The first thing I noticed when the printer arrived was the large size of the shipping box. It was much bigger then I had expected, and it was heavy. Almost two people heavy, as the cardboard handholds cut into my hands as I carried it to my car. While one strong person can handle it, you will want two people to safely unpack and place the printer. Unpacking was easy otherwise, but I did have to make room for it where I previously had my other all-in-one printer. It is slightly longer and deeper than my previous printer and about twice as tall. The printer is 20.3 x 15.7 x 20.3 in and weighs 53 lbs.
Editor’s Note: Legal Ink Magazine did not receive any free products or compensation from HP for this review.
The HP Officejet Pro X476dn MFP ($649.99) is one of HP’s new generation of printers using what they call HP PageWide Technology. HP claims that this new type of printer will provide professional-quality color at up to twice the speed and half the cost of color laser printers. HP’s new technology is different than their previous ink jet printers because the printhead doesn’t move. Instead of a moving printhead, there are 42,240 nozzles that spray the ink on the paper as it moves by. If you are in for a technical read HP has a White Paper here.
Installation was very easy and I quickly had it plugged in, setup, and working on my home network. This model printer has an USB connection, network connection, and WiFi connection. This means that you can connect it directly to your computer via USB cable, connect through a network, or even wirelessly through WiFi. Depending on your router, you might need to configure your WiFi settings to get the best use out of your printer. To access these settings, you will need your IP address. Not sure where to begin? Most Linksys routers have a Linksys default password of “admin”, and the default IP address of 192.168.1.1. If you aren’t familiar with what a multifunction all-in-one printer can do, let me explain. Besides being able to print, it can scan, copy and fax. I still remember the days of having a separate fax machine, printer and copier. In fact, I still have my old black and white copier in the garage because in the past the cost per page of inkjet copies was triple that of my copier. With the low cost per page of this printer I think it is time to retire my 15 year old copier as well as have a look into these thermal 4 inch printer models and have a little comparison!
HP claims that this printer can print up to 9200 pages per cartridge. You can purchase HP high yield ink cartridges for $120 directly from HP making it come out to one penny per page for black and white printing if you can stretch the cartridge out to 9200 pages. I am still using the ink cartridges that came with the printer, which are the lower yield 3000 pages per cartridges. I have printed about 2700 pages and only the black ink is running low. There has been no loss of print quality with the low level of black ink. HP also claims black or color printing (laser comparable) up to 36 ppm and draft black or color printing up to 55 ppm. The paper tray can handle 500 sheets but the output tray can only hold 300 sheets. With both a flatbed scanner and sheet feeder scanning and copying is just a few finger pushes away using the 4.3″ touchscreen. The touchscreen is larger and more precise than the touchscreen on my last HP printer and the menu is intuitive and easy to figure out.
Once you hit the print button on your computer it does take a few seconds (about 10) for the printer to “warm up”, but once it starts printing, pages come out quickly. For my needs I never felt like I needed it to print any faster even when printing hundreds of pages. Quality is excellent, however, I do like the print quality of my LaserJet a bit more. When comparing the same image printed side by side the LaserJet appears to printer clearer, is what I call “shinier”, and the Officejet can cause slight wrinkling of the paper where there is heavy ink usage. However, unless you are doing professional image work I don’t think you would even notice.
Scanning from the flatbed or sheet feeder is straightforward and you can scan right to your computer or to a USB stick using the built in USB port. Making copies is just as simple and the copy rate is the same as the print rate. The sheet feeder has been flawless and even sticking in pages that were previously stapled together fed through without issue. I never did use the fax feature as I scan and email all my documents, but this legacy feature is nice if you ever need to send a fax for some reason.
The Bottom Line
Is this the right printer for you? If you are a heavy home user or need an office multifunction printer this is an excellent choice. If you only need a printer for a limited number of materials, buying a printer might be a pointless choice, and investing in color printing is a better option. With great print quality, duplex printing, individual inks, fast printing, scanning, copying, faxing, and ease of use and setup this all-in-one unit does it all and typically doesn’t let you down. Sometimes I have some connectivity issues and a reboot of the computer and printer always solves the problem. I have an HP LaserJet connected to the same network and the Officejet loses connectivity much more frequently than the LaserJet. Some people might balk at the initial price, since they are used to low cost printers. However, if you adjust for the per page cost of ink you will find that in the long run this printer will cost less.
Overall Rating 8.5/10.0
Overall I give this printer high ratings. Ease of use, printing speed, low overall per-page costs, and excellent print quality allows me to rate this at 8.5 on a scale of 1 to 10. If it didn’t lose connection to my computer, wasn’t so large, and was a bit more affordable I would give it a higher rating.
- Great print quality
- Fast printing
- Scanning, copying and faxing built in
- Low printing cost per page
- Large unit needs space
- Loses connectivity to my network more frequently than my other printers
- Print quality is better than older Inkjets but not as good as my Laserjet. However, an inkjet printer might be a particularly beneficial option in an industrial context when used by those in manufacturing. Just take a look at Leibinger Group on Printing News: Industrial Component Marking at its Finest. Here you will see that a CIJ printer in unison with a heat-resistant pigment ink is an ideal unison for manufacturers looking to add component marking to their production process.
- Initial cost may turn some people off
For further details and specifications for the HP Officejet Pro X476dn, please visit HP. The suggested retail price is $649.99 but after a quick online search I found the printer discounted at a few sites for around $500.00.