Our guide to printer brands and models can help you determine which printer is right for you! The vast number of brands, styles and features makes buying a printer complicated. What do all those model numbers and letters mean? Stick with Toner buzz, and we’ll help you figure it out.
Printer Brands & Models
There are many printer manufacturers, but one company makes and sells approximately half of all the printers on the market — HP.
Hewett-Packard has a long, storied history manufacturing business machines and its printers are renowned for their durability and image quality.
Here’s a closer look at each brand.
Headquarters: Nagoya, Aichi, Japan
Number of Employees: 31,314
Summary: Established in 1954, Brother makes printers, all-in-one machines, scanners, and fax machines, as well as sewing and embroidery machines, label makers and QL series label printers.
Products: printers, printer supplies, computers, fax machines, industrial sewing machines, electronic typewriters, knitting machines, domestic appliances, machine tools
Headquarters: Ota, Tokyo, Japan
Number of Employees: 197,673
Summary: Started in 1933 as Precision Optical Instruments Laboratory in Japan, Canon pioneered 35mm film camera manufacturing. Canon was the principal maker of the print engines found in industry-standard laser printers for many years.
Products: printers, printer supplies, cameras, photocopiers, camcorders, scanners, lenses, LCD's, ophthalmic instruments, magnetic heads, micro motors
Headquarters: Palo Alto, California, US
Number of Employees: 49,000
Summary: Bill Hewlett and David Packard started their business in a one-car garage in Palo Alto, California in 1935. Today HP continues to innovate and reinvent the world of information technology. HP LaserJet printers, introduced in the 1980s, where the world’s first desktop laser printers, and HP has continued to develop printers for a wide variety of applications.
Products: printers, printer supplies, software products, converged cloud products, cameras, scanners, computers, mobile phones, servers
Printer Product Lines: LaserJet, LaserJet Pro, LaserJet Enterprise, LaserJet Enterprise Flow, Color LaserJet, Color LaserJet Pro, Color LaserJet Enterprise, Color LaserJet Enterprise Flow, Color LaserJet Managed, Color LaserJet Managed Flow, Business InkJet, Color Copier, DesignJet, DeskJet, Fax, OfficeJet, OfficeJet Pro, PhotoSmart, PSC
Headquarters: Lexington, Kentucky, US
Number of Employees: 12,700
Summary: Lexmark was born In March 1991 when business machine giant IBM sold off its printer and printer-supply business. Lexmark printers have earned a reputation as some of the finest imaging machines in the industry, offering high-quality prints with cost-effective toner consumption.
Products: printers, printer supplies, management systems
Printer Product Lines: All In One, C Series, CS Series, CX Series, E Series, Formsprinter, JetPrinter, MS Series, MX Series, OfficeEdge, Optra, P Series, S Series, T Series, W Series, X Series, Z Series
Headquarters: Toranomon, Minato-ku, Tokyo, Japan
Number of Employees: 21,090
Summary: Oki manufactured the first telephone in Japan in 1881, gradually transforming itself into an electronics company from the second half of 1960s into the 1970s. Oki Data Americas can be traced back to 1972 when two Philadelphia entrepreneurs and Japanese customer Oki Electric collaborated to develop information technology products. Oki Printers earn high praise for durability and image quality.
Products: printers, printer supplies, info-telecom systems, ATM's
Headquarters: Kadoma, Osaka, Japan
Number of Employees: 257,533
Summary: Panasonic was founded in 1918 as a producer of lightbulb sockets and has grown to become one of the largest Japanese electronics producers, the powerhouse behind such recognizable brands as Sanyo and Technics. The Panasonic KX-MB2061 printer has earned several “year’s best” mentions, while the DP8060 is a high-powered, high-volume multifunction printing station.
Products: printers, printer supplies, fax machines, cameras, camcorders, home appliances, telephones, personal care items
Headquarters: Chuo, Tokyo, Japan
Number of Employees: 105,613
Summary: Ricoh established itself as one of Japan’s premier camera makers in the 1950s. In 1955, Ricoh launched its first office copier, the Ricopy 101. Over the years, Ricoh’s line of Aficio printers have earned high praise from imaging experts.
Products: printers, printer supplies, cameras, copiers, projectors, facsimile machines
Headquarters: Seocho District, Seoul, South Korea
Number of Employees: 489,000
Summary: Samsung is a major innovator in the world of imaging systems. Samsung’s first laser printer debuted in 1990 and its first color laser printer in 2003. In 2013, Samsung introduced the world’s first NEC-enabled color laser, and the first printer powered by the Android operating system. In 2017, HP acquired Samsung’s printer division.
Products: printers, printer supplies, consumer electronics, medical equipment, semiconductors, ships, telecommunications equipment, home appliances
Headquarters: Sakai-ku, Sakai, Japan
Number of Employees: 41,898
Summary: Sharp’s first product was 1912’s Ever-Sharp mechanical pencil. Since then, Sharp Electronics has grown into a global leader in electronics. Sharp laser printers have earned a reputation as one of the industry’s most reliable multifunction printers.
Products: printers, printer supplies, televisions, home appliances, information equipment, fax machines, mobile phones, electronic components, calculators, automated unmanned ground vehicles
Headquarters: Norwalk, Connecticut, US
Number of Employees: 35,300
Summary: Xerox built the first laser printer in 1969 by modifying one of its copiers. The name “Xerox” has become synonymous with imaging systems and copy machines ever since. Today, Xerox produces a wide variety of scanners, printers, and multifunction systems that scan, print, copy, email and fax, including the WorkCentre, Phaser, and VersaLink models.
Products: printers, printer supplies, projectors, scanners, copiers
Glossary Of Printer Features
Buying a printer can look like alphabet soup. What do the letters after the model number mean?
The letters after the model number represent features specific to that printer. Use the glossary of terms below to break the code!
What do the Letters in Printer Model Names Stand for?
- b- battery — The letter b stands for battery, which means your printer is powered by battery. This uncommon feature is sometimes seen on portable printers.
- bt- bluetooth — The letters bt stand for bluetooth, which means your printer can print via a wireless bluetooth connection.
- c- color — The letter c stands for color, which means your printer has color printing capability.
- d- duplex — The letter d stands for duplex, which means that your printer can print on both sides of the page automatically.
- e- ePrint — The letter e stands for ePrint, which means your printer can print via email.
- f- fax — The letter f stands for fax, which means your printer can fax as well as print. Fax is typically found on multifunction printers.
- h- hard disk — The letter h stands for hard disk, which means your printer includes a hard disk. Hard disks enable various features including the ability to schedule printer tasks, have user profiles to set printing limits, and save faxes if ink or toner is low or has run out.
- i- imaging — The letter i stands for imaging, which means your printer is compatible with memory card slots which are used to expand the printer's built-in memory. Many printers that do not have an "i" in their model name are also compatible with memory card slots so check your printer's specs to see if it has this capability or not.
- m- monochrome — The letter m stands for monochrome, which means your printer is a monochrome printer. Monochrome printers print in black and white and do not have color printing capability.
- MFP- multi-function printer — The letters MFP stands for multifunction printer. Multifunction printers, or all-in-one printers, have the ability to scan, copy, and fax.
- n- network — The letter n stands for network, which means your printer has a form of network capability, typically Wi-Fi connectivity or an Ethernet port. If n is combined with w, that means your printer is compatible with a wireless network.
- s- stacker or stapler — The letter s stands for stacker or stapler, which means your printer either has a built-in stacker which stacks paper and enables high-volume printing or a stapler which staples printer paper together.
- sk- stacker and stapler — The letters sk stand for stacker and stapler, which means your printer has a stack and a stapler. A stacker and a stapler are typically only found on very high-volume laser printers used in large office settings.
- t- extra tray — The letter t stands for extra tray, which means your printer has an extra tray. Extra trays enable your printer to handle up to a ream of extra paper.
- w- wireless — The letter w stands for wireless, which means your printer is compatible with a wireless network.
- x- duplex, extra tray, and networking — The letter x stands for duplex, extra tray, and networking, which means your printer has these features or a combination of these features. "X" can also signify different features so check your printer's specs to clarify. "X" used to be "dtn".
Printer Model Examples
Now that we know what the letters stand for in printer model names, let's look at some actual printer models and break down what their model names signify.
- HP Laserjet Pro M1214nfh: HP Laserjet Pro monochrome-1214-network-fax-hard disk
- HP Laserjet Enterprise MFP M632fht: HP Laserjet Enterprise-multifunction printer-monochrome-632-fax-hard disk-extra tray
- HP Color Laserjet Pro MFP M281fdw: HP Color Laserjet Pro-multifunction printer-monochrome-281-fax-duplex-wireless