The 9 Best Color Laser Printers of 2021
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A color laser printer can be valuable for any business that deals with printing their own advertisements or focuses on graphic design and the arts. With more affordable (and quality) options on the market, businesses and home offices today can print their own brochures, flyers, and ads without using more expensive and inconvenient printing services. We've gathered up our top picks from brands like HP, Brother, and Canon and looked at features like automatic duplex printing and printing speeds to help you choose the right color laser printer for your business.
Best Overall: HP LaserJet Pro M281fdw
One of the best office color laser printers out there, the HP LaserJet Pro M281fdw features automatic double-sided printing and can copy, scan, and fax documents. It has a 50-sheet capacity auto feeder tray, a 250-sheet capacity paper tray, and a 100-sheet capacity output tray. The 2.7-inch color touchscreen allows you to quickly and easily adjust settings, choose a function, or print directly from cloud services like iCloud or Google Drive.
The front of the printer also has a USB port for printing directly from flash drives or other external memory. Additionally, you can print directly from iOS or Android-based mobile devices with Wi-Fi connectivity. This all-in-one laser printer can produce up to 22 pages per minute in both black-and-white and color, with the first page out in as little as 10.3 seconds.
Read Next: The Best Office Printers
Best Splurge: Brother MFC-L8900CDW
Invest in a high-quality, all-in-one color laser printer for the office, like the Brother MFC-L8900CDW. This model can copy, print, scan, and fax images and documents in both color and black-and-white. It can print up to 33 pages per minute and scan up to 58 images per minute with double-sided scanning. It also features automatic double-sided printing to help reduce paper and toner use. The color touchscreen lets you set up to 64 custom shortcuts for user-profiles and printer settings.
With its Wi-Fi, Ethernet, and USB connections, you can print from cloud services, iOS, and Android mobile devices, as well as Windows-, Mac-, and Linux-based computers. The 250-sheet general purpose tray holds letter and legal sized paper, while the 50-sheet tray holds specialized sizes like envelopes and postcards. The glass scanner bed is sized for legal paper and has a 70-page auto feeder. This color laser printer has a suite of security software that includes threat alerts and the option to set up NFC card reading to restrict access to authorized employees only.
Best Compact: Canon imageCLASS LBP622Cdw
If space is tight at your office, opt for the Canon imageCLASS LBP622Cdw. This compact, color laser printer measures just 17.2 x 16.8 x 11.5 inches, making it easy to place on a desk or tabletop—or to tuck away when not in use. With wireless and Wi-Fi connectivity, this printer can print directly from iOS or Android mobile devices as well as cloud services.
Out of the box, this color laser printer features automatic double-sided printing and can print multiple pages on a single sheet of paper, saving on printing costs and paper use. It has a 250-sheet capacity holding tray for letter-sized paper and can print up to 22 pages per minute in color or black-and-white. The first page of your print job is made in as little as 10.3 seconds. In addition to built-in security settings, this printer has an administrative log-in that can help protect it from unauthorized access.
Read Next: The Best Portable Printers
Best for Photos: Lexmark MC3224adwe
The Lexmark MC3224adwe all-in-one color laser printer is an excellent option for offices and businesses that deal with graphic design and photos. This printer can scan and print color images in 600 dpi (dots per inch) to preserve resolution and color quality. It can also print on multiple paper types, including glossy, plain, cardstock, labels, and postcard. The color toner cartridges are separated into cyan, yellow, magenta, and black so you'd only replace the colors you need.
With a 250-sheet capacity input tray and a single-sheet manual feed slot for specialized projects, this printer can produce up to 24 pages per minute with the first page out in as little as 11 seconds. Lexmark includes a suite of security software to prevent unauthorized access to the unit and to protect your information and work. You can also connect Windows-, Mac-, and Linux-based computers as well as iOS and Android mobile devices.
Best Wireless: Brother HL-L3210CW
A wireless printer is a smart choice for any business, like the Brother HL-L3210CW. This color laser printer has built-in Wi-Fi for easy integration into your office network and can print from laptops, desktops, tablets, and smartphones. It's compatible with Mac and Windows computers as well as iOS and Android mobile devices, so you won't have any compatibility issues.
The printer has a USB port for printing directly from flash drives or other external memory storage devices. The single-line LCD display shows your selected settings and the status of the printer for convenience. With a 250-sheet capacity for both letter and legal sized paper, the printer’s manual feed slot can accommodate more sizes like envelopes and pamphlets, as well as heavier weight paper like cardstock. You can also use the manual feed slot for double-sided printing when you need to save paper and toner. The printer can produce up to 19 pages per minute.
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Best for Speed: Canon imageCLASS MF644Cdw
Get through your workload as quickly as possible with the Canon Color imageCLASS MF644Cdw. This all-in-one printer can produce up to 22 pages per minute while printing and copying the first page out in 10.3 seconds and up to 51 images per minute when scanning double-sided documents. You can scan double-sided images and documents with a single pass, streamlining your work. The printer has a 13-second warm-up time from when it’s powered off and a 6.1 second warm-up from sleep mode.
Set up a mobile Wi-Fi hotspot with the printer and print directly from iOS and Android-based smartphones, tablets, and cloud services. It also has automatic double-sided printing and can print multiple pages on a single sheet of paper, keeping paper and toner use in check. The 250-sheet capacity loading tray can handle legal, letter, and envelope sized paper. There is also a single-sheet manual feeder for specialized print jobs.
Best Value: Brother HL-L3230CDW
Get the most features for the price with the Brother HL-L3230CDW. In addition to automatic double-sided printing and a toner saving mode, this color laser printer can use both standard and high-yield toner cartridges to help keep printing costs down. It has a 250-sheet capacity loading tray that can hold both letter and legal sized paper, as well as a manual feed slot for envelopes and card stock.
The backlit LCD display shows the printer's status and its selected settings. This printer can produce up to 25 pages per minute in both color and black-and-white. It's compatible with Windows and Mac computers, as well as both iOS and Android mobile devices. Thanks to its Wi-Fi connectivity, you can print directly from your smartphone or from cloud services like Google Drive or iCloud.
Best All-In-One: HP LaserJet Pro M428fdw
Today's offices have many different needs for document organization: printing, scanning, copying, and even faxing. The HP LaserJet Pro M428fdw is the perfect all-in-one option for any business. This color laser printer features automatic double-sided printing and single-pass duplex scanning, so you can tackle larger workloads and documents faster while reducing paper use. The 50-sheet auto feeder, 350-sheet input tray, and 150-sheet output tray ensure that even the largest document stacks can be handled quickly and easily. You can use legal and letter-sized paper as well as envelopes and heavier paper like cardstock.
With the auto on/off cycle, the printer turns itself on when you hit "print." You can also automate steps for complicated workloads to help streamline your needs. Thanks to the printer’s embedded security programming, such as automatic threat alerts and PIN number access, you never have to worry about unauthorized persons using your printer or compromised information. This color laser printer can produce up to 40 pages per minute in black-and-white, so employees can spend less time waiting for documents to print.
Read Next: The Best All-in-One Laser Printers
Best Single-Function: HP Color LaserJet Pro M454dw
A reliable, single-function color laser printer, the HP Color LaserJet Pro M454dw has a 300-sheet capacity loading tray that can be expanded to 550 sheets with the optional available tray. It produces up to 28 pages per minute and has a 150-sheet output tray for larger print jobs. It can print on glossy or plain paper, envelopes, and cardstock and features automatic double-sided printing to help save paper and printing costs.
Thanks to its Wi-Fi and USB connectivity, you can print from your iOS and Android mobile devices and Windows, Mac, and Linux laptops and desktops. You can also print directly from cloud services and USB flash drives. The 2.7-inch touchscreen gives you easy access to settings and print jobs as well as embedded security like PIN-number access and threat notifications.
Read Next: The Best HP Printers
Meet the Expert
Taylor Clemons has been reviewing and writing about consumer electronics for over three years. She has also worked in e-commerce product management and marketing for both home and business products.