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Global Printer Shortage – Buying Guide


There is a global printer shortage being driven by a perfect storm of consumer demand. The following factors are driving the shortage:

  • Chip Shortage. A global chip shortage is resulting in product shortages of printers and other consumer electronics. [Learn More]
  • Pandemic. The global pandemic has created a demand for printers to be used by home-based remote employees who previously had access to shared office printers at work.
  • Microsoft Windows. On 9 March 2021, Microsoft began rolling out a Windows update that resulted in computers crashing with a blue screen when printing is attempted. This only impacts some brands of printers, so people are rushing to purchase printers as a quick temporary fix to the problem. No date has been announced for Microsoft to fix this problem. [Learn More]

Suggested Printers

The following suggested printers are based on availability, product rating, and low cost of ownership. There is a mix of laser and inkjet printers. Some have scanning, copying, duplex printing, and other features. Check the details for your specific needs.

  • Brother HL-L2370DW ($130) – Compact Monochrome Laser Printer with Wireless & Ethernet and Duplex Printing. [ Best Buy | Staples ]
  • Brother HL-L3210CW ($200) – Single-Function Color Laser Printer with Wireless. [ Staples ]
  • Canon PIXMA G5020 ($210) – Wireless MegaTank Single Function SuperTank Printer | Mobile & Auto 2-Sided Printing. [ Amazon | Best Buy – Sold Out | Staples – Sold Out ]
  • Epson – EcoTank ET-3710 ($380) – Wireless All-In-One Inkjet Printer. [ Best Buy | Staples – Out of Stock ]
  • Epson EcoTank® ET-3760 ($400) – Wireless All-in-One Cartridge-Free, Wireless SuperTank Printer with Auto Doc Feeder. [ Best Buy | Staples ]
  • Epson EcoTank ET-4760 ($500) – Wireless Color All-in-One Cartridge-Free Supertank Printer with Scanner, Copier, Fax, ADF and Ethernet. [ Amazon | Best Buy | Staples ]
  • HP PageWide Pro 477dw ($700) – Color All-In-One Business Printer with Wireless & Duplex Printing. [ Best Buy | Staples ]

The above printers have not been reviewed or tested to confirm if they will function without crashing Windows. If you purchase the printer locally, or purchase online and pickup locally, it will be easier to return if something doesn’t work out.

By Greg Johnson

Greg Johnson is a freelance writer and tech consultant in Iowa City. He is also the founder and Director of the ResourcesForLife.com website. Learn more at AboutGregJohnson.com

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