HP’s LaserJet Pro range is aimed squarely at the SMB office, putting the emphasis on speed and reliability. This premium multifunction machine which retails at £250 (around $320, AU$435) can print, scan, copy and fax with precision in mono, but it won’t accept colour cartridges. You should look to the HP Color LaserJet Pro M277dw for full colour printing.
With a 250-sheet paper capacity and a print speed of 30ppm, this multifunction printer (MFP) is designed to maximise productivity, while convenient features like scanning to email, duplex printing and wireless connectivity for up to five users all make it easier to use and share.
Design and build
With a large paper drawer capable of holding 250 sheets of plain A4 paper, a scanner bed and a top-loading automatic document feeder (ADF), this MFP stands tall on a desk, but its footprint is considerably less than that of the enormous Xerox VersaLink C405. It also feels well made, meaning that its various flaps and trays are unlikely to snap off any time soon.
Printed pages are deposited in the central tray and connections, which include the ubiquitous square USB port and an Ethernet port, are at the rear. Thoughtfully, there’s a USB port at the front for printing from a USB thumb drive, or saving a scan onto one.
The fixed display is a touchscreen, which makes it far easier to use than the mono LCD panels found on your average printer.
This is a classic four-in-one MFP, which means it can print, scan, fax and copy, although that last feature is just a combination of scanning and printing really. But it can do a lot more besides. This device has both an Ethernet port and Wi-Fi connectivity (although not NFC) and an extra port for inserting a USB thumb drive, as mentioned. The upper paper tray is a 35-sheet ADF for lining up scanning jobs.
If you download the HP software, you can further configure the device to print directly from email, so you can send through print jobs while you’re away. Note that you’ll need to set up an HP account to do this. The slick companion app also makes life easier because it allows you to easily scan to, or print from, your mobile device. You can also adjust some settings and ask it to clean the printhead from your phone, too.
Setup and operation
Getting the HP LaserJet Pro M227fdw set up and online went very smoothly. It’s a case of following the simple instruction manual until it’s time to download the software to your PC/Mac. From here you can further configure and complete your product registration from the convenience of the keyboard on your computer, rather than relying on the printer’s own control panel.
Everyday operation is certainly helped by the HP’s smooth scrolling touchscreen and intuitive interface. Printing and scanning are even easier if you’re doing these tasks directly from your smartphone, thanks to the excellent companion app called AiO Remote.
The M227fdw turns out remarkably fine copy print. Black text on plain paper looks superb, even when it’s flying out at a rate of 28 pages per minute. This printer’s delicate touch when it comes to applying the toner is also a sign of its efficiency. In fact, HP reckons you’ll get 30,000 pages from one toner cartridge.
We also appreciated the smooth and surprisingly quiet way in which this machine prints and delivers paper without the usual commotion.
Printing images and diagrams is always a little disappointing on a mono printer, but we have to admit, there’s plenty of fine detail and shading in black and white prints. The resolution is 1,200 x 1,200 dpi and even at this high quality, the prints emerge in seconds.
Scanning is a little slower and the resolution is limited to 600 x 600 dpi for some reason, but at least it’s in full colour. You can choose if you want the resulting PDF, JPG, TIFF, or PNG file saved onto USB, or emailed directly to you.
The HP LaserJet Pro MFP M227fdw looks like a reliable workhorse and it doesn’t disappoint. As a laser printer, it really spits out paper at an impressive rate, but with amazingly little sound or fuss. The mechanism draws the paper through smoothly and we didn’t encounter a single paper jam during our testing.
The results look spectacular too, with each character printed with a delicate precision that’s simply beyond the reach of most inkjet printers.
The interface is another win for HP because it uses an intuitive, smooth scrolling touchscreen in conjunction with slick software for your computer and your smartphone.
Being a four-in-one MFP, this is a fairly bulky unit and you might be paying for features that you won’t use, like the fax for instance. It’s also a mono printer, so think carefully about what you’re likely to be printing on a daily basis.
If the price of the unit seems reasonable at £250 (around $320, AU$435), then you should be aware that HP toner cartridges are expensive: £86 (around $110, AU$150) for a replacement cartridge, to be precise.
It’s hard not to be impressed by the speed and quality of plain text documents as they quietly fill the out tray of the M227fdw. It seems to operate more swiftly and smoothly than most printers.
This LaserJet Pro manages to produce particularly fine print at high speeds, but remember that this is a mono printer. Also bear in mind that the scanner is somewhat limited by its 600 x 600 dpi resolution, and that replacement toner cartridges are expensive.
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