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The Best Laser Printers

If you're buying a printer for yourself or for a small or home office, you should at least consider a laser. They offer higher speeds and better text quality than inkjets. Downsides include relatively high prices and mediocre-to-poor photo quality. Those shortcomings have traditionally relegated them to large-office settings, but the picture is changing. Their prices have come down—though they're still more expensive than inkjets—and photo output has improved.

Unless you're a photography buff, photo quality no longer need be a reason to rule out laser printers outright. Many current color lasers, such as the Samsung CLP-315, print photos more than good enough to grace a refrigerator door and fine for many business uses, such as client newsletters or basic brochures.

A monochrome laser printer can provide the speed, durability, and paper handling to deal with the high printing volume of a busy office. The Lexmark T650n, which offers paper-handling options that let you load up to 4,000 sheets, is rated at a blazing 45 ppm (pages per minute). Small or home offices should consider the Brother HL-2170w, a monochrome laser that offers high speed, decent output quality, and ample paper-handling options at an insanely low price.

Color laser printers such as the OKI C5650n and the Lexmark C544dn are making their mark in small offices. The Lexmark provides the standard laser advantages, along with unusually high quality photos for its kind.

All-in-ones like the Samsung CLX-3175FN , which can work either as a personal AIO or in a small office, and the Editors' Choice HP CM1312nfi MFP , an office-centric model, provide the advantages of a laser printer with added functions such as copying, scanning, and faxing.

Is a laser printer right for you? Lasers provide superior speed and text quality; their prices have come down significantly; and their photo quality—though still not stellar—will suffice for many users. Take a look at the reviews of some of our recent faves and you may just find one that fits your printing needs.

Featured in This Roundup:

Lexmark T650n - $699 direct
The Lexmark T650n's combination of speed and paper-handling options should make it a welcome workhorse printer in any small-to-medium-size office or workgroup.
Lexmark C544dn - $499 direct
The Lexmark C544dn offers the right balance of speed, paper handling, output quality, and size to fit nicely in a typical small office, workgroup, or busy home office.
Samsung CLP-315 - $200 street
The Samsung CLP-315's small size, breakthrough low price, and eye-catching color make it the personal color laser of choice.
OKI Printing Solutions C5650n - $450 street
With its ample paper capacity and fast speed, the OKI Printing Solutions C5650n color laser can handle relatively heavy-duty printing in a small office or workgroup.
Brother HL-2170W - $150 street
The Brother HL-2170W delivers a lot of printer for the price, with high speed, more-than-acceptable output quality, and suitable paper capacity for a small or home office.
Samsung CLX-3175FN - $400 street
The Samsung CLX-3175FN is small enough to be a truly personal color laser AIO, although the network connector will also let you share it in a small office.
HP Color LaserJet CM1312nfi MFP - $499.99 direct
The HP Color LaserJet CM1312nfi MFP is notable for its combination of low price, high-quality output, and full set of functions.