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Best Printer With Parallel Ports

Parallel ports were introduced back in 1970 as a method to connect computers to peripheral devices like printers. 

Over time, modern alternatives like USB and Wi-Fi have replaced these parallel ports for being faster and more reliable, and the parallel interface has become obsolete.

However, they still have a place in today’s market, which is why we’ve crafted a list of some of the best printers with parallel ports that you can find today.

Comparison Table:

Model Price
Technology  Maximum Paper Size Print Speed
Epson Stylus C88+ Check Price Inkjet (color) 8.5 x 14” 23 ppm
Epson LQ-2090II  Check Price Dot-Matrix (monochrome) 16 x 22” 550 cps
Lexmark MS312DN Check Price Laser (monochrome) 8.5 x 14” 35 ppm
Zebra GC420t Check Price Thermal Transfer (monochrome) 4” width 4” per second
Zebra GX430t Check Price Thermal Transfer (monochrome) 4” width 6” per second 

The 5 Best Printers With Parallel Ports in 2021

Now, let’s explore the features of each printer in detail and see how they fare against each other.

1. Epson Stylus C88+ – Best Overall

Kicking off our list strong with the Epson Stylus C88+. This amazing color printer can print borderless photos at a whopping resolution of 5760 x 1440 dpi.

The individual ink cartridges system allows you to only replace the color you need without having to replace all the colors. Moreover, the DURABrite Ultra pigment ink technology ensures that your photos and documents remain smudge-free.

The Epson Stylus C88+ can print at speeds that reach as high as 23 ppm for black and 14 ppm for color. Furthermore, the C88+ supports a maximum paper size of 8.5 x 14”. You can put up to 120 sheets in the input paper tray.

As far as connectivity is concerned, you can either USB or parallel interface to connect the printer. Alternatively, you can connect it to multiple computers using both USB and parallel ports. The printer will automatically switch between the two sources when required.

What We Like: 

  • High image quality 
  • Decent print speed
  • Auto switch between USB and parallel interfaces
  • Smudge-free prints

What We Don’t Like:

  • No Wi-Fi or cloud printing
  • Limited paper tray capacity

Bottom Line

With a superb image quality, auto interface-switching, and smudge-free technology, the Epson Stylus C88+ deservedly claims the number one spot on our list.

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2. Epson LQ-2090II – Best Durable

The Epson LQ-2090II 24-pin wide-format printer is designed with productivity and durability in mind. 

It features a long life cycle that’s made possible by incorporating as few moving parts as possible. It’s also designed in a way that makes human intervention very limited. With this printer, you get speeds of up to 584 cps, allowing you to print bulk amounts of documents in a short time interval.

Thanks to its intuitive control panel, the Epson LQ-2090II is quite easy to set up and control. Another area where the Epson LQ-2090II excels is paper handling. The paper path is pretty simple, and it can handle both cut-sheet paper and continuous multipart forms that are up to 7-pages thick.

Moreover, with an up-to-8-million-character ribbon cartridge, the printing costs are kept at a minimum, reducing cartridge replacement frequency. It’s also worth noting that the Epson LQ-2090II doesn’t consume much power and is Energy Star V2.0 compliant.

When it comes to connectivity, the Epson LQ-2090II offers both USB and parallel interfaces. You can also connect it to the internet using an Ethernet cable.

What We Like: 

  • Durable design with a 3-year limited warranty
  • Fast printing speed
  • Low energy consumption 
  • Low cost per page
  • Excellent paper handling
  • Easy setup

What We Don’t Like:

  • Doesn’t support Wi-Fi
  • A bit bulky

Bottom Line

If you’re looking for a printer that can pass the test of time, the Epson LQ-2090II won’t disappoint you.

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3. Lexmark MS312DN – Best Laser Printer with Parallel Port

The Lexmark MS312DN is an affordable monochrome laser printer that has a lot to offer.

It features a maximum print resolution of 1200 x 1200 dpi, which is pretty decent for a mono printer. The black text comes out pretty sharp.

The MS312DN paper handling capabilities are quite astonishing. The printer can print up to 2,500 pages per month without breaking a sweat. The input paper tray’s capacity is 250 sheets, and you can increase the input paper capacity to 850 sheets with an optional secondary tray.

As for print speed, the Lexmark MS312DN can print documents at a whopping speed of 35 ppm Thanks to the fast dual-core 800 MHz processor, making it a good option for those who need to make quick prints. Furthermore, the printer has a two-line LCD that makes it easy for you to control the printer and customize your prints.

As for connectivity, the Lexmark MS312DN has a variety of connectivity options, including USB, parallel, and Wi-Fi. However, you need to purchase a wireless adapter to print wirelessly. Additionally, you can print over cloud services like Apple AirPrint and Google Cloud Print.

What We Like:

  • Suitable for high volume printing 
  • High input paper capacity
  • Fast print speed
  • Supports Wi-Fi
  • Supports cloud printing

What We Don’t Like:

  • Requires an adapter for wireless printing

The Lexmark MS312DN is an excellent choice for those looking for a fast monochrome laser printer with parallel port.

Bottom Line

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4. Zebra GC420t – Best for Labels

The Zebra GC420t is the perfect monochrome printer for printing labels, barcodes, receipts, and wristbands. 

The printer is based on thermal transfer technology, which means that it doesn’t use ink to print. You don’t even need to install a toner in it. It features a compact design that allows you to put it anywhere you want without occupying much space.

Moreover, the printer supports a print width of up to 4.25 inches, which is enough for printing labels and other small items. You can’t really rely on it for printing regular-sized documents, though.

The printer’s paper handling is outstanding. All you have to do is feed it with a paper roll that has a 5” diameter or less, and you’re good to go. Not to mention that it’s capable of printing 4 inches of paper per second, which is quite decent. Not to mention that it’s super easy to use. Just configure a few settings and let the printer run automatically.

Additionally, the Zebra GC420t supports Windows and Mac OS. It also offers support for several Linux-based operating systems.

What We Like: 

  • Space-saving design
  • Great for labels and receipts
  • Economical for volume printing
  • Decent print speed
  • Easy to use
  • Low running costs

What We Don’t Like: 

  • Limited to printing labels and small items

Bottom Line

If you need a reliable, compact, and fast monochrome printer for printing labels and barcodes that also has a parallel port, the Zebra GC420t would be a good choice for you.

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5. Zebra GX430t – Best Alternative for Labels

Another great thermal transfer printer from Zebra is the GX430t. The GX430t is vastly similar to its sibling, the Zebra GC420t, and it even has a few welcome additions that make it a more attractive option.

For starters, the Zebra GX430t features a fast print speed of up to 6” per second, making it a more favorable option for those who value speed.

Furthermore, this printer offers more versatility when it comes to the available interfaces. You can use Serial, Parallel, USB, Ethernet, Bluetooth, and Wi-Fi to print using the Zebra GX430t, which is pretty impressive.

Other than that, the Zebra GX430t has more or less the same features as the Zebra GC420t, and it features a similarly compact form factor. Just keep in mind that the GX430t carries a higher price tag than the GC420t.

What We Like

  • Compact Design
  • Fast print speed
  • Supports Wi-Fi and Bluetooth
  • Minimal running costs

What We Don’t Like 

  • Limited to printing small items

Bottom Line

The Zebra GX430t is an excellent thermal transfer printer that has a fast print speed and a parallel port along with several other interfaces. It’s one of the best printers with parallel ports for printing labels.

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Things to Consider Before Buying a Parallel Port Printer

There are several factors that you need to keep in mind before deciding on a printer with a parallel port to make sure that it’s suitable for your needs.

Print Quality

One of the most important factors that influence a printer’s print quality is the maximum print resolution. The higher the resolution, the sharper, and clearer your prints will be.

It’s also worth noting that some printers are capable of producing smudge-free prints using special technologies.

Moreover, make sure that the printer is capable of reproducing accurate colors. This is determined by the printer’s ink cartridge system. The more cartridges or colors a printer has, the more accurate your prints’ colors will be.

Print Speed

A printer’s print speed can range anywhere from 5 ppm all the way up to 40 ppm. If productivity is a concern, get a printer with a high print speed, especially if you need to print large amounts of documents.

Versatility

Out of all types of printers, all-in-one printers are considered to be the most versatile because they offer more than just printing. They are used to scan as well as copy and fax documents.

However, not everyone needs these extra functionalities. You might be better off with a more compact printer than with a printer that can do lots of things; it’s your call.

You should also consider other things like the printer’s maximum paper size and its monthly duty cycle as they can be restrictive when it comes to the size and quantity of your prints.

Connectivity

Just because you need a printer with a parallel port doesn’t mean that you won’t need other connectivity solutions for printing. Almost all modern printers have a USB interface, even the ones that have parallel ports.

It’d also be great if the printer has wireless printing capabilities, especially if you need to print documents and photos from more than one device. Cloud printing is also getting popular due to its convenience and ease of printing remotely.

Frequently Asked Questions:

How do I Connect a Parallel Printer to a USB Port?

Some older printer models only have parallel ports. In this case, you’ll have a hard time connecting your printer to your modern PC. 

Luckily, you can get a USB-parallel printer cable. All you have to do is to connect the USB end of the cable to your computer and the parallel end to the printer, and you’re good to go.

What are the Advantages of Parallel Ports?

The biggest advantage of the parallel interface is that it allows for multiple lines of data to be connected simultaneously, allowing for the transfer of large sums of data at a time.

Why Should I Get an Inkjet or Laser Printer with Parallel Port?

There are several reasons why you may consider getting a printer that has at least one parallel port.

The most obvious reason is that some older computers don’t have USB ports. In that case, having the option to establish a direct parallel connection is more convenient than having to buy a special adapter.

The parallel interface is also used in manufacturing if you need to connect a printer to an old machine. Moreover, electronics enthusiasts may need parallel ports in their printers to connect them to special circuit boards for software development and other purposes.

Final Thoughts

Our favorite choice as the best parallel port printer is the Epson Stylus C88+. With a high print quality and smudge-free printing, you just can’t go wrong with it.

If you want a laser printer with parallel port that can withstand years of abuse, go for the Lexmark MS312DN. It’s a very fast printer and it can handle large volumes of documents quite well.