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Tom's Hardware Benchmarks Inkjet Printer Paper!

Final Words

Our paper benchmarks are overkill, but they're the only way to highlight the differences in print quality. When it comes to color reproduction, the perceptual difference (Windows 7 default) between HP's Bright White (largest gamut) and Brother's Multipurpose (smallest gamut) paper is minor.

Perceptual Color Gamut Difference: Brother Multipurpose, Standard Quality

Perceptual Color Gamut Difference: HP Bright White, Standard Quality

However, this isn't only about color. Other factors like price and paper absorbency matter just as much. According to the EPA, the average office worker uses about 10 000 sheets of paper (20 reams) per year. Students and professionals working from home probably use far less paper. On the other hand, if you're in pre-med or law school, 10 000 sheets of paper might seem realistic.

Price$6.99$4.99$8.99$10.99$6.99$8.99
BrandBrotherDynexEpsonHPHPKodak
TypeMultipurposeMultipurposeBright WhiteBright WhiteMultipurposeEveryday

The difference between these six reams is not significant enough to cause a printed bar code to be unreadable, but paper is still an integral part of our lives. We print family photos, legal documents, bills, rebates, and school papers. Why not buy the best value that also yields optimal results?

When it comes to printing on an inkjet, we recommend HP's Multipurpose Paper for everyday use. Even though it doesn't yield the best color gamut, the difference between it and other papers is subtle. However, it does allow less bleed-through, which means you won't get curling from over-saturating the paper when you print on both sides. In addition, we generally see sharp color borders and text production. This paper will work well, whether you need to print photos or long essays.

  • hmp_goose
    I'd been taught you feed an Epson Epson paper …
    Reply
  • iam2thecrowe
    I was kind of in disbelief when I read this article. Its a good try....but far from what is seen in the real world. Speaking from a printer tech's point of view, I can tell you that using the wrong kind of paper in certain printers can give disasterous results. The ink can sit on top, smudge, bleed etc. The manufacturer designs consumer printers with presets for different paper types. The specific printer may put more or less ink, raise or lower the carriage depending on paper thickness, not to mention every manufacturer uses a different type of ink and will react differently with different paper. This article is leading people in the wrong direction. You will only get reliable results from your inkjet printer using the manufacturers correct spec paper and ink and correct settings in your printer driver. If you happen to find one that works well for you that is not stated in the manufacturers spec, then good for you, but don't complain if your prints come out like crap using the wrong paper.
    Reply
  • acku
    9514582 said:
    I was kind of in disbelief when I read this article. Its a good try....but far from what is seen in the real world. Speaking from a printer tech's point of view, I can tell you that using the wrong kind of paper in certain printers can give disasterous results. The ink can sit on top, smudge, bleed etc. The manufacturer designs consumer printers with presets for different paper types. The specific printer may put more or less ink, raise or lower the carriage depending on paper thickness, not to mention every manufacturer uses a different type of ink and will react differently with different paper. This article is leading people in the wrong direction. You will only get reliable results from your inkjet printer using the manufacturers correct spec paper and ink and correct settings in your printer driver. If you happen to find one that works well for you that is not stated in the manufacturers spec, then good for you, but don't complain if your prints come out like crap using the wrong paper.

    That's very true when it comes to Photo Paper, but there are hundreds of attributes that matter. However, it is possible for brand B photo paper to be have more color gamut on brand A printer than brand A photo paper, if they're optimizing for color fastestness or water proofing.

    This was a look at everyday paper where differences are negligible on between multiple brands. We got the same results on Epson, HP, Brother, and Kodak printers. We know there are and we have seen different results with Photo Paper. Such as Canon Photo Paper behaving differently on a Canon printer, Epson printer etc....

    I have benchmarks from about 10 more printers of varying brands that line up with the results from the MG5220. For the sake of simplicity, we only presented one.

    Cheers,
    Andrew Ku
    TomsHardware.com
    Reply
  • The prices of the HP Bright White and Multipurpose are switched between the first and last pages of this article. At first I thought that the Bright White was both the best of the bunch and one of the cheapest, which left me wondering if the ink fumes had made the reviewer a little woozy when I saw that the multipurpose got the recommendation.
    Reply
  • acku
    The prices of the HP Bright White and Multipurpose are switched between the first and last pages of this article. At first I thought that the Bright White was both the best of the bunch and one of the cheapest, which left me wondering if the ink fumes had made the reviewer a little woozy when I saw that the multipurpose got the recommendation.

    I think magic markers smell better. :kaola: Fixed!
    Reply
  • Dan_H
    Seriously? You are benchmarking PAPER? Does the word "obsessive" mean anything to you?
    Reply
  • acku
    9514586 said:
    Seriously? You are benchmarking PAPER? Does the word "obsessive" mean anything to you?

    Maybe more neurotic than obsessive.
    Reply
  • Does the word "KACHINGGGG" mean anything to you?
    Reply
  • iam2thecrowe
    ackuThat's very true when it comes to Photo Paper, but there are hundreds of attributes that matter. However, it is possible for brand B photo paper to be have more color gamut on brand A printer than brand A photo paper, if they're optimizing for color fastestness or water proofing. This was a look at everyday paper where differences are negligible on between multiple brands. We got the same results on Epson, HP, Brother, and Kodak printers. We know there are and we have seen different results with Photo Paper. Such as Canon Photo Paper behaving differently on a Canon printer, Epson printer etc....I have benchmarks from about 10 more printers of varying brands that line up with the results from the MG5220. For the sake of simplicity, we only presented one.Cheers,Andrew KuTomsHardware.comThanks for clarifying that. Just didnt want people to get the wrong idea.
    Reply
  • nebun
    ackuMaybe more neurotic than obsessive.it is good....we need to know who manufacures the best paper if we want our prints to last us a lifetime :)
    Reply