This post was most recently updated on June 5th, 2020
When your main goal of buying a printer is to stick below one-hundred bucks, you’re going to need to make some sacrifices. The best printer under 100 dollars won’t be the sexiest thing in the store. At this price point, you most likely won’t get everything you want, so you need to evaluate your needs and choose your priorities.
In the interest of writing this article, I’m looking for the best printer across all general attributes, under $100.
I don’t like to determine a “best of” printer by price, but it is a reality a lot of us live with, including me. I’d love to buy a $5,000 DesignJet printer, but it just isn’t a reality, and I get that.
We’re going to run through the pros and cons of the Canon MX492, and see if it really is the best printer for under 100 dollars. And, is it something you can make work?
This printer is about as small as is possible for a printer with an auto-document feeder. It is only seven inches tall, and twelve inches deep. I don’t see how you could have a printer smaller than this one that has both an ADF and a paper storage tray.
All in one
As I said above, this printer has an auto document feeder. The Canon MX492 is an all-in-one, which means it can print, scan, copy, and fax. The best printer under 100 dollars needs to be able to do everything for a ridiculously low price, and the Canon MX492 does that.
I like a touch screen, but I like physical buttons as well. If I had to guess, I’d say customers looking for a printer in this price range aren’t everyday users. For someone who isn’t an advanced printer user, physical buttons are a nice feature.
Canons have many negative aspects, but print quality is never one of them. This is part of what makes the Canon MX492 so great. It is able to print documents, and can also print excellent quality photos.
What’s doubly impressive is that the MX492 can print great photos with a two-cartridge ink system. For canon, this is uncommon. They tend to use as many cartridges as they possibly can. For the best printer under 100 dollars, only having two cartridges to worry about is a big plus.
Oof, Canon hates your wallet. With the 245/246 cartridge series, you’ll maybe print 500 pages. This works out to about 10 cents per page. If you print photos, you may as well get them done at Walgreens. The only reason to print photos at this cost per page is the convenience of printing at home.
We all know I’m not a patient person. My personal Hell would be sitting and waiting to print documents from this printer. Eight pages per minute means at maximum you’ll be getting one page every seven seconds. That’s like a million years in dog years. My poor basset hound would die of exposure waiting for his Christmas list to print.
Analog interfaces truly don’t make sense in the modern market. A simple color display isn’t hard to do. I’ve seen HP do it on some of their twenty dollar throwaway printers, so there is no reason Canon couldn’t include one here
Verdict – This is the Best Printer for Under 100 Dollars
If you absolutely can’t spend more than $100, then the Canon MX492 is probably the best printer for under 100 dollars. It does everything you want it to, it just doesn’t do it very fast.
The Epson WF-3720 does everything the Canon MX492 does, but faster and better. It costs less, prints and scans better, and has a full-color display. If it were me, I’d definitely scrounge for the extra cash and get the Epson WF-3720
I love the HP OfficeJet Pro 8710, I really do. And, this is where you start to really get your money’s worth. This printer will work much better for home users than the Canon MX492. Also, it is an investment, not an expense. This printer will save you money in the long run, especially if you get Instant Ink to go with it.