You Google printers and a zillion of them spit out on your screen. That’s not helping.

Put aside your brand preferences for the moment and forget about the glitz and fancy features.

Here’s my 3 MUST HAVEs.

#1 MUST HAVE. Printer has to be easy to install and maintain.  So, a LCD screen on the printer is my #1 MUST HAVE.  I don’t want to look up in the manual or remember all those esoteric button combinations in order to set up/review printer features. No screen, no go.

#2 MUST HAVE. Then you want to see if the printer provides Ethernet and/or Wifi LAN feature.  With the LAN enabled printer, printing can be shared among family/staff members.  I prefer Ethernet connection as it is less error prone and drama, in my view.

#3 MUST HAVE. AirPrint. Look for the Apple AirPrint compatible logo before you buy. Invariably, someone wants to print from an Apple device. With AirPrint, printing from iPad and iPhone will be a bliss.  Otherwise, it gets complicated.

Aside from the 3 MUST HAVE features, there are many other items to consider. Most printers offer all-in-one features, including multi-page scanning, copying and faxing.  Print quality in general is good enough unless you are looking for high definition printing. Then you should find ones that provide higher resolution.

Paying more means faster print speed, better durability, more paper sizes and possibly color laser.

Most importantly, don’t be too cheap.  Spending $150 +/- should get a decent new home/small office printer.