes, and other inkjet papers.
Not only that, but it also offers printing in several sizes from photo-size paper to letter-size prints. The box had the two cartridges which were moderate yield. Keeping an eye on the size, the printer utilizes a tricolor CMY cartridge and an individual black color cartridge.
The printer’s resolution was rich and the output quality was considerably similar to the printers under this price tag. Another upside is its printing speed which is super fast as the other printers like Epson WF-110 and HP Offiejet 200 don’t offer excellent printing speed in this class.
There is no separate flatbed scanner but ADF can be used to get the images scanned. Moreover, the control panel is also convenient offering 2.7 inches touchscreen to navigate the multiple options.
- Wide printing field
- Speed of printing is fast
- Easy mobile printing using apps
- Auto two-sided printing
- Low power consumption while charging
- High initial price
7. Brother MFC-L3750CDW
- 50-sheet auto document feeder
- Colorful LCD touchscreen for standing users
- Decent paper capacity
- Exceptional print quality
- Auto two-sided printing
The third laser printer on our list is comparatively different a little but in features from the above-reviewed printers. However, the basic features are similar including printing in color wifi connectivity, the same sheet capacity of the auto document feeder which is 50, and all-in-one functions to scan, print, and copy.
Although Brother MFC-L3750CDW is one of the heaviest laser printers on our list. So you may assume it is more durable and sturdy than HP, and Canon, and the lightweight laser printer is HP above reviewed so you can get one of them according to the space you’ve.
Now let’s talk about our experience and features, we got the 4 ink toners however, we didn’t get the ideal page yield with the toners and the cost per print was relatively higher than the HP and Canon models. The easy setup and wireless connection to connect the devices in the home had no complaints.
The auto document feeder can handle 50 sheets of various sizes and supports duplex printing, scanning, and copying but the downside is it doesn’t support dual-side scanning and copying. So you will need to scan the dual-sided documents manually by flipping them via ADF or a separate flatbed scanner.
The Brother MFC-L3750CDW has only a single paper drawer has 250 capacity but can handle envelopes and other media however, you’ll need to empty the drawer in order to print the plain papers because there is no additional tray for special media.
The print quality is moderate to be used for business purposes, all the colorful gradients and PowerPoint monochrome documents were flawless, having a smooth texture with great color accuracy. But the fact cannot be denied that you cannot print borderless photos with laser printers.
Like the inkjet printers, the cost per print for color printing crossed 15 cents which is considerably higher than its competitors like LEXMARK and Epson laser printers of a similar class.
So if you tend to print only 400 to 500 pages each month then your best buddy can be the Brother MFC-L3750CDW.
- Mediocre monthly printing volume
- Plethora os connectivity options
- Faster printing speed as an AIO
- Low monochrome cost per print
- Less power consumption
- No NFC and duplex scanning
Which One To Choose – Inkjet Or Laser
All the above-reviewed printers are the top performing but they are laser or inkjet printers and both types are specific according to the printing needs. Let’s dive to know which one is best for your printing needs.
Laser printers are sturdy and known for their low-cost printing. However, they don’t utilize ink in liquid form thus they aren’t suitable for producing photos. However, $500 is a handsome budget and we can get the advantage of getting the color laser printer to print photos too. But we won’t recommend it for printing photos because of the color accuracy and vibrancy.
On the other hand, you can get a color laser printer to print colorful business documents, presentations, and marketing material because laser printers can produce speedy prints compared to inkjet printers. Secondly, they are cost-effective and sturdy too which make them significant accessory when it comes to printing marketing materials.
They have the ability to handle an excellent number of pages due to supporting multiple paper drawers. So if you need a heavy-duty printer to be lasted for a half-decade with minimal repair and without sacrificing the quality then laser printers are the best buddies.
Check Best Printer Under $200.
When it comes to inkjet printers, they are best at producing high-quality detailed photos with great color accuracy because of producing documents with microscopic ink droplets. Inkjet machines can handle a range of printing tasks that are best for artwork and graphics. Although they may have higher running costs due to ink usage in producing photos.
But wait! Technology has got revolution and gone are the days when ink cartridges were used to cost more than the price of inkjet printers. The CISS ink tanks are now introduced that drastically reducing the cost per print. You can get the Epson ET and Canon mega tank GX4020 printer to reduce the costs.
With this great technology, you can easily print your artwork, creative DIY projects, flyers, brochures, and even t-shirt printing heat transfers too. The versatility of printing on various thicknesses and coated papers makes them exceptional.
After reviewing and reading all the above printers, you might have got the ideal printer for your printing needs. Every individual printer offering slightly different type of features but the basics are same. Although we’ve thoroughly discussed the laser and inkjet printings too to know your printing needs thoroughly. No matter which printer you select, it should be providing the best printing experience and ease.