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Best Computer Printer for College Students

Updated on April 6, 2015
Paula Atwell profile image

Paula Atwell is a freelance writer with WriterAccess, webmaster, member of Pinterest Party on FB and the owner of Lake Erie Artist Gallery.


Buying a Computer Printer for a College Student Causes a Unique Dilemma

My older daughter, Tamar, just started college as a freshman last week, and as we packed her up for college, we included her laptop computer, a Dell, but we weren't sure if she needed a computer printer.

She started her classes two days ago, and after just one day, she called us up, and said, "Help! I need my own printer!"

It turns out that the college does allow students to connect their laptops to the college printers, but it is very expensive and it adds up fast. So it is much more practical to have a personal printer, and that isn't even mentioning how much more convenient it is.

Printers are not very expensive, so buying one was not really a problem for us. We had put aside money for Tamar, to buy college requirements like this before she left. However, we had another unique dilemma when we considered which printer to buy for her. I have a printer at my office, and we have another one at home that we bought from Dell. Both printers work quite well. But when we considered what Dell had to offer, we realized that none of the current models were small enough for Tamar's limited desk space in her college dorm room.

Her dorm room is very small, and the desk has minimal space. We needed to find a small, but effective printer for her to use, because as a college student, she would be writing and printing a lot. This article is about the printer we chose, the HP 1055, and why we chose it.

Where to Buy the HP Deskjet 1055 All in One Printer

Just to be perfectly clear, we ended up buying this printer at Target. At the time of this writing, Target has the printer for $39.99 which is the best price we found, and you can buy it online or at your local store if they have it in stock. If you search on under the model number, it comes up right away.

Update: 7/5/2014. It looks like Target no longer carries this printer, however you can buy it at Walmart but only in the store. Walmart has another model that is very similar that you can buy online, HP1512, which is a replacement for the 1055. Walmart is selling the HP1512 for $34 on sale right now for $26.95.

You can also buy the same exact printer on Amazon. If you are a Prime member of Amazon, there is no shipping fee, so that will save you the shipping fee from Target. Amazon also has a new student shipping deal for free two-day shipping.

HP Deskjet 1055

HP Deskjet Printer 1055
HP Deskjet Printer 1055

A Newer Version

HP Deskjet 1512 Inkjet All-in-One Printer
HP Deskjet 1512 Inkjet All-in-One Printer
This is a replacement for the 1510 and is sometimes cheaper.

As you already know, one of the critical components of this particular printer was that it would fit in the small space in a college dorm. We also wanted a reliable printer for our daughter, so that she didn't have to constantly be tinkering with the printer when she should be concentrating on her homework.

The HP Deskjet 1055 is small enough to fit on her desk, and will do a professional job of printing her papers for school.

HP Deskjet 1055 Printer from Amazon--Add to Cart

You can also buy the HP Deskjet 1512 Inkjet All-in-One Printer from Amazon here. --->

Where and What You Buy Makes a Difference Depending on Who You Are Buying For

Because this purchase was for our daughter, who is now living 2 hours away from us, and is not experienced with fixing printers, we wanted to make sure that the printer we bought was from a major, well known, and reliable company, which is one reason we chose the Hewlett Packard model. Size was also an issue.

Added to these two reasons for choosing this printer, was the fact that, let's face it, she is in college. The printer could be stolen, easily damaged, and fall off of a desk. While we think our daughter is responsible, we can't speak for everyone else that may come through her room, even her roommate. By spending approximately $40.00 on the printer, we can feel secure with knowing that it is easily replaceable.

This is not a fancy printer. It does not fax, nor do many of the things that most printers do these days. But for her situation, it is perfect.

Additional Features

There are some additional features that I think make the HP Deskjet 1055 model a good choice for a college student. The printer does print in color, and black and white. Tamar is taking a lot of science classes, where she may need to make diagrams that need color.

The printer does have a scanner, which I have found to be very useful for including photos, and other additions to documents that I write, and I think she will too.

It will print photos, which is great for a college student to post on her bulletin board. Tamar has a digital camera too, so I am sure that she will be using that feature.

It is small enough for her to carry to another room if she needs to for working with a group on a project.

And lastly, it comes with a 1 year warranty, which will cover it if anything breaks down from routine use.

Get Deals on HP Printers on Ebay

If you are looking for a used printer, or just a great deal, another place to search for what you want is Ebay.

After Four Years

My daughter has made it through four years with this printer and it is still going strong. Now our second daughter is going to college this fall and we will make the same decision all over again to get her started. This was one of the best choices we made.

© 2011 Paula Atwell

Are you looking for a printer for college?

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    • Paula Atwell profile imageAUTHOR

      Paula Atwell 

      5 years ago from Cleveland, OH

      @Linda Hi, my daughter is now a senior in college, wrote this when she was a freshman. Still using the printer, it has held up well. Fits right on her shelf and for a small basic printer, it is great. She has needed the scanner a few times although we did not anticipate that. :)

    • Linda BookLady profile image

      Linda Jo Martin 

      5 years ago from Post Falls, Idaho, USA

      I love that this printer has a scanner as well. I would buy this if I needed a printer.

    • Paula Atwell profile imageAUTHOR

      Paula Atwell 

      6 years ago from Cleveland, OH

      @Thamisgith: My daughter has had hers for two years now and no problems. That is after moving in and out of 4 dorm rooms over the last two years. We are definitely getting our money's worth.

    • profile image


      6 years ago

      I need to get one for my son. He's moving into his own flat with a whole bunch of other students (oh joy) later this year. HP is always a good choice as far as printers go (although the branded refills are a bit pricey). Thanks for the tips.

    • Paula Atwell profile imageAUTHOR

      Paula Atwell 

      6 years ago from Cleveland, OH

      @Virginia Allain: It's pretty small. And basic. But for an RV it would probably be good. Depends on what you are using it for.

    • Virginia Allain profile image

      Virginia Allain 

      6 years ago from Central Florida

      We ended up buying a portable printer to take with us in our RV. Still too big in my opinion. Wish I'd seen this one first.

    • Spirality profile image


      6 years ago

      I always think I don't need a printer...then I have to travel in the rain to the local library to print out something that I desperately need. Great lens.

    • Linda Pogue profile image

      Linda Pogue 

      7 years ago from Missouri

      No, but I have several at home. The HP is a good buy. Blessings!

    • profile image


      7 years ago


    • profile image


      8 years ago

      Not really, but my HP Printer isn't working very well - need to replace it. Want to buy a Laser printer, but funds a bit low.


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