1. Computing

Reviews of the Latest Printers and Scanners

By

The sheer number of affordable printers and scanners available makes shopping for the right machine all the more difficult. To make the task easier for you, I put the latest printers and scanners through a series of tests so I can let you know what to expect from each in terms of print quality, speed, ease of use, and any technical issues you might face.
  1. All-in-One Printers
  2. Inkjet Printers
  3. Photo Printers
  4. Laser and LED Printers
  1. Wireless Printers
  2. Scanners, Photo Scanners, and Online Photo Scanners
  3. Specialty Printers
  4. 3-D Printers

All-in-One Printers

Stockbyte / Getty Images

An all-in-one printer (also known as a multifunction printer) can print, scan photos and documents (often directly to a USB drive or to a PDF document), make copies, and some can fax. Laser all-in-ones were, until not long ago, too expensive to consider, but that's no longer the case. Here's the skinny on the all-in-ones I've tested and reviewed.

Inkjet Printers

Inkjet printers offer great value for the money, since they come awfully cheap (and often come as part of a new-computer package). Most inkjet printers have incorporated scanners, copiers, and even fax machines, so you'll find a lot more in the All-in-One Printers section above. Still, a few inkjet printers only do one thing--print. But most do that exceedingly well.

Photo Printers

Bill Reitzel / Getty Images

Photo printers do a great job at allowing you to edit, retouch, and print photos. Many of the newest ones on the market are not only cheap, they're also very compact. On the other hand, some are built into larger, all-in-one printers, so make sure you take a look at reviews above of all-in-one printers as well.

Laser and LED Printers

Nick Koudis / Getty Images

The magic of lasers. From reading our CDs and printing our letters to blasting alien invaders, is there anything they can't do? Laser printers and their close relatives, LED printers, are getting cheaper, and that's great news for us. Laser and LED printers offer sharp, clear text, as well as great-looking and sharp graphics. Even better is that color laser and LED printers are getting more affordable than ever.

Wireless Printers

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 you'll find some of the best wireless printers I've tried.

Scanners, Photo Scanners, and Online Photo Scanners

Nick Koudis / Getty Images

While scanners are often built into all-in-one or multifunction printers, they're also available for special purposes, such as scanning a large number of photos or slides, or scanning negatives. Some are quite compact and can quickly copy both sides of a document in one pass, while others are built into keyboards. Photo scanners can typically scan various sizes of slides; some can scan negatives as well. Online photo scanning services take the hassle away from you and deliver, for a price, your digitized photos on disc.

Specialty Printers

There are printers available for a range of special purposes, from printing on CDs and DVDs to making labels for paper files. Whether you're looking for something special for an office or your home, specialty printers may be just what you need.

3-D Printers

Shapeways 3-D Printed Ring

3-D printing is not some science-fiction dream; it's something that businesses large and small are using to create cheaper and more rapid prototypes. It's also a technology that's increasingly being used by consumers to make their own products such as jewelry. And, some 3-D printers even print parts for themselves, meaning that they are 3-D printing new 3-D printers...Here's a look at some of the most common technologies being used for 3-D printing, and a sneak peek at what the future holds for this amazing, business-changing technology.

©2014 About.com. All rights reserved.