How we test, review and rate on TechRadar Pro: printers

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Printer

If a manufacturer makes a claim, we’ll make sure we put it to the test (Image credit: Shutterstock)

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If you want to know more about our testing philosophy, check out our overall “how we test” page on TechRadar.


How we test: printers

Epson printer

(Image credit: Epson)

TechRadar Pro is dedicated to providing accurate and unbiased reviews of printers to our readers. Our team of experienced reviewers uses a thorough and objective approach to testing to ensure that our reviews are comprehensive and accurate.

When evaluating printers, we consider key features such as printer category, speed, quality, paper capacity, and paper size. We source and test a range of printers from various manufacturers and retailers, using various methods to assess their performance. This includes setting up the printers and using them for everyday use, specialized use, and pushing the limits to test what these printers are capable of.

Once we have completed our testing, we compile our notes and observations into comprehensive reviews. This review includes a detailed breakdown of the printer’s key features, our overall assessment of its performance, and a list of pros and cons to help readers easily understand the strengths and weaknesses of the printers.

Our goal is to give our readers the information they need to decide which printer is right for them. We strive to be thorough, objective, and fair in our reviews, and we hope our efforts help our readers find the perfect printer for their needs.

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Header Cell – Column 0 Weight (in %)
Print Quality 50%
Print Speed 20%
Features 20%
Price 10%

Why should you trust us?

At TechRadar Pro, we are committed to providing our readers with accurate and unbiased reviews of the products we test. Our team of reviewers has extensive experience in evaluating a wide range of products, and we take pride in our thorough and objective approach to testing.

When it comes to printers, we understand that these products can be a significant investment for many people. That’s why we go to great lengths to ensure that our reviews are as comprehensive and accurate as possible. We source and test various printers from manufacturers and retailers and use several methods to evaluate their key features and performance.

We strive to provide our readers with the information they need to make informed decisions about these important purchases. We hope that our readers find the perfect printer for their needs.

What we look for

For each printer we test, we first categorize the printer into one of several categories to better understand where it sits in the lineup of other printers. Our main printer types at the time of writing this are the following:

  • Home
  • 3D
  • Photo
  • All in One
  • Laser
  • Wireless
  • InkJet
  • Small Business
  • Mac
  • Portable
  • Cheap
  • Ink Tank
  • Students
  • Black and White
  • Large Format
  • A3
  • Workgroup

Once we determine which type the printer fits under, we begin testing the printer to see how well it works with real usage. 

Category

Within types like “home printer” there are still a number of printer types that can be used and built for home use. Because of this, we like to subcategorize. This level includes all-in-one mono laser printers, all-in-one color inkjet printers, and cartridge free printers.

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We test print speed with a basic mono print test to maximize the potential speed. We print a basic chart, a gradient scale, and a simple text document all to determine the average printing speed of the printer. If we are testing a color printer, we will print colored gradient files, images with color (especially skintones) and images of nature.

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The most important element of a printer is quality. If the print quality is poor, the printer is not worth printing on. We test and compare the final printing quality on high-quality, plain paper, unless the manufacturer suggests or recommends a different type of paper.

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Other Tests

Outside of these standardized tests, there are always features of printers that make them unique and stand out. Sometimes these features are what make the printer stand out among the others in its class. We test these features by seeing what the manufacturer claims in any number of areas, and we see if we can get the same result. For example, if the manufacturer claims seamless wireless printing from any device, we will test that with every device we have at our fingertips (which is a lot) to see if that is truly the case.

For printers that have scanning or copying built in, we test that ability with multiple types of documents to see if the copying and scanning can keep up with colored images just as well as it can with excel sheets or black and white text.

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3D Printers

For 3D printers, we test things a little differently as they are a completely different type of printer. Because of this, we test printing technology, build area, dimensions of printing area and speed.


  • Brother
  • HP
  • Epson
  • Canon

Source

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