In our modern-day, being a teacher means going beyond the job description and providing an experience for students they won’t soon forget. Many times, creating this in-classroom experience means providing your supplies, including color printers.
Best color printer for teachers at a glance
- Epson EcoTank ET-2720 Wireless Color All-in-One Supertank Printer with Scanner and Copier
- Our choice: HP OfficeJet 3830 All-in-One Wireless Printer, HP Instant Ink
- Canon PIXMA TS9520
- Brother HL-L3270CDW
- Brother MFC-J995DW InkvestmentTank Color Inkjet All-in-One Printer
With budget cuts and shortages, many school districts now require teachers to have their color printers in the classroom. Uniquely since limits are being placed on the number of copies that can be made in faculty wide-machines, given the amount of printing a single teacher can do in a given day, finding the best color printer for the job matters.
While there is a myriad of color printers available on the market, most of them are not suitable for the rigorous use of a classroom environment. Others are too expensive to operate daily due to overwhelming ink costs or fundamental inefficiencies. To help to find the best color printer a bit easier, we’ve rounded up a few of the best color printers for teachers below. We also have a buyer’s guide to help you on the path to finding a color printer that will bring your classroom curriculum to life.
Best Color Printer for Teachers
1. Epson EcoTank ET-2720 Wireless Color All-in-One Supertank Printer with Scanner and Copier
In the classroom, one of the most expensive aspects of operating your printer is the ink. Whether you’re printing worksheets or activities, an ink-efficient printer is paramount in keeping costs low while maintaining quality. This is where the Epson EcoTank ET-2720 shines. There are a lot of great things about this printer, but the best maybe that it comes standard with a whopping two-years worth of ink. That means you can print around 4,500black/white copies and 7,500 color copies without having to swap out the ink cartridges.
Epson promises that this can save teachers up to 90 percent with low-cost replacement ink bottles versus traditional ink cartridges. Not only does this amount to less out-of-pocket cost (you’ve already got plenty of that), but it also means less waste. One set of the eco tank replacement bottles is equal to about 80 individual ink cartridges.
Another thing that makes the Epson EcoTank ET-2720 printer one of the best color printers for teachers is that it is a genuinely wireless unit. You can print with ease from any device. We enjoyed being able to open an email or PDF directly on our smartphones and printing without a computer. Not only does this broaden your print-options, but it can be a huge time-saver when you’re already dealing with a busy classroom.
Despite being a scanner and copier, as well as a full-color printer, the unit also boasts a space-saving design perfect for classroom desks or file cabinets. With integrated front-facing ink tanks and a premium finish, the printer looks good and works as promised.
2. HP OfficeJet 3830 All-in-One Wireless Printer, HP Instant Ink
One thing that is true of most classrooms is the lack of space. Despite often being relatively spacious areas, desks, activity centers, and general projects take up much of what opening a classroom has to offer. It doesn’t leave much left over for your things or extras. When it comes to the best color printer for teachers, a space-saving design can be paramount. The HP OfficeJet 3830 comes in as one of our top picks due to its unique space-saving design. It is perfect for your desk at school.
Though compact, the HP OfficeJet 3830 does not skimp on power or specifications. Not only does the HP offer laser-quality documents and lab-quality photos, but you can utilize the HP Smart app to set up your printer and work directly from your smartphone. That’s right; you can order toner, ink, and print from the cloud with ease. Should you need to print something in your room while teaching a lesson, the optional quiet-mode allows you to do just that without disrupting your class.
Though not quite as ink efficient as the Epson EcoTank, the HP does come with four free months of ink and does qualify for HP Instant Ink. It means the printer itself can keep track of just how much ink is left in the unit and then automatically order more when getting low. That’s one less thing for you to have to think about. Convenient when you’re already dealing with more than a dozen school kids.
One thing we truly loved about the HP (aside from the size, of course) is that the printer is wireless and serves as a fax machine and copier. It also has a handy touchscreen, which is responsive and easy to use. Whether you’ll be using the printer at home or in the classroom, this compact unit should check plenty of boxes.
3. Canon PIXMA TS9520
Whether for home use or in the classroom, the Canon Pixma TS9520 is every teacher’s dream. The Canon PIXMA is a high-quality printer that was built for printing colorful photos and vibrant color-rich designs. Whether printing worksheets, craft projects, or digital artwork, this is a printer that can bring your ideas to life while engaging those in the classroom with ease. What makes this an option for the best color printer for teachers?
Aside from offering vibrant color-rich prints, the Pixma TS9520 is also a capable all-in-one device that can tackle a variety of projects. With broad paper format support, it can also print a range of projects up to 11″ x 17″. You can also choose to print even larger designs with total ease. It is excellent for creating classroom banners, posters, or even new project ideas. The ability to size different projects from the printer unit is unique and something we were thoroughly impressed by.
Of course, one of the most exciting features of the Canon Pixma is the innovative 5-ink system. Typically, a printer will offer four inks. However, the fifth ink can help in achieving a higher contrast in photos and graphics. Unfortunately, such high-quality prints will lead to an uptick in ink cost. You will not get the ink efficiency that you’re granted with the Epson EcoTank. Despite this, the Canon Pixma still stands worthy of your classroom.
With an intuitive user interface, complete with a 4.3″ LCD screen, you can easily facilitate one-touch printing without hassle. The added scanner/copy function also makes this a superb all-in-one printer to tackle a variety of classroom needs. Additionally, you can print from the Canon via wifi, Ethernet, or a standard USB connection. It also provides an SD card option should you want to connect the printer with a different external device.
The Pixma TS9520 is a smart printer that is also compatible with all voice assistant apps, including Alexa or Google.
4. Brother HL-L3270CDW
As a teacher, time is everything. Between lesson plans and curriculum demands, you’re often stretched pretty thin for time. That means you probably don’t want to spend a lengthy amount of time standing around your printer. The Brother HL-3270CDW ensures that you won’t have to. It is a fast device that can quickly cater to your printing needs with efficiency and ease. If you’re someone who prints lengthy packets, worksheets, games, or assignments, this printer will make your life easier.
As a full-color digital printer, the Brother HL-32370CDW has a fast-printing option that can garner up to 25 pages per minute. That’s almost double the standard yield on a printer such as the Canon Pixma TS9520. While you may think that speed will equal a prior print-quality, think again. What we loved about the Brother is that the print-time never compromised the quality. Every print was professional-quality with rich, vivid colors that could rival any laser printer. Perfect for a classroom with high color ink demands.
Another thing that Brother does right is the option for versatile paper handling. As a teacher, productivity is everything, which is why this feature is so important. The versatile paper handling helps to minimize the need for constant paper refills with a generously sized 250-sheet paper tray, which can be adjusted for paper type. There is also a manual feed slot that can easily handle paper types such as card stock, envelopes, or even photo paper. This printer is a game-changer for elementary school teachers.
One more thing we enjoyed about the Brother HL-L3270CDW is the print and connect your way feature. The unit offers mobile wireless printing as well as built-in wireless printing capabilities. You can also print via Ethernet, wifi, or a standard USB port. Additionally, you may print from cloud apps directly from the included 2.7″ color touchscreen. While the unit is pricier than most, you will find the quality is hard to beat..
5. Brother MFC-J995DW InkvestmentTank Color Inkjet All-in-One Printer
Unlike other professions, teachers face a variety of unique printing needs. It isn’t just about printing documents or memos; it is about printing items that are integrated into lesson plans, projects, and at-home work. That’s why every teacher needs a printer that can handle small and medium printing needs with total ease. We found the Brother MFC-J995DW Color Inkjet to be one of the best printers for the job.
Aside from offering a fast printing speed of 12 pages per minute, this super tank printer reduces the overall cost of printing. The printing cost per page is just 1 cent in monochrome and 5 cents for color prints. Compared to other printers of this caliber and size, that’s quite a steal. The innovative Inkvestment Tank system includes reconfigured standard ink cartridges that hold a greater volume of ink and work in tandem with an internal storage tank to deliver uninterrupted printing with lower ink usage. Since teachers already have to pay so much out of pocket, this is a win.
Speed and ink aside, one of the best parts of the Brother MFC-J995DW is its overall connectivity and functionality. This printer includes a flatbed scanner along with a 20 sheet automatic document feeder. It means you can feed around 20 sheets of documents into the unit at a time without hassle. The unit also features a fax modem, which is rare in modern printing devices, but can be handy if you’re needing to communicate with parents or administrators following old-school protocol.
We also enjoyed that this is a good duplex printer with the capacity to print on both sides. For creating worksheets and school packets, this can help to save a lot of paper and cut down on packet bulk. In terms of connectivity, you can print using wifi, standard USB, wifi direct, or Ethernet. The unit also sports a one-touch NFC connection for more comfortable print usage.
While pricier than the Canon Pixma or the Epson EcoTank, the Brother does hold as a candidate for the best color printer for teachers in terms of functionality, features, ink-quality, and ease-of-use.
The Bottom Line
Finding the best color for printers for teachers often depends on your unique needs, wants, and teaching style. There are so many printers to choose from, but not all of them will work for every type of teacher.
Elementary and intermediate teachers will do best with color-rich inkjet printers with all-in-one capabilities. They should also look for printers that can cater to a variety of paper sizes. High school and middle school teachers may be able to get away with more basic printers or even laser printers that cater to text-only documents.
Finding the best color printer is easy, as long as you know what you need and keep our buyers’ guide in mind.