Published on October 21st, 2015 | by Greg0
HP Color LaserJet Pro M277dw: Faster, Smaller SOHO Printer
Office printing has evolved, just as office spaces and organizations have. Start-ups don’t need to rely on expensive external printshops, and small businesses can be run out of a house, apartment, basement or even a co-working space. And while so much of your work might be handled digitally or via email, you’ll still need to print, scan, and copy lots and lots of paper. And that’s where an enterprise multi-function laser printer comes in, bridging the gap between a regular consumer printer and a top-of-the-line workhorse model.
The HP Color LaserJet Pro M277dw is an interesting, capable, high-performing network printer, blending a compact footprint with a broad feature set. Last month, we heard directly from HP about some of the key point of this new models- they claimed it was the smallest printer in it’s class, the fastest to print the first page, as well as the fastest two-sided output. New high-yield cartridges also mean more pages between toner replacements- up to 28% more than previous models, like the one we checked out last year.
There are trade-offs to be made in the name of less room taken up on your desk. For starters, the M277dw has a pretty good automated document feeder for scanning, but it cannot scan double-sided pages automatically. It can print duplex though, with no user intervention required. As with most modern printers, there are plenty of connectivity options, from USB to ethernet to built-in wireless 802.11b/g/n networking. The touchscreen is nice, big and easy to use, with plenty of features right at your fingertips. You can print directly from mobile devices, and it’s rated for a monthly duty cycle of up to 30,000 pages, enough for a pretty busy office indeed (though they suggest limiting that to about 2500 pages per month). For a major multi-user environment, it might not quite have the paper handling functionality you need, but it’s certain to be enough for a couple of people in a SOHO, small office/home office setting. Expect to reach up 19 pages per minute, with the first page coming out in about a dozen seconds.
Unlike most printers on the market, the latest LaserJet Pro one eschews boring black for a classy white color scheme. Compatible with Windows 10, as well as previous versions and Mac OSX, they’ve reduced power consumption greatly, and we were impressed that it wasn’t too noisy (a common issue with smaller printers). And there are some security and administrative management tools that you won’t find in competitors or cheaper models, like the Private Print feature which locks documents until you enter a code at the printer.
Prints dried fast, and text came out sharp-even color presentations and charts were crisp and balanced, with no saturation, bleeding or blending issues. For photos, though, laser is not going to be quite as good as inkjet printers. And one oddity- there is only a 100-page output tray with a 150-page input try, so be careful printing huge documents or a few pages might end up on the floor. Also, it’s important to note that HP has taken steps to prevent ‘unauthorized’ secondary toner cartridges- this model has new authentication mechanisms that might be annoying down the road, but they also added some advanced tech that means you don’t need to hassle with removing toner seals. The biggest downside, perhaps, is that our analysis shows the M277dw is a bit expensive- 3 to 4.5 cents for a black and white page and upwards of 21 cents a page for color. The printer itself, though, is priced similarly to others in it’s class, available now online and in stores for around $349.99.