Discover the best printers for students

When you need to look good on paper, a Canon printer will do you proud. Find the best options to suit your needs and your budget.
A Canon printer sits on a wooden desk, mid-printout. A woman sits in front of it with some packs of printer paper, looking at an image on a mobile tablet.

In this digital day and age, most of our written communication is via text messages, email and electronic documents, but there are still plenty of times when you need to print. And creating a hard copy can be affordable and easy to do.

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.

If you're not used to laying out projects for printing, you can also use Canon's Easy-PhotoPrint Editor app, which allows you to edit photos and create collages, posters and more using a range of ready-made templates. And the Canon Easy-Layout Editor software even allows you to lay out multiple files (text documents, spreadsheets, PDFs, images etc) as one file and print them together onto one piece of paper. You can also use it to choose the specific parts of a web page you want to print out.

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 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.

There's a large choice of printers available to suit all needs, but we're here to give you a few pointers to help you find a student printer that's perfectly matched to your requirements and budget. 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 6x4-inch 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, in the compact and stylish shape of the Canon PIXMA TS205 Series.

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 6x4-inch photo prints in just over a minute.

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 for smartphones and tablets, enabling you to print seamlessly from your smart devices. This also means you can copy documents using your smart device's camera, even though the printer itself doesn't include a scanner, by using the Smartphone Copy function in the app. You can also use the Canon Easy-PhotoPrint Editor app on your device to edit your photos or create collages, cards and other personalised items to print out.

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 free-of-charge Canon PRINT app. It features a 3.8cm mono LCD display and can output 5x5 inch square photos as well as more conventional sizes up to 7x5 inches.

The Canon PIXMA TS3150 Series 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 PIXMA TS3350 Series includes a useful 3.8cm screen for monitoring printer status, and can output larger borderless photo prints of up to 7x5 inches 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 426x255x131mm 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 6x4-inch photo prints in just 65 seconds.

Graduate to the next level

A white Canon printer sits on a desk. In front of it, a woman is holding a printout with a selection of butterfly outlines.

Great for crafting as well as document printing, the Canon PIXMA TS5350a Series has dual paper input trays, the upright one at the rear being ideal for thicker card and photo paper as it avoids the media being flipped over as it passes through the printer, unlike the paper stored in the front cassette. The OLED display on the front gives a clear view of menu choices, and there's an LED status bar which lights up during printing.

The Canon PIXMA TS5350a 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 6x4-inch photos in just 43 seconds.

The PIXMA TS5350a 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.

Driving down running costs

A top-down image of a Canon PIXMA printer with a Canon camera on top of it. Underneath the printer is a montage of travel, food and portrait prints.

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. To avoid the risk of running out of ink just when you need it, Canon's printers keep you informed when they're getting low and make the reordering process intuitive and hassle-free. Replacing ink cartridges is a quick and easy process that takes just a few seconds.

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 1.2 metres 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

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