The 8 Best Color Laser Printers of 2020
Add a quality color printing option to your small business
Whether you’re looking for a printer for use in your home or thinking of buying one for your office space, there seems to be an endless number of options to choose from. The right printer for your needs often depends on what you're going to print, how often you're printing and what your budget is. If you're planning to print high-volume documents on a budget, a laser printer is going to be your best bet. These printers are more cost-effective in the long term and are suited to high printing volumes likely to be seen in office settings.
Laser printers, especially ones that can print in color, have become much more affordable in recent years. You no longer need to shell out your entire savings to buy a quality unit. With compact models becoming increasingly popular, more and more home professionals and small businesses are able to have at least one laser printer at their disposal.
Best Overall: Brother HL-L8360CDW
The Brother HL-L8360CDW is a great, well-rounded color laser printer for both home offices and small businesses. It prints up to 33 pages per minute and comes with two loading trays; a 250-sheet capacity tray for letter and legal size paper and a 50-sheet tray for envelopes and other alternative media printing. Additional trays are available to bring your printer’s loading capacity up to 1,300 pages. This printer comes packed with a 3,000 page black toner cartridge and an 1,800 page color cartridge. Replacement cartridges are available which offer up to 6,500 page printing volume per month.
The 2.7-inch color touch screen makes it easy to navigate the printer’s functions and print directly from cloud services like Dropbox or Google Drive. This printer has several security features to protect your work and sensitive information. It offers a secure PIN option so that only authorized users can access the printer and an administration secure function lock to monitor and manage multiple users. Brother offers a one-year limited warranty that includes free phone, online and live chat support.
Best High Volume: Brother MFC-L8900CDW
If you need a high-volume color laser printer to handle large print and copy jobs on a regular basis, check out the Brother MFC-L8900CDW. This printer is able to produce up to 33 pages per minute and scan up to 58 images per minute. It features a 70-page automatic document feeder to tackle large documents for scanning, copying or faxing. It even allows you to scan and print documents from mobile devices, email, and USB storage devices via WiFi or wired Ethernet connection. This unit offers double-sided printing and scanning to make the most of your working hours and keep printing costs within budget.
The five-inch color touchscreen allows you to create up to 64 custom shortcuts for easy printing from frequently used cloud storage services or business applications. This printer comes with a 250-sheet loading tray for standard paper sizes and a 50-sheet tray for alternative media sizes. Additional trays can bring this printer’s capacity up to 1,300 pages and it has a maximum monthly cycle of up to 60,000 pages with a recommended volume of 4,000. This robust functionality ensures that your home office, school or small business can handle all but the largest of printing jobs.
Best All-in-One: Canon Color imageCLASS MF733Cdw
The Canon Color imageCLASS MF733Cdw is an all-in-one color laser printer that can handle just about any job. It offers automatic double-sided output in all modes, enabling you to save time, money and resources. It features both wireless and WiFi direct connectivity so you can print from laptops as well as mobile devices with or without an internet router. This printer can produce up to 28 pages per minute and has a 150-page capacity output tray for handling large, multi-page documents.
It has a short-term memory storage option to hold up to 512 pages of images and documents for delayed printing; this cache is cleared regularly to prevent the theft of confidential information and work. This printer uses Canon’s V2 Color Technology to produce bold colors in images and crisp black-and-white documents. It has a 300-sheet loading tray capacity, with an additional 550-sheet tray available for more volume. It features a 4,000 page monthly volume, and replacement toner cartridges can produce up to 6,300 pages per month.
Best Single Function: Canon Color imageCLASS LBP622Cdw
Sometimes, all you need is a printer that excels at a singular task. The Canon Color imageCLASS LBP622Cdw is a single-function color laser printer that delivers quality images and documents time and again. It offers standard double-sided printing to help save on both toner and paper, keeping printing costs to a minimum. It can produce up to 22 pages per minute and has a monthly volume of 2,500 pages. The loading tray has a 250-sheet capacity so you don’t have to worry about constantly refilling your printer.
This printer is compatible with both Windows and Apple devices and supports up to five different user profiles for custom printing. It can also be used to create a WiFi Direct hotspot so you can print from mobile devices without an internet router. This laser printer features short term memory cache that is automatically cleared on a regular basis to protect sensitive information from being stolen. It also has the option to set up a password-protected administrator profile to monitor users and output.
Best Small Footprint: Lexmark C2425dw
When choosing a printer for an office with limited space, sometimes size is what matters most. The Lexmark C2425dw is a great choice for any environment where space is at a premium. It measures just 16 inches wide and 20 inches deep, making it perfect for tucking away on a shelf or desktop and features a durable steel frame. It can produce up to 25 pages per minute and has a maximum monthly volume of 6,500 pages. It features WiFi, USB and Ethernet connectivity to support all of your computers and mobile devices.
It can print directly from USB storage devices and has automatic double-sided printing and integrated toner saving settings to help keep printing costs low. The 2.4-inch LCD display is easy to read and has a keypad for simple navigation of menus. Lexmark worked with PANTONE to calibrate their color toner cartridges for superior quality images. This printer is also Energy Star rated to help save on electricity and operating costs, making it a great choice for any small business running on a tight budget.
Best for Security: HP Color LaserJet Pro M454dw
The HP Color LaserJet Pro M454dw has a whole host of security features to help protect your business and sensitive information from network vulnerabilities and malicious attacks. It offers PIN secured printing to control who has access to the printer as well as instant threat notifications via the LCD display. This printer automatically detects and stops bugs and other intrusions before alerting. It automatically validates software configurations and permissions with every reboot of the unit.
This unit also has a short term memory cache that is automatically cleared regularly to prevent theft of documents and information. HP also offers an optional JedAdvantage Security Manager software package to allow an IT administrator to validate settings and set configuration policies. Along with best in class security, this printer can produce up to 28 pages per minute and has a maximum monthly volume of 50,000 pages. It even has an automatic sleep mode to help reduce operational overhead.
Best Splurge: HP LaserJet Enterprise 500
If you need a color laser printer and money is no object, the HP LaserJet Enterprise 500 might be right for you. It offers print, scan, copy and digital fax functions to handle day-to-day office projects and print jobs. It can produce up to 31 pages per minute and has a maximum monthly volume of 80,000 pages. This printer has automatic duplex printing to help save paper and tackle multi-page documents. The eight-inch touchscreen makes it super easy to navigate menus and shortcuts for intuitive use.
This printer has a 1200 maximum DPI for crisp documents and great looking color images as well as three external USB ports for printing directly from flash drives or external hard drives without the need for a computer. It also allows you to preview and edit images before scanning or copying. There is a feature that automatically removes blank pages from scanned documents before printing to save both toner and paper as well as an automatic sleep feature to help save energy.
Best under $250: HP LaserJet Pro M254dw
Laser printing has consistently been one of the most expensive options for home offices and small businesses. But the HP LaserJet Pro M245dw puts laser printing in a far more accessible price bracket for office professionals and telecommuters alike. It can produce up to 22 pages per minute with the first page produced in as little as 10.2 seconds and has a maximum monthly volume of 40,000 pages. This unit features fastest in-class automatic double-sided printing to save time and lower print costs.
The 2.7-inch color touch screen makes it easy to navigate icons and menus, as well as offering support for up to 10 different user profiles. This printer is compatible with Amazon Alexa, Google Assistant and Microsoft Cortana for voice-controlled printing to help enhance your productivity. The unit uses HP’s JetIntelligence capabilities to monitor toner cartridge levels and output for consistent image and document quality. An included one-year limited warranty helps insure your modest investment against the unexpected.