When it comes to printing the photos that have filled up your camera memory card, an inkjet printer, paired with photo-quality paper, is the ideal solution. They work well for everyday document printing – as well as photos – although it makes sense to choose a model like the model below, as it has individual colour and black ink cartridges, so you don’t have to replace the whole cartridge when one colour runs out.
A wireless all-in-one printer like this Canon is the perfect workhorse for the whole family
Best inkjet printer: The Canon PIXMA MG5550 Wireless All-in-One Inkjet Printer has it all: a printer that delivers superb results, utilising separate ink cartridges for each colour to save you money. There’s also a built-in scanner for documents and photos, which can work alongside the printer to offer a photocopying option. And, to round things off, there’s a built-in Wi-Fi interface and Google Cloud support, meaning all of your networked computers can print directly to the printer without having to plug into it first.
Laser printers are perfect if you print out far more documents than photos. While lasers have a bigger price tag, their running costs are much lower because toner cartridges are designed for mass volume printing – each cartridge is capable of printing up to 1,500 pages. If colour isn’t an issue, choose a mono model, which is fine for documents and letters. It will be cheaper to buy and you’ll only have a single toner to replace.
Colour laser models come into their own when you need to print documents with a splash of colour. They’re not ideal for photo printing and generally don’t support photographic paper, which is designed for inkjets. You’ll also have to factor in the cost of replacing four toners, rather than just one.
The Samsung Xpress X460W is an excellent option if you want a colour laser printer
Best mono laser: Samsung Xpress SL-M2022 Monochrome Laser Printer is a small, compact model designed to sit next to your computer and connect via USB 2.0. If you want a network model that can be plugged into your router , making it accessible to all the computers on your network, take a look at the Brother HI2250dnr Network Monochrome Laser Printer instead, which has a built-in automatic duplex function, making it easy to print on both sides of the paper.
Best colour laser: Samsung Xpress C460W Wireless All-in-One Laser Printer: this has it all, from built-in scanner and copier to support for wireless NFC technology, making it easy to print wirelessly from your NFC-enabled tablet or smartphone (it's also got regular Wi-Fi too, so can print wirelessly from any computer on your network). The C460W yields up to 1,500 pagers per toner, making it good value for money, and features an Eco-Print setting to squeeze things further.
Big, bulky paper files are becoming a thing of the past. These days people tend to take a digital copy (rather than a hard copy) of printed documents to store on their computer for back-up.
The tool you need to convert your paper to digital is, of course, the scanner. These can be bought as part of an all-in-one printer (see the Canon and Samsung models above) or as standalone flatbed models, which only take up slightly more space than an A4 sheet of paper.
Digitally archive old photos and documents with the help of a flatbed scanner
Best flatbed scanner: Canon CanoScan LiDE 110 Flatbed Scanner offers everything you need in a standalone scanner, including shortcut buttons on the front that can easily convert your scanner and printer into a photocopying machine.