The best printers for students

Find a student printer that's perfectly matched to your needs and budget.
A young man with his back to the camera leans over a desk on which sits a Canon PIXMA printer, plants and stationery.

In this digital age, most of our written communication is via text, email and electronic documents, but there are still plenty of times when you need to print.

Canon's range of printers are renowned for their cost-effectiveness, efficiency and reliability. Some are best for text, while others are geared to graphical and photographic output, and there are many models that make an excellent job of both, even if you're on a tight budget.

For students, as well as the need to sometimes submit work in print, there are other less obvious benefits to printing. Creating physical notes for quick and easy reference can be a great learning and revision aid. And even if you're going to submit documents electronically, reading through them in print first can make it much easier to spot mistakes, as well as being a welcome break for the eyes from viewing everything on-screen. For graphical and photographic courses, where you often have to submit physical projects, creating prints can really help you to critique your own work and pinpoint areas for improvement.

A laptop on a wood-effect desk alongside a Canon PIXMA printer.

Canon has a range of printing apps and software to help you get the most out of your printer.

If you're not used to laying out projects for printing, the Canon Easy-PhotoPrint Editor app enables you to edit photos, and create collages, posters and more using a range of templates. Plus you can lay out multiple files (text, spreadsheets, PDFs, images) and print them together on to one piece of paper with the Canon Easy-Layout Editor.

Many colleges and universities now use Google Classroom to organise assignments – if yours is one of them, you can use your Canon printer to print out your worksheets via the cloud. Simply log in to Google Classroom via the printer's touchscreen or the app on your smart device, and you can click through to individual classes and print out assignment sheets set by your tutors. Once you've finished the work, if your Canon wireless printer includes a built-in scanner you can even scan the completed pages back in and submit them, again directly via the printer screen or app.

Read on to discover your perfect printing partner.

Budget-friendly student printers

A Canon PIXMA printer on a dark grey work surface. In the background a small wooden table and three chairs can be seen.

The Canon PIXMA TS205 Series is the most affordable single-function printer in the range. It has no built-in scanner, but is robustly constructed and outputs high-quality documents in both mono and colour, as well as vibrant borderless 10x15cm photographs.

If there's one constant in student life, it's trying to stick to a budget. Fortunately, Canon's inkjet printers start at a very modest price, and the compact and stylish Canon PIXMA TS205 Series is an ideal printer for students.

Simple, straightforward and easy to use, the PIXMA TS205 is pretty speedy too, turning out mono A4 pages at 7.7 ipm (impressions per minute) and full-colour ones at 4 ipm. It can also output borderless glossy 10x15cm photo prints in just over a minute1.

Not only is the printer affordable to buy, but running costs are low too. It requires just a pair of ink cartridges, one black and one colour, which are quick and easy to replace. High-yield options are available for greater cost-effectiveness if you need to print in larger volumes. Each pair of XL cartridges lasts for around 400 mono A4 documents or up to 300 in full colour.

The Canon PIXMA TS305 Series adds Wi-Fi connectivity for wireless printing and is also compatible with the free Canon PRINT app, enabling you to print seamlessly from your smart devices. This also means you can copy documents, even though the printer itself doesn't include a scanner.

A Canon PIXMA printer, black in colour, prints a sheet of A4 paper while surrounded by pictures and printouts, and a hand holding a smartphone

With the Canon PIXMA TS3350 Series you can print wirelessly from the Cloud, as well as from smartphones and tablets with the Canon PRINT app. It features a 3.8cm mono LCD display and can output 13x13cm square photos as well as more conventional sizes up to 13x18cm.

The Canon PIXMA TS3150 Series all-in-one printer adds a built-in scanner, so you can quickly and easily digitise or create copies of existing printed images and documents. It also features Wi-Fi connectivity and is compatible with Apple AirPrint and Mopria™ for Android, so you can print straight from your device. It uses the same ink cartridges as the Canon PIXMA TS205 Series and Canon PIXMA TS305 Series, with the same high-yield options.

Like the PIXMA TS3150, the Canon PIXMA TS3350 Series budget-friendly printer includes a useful 3.8cm screen for monitoring printer status, and can output larger borderless photo prints of up to 13x18cm in size. It can also print from the cloud using the PIXMA Cloud Link via the Canon PRINT app.

Best compact student printers

A Canon PIXMA printer on the edge of a table. Various desks and chairs can be seen in the background.

The compact Canon PIXMA TS305 Series is ideal if you're short on space but still need high-quality document and photo printing capabilities.

Student accommodation is not typically known for being spacious, so lightweight printers with a small footprint are often preferable. The Canon student printers we've mentioned so far start at around 426x255x31mm in size and 2.5kg in weight for print-only devices, and 435x316x145mm and 3.9kg for multi-function devices. They take up very little room and it's easy to move them from one place to another when necessary.

An advantage of the Wi-Fi connectivity featured in most Canon printers is that you can keep the printer somewhere convenient, rather than needing to have it tethered to a computer. It's also handy to be able to print from anywhere using your laptop or phone, without needing to physically connect it to the printer with a trailing cable. For example, you can send a print job from laptop to printer before you even get out of bed in the morning, and grab it from the output tray when you're ready to go.

The compact Canon PIXMA TS305 Series is just 430x282x143mm and weighs 2.9kg, and prints full-sized A4 documents at up to 7.7 ipm for mono and 4 ipm in full colour. It can also deliver borderless glossy 10x15cm photo prints in just 65 seconds.

Graduate to the next level

A hand holds a document as it emerges from a Canon PIXMA printer.

The Canon PIXMA TS7650i runs on the same formulation of pigment-based black ink as Canon's GX series of business printers, giving particularly robust text that's highly resistant to smudging.

The Canon PIXMA TS5350i Series takes things even further, giving you a boost in productivity. It features Wi-Fi connectivity and is directly compatible with Apple AirPrint, Mopria™ for Android and Canon's own PIXMA Cloud Link. It also includes a higher-resolution scanner that enables ultra-fine detail to be captured and copied when scanning documents or photos and other images. It's faster too, outputting mono A4 documents at up to 13 ipm and colour ones at up to 6.8 ipm. It can also produce borderless glossy photo prints up to A4 in size, and output borderless 10x15cm photos in just 43 seconds.

The PIXMA TS5350i Series features both a front-loading A4 cassette and a rear paper feed tray which can accept different sizes of paper up to A4. It's a really useful feature if you want to print artwork and photos as well as documents, as you can use the front cassette for plain paper and insert specialist media or photo paper into the rear tray, as and when you need it. Another bonus for both money-saving and eco-friendliness is that the printer includes an auto-duplex facility, for automatically printing double-sided documents without you needing to flip the pages manually.

The compact Canon PIXMA TS7650i printer is another affordable option for students. It's fast, outputting mono and colour pages at 15 ipm and 10 ipm respectively, and the pigment-based black ink is also less likely to smudge on plain paper – a major advantage when using highlighter pens for revising.

The PIXMA TS7650i is simple to set up, thanks to an intuitive interface based around a tilting colour screen. It's well connected, with quick and easy pairing to iOS devices over Wi-Fi, eliminating the need for passwords. You can also connect via Wi-Fi Direct on iOS and Android devices, courtesy of a QR code displayed on the printer's screen.

As with the PIXMA TS5350i Series, a separate internal paper cassette and rear input tray allow for loading plain paper and photo paper simultaneously. There is also a slightly taller PIXMA TS7750i version that features a built-in 35-sheet ADF (Auto Document Feeder), which can be a real timesaver when scanning or copying multi-sheet documents.

Both models are also compatible with the PIXMA Print Plan2, which can cut ink cartridge costs by up to 50%3. The subscription-based service monitors your printer's ink levels and delivers new cartridges to your door as soon as it detects that you're running low, saving you time and effort.

Driving down running costs

A Canon PIXMA printer with a Canon camera next to it, and a selection of travel, food and portrait prints laid out around it.

Ideal for photo printing, the Canon PIXMA G650 is a MegaTank printer with six refillable tanks of dye-based inks. This gives an extended tonal range and colour space, for ensuring photographic output at optimum quality. There's also a Canon PIXMA G550 single-function printer with the same ink line-up but no built-in scanner.

All of the student printers we've mentioned combine very affordable purchase prices with highly competitive running costs.

Although ink cartridges are convenient, however, they're less cost-effective if you need to print high volumes of pages on a regular basis. Canon's MegaTank printers offer a money-saving and more sustainable alternative that can massively reduce running costs.

Instead of ink cartridges, MegaTank printers have ink tanks, which you can refill with genuine Canon bottled inks costing a fraction of the price of cartridges. The non-squeeze bottles are also engineered so that topping up is a simple and completely mess-free process, and each colour has a unique nozzle shape, making it impossible to put the wrong ink in the wrong tank.

A young woman holding a smartphone sits at a desk with a Canon PIXMA printer on it.

Amazing value for a MegaTank printer, the Canon PIXMA G2520 is a good investment when you consider that you might have no further ink costs for the rest of your student days. It also removes the inconvenience of having to buy replacement cartridges. The Canon PIXMA G3520 (pictured) gives all of the same benefits while adding built-in Wi-Fi.

The Canon PIXMA G3520 is a multi-function MegaTank printer with the usual print, scan and copy facilities, as well as Wi-Fi and Cloud connectivity. It comes complete with enough ink to print up to an astonishing 6,000 mono pages (more than 7,600 in economy mode) or up to 7,700 colour pages.

If you want all of these advantages but don't need Wi-Fi connectivity, the Canon PIXMA G2520 is even more affordable to buy and has exactly the same low running costs. Plus, both of these models can even print full-colour banners at up to 1.2m in length, on plain paper only.

The choice is yours

To keep one step ahead in busy student life, it's great being able to print whatever you want, whenever you want it, rather than having to rely on other people or services to do the job for you. Canon's budget-friendly PIXMA printer range gives you the ultimate in convenient, speedy and fuss-free printing, with the utmost reliability and dependability. And most of them add the luxury of Wi-Fi connectivity, combined with apps for your smart devices, adding yet more convenience and versatility to your student printing experience.

Written by Matthew Richards

  1. Photo print speed is based on the default setting using ISO/JIS-SCID N2 on Photo Paper Plus Glossy II and does not take into account data processing time on host computer.
  2. PIXMA Print Plan is only available to residents of Austria, Belgium, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Italy, Norway, The Netherlands, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Republic of Ireland and United Kingdom.
  3. Based on average cost per page savings vs. original standard inks sold for the top 20 Inkjet all-in-ones in Western Europe, (Key Point Intelligence study – Jan 2022). Cost per page (CPP) of monthly subscription to Canon PIXMA Print Plan (200-page plan), without additional pages, compared to cost per page to print ISO/IEC 24711 pages on the top 20 Inkjet all-in-one colour cartridge printers, priced under 200 Euros in Western Europe, using standard-capacity cartridges. Average CPP used to determine percentage saving versus CPP for Canon PIXMA Print Plan (200 page plan). Ink yield and prices based on manufacturer website information in Germany. Sale prices of ink not considered for this study. Keypoint Intelligence January 2022 study commissioned by Canon, based on publicly available info as of Jan 2022. Printers selected by unit sales in IDC Quarterly Hardcopy Peripherals Tracker – Final Historical 2021Q4, Western Europe.

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