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Print like a Pro with these color laser printers


When it comes to color laser printers, there are a lot of options on the market with varying features, specs and price points. Deciding which color laser printer is right for your needs depends largely on what you will be using it for. From printing high-quality graphics and photos to everyday documents, a good color laser printer should meet your needs.

What to Consider When Buying a Color Laser Printer

When deciding which color laser printer to purchase, there are a few key factors to keep in mind based on your intended use and needs:

Print Speed – The print speed measures how many pages a printer can produce per minute (ppm). For frequent high-volume printing, a model with 20+ ppm is recommended. But speeds from 15-20 ppm are adequate for everyday office use.

Print Resolution – Print resolution is measured in dots per inch (dpi). For razor-sharp text and richer depth and dimension in graphics, opt for one with 600 x 600 or 1200 x 1200 dpi capabilities. Standard color laser printers offer resolutions of 600 dpi.

Duplex Printing – Automatic duplex printing allows you to easily print on both sides of the page and helps save on paper costs. It’s a worthwhile feature for frequent two-sided print jobs.

Paper Handling Capacity – The paper tray capacity impacts how much you can print at one time before having to refill the paper tray. A 250+ sheet capacity is efficient for high-volume jobs while 125-150 sheets may suffice for lighter needs.

Connectivity & Cloud Support – Important to consider for tech flexibility and versatility. Most include USB, Ethernet, Wi-Fi, Bluetooth mobile printing support and integration with cloud/mobile apps and platforms like Google Drive, Dropbox and AirPrint. See our Best Bluetooth Printers.

Security Features – Crucial for protecting sensitive documents. Encrypted printing via PINs or passwords and control-panel lock options ensure only authorized access and reduce document vulnerability.

Operating Costs – The cost of supplies (toner, imaging drums, etc.) and energy efficiency significantly impact the long-term cost. When calculating total operating expenses – both upfront and ongoing – it’s wise not to choose based on the printer’s purchase price alone.

The Best 5 Color Laser Printers

1. HP Color LaserJet Pro MFP M283fdw – Our Pick!

Best all rounder for home and office use

The HP Color LaserJet Pro MFP M283fdw is a  all-in-one laser printer ideal for small office and home office environments. Its top print speed of up to 22ppm for black and white and 21ppm for color delivers documents quickly with a first page out as fast as 8 seconds for black and 10 seconds for color. Two-sided printing is automatic, helping save on paper use.

Print quality is excellent with resolutions up to 600x600dpi for black and white and 1200x1200dpi for color. An impressively high maximum monthly duty cycle of 30,000 pages shows the M283fdw can handle a busy workload.

The built-in 50-page automatic document feeder allows easy copying, scanning, and faxing of multi-page documents. Copy speeds match the fast printing speeds, with single or double sided copies at up to 22cpm black and 21cpm color. Using the flatbed scanner or ADF, scanning resolutions go up to 1200x1200dpi optical and common file formats like JPEG, PDF, PNG, TIF are supported.

Connectivity options include Hi-Speed USB 2.0, Ethernet, dual-band wireless with support for 2.4GHz and 5GHz networks. With built-in fax modem supporting speeds up to 33.6 Kbps and able to store up to 100 pages in memory, the M283fdw can handle most small business faxing needs.

With a 1.2GHz processor and 256MB RAM, the M283fdw has solid productivity power under the hood. Paper capacity starts at 150 sheets expandable to 850 sheets maximum. The 150 sheet output tray keeps print jobs neatly collated.

Overall, the HP Color LaserJet Pro M283fdw checks off all the must-have features for quality printing, copying, scanning and faxing in home and small office.

How much does the HP Color LaserJet Pro MFP M283fdw Cost?

$424.99 (as of 20th March 2024, see Amazon for the latest price)

2. Brother MFC-L8905CDW Color Laser Printer

Best Color Laser Printer for Small Business

The Brother MFC-L8905CDW delivers robust print, copy, scan and fax functionality for busy workgroups that handle high print volumes. This color laser all-in-one printer is designed for seamless integration into office environments with advanced connectivity options including built-in wireless, Ethernet, USB, and NFC tap-to-authenticate.

With print speeds up to 33 pages per minute in both black and color, the MFC-L8905CDW breezes through large print jobs. The automatic document feeder adds efficiency by enabling fast two-sided scanning and copying of multi-page documents. This unit also copies and prints two-sided files automatically with its integrated duplex printing unit.

The MFC-L8905CDW’s ability to print on a variety of paper types and sizes up to 8.5” x 14”, including letterhead, envelopes, labels, and transparencies. The 250-sheet main paper tray and 50-sheet multipurpose tray provide ample paper capacity to avoid frequent reloading.

Managing print jobs and monitoring toner is made simple with the printer’s intuitive 7-inch color touchscreen display. Buttons are well-labeled for each function including copy, scan and fax. Integrated cloud connectivity and support for printing from mobile devices provide additional flexibility for today’s highly connected work environments.

How much does the Brother MFC-L8905CDW Color Laser Printer Cost?

$699.99 (as of 20th March 2024, see Amazon for the latest price)

3. Canon imageCLASS MF465dw Color Laser Printer

Best Color Laser Printer for Photos 

This all-in-one delivers stunning photo prints with incredible quality and detail thanks to its 600 x 600 dpi maximum print resolution.

Canon includes its V2 Color technology for improved color reproduction, saturation and gradations optimized for photographic images. Reds, blues and greens pop while skin tones look natural. Grayscale transitions are smooth with no visible banding.

Supported media types range from standard copy paper to premium photo paper, allowing you to print directly onto glossy photo stock. An integrated manual feed slot makes it easy to swap in different paper types without having to unload the main tray. Print borderless photos up to 8.5 x 11 inches for frame-worthy prints.

Copy and scan resolutions also top out at 600 x 600 dpi so you can accurately reproduce photographs through scanning into image editing software or making color copies. Share scans over email or save directly to cloud services and mobile devices right from the 4.3 inch color touchscreen.

Convenient connectivity options include built-in wireless networking, Wi-Fi Direct printing from mobile devices, and mobile app support from both Apple Airprint and Mopria Print Service. You can print from computers, tablets and smartphones over the local network or internet.

Automatic duplex printing saves money by enabling two-sided output with no manual intervention. The generous 150 sheet paper capacity and 50 sheet auto document feeder boost productivity for high volume jobs. This workhorse can churn through up to 42 letter-size pages per minute in both color and black and white.

How much does the Canon imageCLASS MF465dw Color Laser Printer Cost?

$299.00 (as of 20th March 2024, see Amazon for the latest price)

4. HP LaserJet Pro M182nw Color Laser Printer

The HP LaserJet Pro M182nw is an ideal color laser printer for small offices and workgroups that need professional-quality color documents. This surprisingly affordable printer delivers vivid color prints at speeds up to 17 pages per minute in both black and color.

Using advanced HP ColorSphere toner and a 600 x 600 dpi print resolution, the LaserJet Pro M182nw produces sharp text and realistic graphics in both color and black-and-white jobs. Pages come out looking crisp, clear, and professional thanks to ImageRET 3600 technology which ensures precision toner placement. You’ll get excellent results whether printing marketing materials with photos and illustrations, internal documents, webpages, or any other office project requiring accurate color.

With automatic two-sided printing, you can conveniently save paper by printing on both sides of a sheet. The 35-sheet automatic document feeder further boosts efficiency for copying, scanning, or faxing multi-page documents. Built-in Ethernet and dual-band Wi-Fi make it easy to share this printer on a network. Or you can print directly from smartphones and laptops using the HP Smart app and Bluetooth connectivity.

Designed to handle small-office workloads, this color laser printer has a monthly duty cycle up to 30,000 pages. It’s rated to support monthly volumes between 150 to 1,500 pages. The input tray fits 150 sheets while printed pages are neatly stacked in a 100-sheet output tray. Toner saver mode helps reduce costs for everyday draft prints.

Compact in size, the M182nw color laser printer fits conveniently on a desk. It operates quietly thanks to a specially designed noise-dampening cover. With smart features like automatic on/off technology to conserve energy, it meets strict Energy Star guidelines for efficiency.

How much does the HP LaserJet Pro M182nw Color Laser Printer Cost?

$310 (as of 20th March 2024, see Amazon for the latest price)

5. Lexmark C3426dw Color Laser Printer

The Lexmark MC3224dwe brings essential color printing, copying, scanning and faxing capabilities together in one space-saving device. This reasonably-priced all-in-one fits seamlessly into home offices and small workspaces.

The MC3224dwe delivers full-size performance with print speeds reaching 24 pages per minute in rich color or crisp black and white. It takes only 11 seconds for the first color page to emerge and 12 seconds for monochrome prints. The automatic duplexer enables convenient two-sided printing to conserve paper.

With a maximum resolution of 600 x 600 dpi, text and graphics look sharp in both color and black and white. The MC3224dwe accommodates media sizes from 3 x 5-inch sheets up to 8.5 x 14-inch legal paper through its 250-sheet main tray and manual feed slot.

The Lexmark MC3224dwe has a  scan resolutions up to 600 dpi and speeds matching the MC3224dwe’s rapid print rates. Scan-to functionality sends files directly to email, networked folders or USB thumb drives. The 2.8-inch color touchscreen makes walkup copying and document management efficient.

Connecting your smartphone, tablet or computer to the MC3224dwe is straightforward thanks to built-in Ethernet, Wi-Fi networking and USB 2.0 connectivity. Lexmark’s Mobile Print app enables printing from iOS and Android devices, while native AirPrint and Mopria support provide additional mobile printing options.

How much does the Lexmark MC3224dwe Color Laser Printer Cost?

$243.99 (as of 20th March 2024, see Amazon for the latest price)

Sandeep Vadgama

Sandeep Vadgama


Editor at Fourth Source and Tech Enthusiast!