Whether you need a printer for your home or office, the first thing to decide is which brand to choose. Two heavyweight names are Canon and HP. Both companies have been manufacturing printers for decades, and they are a guarantee for quality.
Nevertheless, there are differences in model types, paper handling, and costs — both the cost of the printer and the cost of ink.
If you can’t decide which brand to focus on, this in-depth comparison between the Canon and HP printers might help you pick.
Let’s dive right in!
Canon vs. HP Printer: Side-by-Side Comparison
|Canon Printers||HP Printers|
|Printer Types||Inkjet, laser, ink tank, all-in-one, portable||Inkjet, laser, ink tank, all-in-one|
|Printer Price||Around $60 to $800||Around $50 to $500|
|Cartridge Costs||Around $10 to $80||Around $15 to $100|
|Yield Per Cartridge||Around 180 to 400 pages||Around 100 to 450 pages|
|Ink Subscription Plan?||Yes||Yes|
|Subscription Costs||From $3.99 per month||From 0.99 per month|
|Print and Scan Speeds||Faster||Slower|
|Black and White Printing Quality||Higher||Lower|
|Color Printing Quality||Higher||Lower|
|Photo Printing Quality||More natural-looking||Warmer tones|
|Firmware Upgrades||N/A||3 years|
- Includes Wi-Fi Direct for mobile printing as well as Bluetooth
- Charges within 90 minutes while the printer is off
- 2.65-inch color touchscreen
- 10-sheet auto document feeder
Canon vs. HP Printer: What’s the Difference?
HP and Canon are pioneers in the printer world. The latter developed the first laser printer in 1975 and introduced the world’s first plain-paper reader/printer in 1984. A year later, in 1985, Canon released the world’s first inkjet printer using Bubble Jet technology.
Hewlett-Packard (HP) is more famous for its computers, but the company introduced its first laserjet printer in 1984. The company’s range of printers expanded over the past decades to include a variety of simple and multifunction machines that compete with Canon. But which of the two brands is really worth it?
Let’s break down everything you need to know about the Canon and HP printers.
Both Canon and HP manufacture similar printer types. You can find laser, inkjet, and ink tank printers in each brand’s lineup.
Allegedly, both brands also manufacture portable printers. However, while HP’s idea of portability is that of compact full-size printers, Canon manufactures mini printers that are not much larger than a laptop.
Canon also includes photo printers in its lineup, which are about the size of a smartphone or compact camera — some models are cameras and printers in one. These models are ideal for folks who want to snap and print pictures on the go.
All-in-one printers are also available from both brands. Depending on your needs, you can pick from 3-in-1 models that print, scan, and copy or 4-in-1 machines that also include a fax.
Print and Quality
The quality of a print is affected by numerous factors, including the type of printer and the ink being used. Laser printers, for instance, typically produce better results than inkjet models — even though both Canon and HP now manufacture some inkjet printers that are comparable to the laser models in terms of results.
When compared side-by-side, however, Canon has the upper hand. For instance, Canon’s PIXMA TS35 inkjet printer produces darker blacks and razor-sharp text when printing plain text documents. It also produces more natural colors when printing PDFs.
Canon printers also maintain the natural hues when printing photographs, whereas HP printers produce warmer tones that might alter the quality of your photos. As far as plain text is concerned, the HP models, such as the ENVY 6055e, deliver good quality results, but the black is more of a dark gray. The warmer tones are also seen in all color prints, including PDFs.
- Print, copy, scan
- Mobile printing compatible
- Up to 50 sheets paper tray
- Up to 4,800 x 1,200 DPI
- 1.5" LCD display
- HDMI cable
Copy and Scan Quality
While Canon excels in terms of printing quality, the tables turn when it comes to copying and scanning. When producing copies on plain paper, the HP printers have smoother transitions and capture more details — especially when copying pages containing colors and images.
The same is true for scanning. HP’s models manage to maintain the details and retain the text’s sharpness when scanning pictures or documents.
Copies from most Canon printers have rougher-looking textures and copied or scanned images tend to lose some details in the darker areas.
Canon might not excel at making copies or scanning, but it wins the speed contest against HP. On average, a Canon model can print around 10 pages per minute of plain text. Most HP printers only manage to turn out 9 pages in the same amount of time.
Sure, the difference isn’t excessive as far as plain text is concerned, but it becomes steeper when printing graphics and images. On plain paper, Canon has a speed of around three pages per minute. HP prints under two pages per minute.
Printing a letter-sized photograph on glossy paper takes around two and a half minutes with an HP printer and under two minutes with a Canon.
Printer and Ink Costs
When buying a printer, you must consider the upfront cost (the price of the machine) and the ongoing cost, which is the purchase of ink bottles or cartridges.
Laserjet and inkjet printers are relatively affordable upfront, and there aren’t major differences between Canon and HP in terms of price. If you are on a really tight budget, however, HP tends to be the most affordable of the two.
Ink tank printers are more expensive up front, with some models costing over $500. The main advantage of these models is the low ongoing cost. Ink bottles are cheaper than cartridges, and a full tank is usually enough for printing 1,000 or more pages.
Comparatively, you could spend anywhere between $10 and $100 for a laserjet or inkjet ink cartridge, but the yield is rarely superior to 400 pages. On average, most cartridges print between 200 and 300 pages. As far as costs go, Canon wins with slightly lower costs for ink cartridges and ink bottles.
As a way to save on ink and cartridges, both Canon and HP offer ink subscriptions. You can choose from various bundles, including pay-per-print options.
Canon’s Pay Per Print option costs around $0.20 per page. You can also choose from printing packages containing 30 to 200 pages per month. These can cost you between $4 and $10 per month. HP’s subscriptions are cheaper, with the most affordable option allowing you to print 10 pages per month for around $1. Plans go up to 700 pages per month for $25, and extra sets of 5 to 20 pages cost $1 if you exceed your monthly limit.
Both Canon and HP subscriptions include unused page rollover to the next month.
The era of toner printers, which were notorious for paper jams, is over. But not all new printers handle paper properly. Cheaper HP models typically run into more trouble than Canon or higher-end HP models. If you’re on a tight budget but need a printer to use for the foreseeable future, a Canon model might be better.
Today, the vast majority of Canon and HP printers are wireless, connecting to your computer or mobile device via Bluetooth or Wi-Fi. Mobile and desktop apps allow you to print and scan documents on your phone or computer.
Canon’s app also allows you to adjust the printer’s settings and save files in the Canon cloud. However, the brand could improve the connectivity issues that sometimes arise.
HP’s app is a lot more stable and reliable. In addition to printing and scanning, you can also use the app to edit photos before printing them, print a range of free arts and crafts cards, and use the mobile fax function.
Like any other device that connects to the internet, wireless printers are vulnerable to malware and hacker activity. The first step to protect yourself is setting a strong password. Upgrading the firmware is another essential step, helping you update the security patches.
Both Canon and HP release new firmware upgrades regularly. HP offers three years of updates from the date of the model’s release. While Canon doesn’t disclose how many firmware upgrades it offers for its printers, you should be covered for at least a few years.
Canon vs. HP Printer: 5 Must-Know Facts
- Both Canon and HP are leaders in the printing industry. Their lineups include home and professional models.
- Canon’s lineup includes more printer types, including pocket-sized photo printers and cameras with built-in printers.
- HP generally manufactures more affordable printers, but the cost of ink bottles and cartridges is higher compared to Canon.
- Canon produces higher-quality prints than HP, but HP’s copies and scans are better than Canon’s.
- Most Canon and HP printers are wireless, but HP has a more reliable and user-friendly app.
- Print, scan, copy, and ADF
- Small design to take up less space on your desk
- Easy Wi-Fi setup in minutes
- Easy to fill with ink
- Load up to 250-Sheets of plain paper in the bottom cassette
- Easy-to-use smartphone application
- Affordable option
- Features Alexa voice controls
- Wireless printing
Canon vs. HP Printer: Which One is Better?
Canon printers are superior to HP as far as the printing quality is concerned. They are more expensive upfront, but the cartridges and ink bottles are more affordable, so you’ll save in the long run. These printers lose some points in the copy and scan departments, but if you mostly need the machine to print color pages and photos, you can’t go wrong with this brand.
If you need an all-in-one printer that can produce high-quality copies and scans as well as good prints, then HP is a better choice. You’ll have to settle for less natural colors, though, and slightly higher ink costs. HP is also the better option if you’re on a really tight budget and need an affordable printer — upfront, HP printers are cheaper than Canon.
The image featured at the top of this post is ©P.S_2/Shutterstock.com.