Top Product: Brother HL-L2350DW
Looking to reorganize your space? Me too. We’re six months into a pandemic, causing me to prioritize things differently than I used to. Now, work seems to have moved home with me, and of course, I need a printer. But, I hate giving up the little space I have for something I won’t be using very often. And so, it’s time to start shopping for the best compact printer around. The HP Tango printer was perfect. And if you get the more recent HP Tango X, it ships with a convenient cover, making it less of an eyesore than some competing options and an extension of my home office. HP sent me one for review, and here you’ll learn more about it, and other bite-size printers that might suit your needs.
Best for When You’re in a Jam: Brother HL-L2350DW
“I’ve been burned by cheap inkjet printers a million times,” Brian Kelleher, Director of Content at Killer Guitar Rigs told me in an interview. “A friend suggested I get a laser printer and after weighing up what I actually needed—something small [that] never [prints] in color, [and] must include [a] scanner—I picked up the Brother Compact Monochrome Laser Printer.”
“It’s the best printer I’ve ever owned,” Kelleher enthusiastically shares. “I’ve had it for a year now and just swapped out the toner cartridge for the first time. It’s never once jammed, it’s never run out of ink, and the toner cartridge was cheaper than ink.”
Like many parents, Kelleher has a little one running around that he has to entertain, and this printer has been a lifesaver for him. “I’ve printed thousands of worksheets for my kids without having to explain to a 3-year-old what a paper jam is—and I haven’t had to go out and get new ink because it never runs out.”
Best for Portability: Workforce WF-110
Mark Condon is the CEO and Founder of Shotkit. As the CEO of a photography company, he both needs a high-quality printer and a mobile one. “I would suggest the Epson WorkForce,” Candon tell me via email.
Extremely lightweight, the Epson WorkForce WF-110 easily one of the lightest mobile printers out there. Candon goes on to tell me, “It comes with a nice built-in battery that allows users to print up to 100 pages on a single charge, which is quite good for a printer of its quality and size. It also generates some good-looking printouts for a portable printer and incorporates tons of connectivity options to guarantee users stay truly mobile when using it.”
Of course, slow printing is definitely a downside, but for Candon, this printer is really an “all-around winner,” he tells me. “It is easy to maintain and ink prices won’t cost very much, which is great for long-term use and cost-efficiency.”
Best Smartphone Compatibility: HP Tango X
When I set out looking for a compact printer, the Tango was not on my list. The HP printer I thought I wanted was discontinued, so HP sent me the Tango X printer instead. It turned out to be exactly what I needed.
I’m not someone who needs to print often. In fact, I mostly needed a printer for shipping labels, since my local UPS store charges an obscene $3 per label. So, at most, the printer is used weekly, and only briefly. Oftentimes, I’m looking to print something from my phone, not my computer. I love that the HP Tango allows me to easily email my printer, and have everything printed wirelessly. I can even voice activate the printer! Truly a smart home office device.
I wanted a printer that wouldn’t take over the little space I had on my desk. The HP Tango X worked perfectly for this; it fits on the corner of my desk, but unlike the traditional printer, it folds completely flat, serving as the platform for a vase of flowers when I’m not using it.
Best for NYC (and NYC-Sized) Apartments: Canon Pixma TR150
My editor, Gabe Carey, Head of Content and Strategy here at The Inventory, is a tech reviewer through and through. Living in Manhattan, he doesn’t have much much space for an unwieldy all-in-one inkjet printer. “Working from home, however, printing our own shipping labels is now a necessity for both of us to send and receive packages,” he tells me.
The Canon Pixma TR150 is the small printer he uses to get the job done. Measuring just 12.7 x 7.3 x 2.6” he claims it is “handily the best compact printer for our limited space and budget.”
While some people may see the limited 50-page limit a downside, not him. In fact, “anything above that is excessive.” Being a tech reviewer, Carey raves about the cord-free nature of the printer and easy setup. “An optional battery pack keeps it cord-free while a 1.44” OLED display guides you through an easy setup.”
Ultimately, this is the perfect all-around printer. “Not only is it small and lightweight but the Pixma TR150 is accessible enough I can recommend it to anyone,” Carey tells me.
Maybe you do have room for a printer after all.