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Best color laser printer 2023 for all budgets

We find the best all in one color laser printers for the office and home
Last Updated on September 8, 2023
Best color laser printer

Laser printers have gained popularity in the past decade thanks to their low running costs, reliability, and speed.

While a lot of laser printers are intended for printing black-and-white documents, the best laser color printer is the right choice for documents and more.

In this guide, we run through a wide range of color laser printer types to suit different requirements, from all-in-ones to budget and wide-format printers. By the end of this round-up, you’ll be able to choose the best printer for your unique needs.

Products at a Glance

How we choose the best color laser printer

We’ve taken into consideration three primary criteria to choose the best color laser prints: reliability, functionality, and initial and ongoing costs.

Nevertheless, we understand that not all factors are equally important for everyone. So we’ve tried to cover different models that work best for specific uses and needs. We’ve also made sure to cover a broad price range to cater to different budgets. 

Our Recommended

Best color laser printer 2023 for all budgets

  • Supports auto document feeding and duplexing
  • Low running costs
  • Efficient print speed
  • Can scan, copy, and fax your documents
  • Has a customizable LCD panel
  • High price tag
  • Bulky

The Canon Color imageCLASS MF753Cdw is among the fastest and most reliable printers we’ve tested. This printer boasts a monthly duty cycle of 4,000 prints per month, so it’s definitely not easy to waste. It can print at speeds of up to 35 pages per minute, allowing you to print bulk volumes of documents in less time.

In terms of automation, the imageCLASS MF753Cdw has a lot to offer, with automatic document feeding and auto duplexing for easy double-sided printing. 

The high-yield toner means that it’ll take you a while before thinking about replacing it. So while the MF753Cdw is by no means a cheap model, it’ll undoubtedly save you money in the long term. 

Being an all-in-one printer, the imageCLASS MF753Cdw can copy, scan, and even fax your documents, so you don’t have to buy separate devices for these jobs. 

The main paper tray can take up to 250 sheets. There’s also a secondary 50-sheet tray for specialty paper. Additionally, you can equip the imageCLASS with another 550-sheet tray to expand its total capacity to up to 850 sheets. 

On top of that, the imageCLASS has a large 5” control panel that makes it easy to monitor the printing status and make adjustments to the printer’s settings. 

As for connectivity, the Canon MF753Cdw supports USB, Wi-Fi, and Ethernet. You can also print documents on the go from your smartphone with the Canon app or via Apple AirPrint and Mopria. 

The only downside is that this printer is pretty bulky; it’ll eat away a lot of space from your desk. 

  • Fast print speeds
  • High-yield toner with low running costs
  • Can scan and copy documents
  • Has an auto document feeder
  • Supports cloud printing
  • Expensive
  • Bulky

If you need to do more with your printer than just printing, consider checking out the Brother MFC-L8905CDW. This all-in-one printer integrates a scanner and copier to cover all of your office paperwork needs. 

There’s also an automatic document feeder to make scanning multiple documents faster. Additionally, you can print double-sided documents and cut paper costs in half with the auto-duplexing functionality.

What’s even better is that the MFC-L8905CDW is a high-yield model, with a high-capacity toner that can print up to 8,000 documents. It’s also quite fast, with print speeds that reach 33 pages per minute for both mono and color documents.

You can feed the MFC-L8905CDW with up to 250 sheets in the main paper tray. We also found a highly appreciated 50-sheet tray for special media like envelopes. 

Moving on to print quality, the MFC-L8905CDW hasn’t disappointed us. The prints come out super sharp and clear. The printer also offers Wi-Fi, USB, and Ethernet, integrating a mix of wired and wireless connectivity options for maximum versatility. Additionally, you can print documents and photos from your mobile devices using supported cloud printing services. 

The icing on top is the large 7” touchscreen panel that lets you create customizable workflows to maximize productivity. 

On the flip side, the MFC-L8905CDW isn’t perfect. Its form factor is quite bulky, and it’s definitely not on the cheaper side of laser printers. 

  • Fast printing speed
  • Supports NFC and cloud printing
  • Competitive pricing with great print quality
  • Large sheet tray
  • Supports auto duplexing
  • High running costs
  • No scanner or copier

Color laser printers tend to be more expensive than their inkjet counterparts, but the Brother HL-L3270CDW has proved that you can get a capable color laser printer without breaking the bank. 

At a sub-$300 price tag, this printer offers a fast 25 ppm print speed and auto duplexing, which lets you print double-sided documents easily. It can print on paper sizes up to 8.5” x 14”, giving you more versatility with your prints. Additionally, its output quality is excellent for the price, with sharp text and popping graphics. 

What’s more, the Brother HL-L3270CDW features multiple connectivity choices, including Wi-Fi, Ethernet, USB, and cloud printing via Alexa Print and Apple AirPrint. It also has NFC (Near Field Communication), enabling you to print directly from your smartphone by simply tapping its back on the designated area.

There’s an LCD panel that lets you check toner and print status, as well as configure the printer’s settings. We also love the vast 250-page sheet tray, which spares you the hassle of feeding the printer with paper too frequently. 

Our only complaint is that the Brother HL L3270CDW’s monthly duty cycle is pretty low, rated at 1,500 pages/month. Nevertheless, this should be more than enough for home use, but do keep in mind that the cost per print is noticeably higher than more premium color laser printers.

  • Great print quality for the price
  • Customizable workflows with the HP Smart app
  • Can fax, copy, and scan documents
  • Dedicated specialty paper tray
  • High running costs
  • Slow compared to other laser printers

Historically, printers intended for home use had a bad reputation for producing poor-quality prints and breaking quickly. But home printers have actually come a long way, and the HP LaserJet Pro M283fdw proves this point.

This printer is capable of producing consistently detailed and crisp documents without breaking a sweat, at print speeds of up to 22 pages per minute. It can print on paper sizes up to 8.5” x 14”, and there’s even a place for specialty paper like envelopes and postcards. There’s also a touchscreen display for quick commands and configuring the printer’s settings.

Moreover, the LaserJet Pro can scan, copy, and fax your documents, so you don’t need to crowd your office with tons of devices for different functions. It even supports auto document feeding and auto duplexing, so there are fewer manual steps required to get the job done quickly.

On top of that, the LaserJet Pro supports various connectivity choices, including USB, Wi-Fi, and Ethernet. You can print documents directly from your smartphone, either via the HP Smart app or cloud printing services. The app is actually useful for things other than just sending print commands to the printer as it allows you to create workflows for repetitive jobs, drastically improving productivity.

Whether you’re a college student, working from home, or running a home-based business, the HP LaserJet Pro M283fdw won’t disappoint you.

Our only complaint with the LaserJet Pro is its high cost per print, reaching up to $0.13 per color print. It’s not the worst we’ve seen, but many other printers we’ve tested fared way better in this compartment. Oh, and if you’ll be throwing in some black-and-white documents, the running costs should go down significantly.

  • Great photo print quality
  • Supports auto duplexing
  • Fast print speed
  • Can scan and copy documents and photos
  • Supports cloud printing
  • High cost per page

Laser printers aren’t that popular among photographers and other individuals who work in creative fields, but the Canon imageCLASS MF644Cdw has broken that rule.

It features a powerful toner that can print 600 x 600 dpi photos with deep contrast and accurate color reproduction.

The main paper tray holds up to 250 sheets at once. There’s also a secondary 50-sheet tray for printing on special media like CDs. What’s more, the MF644Cdw supports auto-duplexing for easy double-sided printing. You can even print multiple pages on the same paper.

The imageCLASS is an all-in-one unit, so it can scan and copy your documents and photos. We also love the built-in smartphone-size touchscreen panel. It makes adjusting the print settings and initiating commands very convenient.

In terms of speed, the MF644Cdw can print up to 28 pages per minute, which is considered good for a laser printer. The unit also has multiple connectivity solutions, including Wi-Fi, Ethernet, and USB. Cloud printing is possible via the Canon Print Business app or any supported cloud printing service like Apple AirPrint, Mopria, and Google Cloud Print.

On the other side of the coin, this printer’s running costs can get quite high if you’re primarily using it for photo printing. Also, while the photo print quality is top-notch for a laser printer, it’s still not as good as what inkjet printers with premium ink systems can achieve. 

Color laser printer features and considerations

When choosing a color laser printer, you need to consider its connectivity choices, toner yield, and monthly duty cycle, among other factors. We can summarize them in the following points: 

Use Case

How will you be using your new color laser printer? While all color laser printers can print both text documents and photos, some are better suited for printing high volumes of office documents quickly.

On the other hand, there are models that have special toners, often found in the best printers for photos, to make your photo prints look more appealing with sharper details and deeper colors. 


The common connectivity options that color laser printers offer include USB, Ethernet, and Wi-Fi. This is the basic setup you’ll find in most printers. 

Some printers also offer NFC, a memory card slot, or both. We’d recommend getting a laser printer that has at least one wired and one wireless connectivity choice. 

If you heavily depend on cloud storage for storing your documents and photos, consider getting a printer that supports cloud printing services like Apple AirPlay. 

Toner Cost and Yield

When comparing different color laser printers, check how much a toner replacement would cost you, as well as the total yield per toner. This should give you a rough idea about the printer’s economics in the long run.

Generally, the higher the toner’s yield, the more it’ll cost you, but of course, some manufacturers have good-priced toners that can produce high yields. 

Monthly Volume

Before choosing a color laser printer, check the nominal monthly duty cycle set by the manufacturer. This will give you a good idea about the printer’s reliability and how much beating it can handle. The higher the printer’s monthly volume is, the more reliable it likely is.

Nevertheless, for light home use, the monthly volume shouldn’t make much of a difference for you. But for heavy-duty printing needs, it’s definitely important to check before buying.

Form Factor

Some laser printer models can be quite bulky. If you don’t have much space in the room, consider getting a compact color laser printer. Just keep in mind that smaller printers tend to have lower-capacity paper trays. 

Additional Features

Some features aren’t essential but are definitely nice to have. For example, if you occasionally need to scan or copy documents, consider getting an all-in-one unit. 

An auto document feeder is also a great addition as it lets you scan or copy multiple docs in one go, while the auto duplex functionality makes printing on the two sides of a paper more convenient.

Are color laser printers better than color inkjet printers?

This depends on how you’ll be using the printer. If you’re buying a printer to mostly print color documents, a laser printer would be your best bet as it’s faster and cheaper to run. However, if you’ll be mainly using the printer as a photo printer, a color inkjet printer will give you the best color accuracy. 

Do laser printers dry out?

No. Unlike inkjet printers, which may dry out due to infrequent use, laser printers don’t dry out simply because the toner is made up of plastic materials. In other words, the toner is already dry. Just make sure to store the toner properly if it’s not inside the printer.

Can I refill a laser printer’s toner?

While it’s possible to refill your laser printer’s toner, we don’t recommend it simply because the print quality will deteriorate. If you want to maintain the best possible print quality, we strongly advise you to buy a new toner when the time comes.

How often will I have to buy toner?

On average, a toner cartridge yields around 2000 documents. This should be sufficient for 12-15 months of printing for most home users. 

If you’ll be using the printer in an office or commercial environment, you’ll likely need to replace the toner every few months. 

Are laser printers durable?

Yes, laser printers are pretty durable. Most laser printers have monthly duty cycles that exceed a few thousand pages per month.

Our Verdict

That’s all for today! By now, you’ve probably made your choice already, but if you’re still not sure, we can give you a few hints.

The Canon Color imageCLASS MF753Cdw is the best color laser printer and seems like a pretty solid choice for most users. It’s fast, can scan and copy documents, and it won’t cost you much to keep running. If you don’t mind the hefty price tag, you can’t go wrong with that one.

Otherwise, you might consider getting the Brother HL-L3270CDW at a much more digestible price point. It supports NFC, has a large paper tray, and prints at high speeds, though its running costs are somewhat high.

The HP LaserJet Pro M283fdw is also an attractive choice for light home use. It nails the basics pretty well in an affordable package.