HP LaserJet Pro M175NW £233

28th Sep 2011 | 08:30

HP LaserJet Pro M175NW

Is this low-cost printer a false economy?

TechRadar rating:

2 stars

Like:

Cheap to buy; Small and compact

Dislike:

Mediocre performance; Tricky to set up

Laser printers offer three key advantages over the more common inkjet: high print speeds, cheap running costs and stellar text quality. Unfortunately, HP's LaserJet Pro 100 Color MFP M175nw printer, scanner and copier fails to excel in any of these areas.

It's far from fast. Our 20-page test document took over five minutes to print – a poor result considering a HP Officejet inkjet printer can manage it in less than two.

Nor is it cheap to run. With 1,200-page black toner costing £55 per cartridge and its three 1,000- sheet colour cartridges £59 each, a text printing costs almost 4.6p per page and colour prints over 20p. This is expensive for a laser printer.

We've no complaints about the quality of its text printing, but it's nothing you couldn't achieve with an Officejet or a Canon pigment-black inkjet. It isn't suitable for photo printing either.

Setup can be problematic. The installer software used to connect it to your Wi-Fi network doesn't run in Lion and is flaky in Snow Leopard. Chances are you'll have to do it manually, which isn't easy if you're not used to Wi-Fi networking. It also lacks a card reader, has only manual Duplex and a two-line mono LCD screen.

On the positive side, it offers Ethernet and USB, has a small footprint, and offers AirPrint, ePrint and direct wireless printing. Even so, there's little reason to buy it over a similarly featured inkjet MFD.

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