How to Print and Scan Documents With a Smartphone or a Tablet?

To print a PDF file or to scan a document using an iOS device (iPhone, iPad), or an Android one (smartphone or Android tablet), the simplest option is to rely on Wifi enabled all-on-one printers. There exist +100 of them. We review here the best ones of the four major brands: Brother, Canon, Epson, and Hewlett Packard (HP). Although they are all very good, we still managed to go deep in the analysis to identify the best of the best. Table 1 summarizes our review.

The first criterion is printing quality and speed. The scores we report are averages evaluated for different uses (text alone, text and graphics, full page picture). Epson is the one that does best in all cases, although the others are doing good. The 4 printers all support double-sided printing. However, only the Epson and the HP are tolerant to empty cartridge. This is handy in case you are out of say yellow, and still want to print a document in greyscale.

For scanning quality and speed however, Epson ranks last. The best option is HP, while Canon and Brother have acceptable performances. This test also covers different situations, i.e. different kinds of documents that one might digitalize (text only, text and color graphics, pictures). Regarding the quality per se, Brother is the worst. But regarding the speed, Epson is way too slow: it takes 40 seconds to scan a page mixing text and color graphics, while the HP requires only 7 seconds!

Regarding the ease of use Canon and HP are doing better than Epson and Brother. This score does cover maintenance operations (cleaning, replacing cartridges). We treated the startup speed as a separate criterion. And, it turns out that Canon is the best here too, requiring only 14 seconds to start printing. HP and Brother require you to wait more than the double time, i.e. about 30 seconds.


Table 1. Comparison of the 4 Best WiFi Inkjet Printers with Scanner and Copier

From the environmental point of view, the four printers are all excellent at saving energy. The only drawback is that they are bit noisy, with the notable exception of Brother which makes way too much noise. Regarding connectivity, beside being all WiFi-enabled, they all also provide support for printing from your smartphone or tablet be it Android or iOS (Apple AirPrint, Google Cloud Print).

The last, but not the least criterion is the price. The cheapest is the Canon MG6820 that costs only $80. At the other end of the spectrum, HP OfficeJet Pro 8630 comes at $162. Brother MFC-J880DW at $100, and Epson XP-630 at $117, are also significantly cheaper.

To sum up, if we take only the technical criteria, Canon and HP perform equally good. The HP allows printing even if some cartridge is empty. The HP is also very fast at scanning. The Canon will save you time on every start up. The price tag is also in favor of the Canon MG6820, that we consider as the best choice.

NooTriX choice: Canon MG6820 Inkjet Wifi all-in-one printer with scanner and copier ($80)

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