The best printers for Chromebooks of 2022
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Updated Nov 19, 2022 11: 00 PM
Go out on the market and you’ll not find any dedicated printers to print for Chromebooks. In order to reach the largest possible audience, manufacturers offer models that can be used with almost any computer and smartphone. Google recently removed its Cloud Print feature, which Chrome OS had previously relied on. This has made Chromebooks’ printing easier and more efficient. There are key features and capabilities that you should pay attention to, regardless of whether you’re printing from a Chromebook, another computer, or mobile device. It can be difficult to choose the right device due to the large number of features and the variety of models available. This is why we have created this list of the top Chromebook printers.
- Best overall: HP LaserJet MFP M234dwe
- Best color laser: HP LaserJet Pro M255dw
- Best budget laser: Brother HL-L2370DW
- Best inkjet: Epson EcoTank ET-2800
- Best photo printer: Canon Pixma TR8620a
- Best portable printer: Canon Pixma TR150
How we chose the best printers for Chromebooks
As a longtime freelance writer who has covered technology for publications like Reviewed, Popular Mechanics, Engadget, and, of course, Popular Science, I’ve spent a lot of time using printers and staying up-to-date on the latest offerings. To help me choose the best Chromebooks, I used my experience with various printer manufacturers and reviews from trusted sources.
The best printers for Chromebooks: Reviews & Recommendations
Printers come in a range of price points, from affordable consumer models to high-end professional-grade machines. We chose to avoid the most frustrating and expensive models. We also left the more expensive options for another guide. They would be too costly for most Chromebook users.
Best overall: HP LaserJet MFP M234dwe
Why it made the cut: The vast majority of printing jobs only require black-and-white text and this printer excels in that arena.
- Printer type: Laser
- Pages per minute: 30
- Features: Scanner, two-sided printing, Bluetooth, Wi-Fi, Ethernet
- Size: 14. 49″ W x 11. 76″ D x 9. 52″ H
- Affordable upfront and toner costs
- Compact for an all-in-one laser printer
- Six months of toner included with purchase
- HP system requires HP account and internet connection
For most people, a black-and-white all-in-one laser printer is the most sensible option, and HP’s LaserJet MFP M234dwe hits all the right marks for everyday home or office use. The printer is very affordable and HP’s Instant Ink subscription makes it affordable to use the printer over the long-term. If you don’t print a lot, you can choose to only purchase toner when it is needed. It outdoes many similarly priced laser printers with a fast 30 pages-per-minute print speed (or 19 pages double-sided). To set up the printer and continue operating it, you will need an HP account. This is becoming more common. This won’t be an issue for most people, but it can be a problem in certain cases. Before you make a purchase, ensure that you understand what is required.
Best laser: HP LaserJet Pro M255dw
Why it made the cut: Color printing quickly bumps up the cost of a laser printer, but the HP LaserJet Pro M255dw is still fairly affordable and produces great results.
- Printer type: Laser
- Pages per minute: 22 (color/black and white)
- Features: Two-sided printing, touchscreen display, Wi-Fi, Ethernet
- Size: 15.4″ W x 16.5″ D x 9.7″ H
- Affordable for a color laser printer
- Decent print speeds
- Color touchscreen display
- Not an all-in-one
The black-and-white HP LaserJet MFP M234dwe’s affordability made it our best overall pick, but some people require color. If that’s the case, you can step up to another of HP’s LaserJet offerings: the LaserJet Pro M255dw. This printer comes with a higher upfront price and more expensive consumables, but it will still provide fast color printing whenever you need it.
While it is not a complete device (that would add more cost to a color laser), it can be used in conjunction with HP Smart mobile app to scan documents and photos. Printing is also a bit slower than our best overall pick, but still a more than adequate 22 pages per minute in either black-and-white or color. This is much faster than an inkjet.
Best budget: Brother HL-L2370DW
Why it made the cut: While there’s little in the way of extras, the Brother HL-L2370DW’s fast print speed and high-yield toner cartridges make it ideal for anyone printing lengthy documents.
- Printer type: Laser
- Pages per minute: 36
- Features: Two-sided printing, Wi-Fi, Ethernet
- Size: 14″ W x 14.2″ D x 7.2″ H
- Fast print speeds
- Large capacity paper tray
- Only includes a starter toner cartridge in the package
- Just the basics for features
Brother’s black-and-white laser printers have long been one of the best options for a basic, no-nonsense printer and the company’s HL-L2370DW firmly fits in that mold. It’s affordable, compact for a laser printer, and has a large, 250-page tray so you don’t have to constantly refill it with paper. It will quickly churn out long documents with a fast print speed of 36 pages per minute, which can really save a lot of time if you frequently run big jobs. It also supports a high-yield toner cartridge that will knock the cost per page down considerably, but one, unfortunately, isn’t included with the printer–instead, you get a “starter” cartridge that yields around 700 pages. It’s wireless, as with most printers on the market today, but it has very few extra features. There are fewer functions and features that can cause problems and ruin your experience.
Best inkjet: Epson EcoTank ET-2800
Why it made the cut: Inkjets haven’t traditionally been considered an affordable option over the long run, but the Epson EcoTank ET-2800 isn’t a traditional inkjet and makes for a solid all-around choice for home use.
- Printer type: Inkjet (refillable)
- Pages per minute: 10 (black and white), 5 (color)
- Features: Scanner, Wi-Fi, color display
- Size: 14.8” W x 22.8” D x 10.0” H
- A refillable ink system cuts operating cost significantly
- Two years of ink included with printer
- Solid print quality in black and white or color
- Tiny built-in display
- Slow printing speed
Inkjet Printers are known for their low upfront costs that can be quickly offset by the need to purchase expensive ink cartridges. But that is not always the case. The Epson EcoTank ET-2800 printer itself does cost more than many inkjet printers, but you’ll save money, in the long run, thanks to the refillable EcoTank ink system that Epson says provides about two years of use with each refill under typical conditions. This printer saves money and also reduces the amount of waste associated with disposable ink cartridges. It is on the slow side at 10 pages per minute in black and white or just 5 ppm in color, but you can expect solid print quality in black and white or color, and all of the versatility you’d expect from an all-in-one machine.
If you need to print full-color photos this will work better than a color laser printer. However, it is worth comparing the cost of ordering photo prints from a service to printing them at home. You might be surprised at the similarity in costs.
Best photo printer: Canon Pixma TR8620a
Why it made the cut: Canon’s Pixma TR8620a will cost you more in the long run than some other options, but it will deliver great photos and offers plenty of versatility for the rest of your printing and scanning needs.
- Printer type: Inkjet
- Pages per minute: 15 (black and white), 10 (color)
- Features: Scanner, two-sided printing, touchscreen display, SD card slot, Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, Ethernet, fax
- Size: 17.3″ W x 14.4″ D x 7.5″ H
- Great photo printing quality with deep blacks
- SD card slot
- 4.3-inch touchscreen
- Full range of connectivity options
- Cost of ink cartridges will add up
- Not the fastest print speed
There are specialty printers designed primarily with photos in mind, but Canon’s Pixma TR8620a will give you great color prints while also doubling as a solid all-around printer for general home use. It is a traditional cartridge-based inkjet printer, which means you can expect to pay quite a bit more per page or photo, something compounded by the fact that the TR8620a actually uses two black ink cartridges (one known as Pigment Black) to produce even deeper blacks than a standard inkjet. The printer offers a large touchscreen display of 4.3 inches, an SD card slot and all the connectivity options that you could want, including Bluetooth, Ethernet and faxing.
Best portable printer: Canon Pixma TR150
Why it made the cut: A truly portable printer, the Canon Pixma TR150 can be battery-powered and folds up into a size that can be stuffed in a backpack, without compromising print quality.
- Printer type: Inkjet
- Pages per minute: 9 (black and white), 5.5 (color)
- Features: Wi-Fi, Mono OLED display, optional battery pack
- Size: 12.7″ L x 12.1″ W x 9.7″ H (Closed: 12.7″ L x 7.3″ W x 2.6″ H)
- Truly portable size
- Great print quality
- Can be battery-powered
- Optional battery pack costs extra
- Slow print speeds
Portable printing is a niche product that is more expensive than standalone or all-in one printers. However, they can prove to be very useful for some. This is true regardless of whether you are actually traveling with one (an optional battery packs makes it even more portable), and if you simply have limited space and want a printer you can just tuck away and take out only when you need it.
You don’t have to sacrifice print quality in exchange for portability. However, you will need to be patient as it prints. The output rate is just 9 pages per hour in black and white, or 5.5 ppm in color.
This printer is portable but will still take up some space in a bag. When closed, it measures 12.7 inches by 7.3 inches by 2.6 inches, which will easily cram into a suitcase but isn’t exactly carry-on friendly. Although smaller printers are possible, they can often print at slower speeds and have poor image quality.
You can get years out of a printer that is reliable and durable. You’ll want to make sure the printer is compatible with Chromebooks, first and foremost, but you don’t want to overlook a printer’s basic capabilities or extra features that could prove useful even if you think you might not need them right now.
Inkjet or laser?
The first decision you will have to make is whether you want an inkjet printer or a laser. Because their strengths serve different types, these two printer technologies have coexisted over the years.
Inkjets require a lower upfront investment, but they will cost you more over time as you have to replace ink cartridges. However, there are exceptions. While laser printers, especially color ones, will cost more on the shelf than regular printers, you’ll get more use out of your toner cartridge (often for years) before you need to replace it. Depending on how much you print, this can reduce the printer’s overall cost.
But cost is not the only thing that matters. Even the most expensive laser printers will print sharper text than inkjets and produce pages at a faster speed. Inkjets have the advantage when it comes to printing color, especially if you need to print high-quality photos that can be framed. Inkjet printers can be smaller than any laser printer, if space is a priority or portability is important.
The good news is that these differences are not common in technology purchases and make it easy to choose the right printer for you. A black and white laser printer is best for printing long documents, forms, and letters. It will also save you money in long-term costs. An inkjet printer will allow you to print high-quality photos or other color documents. It will also be more flexible and more than adequate for text printing.
Standalone printer vs. all-in-one
If you are going to devote a lot of desk space to a printer, it is often more sensible to get an all-in one device that can handle scanning, copying and even faxing. Although they are heavier than standalone printers, all-in-one printers often don’t come at a higher price. They are almost always cheaper than buying multiple single-use devices. Even if you only scan a few documents or photos, all-in-ones are very useful. It’s definitely more convenient than having to add a separate scanner down the line.
Keep other printing options in mind
While a black-and-white laser printer might seem restrictive, don’t forget all the other printing options available. If you only print a few dozen photos per year, or even a few hundred, you might be better off using online or in-store printing services. For everything else, a simple black-and-white laser printer is a better choice. Printing services are often very affordable and can produce better results than even the most expensive consumer-grade inkjet printers. You’ll also be able get larger prints than you would at home.
What happened to Google Cloud Print?
Until recently, Google Cloud Print support was the most important feature for Chromebooks that needed a printer. It was similar to Apple’s AirPrint. It was a wireless technology that allowed you to print from any compatible device via Wi-Fi. You don’t have to install drivers or configure the printer beforehand. After a decade of use, however, Google decided to discontinue Cloud Print at the end of 2020.
This has made things a little more complicated for Chromebook users but not a whole more difficult. Cloud Print is no longer available. You can print directly to your printer via Wi-Fi or by simply plugging in the printer via USB. You can use most of the same printer features as you would on a Mac or a PC, but there may still be some exceptions. These features can vary depending on the printer, but Bluetooth printing is a key feature that Chromebooks do not support. While you would most likely use a WiFi connection to print from your home printer, Bluetooth is still a useful feature that you should look for if you plan to print from other mobile devices.
Q: How much do printers for Chromebooks cost?
You’re basically looking at most of the consumer and even professional printer market, so options run the gamut from $70 consumer models to giant business machines that cost thousands of dollars.
Q: Do you need a special printer for Chromebook?
The vast majority of new printers will work with a Chromebook, but there are some–and many old printers–that won’t work. The printer may work in some cases, but you might not be able to access certain settings or features. If a printer is not compatible, check with the manufacturer. Google also has printer troubleshooting available online.
Q: What app do I need to print from my Chromebook?
You don’t need a special app to print from a Chromebook. You just need to follow Google’s (or the printer manufacturer’s) instructions for setting up a printer with a Chromebook and you’ll then be able to print from within your browser or any app on your Chromebook like you would on any other computer, either by pressing Ctrl P or by selecting Print from the menu.
Q: Can printers do duplex or two-sided printing with Chromebooks?
In most cases, if the printer supports duplex or two-sided printing, you will be able to use that feature with a Chromebook without any trouble. Before you buy a printer, it is a good idea to check the manufacturer’s website.
Final thoughts on the best printers for Chromebooks
Chances exist that you bought a Chromebook for its affordability and ease-of-use. These are two important factors to consider when choosing a printer. Although printers can be expensive or complicated, a good one like the ones featured in this guide can last you many years. It will also help you avoid any unpleasant surprises or costly mistakes.