In case you’re in the market for the best monochrome printers, here are three to consider. Whether it’s to save on black ink cartridges or as a backup printer can’t go wrong with one of these. They are your basic black & white printer that cost between $85-$120. There are more brands and models available under $120 but these are the ones that stood out to me. They are the Brother L2630dw, HP M203dw, and Canon lbp6230dw. All have auto duplex, can load 250 sheets of paper up to legal size (8 1/2×14), and have wi fi.
The Printer Jam has a guide for selecting the right paper for your printer
The Brother L2630dw is compact and quiet laser printer. It comes with 32mb memory. One nice feature in such low cost printer is a LCD display. It is only one line of text but having an “add paper” message is invaluable information. Besides paper, the only operating supplies are a drum and a developer/toner combo unit. The dual cartridge system is easily accessible through the front of the printer.
- 27 pages per minute
- DR-630 drum unit rated for 12,000 pages
- TN-660 high yield toner cartridge rated for 2,600 pages
- TN-630 standard toner cartridge rated for 1,200 pages
- Suggested monthly volume 2,000 pages
This printer has a metal fuser roller. They generally handle heavier stock better and last longer than a film type fusers, however take a few seconds longer to warm up. Another nice feature for such a low cost is the cassette. Being able to pull out the cassette makes loading paper a snap. The main tray has a separation pad so heavier paper stock might be best suited for single sheet feeding with the bypass tray. The L2630dw also supports WPS push button setup for wi fi. Overall, very nice features at a good bargain.
The M203dw from HP comes with 256mb standard memory at a modest price. A generous amount of memory and 31 ppm operating speeds makes the M203dw a compact and speedy printer. The m203dw has separate drum and developer/toner units. The dual cartridge system will save money in the long run and come at a reasonable cost. A minor note, the top needs to fully open to release the drum and developer units.
- 31 pages per minute
- 32A Drum unit rated for 23,000 pages
- 30X high yield toner cartridge rated for 3,500 pages
- 30A standard toner cartridge rated for 1,600 pages
- Suggested monthly volume 2,500 pages
The M203dw doesn’t have a cassette to pull out to load paper. However, the tray is flat and paper loads easily. It also has a bypass tray for envelopes or heavier paper. The fuser is a film type fuser so warmup times are quick and power consumption lower. It doesn’t have a LCD display. I would definitely recommend downloading the HP M203dw manual. Keep pages 73-75 handy to interpret the status lights. HP does provide a CD with software which makes the connection and setup easy. Though it may cost at the top of the range it has the highest yielding supplies.
A very compact and quiet printer, the lbp6230dw by Canon comes with 64mb standard memory. It has a WPS bush button for easy Wi Fi setup. One nice feature that Canon provides is the “edit and preview” output method for its print drivers. Not only are their print drivers easy and intuitive, they have a built in page composer. It can combine pages from word documents or PDF’s into one print job. It gives you the option of moving pages or changing their order before printing. The lbp6230dw has an easy to change single cartridge system. This means fewer supplies since the drum, toner and developer are in one unit but also means a slightly higher price point.
- 26 pages per minute
- Type 126 toner cartridge rated for 2,100 pages
- Suggested monthly volume 2,500
The LBP6230dw doesn’t have a cassette, however the tray is flat and paper loads easily, similar to the HP. It also has a manual feed tray for envelopes or heavier stock. It doesn’t have a LCD display so refer to page 6 of the Canon manual to interpret the status lights. This printer doesn’t offer PCL or PS print drivers. The options are UFRII and UFRII LT XPS drivers. The Ultra Fast Rendering (UFR version II) drivers are proprietary to Canon. Unless you’re printing from an AS/400 or AIX server this won’t be a problem. In my experience Canon does have good support.
Those are the three best monochrome printers I would recommend to anyone shopping for a printer. Whether it’s to relieve the cost of printing text on an inkjet printer or your first time buying a printer one of these printers are right for you.
I am not employed by Brother, HP, or Canon. All opinions expressed here are my own. I am an Amazon affiliate.