Published on July 30th, 2013 | by Greg0
HP OfficeJet Pro 276dw: Plenty Of Printer For The Price
Printers come in many shapes and sizes, but there are a couple of basic decisions you have to make when considering which to buy. The first is laser versus inkjet- and while laser offers some advantages when it comes to crisp text, it usually is less suitable for photos. Another set of questions is about capabilities- do you need a simple printer, or would you like multi-function capabilities for scanning or faxing or copying. And finally, there is the matter of size and print quantity- a personal model is less expensive, while business models are more durable.
The HP OfficeJet Pro 276dw balances most of these needs pretty well, being perfectly suited to small office or home office users. It’s a capable multi-function inkjet printer with the ability to print, scan, and fax, including via your internal network. And it looks pretty slick, nicely compact for use on a desk, but certainly larger than your average stand-alone printer. Of course, that extra space allows for a sizable paper tray that can hold 250 pages, and great build quality that leads to a 30000 pages per month duty cycle (enough for everyone but the most serious print-lover). We especially appreciated the legal-size scanning flatbed, versus the smaller letter-size ones found on many printer, and the ability to automatically and easily scan dual-sided documents.
As with most current printers, it’s compatible with not only Windows 7,8 and Max OSX operating systems but also includes some mobile printing features. We tested prints from our tablets, Android, and iOS devices using AirPrint and they turned out comparable to any other traditional print or competitor. Setup is simple- just connect the ethernet and power cable and the unit will quickly be accessible on your local network. Wireless or wifi setup has improved greatly over the years, and was straightforward as well. There’s a memory card reader for mini, microSD and SD/SDHC cards, and not only can you print directly from the card you can even scan items and save them. The large touchscreen is easy to use, and there is a USB port as well for use with thumbdrives but not direct camera connections.
In terms of quality, we found text to be laser-comparable, sharp and crisp and definitely useable in any professional setting. Even small fonts came through clear. Color printing is better than decent, and on photo paper, prints were bright with good contrast and accurate color. Darks tended to be a bit too dark though, but overall, photos and graphics were superior to most laser printers in this class. Speed is a key factor in printers, and here the OfficeJet 276dw was a bit disappointing, slightly slower than we hoped- official numbers were up to 25 pages per minute in black and white draft mode, and 15 pages per minute with regular color prints. We did notice some pauses while printing and in between pages, likely to let prints dry, and with a lengthy, real-world, duplex page test results were closer to 6 pages per minute.
Finally, the other prime factor when looking at different models is to consider costs over time- ink cartridges can add up quickly. Luckily, there is some very good news here- prices for consumables run to 1.6 cents per page for black, an extremely attractive price that beats laser hands down. If you’re in the need for a printer with a great feature set and impressively low print-per-page pricing, the HP OfficeJet Pro 276dw is an excellent option that will satisfy just about any small office user. Available now, online and in stores, for around $350.