Prints up to 22 pages per minute in black and in color. Wireless printing via Canon app or Apple AirPrint. Has an easy-to-navigate 5-inch color LCD display. Handles duplex printing well.
Mixed reviews on the scanning capability. Not the most user-friendly option.
Vivid print quality and reliable wireless connection for a reasonable price. Compact design. Reliable with fairly quiet printing once installed and online.
The instructions are somewhat confusing. Some users have issues with set-up, but the online manual can help. It prints a bit slowly.
Easy to install and set up WiFi. Works well with most devices. Produces high-quality photos.
Tends to jam a bit more than usual. Design is a bit bulky compared to other models.
Lightweight (under 5 lbs.) and portable. Space-saving design with optional battery backup. Crisp print quality for documents and photos.
Frequently runs out of ink. Optional battery backup is convenient but expensive. Set-up can be confusing. Slow print time for some items. No paper tray.
Multifunctional model in a space-saving design. Prints faster than budget models. Lighter, more streamlined than costlier options. Nice print quality for a mid-range price.
Poor installation instructions. Paper tends to jam in the unit. Scanning and copying components feel flimsy.
We purchase every product we review with our own funds — we never accept anything from product manufacturers.
Even though people don’t print as many documents as they once did, having a high-quality printer on hand is still a good idea. Whether you’re making occasional copies of important documents or full-color prints of family photographs, you want a nice printer available when it’s needed.
One of the most trusted names in printers is Canon. Although Canon remains best known as a manufacturer of high-end cameras, it also excels at producing printers. Canon offers printers in a multitude of product categories, giving you a variety of features and print technologies. If you’re looking for the best Canon printer, we’re ready to help you decipher all of your options.
If you’re ready to buy a Canon printer, check out our top picks. Read our shopping guide below to learn more about Canon printers.
When trying to find the best Canon printer for your needs, it helps to understand a few things about printer technology in general. Determining which technology is most important to you will help you narrow the list of potential printers to buy.
The two primary printing technologies in use for all printers, both Canon and other brands, are inkjet and laser.
Inkjet: An inkjet printer uses a series of nozzles to spray tiny droplets of liquid ink onto the paper – several hundred to an inch. Inkjet printers offer full-color and black-and-white printing.
Laser: A laser printer uses a toner that’s fused onto the paper to creating the image. As with ink, the printer applies the toner in small pixels of several hundred or even a couple thousand per inch. Laser printers yield very sharp text documents, but they aren’t as good for photographs as inkjet printers. Laser printers are significantly faster than inkjet printers.
If you see a Canon printer listed as a “multifunction” or “all-in-one” device, it can do things other than just print documents or photos.
Print-Only: A print-only printer does exactly what you’d think: prints documents and photos. It may have wireless connectivity capabilities, but it can’t scan or copy documents.
All-in-One: An all-in-one printer can scan and copy documents and images, as well as print. Some can save the copy or scan as a digital file onto a memory card or USB stick. Some can also pass these digital files across a network to a server. Occasionally, you’ll find an all-in-one device that can send and receive faxes, but this feature isn’t as common now as it was a decade ago. About half of all Canon printers are multifunction machines.
Canon offers its many different printers under a few different brand names. It uses these brand names to differentiate the features found on each one, which may simplify your choice when searching for the best option for your needs.
These large Canon laser printers are for office or home use where you need speed and high-quality prints. Most imageCLASS printers are monochrome printers, and many of them offer all-in-one capabilities.
These Canon inkjet printers focus on speed, so they work well in a small office or busy home. You also can use MAXIFY printers to make prints from mobile devices or the cloud. The cost per print is lower with these printers than with most Canon printers.
These Canon inkjet printers offer equal strength in print quality and print speed. PIXMA printers are primarily made for use in homes or small offices with average printing needs.
Some PIXMA printers have all-in-one capabilities, while others are high-quality photo printers. The PIXMA family consists of the largest number of printers of any Canon brand name.
These small Canon printers are designed for use on the go. These are useful for printing photographs or documents from mobile devices.
Most Canon printers aren’t significantly expensive to buy. You can expect to pay between less than $75 to $500 and up, depending the printer’s features. However, you will have ongoing costs with any printer, including ink or toner replacement. You’ll need to factor these costs into the overall cost of any printer you buy.
The most basic Canon printers cost $75 or less. These are small, simple, color inkjet printers designed to be used in a home or small office with infrequent printing needs.
These printers run much more slowly than costlier printers, but you should still get good print quality in the “Best” mode.
A mid-range Canon printer costs from $75 to $200. These are primarily color inkjet printers, although you can find monochrome laser printers in this range, too. Many mid-range printers have all-in-one capabilities.
These models are solid printers for homes or small businesses that need to print several times a week. The laser printers are fast but don’t print in color.
The color inkjet printers in this price range won’t be fast, but they offer good quality.
More advanced Canon printers cost from $200 to about $500. You will get good results from these printers in specialty printing environments. For example, if you need a great printer for photos, Canon has some excellent options in this price range. These printers won’t be fast, but you’ll get some amazing prints.
Other advanced printers have laser printing capabilities, which yield sharp text documents. These printers are extremely fast, making them perfect for a busy environment where you need to print a lot.
Color laser printers often fit in this price range, too.
In a busy printing environment, you could spend as much or more on replacement ink or toner in the first year than you spent on the printer itself – a few hundred dollars. Those who print less often may spend from $25 to $100 per year on ink or toner.
It’s important to understand that even if you purchase a small, inexpensive Canon printer, your ink or toner costs will be roughly the same as those for an expensive printer (assuming the same number of prints for both printers).
So, while you will save money upfront buying a basic printer as opposed to a more advanced printer, your ongoing costs will be about the same.
Q. What are some hidden costs of Canon printers?
A. Beyond the cost of the printer, you will have ongoing costs with this type of device. You will need to replace ink wells or laser cartridges from time to time. The frequency of replacement depends on how often you print and what you print – whether you’re covering a large portion of the page with ink or toner. Paper is another ongoing cost, too.
Q. What are my options for full-color printing?
A. Both laser and inkjet printers print in color. For most people, color inkjet printers are affordable and deliver good quality prints, making them popular choices. However, color laser printers have seen significant improvements in quality and price over the past decade, so they’re worth considering now.
Q. How do I find a great Canon printer for printing photographs?
A. When seeking the best printer for photographs, look for one that can handle many different sizes of paper. The best feature for photographic printing in recent years is the inclusion of extra ink tanks in the printer. Rather than the standard four ink tanks for color printing, photography printers may have six or eight ink tanks, producing more realistic colors in both color and black-and-white photos.