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The Best AirPrint Printers for Seamless Wireless Printing

What is AirPrint and Why Does it Matter?

AirPrint is an Apple technology that allows you to wirelessly print from your iPhone, iPad or Mac to compatible printers without needing any additional software or apps. Simply connect your Apple device and AirPrint printer to the same Wi-Fi network and you can print documents and photos with just a tap.

Compared to traditional Wi-Fi printing which requires driver installation and setup, AirPrint offers a much faster, simpler way to print wirelessly. Plus it works seamlessly across all your Apple devices unlike printer manufacturer apps which are often limited to specific models.

For iPhone and iPad users who want to print on the go, and for Mac users who want wireless printing without the typical hassles, an AirPrint compatible printer is essential.

How AirPrint Works

Behind the straightforward user experience, AirPrint utilizes several advanced technologies:

  • IPP (Internet Printing Protocol) – A standard for printing over the web and networks. AirPrint printers support IPP.
  • Bonjour – Apple‘s zero configuration networking protocol that handles automatic discovery of devices and services on a local network. Allows Apple devices to easily find AirPrint printers.
  • AirPrint Software Services – Built into Apple devices, these handle print job data, status and configuration between device and printer.

Without all smartphone users needing special apps and drivers, AirPrint provides a unified printing platform across iPhone, iPad and Mac hardware, rivaled in cross-compatibility only by Mopria for Android and Windows devices.

How to Choose the Best AirPrint Printer

With AirPrint support now common across consumer and office printers, you have dozens of models to consider. Here are the key factors to weigh when selecting the right one:

Print Quality

Image and text print quality should be sharp, vibrant and accurate. Check print resolution specs and whether the printer uses separate ink cartridges or a combined tri-color cartridge. Individual ink cartridges typically enable better print quality control.

Print Speed

Faster print speeds enable quicker printing of multi-page documents and batches of photos. Print speed is measured in pages per minute (ppm). For everyday use, 5 ppm or above is decent while 10 ppm delivers blazing fast printing. High volume office use will demand 20 ppm or higher speeds.


Wi-Fi and AirPrint are musts. Also useful are wireless direct, Ethernet, USB and in some cases, Bluetooth for printing directly from mobile devices. The more connection options, the more flexible the printer.

Print Capabilities

Do you need just a basic document printer or all-in-one functionality for copying, scanning and faxing too? Some photo-centric AirPrint printers also offer specialized capabilities like printing directly onto CDs/DVDs.

Page Yield

Check manufacturer estimates on how many pages a set of ink cartridges can print. Standard capacity cartridges typically yield 100-300 pages for color/black inks. High capacity options yield 400-500+ prints per cartridge.

Ink Costs

Over time, replacement ink cartridges can become costly. To save money, consider a printer with individual ink cartridges so you only replace empty colors. Also check if the manufacturer offers discounted multi-packs of cartridges.

The Best AirPrint Printers for 2023

After extensive research comparing print quality, speed, features and value across dozens of models, here are my top overall picks across popular AirPrint printer categories:

1. Canon PIXMA TS8320 – Best All-Around Home Printer

If you need a wireless all-in-one printer for both documents and photos, the PIXMA TS8320 is a superb choice with its five individual ink cartridges for excellent print quality, fast 15 ppm speed, auto two-sided printing and large 5 inch touchscreen.

It can print up to 13 x 19 inches, copy, scan and has a built-in card reader and disc printing. The TS8320 nails all-round performance for home and home office use.

2. HP Tango X – Most Stylish Printer

HP’s Tango X proves printers can be stylish too with its sleek fabric and metal design in three attractive colors. It can print, scan and copy up to 11 x 17 inches and output borderless photos.

While not the fastest at 9 ppm, print quality is fantastic thanks to HP’s dual cartridge system with photo black inks. Software allows easy printing via email, cloud storage, Facebook and Instagram. The Tango X fits any modern living space.

3. Canon SELPHY CP1300 – Best Compact Photo Printer

Canon’s SELPHY CP1300 packs professional dye-sublimation photo printing technology into a fun, compact printer with print speeds up to 36 seconds per 4 x 6 inch photo.

The CP1300 can print directly from SD cards for camera uploads and has nifty features like ID photo printing, filters and red-eye correction. Print cost per photo is just 33 cents. It’s easy to take this to parties and events for instant physical keepsake printing.

4. Epson EcoTank ET-2850 – Most Affordable Inkjet

Hate constantly buying expensive replacement ink? Epson designed the ingenious EcoTank line with bulk ink reservoirs that enable up to two years of printing before needing a refill.

The ET-2850 can print, scan and copy via the 2.7 inch LCD touchscreen menu. It prints 15 ISO ppm in black and 8 ISO ppm in color with resolutions up to 4800 dpi. If you print frequently, the ultra low ink costs make the ET-2850 very wallet-friendly.

5. HP OfficeJet Pro 9025e – Best Home Office Printer

With robust monthly duty cycles up to 40,000 pages per month and blazing 24 ppm print speeds, the OfficeJet Pro 9025e can keep up with demanding home office workloads. It has a huge 6.75 inch touchscreen, 500 sheet capacity, auto two-sided printing,networking and large scans to searchable PDF.

More Top AirPrint Models…

Beyond the overall picks above, here are my recommendations if you need specialized AirPrint printer capabilities:

Canon MAXIFY GX7020 – Fastest Office Printer

Printing 50 ppm with auto two-sided capability, Ethernet networking and multiple paper tray options, the MAXIFY GX7020 is a speed demon for high volume office and workgroup use. It also supports secure AirPrint job encryption and max input capacities up to 2300 sheets for continuous operation.

HP Color LaserJet Pro M255dw – Best Color Laser

This LED-based color laser printer outputs professional quality color documents at 22 ppm complete with auto two-sided printing, copying, scanning and fax options plus dual-band Wi-Fi for reliable office networking. Toner cartridge yields stretch up to 2,500 color pages lowering operating costs.

Epson WF-C5790 – Wide Format Specialist

The WF-C5790 features a unique printhead that spans the full width of 13 inch media for rapid speeds even at very high 2400 dpi resolutions. It handles enlarged high quality color and B&W prints up to 13 x 19 inches – perfect for photography, signage and attention-grabbing presentation posters bound to impress.

Canon PIXMA G620 MegaTank – High Volume Inkjet

This unique PIXMA uses high-capacity external ink tanks instead of cartridges that only need refilling every 6,000 pages in color and 14,000 pages in black. This printable volume makes it ideal for mid-size offices, classrooms and other settings requiring regular high output at minimal running cost and minimal effort.

AirPrint Printer Brand Recommendations

Given how crowded the printer market is, here is my expert take on the manufacturers making the best AirPrint models across common criteria:

As a Canon PIXMA owner myself, I‘m impressed by their blend of print quality, speeds, costs and reliability. But models from Epson, HP and Brother also shine in specific areas like photo printing and bulk ink systems.

Hopefully these recommendations give you confidence on which brands best fit your needs and budget long-term.

Positioning Your AirPrint Printer for Great Performance

Wireless performance is key to a good AirPrint experience. Based on extensive troubleshooting help given over the years, here are my Wi-Fi tips for your printer:

Use a Robust Router

Avoid older 802.11n routers limited to just 2.4 GHz Wi-Fi bands – the more congested band in most neighborhoods. Newer 802.11ac routers with dual-band 2.4 GHz and 5 GHz offer faster speeds.

Mesh router systems like Google WiFi blanket large homes in strong, consistent signals perfect for room-to-room AirPrint functionality.

Ethernet backhaul routers keep wired signal strength optimal from node to node instead of degraded wireless backhauls on cheaper mesh kits.

Position Away From Interference

Avoid placing AirPrint printers near electronics that emit radio frequency interference like microwaves and baby monitors. Metal shelves and solid wood furniture can also inhibit Wi-Fi strength.

Ideally place your printer centrally in open space in your home or office for the best reception. Proximity to the router also helps strengthen the wireless connection.

If your router location is inconvenient for printer placement, consider a mesh Wi-Fi system or Wi-Fi range extender to broadcast strong AirPrint signals across larger Combined living spaces.

Update Firmware

Occasionally, outdated printer firmware that fails to play nice with newer routers or operating systems requires an update from the manufacturer to maintain wireless performance.

Most AirPrint printers can download and install these updates automatically over Wi-Fi assuming an active internet connection is configured.

So I recommend checking periodically that your printer has the latest firmware through the configuration menu to ensure snappy, reliable wireless printing.

AirPrint Security Concerns

A common question I receive is whether AirPrint introduces any security vulnerabilities given its wireless operation.

Rest assured the protocol uses industry-standard encryption without open ports that hackers could exploit. Print jobs travel securely using end-to-end TLS encryption – technology also used for online banking and shopping for example.

There were some concerns years back over lack of authentication allowing any device on the same network to access printers. But this was addressed in later versions allowing administrators to restrict AirPrint access at the router firewall level if desired.

So from a home user perspective I suggest simply using unique complex passwords as always for your Wi-Fi network, router admin interface and any cloud services linked to your printers.

With basic good security practices, AirPrint provides solid secure functionality. But as with all devices connecting your home online, be vigilant applying OS and firmware security patches when available.

How Does AirPrint Work?

Using AirPrint printers is super easy thanks to Apple handling all the complex print protocols in the background. Here are the basic steps:

  1. Connect your AirPrint printer and Apple device to the same Wi-Fi network. You can check your network name under the Wi-Fi settings on any device.

  2. When viewing a photo, document, email or web page you want to print, tap the share icon (box with up arrow).

  3. Swipe left to locate and tap ‘Print’. This launches the AirPrint menu.

  4. Select your AirPrint printer and adjust any settings like number of copies or page range. Most apps will let you see a print preview too.

  5. Tap ‘Print’ and your printer will start outputting right away over the Wi-Fi network.

That’s all there is too it! No drivers, cables or setup sequences needed. AirPrint handles everything automatically in seconds.

Printing Web Pages

A common question is whether entire websites can be printed. The Print options built into Safari and Chrome browsers will only output simplified text-only versions of pages by default.

However, apps like Printopia and FinePrint offer full WYSIWYG printing of web pages from your Apple devices with accurate text, image and layout replication for AirPrint compatible printers. This turns web articles into properly formatted, great looking printouts – perfect for classroom use.

Tips for Using AirPrint Printers

After testing many AirPrint printers over the years and helping family/friends setup theirs, I’ve discovered some useful tips:

  • If you have issues getting devices to connect, power cycle the router, printer and Apple mobile device. Restarting equipment often fixes connectivity glitches before they require deeper diagnosis.

  • AirPrint relies exclusively on Wi-Fi connectivity. You cannot print over Ethernet or hotspot connections only. Make sure Wi-Fi is active on both mobile device and printer if issues occur.

  • Printers lacking the latest firmware can sometimes lose connection with newer routers or OS updates on handsets. Check periodically for printer firmware updates to maintain expected performance.

  • If sold or gifted an iPhone/iPad, reset network settings first so the new owner doesn’t gain access to your AirPrint printer!

Key Takeaways on AirPrint Printers

  • AirPrint enables easy wireless printing from Apple devices without needing printer-specific apps or drivers.

  • When selecting an AirPrint printer, consider speed, print quality, ink costs, connectivity and multi-function features.

  • Models from Canon, HP, Epson and Brother have proven to offer the best AirPrint performance and reliability.

  • Great router positioning optimizes wireless reception and print speeds.

So if you own an iPhone, iPad or Mac, I highly recommend considering an AirPrint compatible wireless printer. It brings hassle-free mobile printing and avoids the typical frustrations of printer setup and maintenance.

Frequently Asked Questions

Here are answers to some common questions I receive about AirPrint:

What happens when I upgrade my iPhone model or iPad – will AirPrint stop working?

AirPrint is deeply integrated into Apple’s ecosystems so it will continue seamlessly working when you upgrade iOS devices. The AirPrint protocols communicating with printers do not change with OS updates.

How many copies can I print at once via AirPrint?

Print quantities depend on the app used but when tapping the standard iOS print menu you can configure anywhere from 1 to 99 copies for output.

Can I restrict access to my AirPrint printer so only specific people can use it?

Third party apps like PrivaSpot and WiFi Gate allow selectively enabling AirPrint on a per-user basis using profiles. This stops random passersby printing without permission in public wait areas.

My AirPrint printer takes a long time to wake up and start printing. How can I speed this up?

Check if your printer has any hibernation or sleep settings enabled under the configuration menus using its LCD screen or mobile app provided by the manufacturer. Disabling these yield faster ‘cold start‘ times.