Are you hunting for a feature-rich, speedy and all-in-one mono laser printer for your small to large business environment? Look no further as HP has just introduced the smart multifunctional printer—the LaserJet Pro 400 MFP m425dw. The m425dw is an MFP that can print, scan, copy and fax and can connect to the PC via the USB 2.0 interface or to the local network via Ethernet or Wi-Fi. The printer is pretty smart in itself, as when connected to the Internet, you can either print online documents or fire a print on it from anywhere around the world. We had the printer for a while in our test labs and here’s what we have to say about the MFP.
Design and Build quality
The HP LaserJet Pro 400 M425DW has an excellent compact design and very rugged build quality. The exterior is matte-finished and is all-black in colour. The bottom half of the shell has a brush-finished texture, which gives it an elegant look. The ADF can hold around 50 sheets of paper, while the input tray, located at the bottom can hold around 300 pages. An optional paper tray that can be purchased can hold up to 500 sheets of paper. The front also features the manual paper feed tray, which needs to be pulled open. Above the manual feed tray is a button for the cartridge compartment. The control panel features on the top-right corner, while the power button is located just above the input paper tray. The right side features an air-vent with an exhaust fan. The rear features the interfaces—USB, Ethernet and phone line jack and also the power socket.
The HP LaserJet Pro 400 M425dw is a monochrome laser printer that can print documents with resolutions of 1200 x 1200 dpi. It is an upgrade from the older HP LaserJet M2727nf, which is slightly larger in size and slower in performance and specs than this one featured here. The Pro series comes in two variants—M425dn and M425dw, and both are identical to each other except for the interface. While the m425dn features USB and Ethernet connectivity, the m425dw additionally features the wireless networking interface. Both are Gigabit and IPv6 compatible, which are ready for future network upgrades in your office. The MFP is built using an 800 MHz processor coupled with a huge 256 MB of RAM, unlike the older brothers that use a lower speed processor and smaller RAM capacity. This spec upgrade is essential for faster printing that it incorporates. Print resolutions of the M425dw in normal modes are 600 dpi, while you can obtain up to 1200 dpi print resolutions using the HP ImageREt 1200 mode. The printer also features an automatic duplex mechanism, which can print on both sides of the paper saving on time and paper costs.
The scanner featured here is a flatbed scanner with an optical resolution of 1200 x 1200 dpi. The scanner lid also includes an ADF mechanism, which has a second scanner head built into it. This second scanner, aka dual head scanner, helps you simultaneously scan both sides of the same page in a single pass. This means you don’t need to reverse the pages to the ADF and to scan the other side later. This helps save a large amount of time and efforts put in by the employee. This duplex scanning option is only possible when using the scanner in the ADF scanning mode. The copy mode can scan and print in black with resolutions of upto 600 x 600 dpi and can copy documents at speeds of up to 33 pages/copies per minute. Reduction and enlargement from 25 percent to 400 percent are also possible, and you can copy up to a maximum of 99 copies per job. The featured fax can scan and send faxes in 300 x 300 dpi resolutions at a speed of around three pages per minute. It features around 120 speed dialing numbers that can be stored.
The printer incorporates a great energy saving feature, called HP Auto-On/Auto-Off Technology that turns off the printer when you don’t need it. Using this feature, you don’t need to actually switch off the printer physically, anymore. Simply fire a print command and the USB wake up feature will power up the printer, print the document and shut down automatically. Another interesting feature on the energy saving mode is the fuser used in this printer—unlike conventional laser printers that keep the fuser switched on all the time to maintain the toner fusing temperature, this one heats up only when needed and that too only the area of the drum (that needs the heat), which physically is in contact with the passing paper. The toner used here is also a low temperature fusing ink, which does not need the fuser to heat up as much as other laser printers usually do. This additionally helps reduce the overall energy consumption. Hence, the cartridges used here cannot be refilled using regular laser toner inks, which need higher temperatures to fuse to the paper. If refilled, it will end up damaging the fuser in time and you might also get smudgy prints or prints that can be easily wiped-off when handling. The printed pages also do not curl, especially in humid environments—thanks to the low heating fuser technology.
Speaking ahead, the printer has a maximum duty cycle of up to 50,000 pages per month, while the recommended monthly print volume defined by the manufacturer is around 750 to 3,000 pages. Shipped, along with the MFP is the HP 80A toner cartridge (standard capacity) which can spew around 2,700 pages. Optionally, one can also purchase the HP 80X (high capacity) toner cartridge, which can yield around 7,000 pages. The price of the cartridges is Rs.7,000 for the HP 80A and Rs.13,000 for the HP 80X. This calculates the print economy of the printer to be at Rs.2.20 per print when using the HP 80A cartridge and Rs.1.35 per print when using the HP 80X cartridge.
The MFP can also print as well as scan to USB pen drives using the USB port located on the front. The control panel features a large and crisp 3.5-inch display (aka Magic Frame by HP). The display is a resistive touchscreen and also features six other touch buttons around it. Together they make up the whole control panel to operate the unit. Once the unit is connected to an Internet-enabled network (either Ethernet or via wireless), you can register yourself and download apps for the printer. These apps range from educational, business, fun, craft, and a lot more, which can be printed directly from the Internet using the printer’s control panel.
You need to register the printer online using its unique code (during configuration) to generate an e-mail ID for the printer. You can then print any document from anywhere in the globe by simply sending the document to the printer by emailing it across. You can also monitor the complete printer’s (the registered printer(s) only) activities using the HP online website. An additional bonus feature included here is the option to wirelessly print from a mobile phone directly without any drivers. The printer features a built-in wireless access point that allows up to five mobile phones or tablets to connect directly to the printer’s open wireless network and print their documents.
We tested the printer for speeds and quality and here is what we have to say. Printing speeds were surprisingly “on-the-dot”. What we meant by this was that the manufacturer has specified the printer's speed to be 33 ppm with A4 sheets and 35 ppm on letter-size sheets, which is completely true. We also printed a 10-page word document in auto-duplex printing mode, and it was printed in just 40 seconds. The scanner also features a duplex (dual-head) scanner for simultaneous dual-sided scanning, and hence we also scanned a 10-page document to PDF format (via the computer using the USB cable), and it was done in just 1 minute and 51 seconds. Copy mode takes about 10 seconds per copy on a single side of an A4 page. The printer starts up is around 48 seconds, and the first print can take just eight seconds.
We analyzed the print quality and found the printer to do a pretty decent job. A grayscale linearization test showed that the printer can print excellent colours and shades of grey with very little or no errors. Resolution tests showed good details and contrasts. The copy mode was a little disappointing, though—we found the copies to be a bit smudged with loss in details.
The LaserJet Pro
The HP LaserJet Pro 400 MFP M425dw is a great investment for those looking for a feature-rich MFP for a new business environment or those looking for an additional printer for their existing set-up.