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Best Cheap Printer for Art Prints in 2024 – Top Budget Printer Picks

We take a look at some budget printers for affordable top-quality art prints!
Last Updated on March 6, 2024
Best Cheap Printer for Art Prints

Though there are plenty of top printers for art prints, the cost of them can alienate a lot of first-time buyers. As such, we thought to put together some selections for the best cheap printer for art prints, to allow beginners or those working on a tighter budget the opportunity to create stunning artworks. These printers may lower the cost, but even we were impressed by how little the quality suffered.

Today’s compiled list of the best printers for art prints spans a range of different needs: from fast production to the best color clarity, in order to satisfy budget art print enthusiasts everywhere. So if this is your first time buying a budget art printer or you’re testing out a low-cost new revenue stream for your prints, you’ll find the right printer to suit both your budget and needs!

Products at a Glance

How We Picked the Best Cheap Printer for Art Prints

Aside from the price, which is obviously a key consideration, we chose the best cheap printers for art prints based on a range of features and considerations. We prioritized print quality over print speed in most instances, as we believe it’s more valuable a feature on a printer – with a notable exception. We also looked for printers that enabled multiple connectivity options, especially wireless ones.

The ink economy of the printer also played a key role in determining the overall ranking, as a cheap printer doesn’t necessarily guarantee cheap ink – especially InkJet printers.

Our five picks today are also across a range of price points, though all are on the affordable end of the printer price spectrum.

Our Recommended

Product Reviews

1
PROS
  • Budget-friendly
  • Great for art prints
  • Affordable ink
CONS
  • Poor specialist media slot

One of the bestselling Epson printers of all time, the EcoTank ET-2800 is our top pick for high-quality, affordable art prints. Boasting all the best features that we look for in an art printer, this unit comes in as one of the most budget-friendly units on the market.

Though the recently released and more expensive ET-2850 is also a viable option, we prefer the ET-2800 as a cheaper investment. With easy setup and hassle-free wireless printing, getting started with this art printer is easy. In terms of ongoing costs, the ink for this model is also highly affordable, making for easy large volumes of printing. The Ink Tank system means that you can go for long periods without requiring refills, and can selectively replace the four-color systems as and when you need to. Print quality is great, with photos rendered in high levels of detail with stellar color vibrancy on a range of materials.

However, for art prints, one element we take issue with in the ET-2800 is the placement of the specialist media tray: at the back of the printer, it’s difficult and cumbersome to refill specialist paper or cardstock if the printer is against a wall. This is a very small gripe, though, and we still recommend the ET-2800 as the best cheap printer for art prints!

2
PROS
  • Low cost-per-print
  • Eco-friendly design
  • Varied connectivity options
CONS
  • Poorer color quality

When prioritizing quality over quantity, our exception was the HP Envy Photo 7855. Boasting an affordable price point and low ongoing costs, this HP printer is ideal for heavy duty cycles and rapid-fire printing.

With an average cost-per-print as low as 5 cents, the 7855 is an incredibly efficient budget printer. Print speeds are fast, even at top print quality levels, and you can mass-produce full-color prints at an average speed on 10 prints per minute. Recycled from older printers, the printer has both a low carbon footprint and – thanks to its compact design – a low physical footprint in your workspace. Print wirelessly via Bluetooth, WiFi Direct or even from social media via cloud printing, or use the dedicated SD slot for photos straight from the camera.

You may want to consider some editing beforehand, however, as many users find the color accuracy on the 7855 to be somewhat lacking, though this can vary depending on the device used to print from. As a cheap printer for art prints on a rapid scale, it’s hard to beat this affordable and efficient unit!

3
PROS
  • High-quality prints
  • Great color depth
CONS
  • Unreliable wireless printing

If you want to create vivid and vibrant color art prints, consider the Canon PIXMA IX6820. A budget art printer from Canon, this unit manages to keep costs low whilst also delivering great color quality and sharpness in a range of prints.

The IX6820 utilizes Canon’s proprietary Full-photolithography InkJet Nozzle Engineering (or FINE) technology, which produces precise ink droplets for great image reproduction. This results in a printer with a sterling 9600 x 2400 DPI resolution in some cases. It is an ideal printer for creating artful prints out of photos or other high-quality image-based prints.

However, we’re not alone in struggling with one crucial aspect of the IX6820 that brings the rating down: many users have struggled to connect the printer wirelessly, and are forced to rely on an Ethernet or USB connection. If you are comfortable with a wired connection to your device, then the PIXMA IX6820 is still a phenomenal and cheap art printer!

4
PROS
  • Fast printing speed
  • Produces high-resolution prints
  • Compact and lightweight design
CONS
  • Expensive and exclusive ink
  • High cost of printer

We crowned the Epson Expression XP-15000 as our best printer for crafting, and for good reason. Though it stretches one’s definition of a “budget” printer, this versatile unit is a worthy long-term investment in large-scale art prints.

The XP-15000 is a highly lightweight and relatively compact printer, which stands in relative contrast to its ability to print large artworks up to 13″ x 19″ in size. Employing a six-color Claria ink system, prints are rendered vividly with great contrast and clarity. Compatible with a wide range of media including canvas, this unit is ideal for art prints.

As mentioned, this isn’t a cheap printer by many standards, with both the upfront cost and the cost of ink being outside many people’s budget ranges. But if you are willing to spend a little extra, you will be rewarded with easily one of the best printers for art prints on the market.

5
PROS
  • Great print quality
  • Easy setup
  • Wireless printing
CONS
  • Poor ink economy

One of the cheapest printers for art prints on the market, the HP Envy 6055e is the most affordable art printer on the market. With a print quality that rivals top-quality printers at a fraction of the price, this is ideal for lowest-budget art printing.

Once you have the 6055e, the setup is quick and painless. It connects easily over your wireless network for fast printing from any device. As mentioned, the print quality is great, with effective resolution and stellar color clarity. And at such a low price, it’s hard to argue with the effectiveness of this printer – which is why it frequently makes the cut as the budget pick for our guides such as the best printer for greeting cards.

However, we must stress that it’s the printer that is affordable. With high ink costs and high ink consumption, this art printer will quickly eat into the money you save. If you’re able to justify the long-term expense, then the 6055e is a sterling choice for budget art prints!

Features and Considerations

If you have found a cheap printer for art prints that hasn’t featured on our list today, consider these factors before buying:

Printer Type

Generally speaking, ink tank printers are best suited for art prints of any variety, using large reservoirs of ink for vibrant and accurate colors. They tend to be more efficient and require less frequent ink refills compared to olfactory laser printers.

Paper Compatibility

Art prints aren’t produced on the same sort of standard-issue paper used in laser printers: whether you’re planning on making a canvas print or a simple framed artwork, make sure to check if your printer is compatible. Some units have very limited media adaptability, so you may be disappointed if looking to print on certain specialist material.

Print Resolution

As mentioned, print resolution is an essential for high-quality art prints. Ensure that your printer is capable of a minimum print resolution of 600DPI, to ensure the best results. Most of our recommendations today have higher resolutions in order to obtain the best value for money. Especially if you plan to be creating prints from photographs, a high resolution is essential in capturing the detail.

Print Speed

Whilst speed is not essential, it is helpful – especially for business-minded printing. Depending on the size and frequency of prints, make sure you opt for a printer that can supply as quickly as you demand. Be sure to factor in drying time, as ink prints can be smudged if immediately retrieved.

Connectivity

The final consideration is how you connect to your printer: most standard printers offer a wired connection for USB inputs such as computers or laptops, but the best printers offer wireless or Bluetooth connectivity for easier printing. If you don’t want to be right next to your printer when it’s in use, ensure that you have the option for wireless connectivity.

InkJet vs Ink Tank: What's the Difference?

Though the terms often get swapped around, there is a core difference between an InkJet printer and an Ink Tank one. Whilst both use specialist color ink to create highly detailed images, Ink Tank printers use large reservoirs of ink in – surprisingly – tanks, that make for better ink economy and longer-lasting ink bottles. This makes them more efficient than cartridge-based InkJet printers, but are often more expensive to compensate. It is difficult to find a cheap Ink Tank printer for art prints, but our top pick, the Epson EcoTank ET-2800 is among the best on the market.

Can you print art prints on a laser printer?

No: Whilst a laser printer may be able to print color images in theory, the level of detail and quality required will not be good enough for a high-quality art print, and you’ll likely be unable to use specialist art paper.

Are cheap printers good?

There’s almost always a correlation between price and quality with printers, but some affordable printer models are cheap whilst still allowing for good quality. The general print industry follows as “razor and blades” model of business – where the units themselves are cheap but elements such as ink and paper are overpriced. Be sure to research these, both from the manufacturer and from reviews!

Our Verdict

Though the slot for specialist media is a little cumbersome, we still highly recommend the Epson EcoTank ET-2800 as the best cheap printer for art prints on the market! At a healthy median between low price and high-quality, this unit is a perfect addition to any business or hobbyist on a budget!

If you need more of an all-rounder printer for your designs, why not check out our guide on the best printers for graphic design?