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A printer is an essential device if you have a school- or college-goer at home. In fact, it has become a necessity for everyone.

Inkjet printers are considered best for home users as they are affordable (below 15,000) and have enough features to help you manage your personal printing requirements.

Keep a few things in mind if you’re buying one—speed should not be the primary criteria. Look for printers with features such as mobile printing, email printing and network printing. A printer that comes with a scanner and a copier is a bonus.

Look for inkjets that reproduce text well and have features that help reduce power consumption. The auto-sleep mode, for instance, will switch off a printer when it’s not in use. Last but not least, do not forget to check the manufacturer warranty, which is usually one year.

We look at some inkjet printers that might work well in your home.

HP DeskJet Ink Advantage 3635

6,480

The 3635 is compact, looks good and comes with a host of useful features. It can serve as a scanner and a copier, and has several wireless printing options. The HP ePrint feature allows you to print by sending a mail on the printer’s email id. The Wireless Direct feature creates a wireless network between the printer and smartphone so one can print directly from the phone. It comes with a small paper tray that accommodates up to 60 A4 sheets at a time.

The interface is a little complex and takes some getting used to, for the buttons have no text around them. The printer uses HP’s colour and black ink cartridges, which cost 549 each. A black cartridge will last through 480 prints of black and white, and you can get up to 100 pages in colour with text and picture.

The printer produces high-quality colour prints in the A4 size. It takes 34 seconds to print a Web page and 14 seconds to print a Word document in black and white.

If you want a good-looking wireless printer with useful features, this is a pretty impressive device.

Canon Pixma MG2570S

3,650

Even with a copier and scanner, the MG2570S is a compact printer that will fit easily on the smallest of shelves or tables. It can accommodate 60 A4 sheets in the paper tray. The print quality is good as long as the font size is not too big or too small, but it takes a little longer to print: about 22 seconds to print a Word document without image and about 44 seconds to print a plain Web document. It uses colour ( 746) and black ( 499) cartridges.

The printer is a little noisy and there is no panel display. Canon has bundled some exclusive printable content from Canon’s Creative Park Premium website with the printer. The website offers a range of trendy greeting cards and paper craft.

Usually, printers consume some amount of power even on standby. This printer switches itself off when not in use.

It is ideal if you are looking for an entry-level inkjet multi-function printer with respectable print quality and a good copier and scanner.

Brother DCP-T500W

11,193

Brother’s latest all-in-one printer looks like a professional-level wireless printer with a neatly arranged control panel and a single-line monochrome display.

What makes it special is the easy ink refill mechanism, which makes refilling child’s play. The ink tank, with a transparent cover, is placed right on the front panel. You can keep an eye on the ink level and when it’s used up, you don’t have to open the back or top panel to pull out the cartridges—just open the lid and refill. This has allowed Brother to keep the size in check.

The paper tray can carry 100 A4 sheets at a time, which is impressive.

The printer comes with four ink cartridges—cyan, magenta, black and yellow. The entire set comes for about 2,000, and you can get about 5,000 prints on plain paper. It is fast and takes about 20 seconds to print a Web page without an image and 10 seconds to print a Word document. The print quality is impressive and consistent. The colours look brilliant, while the text looks sharp on plain paper.

If you are looking for a wireless printer which lasts longer, can double up as a scanner as well as a copier, support two-sided prints and provide high-quality prints with crisp text, the DCP-T500W is one of the best printers in this range.

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