The 9 Best Monochrome Printers of 2020
An affordable, simple way to print
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A monochrome printer is suitable for offices that don't deal with as many graphic design or creative projects. These printers also help save costs by eliminating pricey color ink and toner. Like most other printers, there are excellent single-function and all-in-one models to choose from. Some models offer wireless connectivity, while others require a hardwired USB connection and are ideal for offices with only one or two computers in use. Monochrome laser printers often feature automatic duplex printing, so that in a single pass, the page gets printed on both sides to save on paper. Many of the monochrome printers available are also compatible with Windows, Mac, and Linux based operating systems and networks. With that, we've gathered our top picks to help you find a monochrome printer for your needs.
Best Overall: Brother HL-L6200DW
Fast and reliable, the Brother HL-L6200DW laser printer can produce up to 48 pages per minute. It also has automatic duplex printing to help save paper and time. With a 520-sheet capacity input tray for large print jobs and a 50-sheet multipurpose tray for handling special sizes, the printer's input capacity can even hold 1,610 sheets with available expansion trays.
This printer features triple-layer security measures to help protect sensitive customer and company information from unauthorized access. With USB, Wi-Fi, and Gigabit Ethernet connections, you can print directly from smartphones, tablets, and computers without a hardwired connection. The LCD screen also features intuitive controls for accessing menus and print options. Plus, the printer is compatible with Windows, Mac, and Linux systems.
Read Next: The Best Office Printers
Best for Speed: Canon imageCLASS D1620
The Canon imageCLASS D1620 is built for offices that need to quickly print, scan, or copy large projects. This printer can produce up to 45 pages per minute and can scan up to 70 images per minute with automatic single-pass duplex scanning. While in print mode, this model produces the first page in as little as 6.2 seconds. It comes with a 550-sheet capacity input tray and a 100-sheet multipurpose tray for legal-sized paper and envelopes. You can even expand the input capacity to 2,300 sheets.
The 5-inch LCD touchscreen lets you access settings, menus, and network locations for scanning and converting documents to PDF files. With Wi-Fi Direct connectivity, you can print from your smartphone or tablet without an internet network. You can also print from cloud storage services like Google Cloud or iCloud. Note that this printer is compatible with both Windows- and Mac-based systems.
Best Ink Tank: Epson EcoTank ET-M2170
An alternative to traditional inkjet or laser printer models, ink tank printers use holding tanks for liquid ink and pump it into the print head. One of the best options for these printers is the Epson ET-M2170: it comes packaged with a bottle of black ink that can produce thousands of pages before you need to refill the tank. It can print up to 20 pages per minute and can scan or copy up to 17 images per minute. The input tray also has a 250-sheet capacity and can fit both letter and legal sized paper.
The printer's 1.44-inch color LCD screen gives you access to menus and settings as well as network locations for scanning documents into folders and cloud storage. With USB, wireless, and ethernet connections, you can print from computers, smartphones, or tablets. It's also compatible with Windows- and Mac-based systems as well as Android and iOS mobile devices. Better yet, the printer is Energy Star rated for energy efficiency.
Best All-in-One: Brother MFC-L2710DW
If you're in the market for an all-in-one monochrome printer, the Brother MFC-L2710DW is the best option. It can print, scan, copy, and fax documents and pictures at up to 32 pages or images per minute. The scanner function uses both a flatbed for individual pages or a 50-sheet auto feeder for larger documents. With automatic duplex printing, this model prints on both sides of a sheet in a single pass. You can also use the toner save mode to cut on toner costs.
The 250-sheet input tray can handle letter and legal sized paper, and the single-sheet manual feeder is perfect for smaller jobs like business cards or envelopes. With wireless connectivity, you can print from your smartphone, tablet, or cloud storage service without a USB cable. In addition to a 2-line LCD screen, there's a settings lock to help prevent unwanted access to printer settings. This printer is also compatible with Windows-, Mac-, and Linux-based systems as well as Android and iOS mobile devices.
Read Next: The Best All-in-One Laser Printers
Best Compact: HP Laserjet Pro M118dw
The HP Laserjet Pro M118dw is ideal for those with limited office space. This printer measures just 14.6 x 8.8 x 16 inches, making it small enough to share desk space with other equipment. With an automatic on/off cycle, it saves power by turning off when not in use. It features automatic duplex printing to cut down on paper and time. The 250-sheet capacity input tray can accommodate both letter and legal sized paper, and the 150-sheet output tray can hold larger document packets.
This printer can create up to 30 pages per minute, allowing you to handle larger print jobs like expense reports or presentation materials. It also has built-in Wi-Fi connectivity so you can print from smartphones, tablets, and cloud storage services. Even more, the HP Smart app lets you scan documents with your phone and monitor toner levels. The printer is also voice-enabled for hands-free controls and is compatible with Alexa, Google Assistant, and Microsoft Cortana.
Read Next: The Best Portable Printers
Best High Volume: Lexmark MS810n
For big print jobs, the Lexmark MS810n can handle just about anything you throw at it. Case in point: it can print up to 55 pages per minute, with the first page out in as little as 4.8 seconds. The 550-sheet input tray can be expanded to a maximum of 4,400 sheets so you won't have to worry about refilling the printer. The output tray can hold up to 550 sheets, too.
The 2.4-inch display gives you quick access to settings like automated stapling and hole punching for organizing information packets and presentation materials. The front of the printer has a USB port for printing directly from external memory storage devices like flash drives. Available high-yield toner cartridges let you print up to 25,000 pages before needing replacement. This printer is compatible with Windows-, Mac-, and Linux-based systems and networks.
Best Budget: Brother HL-L2300D
The Brother HL-L2300D is an excellent, budget-friendly option. This printer can produce up to 27 pages per minute and features automatic duplex printing to save on printing costs. The input tray has a 250-sheet capacity, making it great for small- to medium-sized printing jobs. It is also compatible with both letter and legal sized paper for creating custom-sized documents.
For even more cost-efficient printing, the toner save mode reduces the use of toner. A manual feed slot lets you print single pages or odd-sized paper like business cards or envelopes. The printer is also compatible with Windows-based systems and connects to your computer via high-speed USB for a fast, reliable connection.
Read Next: The Best Cheap Printers
Best Splurge: Xerox VersaLink B405/DN
A higher-quality multifunction printer, the Xerox VersaLink B405/DN can scan, copy, fax, and print documents in 1,200 dpi for crisp, clean text and images. It can print up to 47 pages per minute with the first page out in as little as 8 seconds. The input tray has a 550-sheet capacity and there is a secondary, 150-sheet input tray for oddly sized documents. You can also expand the input tray capacity to 2,350 sheets to handle larger projects. When scanning, you can send images to a USB-connected memory storage device, email, or a network location.
You can also convert scanned images into searchable and editable PDF documents. With USB, NFC, and Wi-Fi connectivity, you can print from your electronic devices with or without a wired connection. The 5-inch color touchscreen gives you access to functions, settings, and user profiles. For safety, built-in security features help prevent unauthorized use of the printer. Plus, it's compatible with Windows-, Mac-, and Linux-based systems.
Best Value: Brother HL-L2390DW
The Brother HL-L2390DW ensures you'll get the most features for the money. This multi-function printer can produce up to 32 pages per minute, so you can finish larger print jobs faster. The 250-sheet input tray can accommodate both letter and legal sized paper, while the manual feed slot is perfect for cardstock and envelopes. The top of the printer also features a flatbed for scanning and copying documents.
With automatic duplex printing, you'll get double-sided sheets in a single pass. A toner saving mode reduces the amount of toner used in copying and printing, cutting costs. With built-in Wi-Fi, you can print from cloud storage services or mobile devices. You can also connect this printer to your Windows-, Mac-, or Linux-based computer via USB cable. Better yet, the 2-line LCD screen lets you view the status of the printer and setting options.
Meet the Expert
Taylor Clemons has over three years of experience writing about games and consumer technology. She has written for IndieHangover, GameSkinny, TechRadar, and her own publication, Steam Shovelers.