Pantum only came into the laser printer space around 2010, and you may begin to wonder if a decade of experience or so means its printers can match offerings from older brands like HP and Brother.
Worse still, whether the brand itself is a scam.
No doubt, you don’t want to throw caution to the wind and go all in on an unfamiliar brand without reading an unbiased, comprehensive review of its products.
That’s the kind of review this article provides.
Let’s begin, shall we?
Who manufactures Pantum?
The printer division of Zhuhai Seine manufactures Pantum printers. Zhuhai Seine is a Chinese printing tech conglomerate specializing in producing office electronics and other consumer products related to printing.
Zhuhai Seine spearheads research in and development of printing technologies. It then designs and develops products that meet current standards of operation in the printing tech niche.
The Zhuhai Seine enterprise is the largest printing tech company in China and has been known for its significant presence in the budget printer space. However, the company has been steadily amplifying its efforts to establish its presence in the premium space by producing advanced printers of all kinds.
The company has been around since the year 2000. It gave birth to its Pantum brand of printers in 2012. Currently, the Pantum company is the largest producer of printers in China and is among the largest in the world.
The Pantum brand took quite a while to become popular, and even now, it’s not exactly mainstream. However, the company now has a worldwide presence and has offices in strategic market regions in the world.
Is Pantum the same as Brother?
Someone probably asked you that question, and you couldn’t fetch the correct answer. You’ll get it straight in a moment.
Pantum and Brother are entirely different companies. They have been around for different lengths of time and build printers that differ in quality.
Pantum is Chinese and has been around for 11 years now. Going by age, Pantum is Brother’s little brother (pun intended), and the latter is produced by an establishment that has existed for 115 years.
Brother is also a diverse standalone tech company that manufactures a wide variety of consumer products ranging from printers to fax machines to even sewing machines. In fact, Brother Industries started as a sewing machine company.
Pantum, on the other hand, is merely a division of a much larger industry and only makes printers and printing-related accessories.
Which printer is better, HP or Pantum?
Voting for the better printer between HP and Pantum will require careful consideration of the two brands across various metrics, like which is more budget-friendly and better suited to home or office use, et cetera.
Let the faceoff begin.
Features and Budget
Both HP and Pantum have budget offerings for their printers. When we say budget, we are talking about a price range of $70–$200.
For comparison, I will highlight which brand gives us better-specced printers for the price.
Pantum offerings in the $80–$400 range give us reasonable specs like high print speed, pitch blacks (although this can be said for every laser printer out there), multiple connection features (Wifi, USB, and Ethernet), remote control with the Pantum smart app application, and multifunction purposes (printing, scanning, and faxing).
Almost all the Pantum printers in the aforementioned price range have print speeds of up to 20 ppm, with a few going as high as 50 ppm.
They are also portable and support various operating systems like Mac OS, Windows, and Android.
Among the Pantum budget offerings, there are a few that stand out. The PANTUM P3302DW Monochrome laser printer, for example, can print both border and borderless photos.
The Pantum BM 5100ADW laser printer goes to even greater heights as it has ADF and supports DUPLEX printing. The latter feature means you don’t have to turn the paper in again to print on the other side, as the machine can print on both sides automatically.
You can even use NFC with the Pantum BM 5100ADW laser printer for more connectivity options.
The CM1100ADW Color laser multifunction printer is on another budget level. It’s cheap, too, but as the name indicates, it can do colour and monochrome laser printing. It is also multifunctional and can print, fax, and scan in colour and monochrome modes. It’s also fast, with print speeds of up to 19 ppm and six ppm for duplex printing.
Do note, however, that the outstanding budget printers I just mentioned are at the brim of the budget segment. They cost upwards of $300.
What do we have with HP? Well, their budget laser printers have all of the above features the best Pantum budget printers come with.
Nevertheless, there are notable differences. More HP budget printers come with all-in-one functionality than Pantum budget printers.
In other words, you are more likely to see a budget HP printer that supports printing, scanning, and faxing in one machine. Some will even add copies to the list.
Another upper hand HP printers have over Pantum printers is that the latter is mainly for laser printers that do monochrome printing. Many budget HP printer offerings come with support for colour printing.
HP printers, even in the budget category, are also more likely than Pantum to come with support for Apple AirPrint due to the former having stronger cooperation with the Cupertino phone company.
And as if all that were not enough, HP has more long-term, cost-effective tricks up its sleeve that Pantum has no answer to.
Many HP printers nowadays come with HP’s instant ink subscription plan. With the instant ink program, you pay a small fee to print a certain amount of pages each month.
Once your cartridge is running low, you will get a new one sent to you, and the exhausted one can be sent back for recycling. The program can help you save money, but you must regularly print for it to make sense.
The better option for a multi-function printer is HP. Many Pantum printers can print, scan, fax, and copy, but you can easily find HP printers that do all that too.
Premium HP printers can print, scan, fax, and copy as well. Also, many can do color and monochrome prints using inkjet or laser print technology.
Home and Office Usage
Both HP and Pantum make excellent printers for home and office use. Their faster offerings come with high print speeds of 20 ppm and above. You can also get the ones with more modest speeds of 7–10 ppm for home use.
But I’d pick a Pantum over an HP any day for home use and the latter over the former for office use, and here’s why:
Pantum printers are usually smaller and lighter than their HP equivalents. And since Pantum printers are mostly monochrome laser printers, they should conveniently serve your occasional home printing needs.
The problem with using HP printers for home use comes from the type of printing technology they use. HP printers are inkjet-based; they store ink in cartridges. The ink can dry up and get wasted if all you do is print once in a while, and that’s it.
But for office use, I’d go full speed with the HP printers. Their ability to print full color and monochrome at high speeds and printing volumes means they are the more versatile option. And with HP’s instant ink subscription program, you should always have ink when needed.
Is Pantum a Chinese company?
Yes. Pantum is a Chinese company. I’ve said a lot about that in the section of this review that discusses who manufactures Pantum printers.
Top Pantum Printers
Now I will present to you some of the best Pantum printers available. While they can be rather pricey even for the budget class, they do their job well and leave little to be desired. They are the ones that champion high print speeds and crisp print quality with a host of multitasking perks.
The Pantum BM5100ADN is a solid offering from Pantum in the budget category and is PCMag recommended.
At $349.99, the printer is an all-in-one (AIO) monochrome laser print machine that can print, scan, and fax. It can even serve as a standalone copier.
This Pantum printer is high-speed and has a high load capacity. It can print above 40 ppm and does duplex printing very efficiently.
The Pantum BM5100ADN can print on both paper sides at once rather than using reverse ADF. In other words, the printer doesn’t have to print on one side of the paper and then flip it to the reverse side for further printing.
The printer follows the same single-pass duplex printing, no matter whether it’s scanning or copying. It will do the task on both sides of the paper in a single pass, saving time.
The loading capacity of the printer is on point too. The average load capacity of the paper drawer and the multi-purpose tray combined is over 300 pages. And depending on your purchase channel, you can get this model of Pantum printer with a load capacity of 550 pages.
The running cost of the Pantum BM5100ADN is moderate as well. If you expect to churn out pages up to the tune of 15,000, you get to pay just 1.3 cents per page. Of course, you must use the cartridge Pantum provides for that yield quantity. You can choose other Pantum cartridges for yields of 3,000 and 6,0000 pages.
The major con of the Pantum BM5100ADN is that it is pretty limited in connectivity options. It lacks Wifi and only does USB and Ethernet connections. It can’t do cloud printing or cloud scanning either.
But that aside, you’ll be hard-pressed to find an AIO monochrome laser printer from even HP that matches its print speed, quality, and other features.
The Pantum P2502W is the reigning entry-level printer from Pantum, outshone only by the HP Neverstop Laser 1001nw. The former is very small, light, and easy to set up without much hassle.
If you are a home user and you’ll only be doing light printing, you don’t need some expensive, super-duper printer to get the job done.
Something like the Pantum P2502W is just okay for you. It comes with a price tag of $99, but for that price, you get decent printing quality and moderate print speed.
As you may already know, the printer is a laser monochrome type. As I said earlier, Pantum mostly makes laser monochrome printers.
The Pantum P2502W addresses a core pain point of the pricier Pantum BM5100ADN, namely, the connectivity. The former has WiFi and can also do WiFi direct in addition to a USB connection.
But aside from that, the Pantum P2502W doesn’t hold a candle to its pricier sibling. For starters, it’s just a printer. That’s right, no extra scanning, copying, or faxing capabilities.
The printing speed is decent for an entry-level device. The Pantum P2502W managed to handle 23 pages per minute in my testing and has a max load capacity of 150 sheets. Pantum’s load limit for a month is 700 pages.
Duplex printing from the more expensive Pantum lineups surprisingly made the cut here. The Pantum P2502W, though inexpensive, does duplex printing. Nevertheless, I expected the implementation to be mediocre compared to the likes of, say, the Pantum BM5100ADN, and my hunch was correct.
The duplex printing function is manual, and you must refeed the stack in the proper orientation after the printer has printed on one side of the paper to continue printing on the second side.
Photo and text outputs from the Pantum P2502W are nothing to phone home about, but they are okay. I noticed crisp, clean images and text that were well-formed and sharp.
From time to time, you will notice some smudges, fine lines interfering, and some posterization, but those are expected for a printer as cheap as that.
The major gripe I had with the Pantum P2502W is the noise it makes when running. You can get used to it, but if you spend most of your time in quiet surroundings, you might take a bit longer to get o get used to the noise.
Then there is the issue with paper curling after printing. Evidently, due to its small size, the space in the printer is very cramped, and the paper is definitely squeezing its way through. Not too bad, though, as the curling is slight, and you can quickly straighten it.
Pantum BM5100ADW Mono Laser Multifunction printer
The Pantum BM5100ADW is the immediate elder brother of the Pantum BM5100ADN.
They share very similar specs, and while the ADW has almost the same printing quality and printing speed s the ADN, the ADW solves a critical problem of the ADN.
That is the connectivity. Coming with all the latest features, the Pantum BM5100ADW supports WiFi connectivity. It brings 2.4 GHz dual-band WiFi connectivity for seamless wireless pairing with your laptop or smartphone, or tablet.
In addition, the ADW packs NFC for even faster printing directly from your phone.
Needless to say, the ADW also supports Ethernet. MacBook users are also in for a treat as the ADW supports Apple AirPrint for better integration with Apple devices.
For your office use, the BM5100ADW won’t disappoint. It’s your typical heavy-duty printer with a monthly duty cycle of a whopping 100,000 pages. Combine that with the other premium features, and you get a technologically advanced $356 flagship killer.
CM1100 Series Color Laser Multifunction Printer
If, at this point, you have been wondering if there are Pantum color laser printers, here is your answer, yes. And there are many. The CM1100 series is just one of them.
The Pantum CM1100ADW and its variants, whose model names end with DN and ADN, all support color printing. They are meant for small office use.
The CM1100 printers can print, scan, and copy in mono and high color resolution of up to 600*600 dpi and 1200*600 dpi, respectively. Their print speeds can go up to 20 ppm.
They also support auto duplex printing, and their automated document feeder allows you to load up to 250 pages simultaneously.
For easier control, the CM1100 series of printers sport a 3.5-inch touch screen and also integrate with Apple AirPrint. The Pantum app is also available for remote support.
As the number of people who use Pantum printers continues to increase, so do the customer reviews.
So what do people who have used a variety of Pantum printers have to say about the quality of the company’s products?
I have sampled various opinions from people who have purchased Pantum printers on Amazon. Now, I will summarize the total rating of some popular Pantum printers.
This printer has a rating of 3.9 stars out of 5 from 3435 reviews when writing this article. The breakdown is shown in the screenshot below.
This printer got a rating of 3.8 stars out of 5 from 1,119 global ratings on Amazon. The screenshot below tells us more
And finally, this:
Wrap-Up – Is It Recommended?
Pantum printers may not enjoy the same brand recognition as other printer brands, but in reality, they deliver just as well as their equivalents.
Pantum printers have respectable specs, including but not limited to colour and monochrome printing, multi-functionality, and wireless connectivity options. They also make some of the cheapest printers with a good price-to-performance ratio.
It should not be hard finding one that suits your workload.