The 5 Best Color Laser Printers to Buy in 2021

A printer is an integral part of any household and office-based environment. It’s like life insurance, you hope you never need it but you can find yourself drowned with problems if the need for it arises. From the large and noisy printers, we had decades ago to tiny printers that you can carry around easily, a lot has changed. With the rise and popularity of inkjet printers, laser printers have taken a few hits in their run. Inkjet printers are better suited for all-around usage, but laser printers have their advantages too.

For churning out a high number of pages of text, laser printers are your best friends. Not only are they cheaper in the long-run, but they’re also quite fast. If you need a printer for your college assignments or one to have in your office, you’re better off investing in laser printers. So for today, we’ve gathered the 5 best color laser printers for your needs. We try to cover all factors that might be important for you to decide which is the right fit for you. So let’s dig right in.

1. Brother MFC-L8610CDW

Reliable Choice


  • High printing speeds
  • Print via cloud or mobile
  • Printing and copying quality is quite high
  • Economical in the long term


  • No automatic duplex scanning

452 Reviews

Connectivity: Wired, Ethernet, WiFi | Printing Speed: 33 ppm | Duplex Scanning: No | Duplex Printing: Yes | Cartridge Type: TN433 toner

In the printer industry, Brother’s products have had a firm hold, and for good reason. We’ve appreciated their products before too because they know what people want. Their MFC-L8610CDW is a big and chunky piece of hardware that can churn out prints at high speeds. Its high price tag can turn some heads away but the MFC-L8610CDW is packed with some solid features that are perfect for an office-based environment.

Weighing and measuring in at 61lbs and 21.2 x 17.2 x 20.7 inches, the MFC-L8610CDW will require a sturdy table. Brother does really make any attempts to have their printers have any stylish aspect about them. And that can work in the MFC-L8610CDW’s favor since it is intended for professional environments. It follows the standard black and white coloring scheme with a 3.7-inch touch screen for controls. The top is a 50-sheet ADF that can scan multiple documents without having to enter the commands again and again. Unfortunately, you don’t get back-to-back scanning with the MFC-L8610CDW and that was kind of a big letdown for us. For such a beefy price, back-to-back scanning is kind of mandatory. There is automatic duplexing for printing and faxing, but none for scanning.

The MFC-L8610CDW can be connected to a PC using the provided USB cable, Ethernet, or WiFi. Additionally, it also is capable of directly print your documents from Dropbox, Google Drive, and Evernote. The printing and copying speed of this printer is rated at 33 pages per minute. This speed is actually pretty good for offices where quick prints are required. Additionally, with its 4500 and 4000 toner capacity for black and white, this printer makes for a pretty good choice. The printing resolution is 2400 x 600 dpi which is, of course not ideal for high-quality photo prints but more than sufficient for text-based documents. Which is what the Brother MFC-L8610CDW is made for.

The MFC-L8610CDW by Brother will definitely not come cheap. However, there is little to not like about this all-in-one printer. With a printing speed of 33ppm and a resolution of 2400 x 600 dpi, this printer can burst out high-quality prints and save you precious time. Moreover, the 4500 capacity with its relatively cheap toner shows that this printer is a healthy investment in the long-term. You will have to come to terms with the fact that there is no duplex scanning however, for everything else that the MFC-L8610CDW has to offer, you should be able to move past that.

The MFC-L8610CDW printer by Brother is a pretty handy piece of hardware to have. With its fast speed of 33 pages per minute and relatively high resolution, you get yourself a solid printer. Moreover, the costs in the longterm will prove to be in your favor as well. You will have to come to terms with the fact that this printer does not support automatic duplex scanning. And manual scanning can be a bit of a tedious task. Still, we highly recommend the MFC-L8610CDW printer for its amazing specs and high-quality prints.

2. Canon imageCLASS MF264DW

Less Pricey


  • Double-sided prints
  • Long running cartridges
  • Compact size


  • Expensive cartridges
  • High power consumption

870 Reviews

Connectivity: Wired, Ethernet, WiFi | Printing Speed: 28-30 ppm | Duplex Scanning: Yes | Duplex Printing: Yes | Cartridge Type: Cannon 051

Cannon is one of the most famous printer manufacturers in the world today. They make so many different kinds of products worldwide that you may think they slip up somewhere but no, Cannon keeps its quality consistently high. This printer in our list is much cheaper than the Brother MFC-L8610CDW however, it has lesser quality prints. But, there is still much to be said about the imageCLASS MF264DW so let’s dig in.

Cannon stays with their professional design with the Canon imageCLASS MF264dw in the fact it offers no aesthetic feature unless of course, it would affect performance. This printer comes with a scanner as well. This is a huge bonus. The LCD on this printer is bigger than the Lexmark c3326dw. The LCD has the capacity to output about 5 lines of information. There are also way more buttons on this printer. This is a multipurpose printer that can copy, scan, and print. It is an all-rounder.

The printer measures at 16 x 15.4 x 14.8 inches only, though it is slightly larger than the Lexmark product we have in this article, it somehow weights much less at just a meager 27.3 lbs. This printer also contains the standard 251 sheet paper tray as well as standard wireless features including air print and cloud print. You also get Ethernet and USB printing abilities. The print speed on this device is about 28-30 papers per minute. You also get duplex printing and the ability to send files to other systems/people by scanning them. Mobile printing options include Apple AirPrint, Google Cloud Print, Mopria, and Cannon’s Print Business. Of course, you can also print directly over WiFi.

The 600 x 600 dpi resolution on this printer is not the greatest but it’s not the worst either. For printing out normal documents, you won’t have any problems. However, prints with small text fonts will suffer from quality issues. The cost per print on this paper will set you back about 3.5 cents. That’s pretty standard for laser printers and so you shouldn’t worry too much about that. With these costs, 100-200 monthly prints will still leave you on the more budgeted side of things.

All in all the Canon imageCLASS MF264dw is the perfect all-rounder for mainly small offices but can also be utilized at bigger offices as it has many options and features at its disposal. You get way more features than similar printers at similar prices and you also get multipurpose capacity. This is one of the most effective products in the market today. This is sure to deliver excellent results and last a long time as we have come to expect from Cannon.

3. HP M479FDW

All-In-One Printer


  • Color prints are of relatively high quality
  • Paper jams are easy to resolve


  • High running costs
  • High price tag
  • Paper capacity is not that high

3,172 Reviews

Connectivity: Wired, Ethernet, WiFi | Printing Speed: 25 ppm | Duplex Scanning: Yes | Duplex Printing: Yes | Cartridge Type: HP 415X Toner

HP is one of the leading tech companies of the world and their name in the printer industry is well-known, and that too for a good reason. From small home printers to large-scale office printers, HP does it all. The M479FDW is a multipurpose wireless printer capable of producing high-quality printing, scanning, copying, and faxing for your everyday office needs. It is a bit pricey but if you want a sleek, stylish, and well-rounded machine then the M479FDW is your go-to buy. 

The M479FDW can be placed in any corner of your office due to its compact size. It measures only 16.4 x 18.6 x 15.7 inches and weighs 59.1 lbs allowing it to blend in with your office interior. Built for small workspaces, the M479fDW has a total sheet capacity of 300 pages; 250 in the dedicated sheet-tray and 50 in the multipurpose feed-tray. If that doesn’t satisfy your needs then you can add an optional 550-page sheet-tray for some extra money, tallying the total to 850 pages. Its modest 4000 sheets monthly duty cycle suggests that it is capable of handling regular office tasks with ease. The top of the printer has a flatbed which enables good quality scanning and faxing and at the front you can see a 4.3-inch touch screen with separate touch-sensitive buttons for home, back, and help. This makes the printer convenient and easy to use.

Like many color printers, the M479FDW also features a resolution of 600 x 600 dpi. We’ve already talked about this resolution and you will know by now that the 600×600 dpi resolution like in the mid-range. It’ll get the job done. The rated printing and copying speeds of this printer are 25 ppm. The HP M479FDW comes with wireless connectivity and has mobile printing over Apple AirPrint, HP ePrint and direct WiFi prints enabled. A turn-off for this printer is its high and bloated running costs. At 3.2 cents for black and white and 16.3 cents for colored, it can end up costing you a lot. And this too if you opt for HP’s recyclable program.

The M479FDW is a solid option for those who are willing to pay those extra bucks in favor of a good-looking and more compact office accessory. With probably the cleanest text and high graphics quality, paired with a solid printing speed the M479FDW is a favorable option, but probably not the most cost-effective one.

4. Lexmark C3326dw

Cost-Efficient Operation


  • Compact Size
  • Efficient Cartridges
  • Portable


  • Running costs make it suitable for just small offices
  • Slower print speed

522 Reviews

Connectivity: Wired, Ethernet, WiFi | Printing Speed: 24-26 ppm | Duplex Scanning: N/A | Duplex Printing: Yes | Cartridge Type: 312 and 314XL

Lexmark is a printer manufacturer that is not what you may call one of the more famous ones, but that does not mean they cannot keep up with the big boys in terms of products supplied. With the Lexmark C3326DW what you essentially get is a very compact and portable printer that can give you reliable performances. You also get most of the features that other printers do offer.

The Lexmark C3326DW weighs about 35.5 lbs and measures 9.6 x 16.2 x 15.5 inches approximately. It can be clearly seen how this printer is super small and is not mightily heavy. With this product, you get the standard 250 paper-sized trays. You also get wireless printing features for any mobile device as well as USB and Ethernet printing. You can also get further printing options from Lexmark’s app, there is also the ability to print from Google Cloud and Air print. This printer unlike those of other companies is more white than black. Usually, the printer manufacturers opt for black color schemes while this product is primarily white with a bit of grey.

Print speeds range from 24-26 pages per minute in color and mono printing duties. You get pretty standard quality prints at 600 x 600 dpi capacity. Duplexing ability is also present in this printer which although pretty standard still allows for it to be a very useful device. There is a 100 sheet output bin for this printer which is just fine especially considering its size. The product also offers solid security features which can keep your mind at ease regarding the safety of your documents.

One of the things we really like about this particular series is that the printers come with free color cartridges worth 500 pages and a 750-page black cartridge as well. The toners are extremely efficient and you are bound to get high value for money in this regard as they are pretty high yield. There is no scanner in this printer, obviously, and that is about all the weakness we think this device has considering its price tag and use.

The bottom line regarding the Lexmark C3326DW is that it is best suited to a small office or business. It does not have extremely high print speeds or even print capacities. There is no scanner here either. The small size and portable weight make it easier to be moved around and can be used in small surroundings. The printer offers great value for your cartridges and hence your money. Again, this product is best suited to small settings and is super durable, and does its job pretty effectively.

5. Brother HL-L3210CW

High Quality Printing


  • High quality prints
  • Small footprint and weight and thus takes less space


  • Very slow print speeds
  • No automatic duplex prints
  • Only buttons for operations

2,536 Reviews

Connectivity: Wired, Ethernet, WiFi | Printing Speed: 19 ppm | Duplex Scanning: N/A | Duplex Printing: No | Cartridge Type: TN 221 and TN225 toners

The very last entry in our best color laser printers is another one by Brother- the HL-L3210CW. With this printer’s low printing speed and high quality, it is suited for small-scale businesses or homes. Additionally, for a laser printer, it comes quite cheap. However, the HL-3210CW suffers from quite a few setbacks that may make users dislike it.

Coming in with a white and grey color pattern, the HL-3210CW measures and weighs in at 9.9×16.1×18.1-inches and 37.8 lbs. The size and weight of this printer are quite friendly for many environments and therefore, do not require much space. We liked that about the HL-L3210CW. The paper capacity of 250 sheets is a little low but you shouldn’t encounter any issues with that unless you’re churning out a high amount of printings daily. Additionally, this printer comes without a touch screen and relies solely on buttons. With the budget cut, you also miss out on having a scanner and an Ethernet port. Your mobile device compatibility options include Apple AirPrint, Google Cloud Print, iPrint & Scan app by Brother, and direct prints over WiFi.

Brother HL-3210CW’s printing speed of 19 pages per minute shows that it is a very budgeted printer with not so many high-end features. In contrast, many printers have speeds of at least 23+ ppm. And if that’s not enough then you also miss out on automatic duplex printing with this printer. But, there is kind of a bright side to all of this. Printers by Brother are consistent in giving you high-quality outputs and that holds with this as well. It sports a high resolution of 2400 x 600 dpi which is quite fantastic.

The Brother HL-3210CW is a budgeted printer that skimps out on a few features that you’d really be able to take advantage of. For example, you’re left with navigating and controlling your prints with buttons and you must manually flip papers for duplex printing. However,  its high resolution and mediocre running costs can make up for it if that’s what you’re looking for. At this low price tag, you don’t get a scanner but instead, get a printer with high-quality prints with a printing speed of just 19 ppm.

Bill Wilson
Bill is a certified Microsoft Professional providing assistance to over 500 remotely connected employees and managing Windows 2008 to 2016 servers.