Finding the best printer for Mac is nowhere near as difficult as it used to be. While in the early days of Macintosh, your best bet would have been to buy one of Apple’s own printers rather than try to find a third-party printer that had the right connections and drivers, these days it’s almost impossible to find a printer that won’t work with your Mac straight out of the box.
So with worries about compatibility out of the way, what makes the best printer for Mac? Top of the list, we reckon, is AirPrint support. If a printer offers that then you’re guaranteed easy wireless printing from the get-go, not only from your Mac but from your iPhone and iPad as well. Naturally, if you’re working in design you want great print quality and colour reproduction, and you’re also likely to want a printer that can scan and copy, and which can deal with more than just standard A4 paper.
Another thing that Mac owners may have more of an eye for is a good-looking printer; when you’ve invested in a piece of sleek Apple hardware, you don’t want the effect ruined by an ugly hunk of printer lurking on your desk. And if you’re a MacBook owner, you might want something compact and lightweight so that you can take it with you on your travels.
With all that and more in mind, we’ve collected together a selection of the best printers for Mac, at a range of price points and with all the features you’re likely to require. We’ve evaluated each model based on the manufacturer’s specs and also reviews from our network of contacts and regular customers too. Can’t find what you need? Take a look at our guides to the best printers for photos, the best art printers and the best home printers, many of which will also get along perfectly with your Mac.
The best printers for Mac
Designed with Mac users in mind (and indeed iPad and iPhone owners), the HP Tango X is a delightfully minimal and compact printer that’ll go perfectly with the MacBook Pro and should also appeal to anyone who wants a printer that won’t take up too much desk space. It has full AirPrint compatibility, which makes it a breeze to print from any Apple device, and there’s no need to fiddle with drivers or plug in cables.
It’s not a cheap option, but it’s good-looking and versatile too, with the option to scan and copy as well as printing. Its portability means it’s also highly rated as an option for taking out and about; it even comes with a linen wrap so that you can take it with you without worrying about it getting scuffed up.
For a cheaper alternative to the HP Tango X, take a look at the Epson Expression Premium XP-6100/6105 (the number varies depending on your country – expect to find a lot of this minor annoyance throughout this roundup). Like the Tango X it’s a compact little printer with plenty of capability, including AirPrint for super-easy printing from any Apple device.
It’ll also do scanning and copying as well as automatic duplex printing, and it can cope with all sorts of media including glossy photo paper and even blank CDs. Although the printer itself comes at a great price, the ink cartridges aren’t cheap; however we believe it’s worth it for the quality of the prints.
If you’re looking for great print quality without spending a fortune (scroll further down the page if you’re actually looking to spend a fortune), this Canon Pixma would be our first choice. It’s thoroughly Mac-friendly with AirPrint connectivity ready to go, but what really marks it out is its use of six ink cartridges. We’ve found that, combined with the 4800 x 1200 DPI resolution, they give impressive colour fidelity and prints that really pop.
There’s also an SD card slot so that you can print photos from your camera without having to get a computer involved. This Pixma can also do duplex printing and it’ll scan and copy as well. It’ll look great on your desk, too!
Aimed more at small businesses rather than individuals, this Epson WorkForce Pro is a good choice if you’re after a printer that everyone in a studio can share, and which can do all those extra things you’re likely to need such as scanning and copying. It boasts AirPrint compatibility for printing from any Apple device, as well as an Ethernet port so that anyone on your office network can print with ease. With a decent print speed and lots of room for paper, nobody should be kept waiting for their prints.
It’s also cheaper to run than most inkjets since it uses Epson’s XL cartridges that can go for up to 2,600 pages. They offer a lot more value for money than standard cartridges, making this printer almost as cheap to maintain as a laser printer.
If you love the smell of hot toner in the morning and absolutely must have a laser printer to go with your Mac, we’d recommend the Canon imageCLASS MF743Cdw. It’s big and heavy but spits out pages at a fair old lick, and it can do colour prints as well, with separate cyan, magenta and yellow toner cartridges bringing decent colour results.
It’ll connect wirelessly as well as via a network or USB, and like many of the printers listed here it can also be used for scanning and copying. It’ll also hold up to 300 sheets of paper, so if you need lots of pages printed really fast, this is an option to go for.
Need the best printer for Mac that’ll do justice to your photography skills? If you don’t have a massive budget but want gorgeous glossy prints of your photos, this Canon Pixma should serve you well. Colour prints on glossy paper are where it really excels, delivering fantastic colour reproduction and a super-smooth finish, but it can also do a fantastic job with matte and fine art media.
There’s AirPrint support for straightforward printing from your Mac, iPhone or iPad, as well as USB and Ethernet connections, and it also comes with Canon’s own software to help you get your prints looking their best.
This is our pick as the best printer for Mac if you’re a serious designer who needs quality prints larger than A4. There’s no denying that the Epson SureColor SC-P5000 is very expensive, not to mention incredibly heavy. But if you need to print at poster size, we reckon it’s worth every penny. It goes up to A2, and in terms of print quality it beats every other printer in this roundup, as you might reasonably expect.
The SureColor SC-P5000 uses a set of 10 Epson UltraChrome HDX pigment inks that enable it to reproduce 99 per cent of the Pantone solid coated colour range. Combined with an internal colour calibration sensor, this means that anything that comes out of it is going to look absolutely stunning.
Look at the price of this Canon Pixma and you might not think it counts as budget, but, as you probably know, with cheap printers the cost of ink cartridges can often quickly add up. And that’s where this printer comes into its own; instead of cartridges, it uses refillable ink tanks, and it comes with enough ink for 6,000 black and white pages and 7,700 colour pages.
It’s also AirPrint compatible and it can scan and copy as well as print. It’s not the fastest printer in the world, but if you have an eye on the bottom line, we think it’s well worth considering.