Here at CityInkExpress, we are often asked for advice on which printer model would be best for our customers. In this blog post, we hope to shed some light on the sometimes bewildering array of options available in the market.



Toner or Inkjet?


Traditionally, businesses have always chosen a laser printer over an inkjet because of the reduced running costs involved with a laser printer. That is no longer necessarily the case, and many small or medium businesses (SMBs) are taking advantage of the latest business inkjet offerings from the various printer manufacturers, with real-world print speeds of up to 22 pages per minute. Fitting a continuous ink system can often be cheaper than using toner cartridges, and the reduced startup costs are very attractive.



Which Printer Manufacturer?


Generally speaking, Canon produce the printers most suited to photo printing, and many of their models are able to handle cardstock up to 300GSM (grams per square metre).


Epson produce fantastic all-round printers, and their small-in-one printers from the Expression range are well suited to families on a budget.


Brother printers are relatively fuss-free, cheap printers suited to a variety of uses. Whether you are a small business looking to print invoices, or need a printer to handle your children's homework, a Brother printer may well be the way to go.



How Much to Spend?


Budget is a concern for most people, and we will always do our best to meet all of your requirements, but as with everything you get what you pay for. We can help you find a professional quality photo printer, or a high-speed printer for invoices, for under £100, but there will be a trade-off in terms of other functions. Ideally, you should look to buy a printer which does everything you need it to, and nothing more. That way, you won't be spending money on a function you won't use.


There is also another key point to consider when buying a new printer: running costs. One of the cheapest printers currently on the market is the Canon iP2850, starting at around £30 plus VAT. If you need a basic printer for occasional use, it may well be the way to go, but the cartridges can cost £25 a set, and will only last for around 180 pages. Clearly, printer price isn't everything.



You're Not Helping. Which Printer Should I Buy?


Alright, back on topic. You need a printer, and you don't know which one. There are too many to choose from, and you don't know how to narrow it down. The easiest way to choose a printer is to ask yourself the following questions:


  • How much do I want to spend?
  • Do I need a scanner/copier, or just a printer?
  • Should the printer be wireless? Will I want to print from my phone?
  • What kind of things will I be printing? Is it for card-making, invoice printing, photo printing, or a mixture of everything?
  • How much printing will I do?
  • Will I need to print double-sided?
  • Do I want to print in A3, or just A4?
  • Is there anything else I want the printer to do, or any other features I would like (e.g. printing onto CDs, fax capability, or a rear tray for cardstock).


If you can answer most of these, we will find the printer for you. Here are some examples of printers which we might recommend for different uses*:



"I just want a printer. For printing."

The Epson WF-3010DW is a fantastic little printer. It is completely lacking in bells and whistles, which means that the money goes to producing one of the best small printers on the market. At 9.2 colour pages per minute (or 15ppm in black and white), with automatic duplexing and wireless functionality, and a 250-sheet paper tray as standard, the WF-3010DW punches well above its weight in terms of print quality and speed. If you want all of this and a scanner as well, you would have to spend twice as much on the printer!



"I need something cheap with a scanner to print the kids' homework, and occasional photos."

Epson's Expression small-in-one printers are ideal for light use in a home environment. The XP-225 is the cheapest currently on offer, and for just £45 you can have a USB printer/scanner/copier capable of handling all types of printing.



"I need a printer for the office, as cheap as possible. I mainly print invoices."

Brother's all-in-one printers offer a very competitively priced option for small businesses or home offices. With prices from £75, the DCP-J4110DW is a real workhorse. With print speeds of 16 pages per minute, and the option of occasional A3 printing as well as a scanner/copier, many businesses should look no further than Brother's J4000 range of printers. For larger offices, the J5000 series is well worth a look, as they are more suited to heavy use.



"I want a professional-quality photo printer, but I don't want to spend any money."

The Canon Pixma iP7250 was made for photo printing. For just £60, you can have a wireless printer with a maximum print resolution of 9600*4800 dpi, and capable of handling cardstock up to 300gsm.



"I would like a printer for heavy use in the office."

This is a request we get a lot, and there are plenty of options to choose from. Whether it's Epson WorkForce Pro range, Canon's new MAXIFY printers, HP's OfficeJet Pro or Brother's J5000/6000 range, there is a huge range of inkjet printers available for SMBs. Different prices and print speeds, along with other options such as fax and double-sided scanning, enable you to find the perfect printer for your requirements.



"I don't like any of those. My needs are different."

That's not a problem. Drop us an email to and we'll find a printer/CISS combination to suit any environment.


*Prices and current models are correct as of 29/01/2015. Links provided are to printer bundles, with a CISS and 100ml bottles of ink included in the price.

There are many, many printer companies in the market – Wikipedia lists more than 100 – and so you might think that providing a truly comprehensive range of ink and toner solutions would be a near-impossible task.


But while staying on top of the ever-expanding range of available models is certainly a challenge, we have found that certain brands are mentioned far more frequently than others. There may be 100+ manufacturers in Wikipedia’s list, but the five or six biggest names on that list account for the vast majority of our sales.


With that in mind, here’s our countdown of the 5 Biggest Printer Companies in the World:


Samsung logo

5. Samsung

Founded: 1938

Home Country: South Korea

 Samsung is a huge name across dozens of different industries – aside from printers, they also manufacture smartphones, televisions, cameras, kitchen appliances, and goodness knows what else. Why are they only #5? Because, unlike most of the other companies on this list, printers aren’t really Samsung’s main export; they’re just a single string in the company’s bow!


Browse Samsung toner cartridges >


Epson logo

4. Epson

Founded: 1942

Home Country: Japan

Epson is part of the Seiko Group, but while the Seiko brand is synonymous with watches and clocks, Epson have carved out a huge name for themselves in the printing game. As of Autumn 2012, their market share was more than 15%, and they’ve continued to flourish in spite of controversies regarding their ink cartridges.


Purchase toner for Epson laser printers >


Canon logo

3. Canon

Founded: 1937

Home Country: Japan

 One might argue that Canon are better known for their cameras than for their printers, but let’s not split hairs – printing and photography go hand-in-hand anyway, and Canon are international leaders in both markets. They’re also the only company on this list without a blue-and-white logo, so more power to them for bucking the trend!


Buy Canon toner >



Brother logo

2. Brother

Founded: 1908

Home Country: Japan

Brother are by far the oldest company on this list (they were founded almost three decades before Canon, although admittedly they were called the Yasui Sewing Machine Company throughout a large chunk of their early history).  While companies like Canon and Samsung have complemented their printing products with successful forays into other markets, Brother have mainly been all about the printers for some time now. And it’s paid off – their machines are some of the very best available.


Buy Brother toner cartridges >


HP logo

1. Hewlett-Packard

Founded: 1939

Home Country: USA

You thought Japan were going to run away with this list, didn't you? 'Fraid not - America, as usual, are at the top of the tree, and even though printers are only a part of HP's massive hardware and software range, Hewlett-Packard printers still appear to be the most popular worldwide.


Buy toner for HP printers >

Assorted Brother cartridges

In a market as diverse as the printing industry, it's important for companies like City Ink to cover as many bases as possible. It's one thing to stock toner for Brother printers, but actually providing toner for all the different Brother models is a whole other challenge.


Brother have been making laser printers since time immemorial, and as you'd imagine, they've released many, many different models over the years. It's nigh-on impossible to sell a toner cartridge for every single Brother printer ever made...but we do our best anyway, and we're proud to have one of the most comprehensive ranges on the net.


So whether you use a Brother DCP-7055 or a HL-2130, you can rest assured that we've got all the toner products you could possibly need. From heavy-duty business printers like the Brother DCP-9055CDN to state-of-the-art multifunction printers like those found in Brother's MFC range, we cater to almost any Brother model you'd care to name.


Of course, if you do find that we don't stock any toner for your printer, please don't give up hope. It's always worth getting in touch with the City Ink team; we may well have something to suit your printer after all, and if we do, we'll do everything we can to help you out.

Toner cartridges for Brother printers

Purchasing a new toner cartridge from our website is a stunningly straightforward process. Once you’ve found the page that corresponds to your printer’s manufacturer – Brother, for example – all you have to do is select your model number (e.g. DCP-7055) from our comprehensive list, click ‘Add To Basket’, and follow the checkout process from there. Simple!


Having said that...there is one important decision that you’ll have to make before you place your order. We at City Ink Express do our best to offer a wide range of toner products, and that often means that we offer a choice of original cartridges and compatible cartridges.


Original vs. Compatible – What’s the Difference?


First of all, don’t panic – regardless of which option you take, you can rest assured that you’ll get a top-quality product that does your printer proud. The difference is that our original cartridges are made by the same company that manufactured your printer (Brother, in this example), while our compatible cartridges are made by third-party manufacturers like Fotorite.


Pros and Cons


As you’d expect, original toner cartridges offer unsurpassable reliability and print quality. On the negative side, they are more expensive than their compatible counterparts, and as such, they offer less value for money (i.e. you’ll get fewer pages for each pound you spend).


While our compatible cartridges can still produce an exceptionally high print quality, most of them cannot compete with the genuine article – original Brother cartridges will always give better results than compatible third-party products. Of course, the compatible cartridges are cheaper, with a higher page yield for the price you pay.


So what’s my best bet for Brother toner?


We want to make it clear that there’s no wrong answer here. All the cartridges we sell (original and compatible alike) have passed our exacting quality control tests, so you can always buy with confidence. Our cost-effective compatible cartridges will do the job perfectly well, but if you simply must have an original Brother cartridge, we can help you out on that front too.


Click here to see City Ink’s wide range of Brother toner products.

There’s no question about it: Brother is simply one of the biggest names in the printing business. The company was founded in Japan, 100 years ago; they’ve been stamping their mark on the printer scene in Europe for over 50 years now, and some of their printers are the biggest and best in the game. However, when choosing your printer, you need to be sure that you’ve found the right one for you. Some people don’t need an all-singing, all-dancing expensive printer, because they simply would never use it – whereas some people might be looking for an advanced printer to cope with an excessive workload. Whatever your printing needs, this blog will help you find the Brother printer that’s right for you. 

Brother DCP-J132W
The Standard Printer


 We might have labelled this the ‘standard’ printer, but even though this is one of Brother’s most basic is anything but standard! It offers extremely fast colour printing, built-in wireless networking (that’s right – no pesky cables) and our favourite function of all: mobile printing and scanning. This means you can simply download an app for your phone or tablet and print any document you need on the go!


Brother DCP-J4110DW
The Posh Printer

This is for those who like their luxury items, because this printer is pretty snazzy. This printer allows you to scan and copy your documents, as well as print on A3 paper. You can also scan and print wirelessly by downloading the app! It comes with a touch screen and it’s generally quite chic to look at, don’t you think?

Brother MFCJ5910DW
The Everything Printer


This is the printer with bells on, and it’s perfect for those who work from home. Not only can you scan, copy, and print in 3D, but this snazzy printer also has a fax machine function so you can fax documents quickly and easily. There’s also a fast and secure wifi connection and that snazzy Airprint app that lets you print documents on the go!


Brother HL-4150CDN
The Office Printer


This is the ideal Brother printer for an office where it will be used regularly. It’s packed with features and prints at an extremely high speed in both colour and black and white – it prints double-sided as standard and offers PIN-protected secure SSL printing. If your printer is heavily-used then this is most certainly the one for you!


We offer many excellent printers like these in our printer bundles section – which will come ready with a continuous ink supply system so you can print to your heart’s content! Alternatively, make sure to stock up on cheap Brother toner cartridges from City Ink Express.