Updated October 16, 2010. Wireless printers offer great convenience for small or home offices, or simply where desktop space is tight. Wireless printing is becoming more and more of a standard rather than an option. Here is a list of some of the best wireless printers I've tried. Keep in mind that wireless printers don't have to be expensive--in fact, as wireless is offered more often, you can find it in some very reasonably priced laser printers, such as the Brother HL-2270DW below.
Photo © Brother
This excellent laser all-in-one from Brother can be networked via a wired or wireless (802.11 b/g) network. Setting that up was easier than I thought it would be, and the printer, scan, copy, and fax functions can all be accessed remotely. Sure, it's a monochrome printer; but if you have a networked home office and your printing needs tend to be Office documents (and, perhaps, you have a dedicated photo printer for your other print jobs), then this Brother all-in-one might be just what you're looking for. At about $300, it's priced the same as a top-of-the-line inkjet printer, but the crispness of the prints makes it superior to those machines.
Photo courtesy Epson
I really enjoyed playing with this versatile wireless printer. The Epson Artisan 800 was easy to set up (including the wireless networking), its large and tiltable LCD made photo editing a snap while the touchscreen keeps the machine button-free, and the print quality--particularly for photos--was outstanding. All in all a best buy.
Photo courtesy HP
The HP Officejet J4680 is a decent, and very small, all-in-one printer. Set up for wireless networking was a breeze, and after testing a number of very large printers, I appreciated the relatively small footprint of the J4680. It lacks a versatile LCD screen and with only two print cartridges it may not be first choice for heavy-duty or serious photo printing, but otherwise a handy, useful, and compact office tool.
Photo courtesy Samsung
This is a very quiet, fast, efficient, and cool-looking laser printer from Samsung. It's networkable via a wired or a wired network, though it doesn't offer any other conveniences, such as a copier or scanner. It was trickier to set up the networking with this than with most of the other wireless printers I've tested. It does what it does very well, with extremely sharp prints, but to me it was a triumph of form over substance, and I'd prefer a wireless laser printer that at least provided a copy or scan option. That said, if all you need to do is print in black and white, you won't find a better-looking machine to do it
Photo courtesy Brother
Brother's HL-3070CW digital printer is a very good deal--for about $250 it can compete easily with color laser printers. (An LED printer uses LEDs rather than a single laser as a light source.) I found it fast, relatively easy to set up (though wireless could've been a tad simpler), and the output (color and black) excellent. Replacement toner isn't cheap (around $70 per cartridge), but the black cartridges are estimated for 2,200 pages and the color ones for about 1,400 pages, so they should last a long time.
Photo © Brother
Much as I hate to add yet another Brother printer to this list, the Brother HL-2270DW has a lot going for it. Not only is it a very good monochrome laser printer, it's also quite inexpensive, selling for about $150. The Brother HL-2270 offers a lot of the conveniences of heavier-duty Brother laser printers such as the Brother HL-5370DW, such as wireless networking and built-in duplexing for about a hundred dollars less. Where the 5370DW has a few extra perks such as a 50-sheet bypass tray (where the 2270DW has only a single-sheet bypass tray), the cheaper printer easily competes with its more expensive cousin and is highly recommended.