on June 23, 2013
Great printer for home or small office use. Effortless setup with great reliability. I previously had a Kodak wireless printer which had crappy wifi range and always dropped connection when asleep. This HP keeps the connection and is always ready to print, just hit print on your PC, Mac or mobile device and away it goes.
I have no issues at all with the build quality, it all feels well made, but BE WARNED; it's HEAVY! (40lb). The paper tray is nicely hidden at the bottom and the toner tray is pretty nice to use, just pull the front door down and then slide the drawer out, you don't have to reach into any small places. It seems to have the possibility of adding a duplex unit, but doesn't come with one.
Quality is amazing. Images print perfectly. I'm not a printing expert but I don't know how it could look any better. Speed is great too, it gets 14 pages per minute, which isn't as fast as a commercial copier, but if you compare it to the usual home inkjet printer it's practically instant for one page. You will find it takes longer for your network to send an image to the printer than it will for it to actually print.
TONER & RUNNING COST:
It comes with "Introductory Cartridges" which appear to be partially filled regular cartridges, these are supposed to get ~700 pages of printing. You can get a replacement set from HP that gets ~1,800 pages for $270. You can get the same set from a different brand (that works) for $120. HOWEVER, if you aren't afraid of getting your hands dirty, you can get a refill kit that can get 5 x ~1,800 refills for $60 on ebay. This comes with all tools, chips and instructions, just beware that toner is toxic, and you will have to take safety precautions.
I hope I have helped you with this review and you can choose the right printer for you.
on January 1, 2013
I've owned this printer for about 2 months and have printed about 5000 pages. I've owned HP laserjets since the days of the Laserjet III. My two previous color lasers were the HP 2600n and CP2025. The M251NW is a worthy successor to my old workhorse 2600n (the CP2025 was a P.O.S.)
Setup was easy. Connecting the printer wirelessly to my MacBookPro was effortless. The touch-screen control panel is more intuitive than any other HP printer I've owned. I am very happy with this printer.
The thing I am most happy about: I print from MS-Word and many of my documents include a color image in halftone as a watermark on every page. The M251NW does a better job of rendering this watermark than any printer I've previously owned.
The 'Toner is low' warning comes up way too early but you can easy bypass it and keep printing. There is still LOTS of toner left after the 'low toner' warning appears.
on December 3, 2012
My printer arrived this evening and I had it set up and printing in about 20 minutes (about half of that time was just unpacking it). The first and most important lesson for me is that HP finally has wireless network setup figured out. All the agony of trying to get my earlier HP printers working on my wireless home network are now just a bad memory. I sat the printer down on my kitchen table and powered it up, stuck the installation CD in my laptop and walked thru the steps. About halfway thru you have to physically connect your computer to the printer with a USB cable OR manually enter the network information to allow the printer to connect to your wireless network. I chose the cable option. (In a subsequent step, it tells you when to disconnect the cable). You also have the option to permanently connect to a PC via a USB cable, but the wireless option is far more useful for me. Bottom line: it was just about as easy as getting my smartphone to connect to my wireless network.
Print quality: Absolutely visually stunning! You have the 600 DPI tack sharp print of a high quality laser printer and it is now in full color.
The one thing that surprised me a little is that it is bigger and heavier than I expected but not quite as large as my ancient laserjet 4 - which I gave away years ago. Still, it fits in the roll-out compartment in my desk that held my tiny HP 1122 laser printer. So it is still a very manageable size.
They might sell more of these if they took the words "monochrome printer" out of the product title. This is definitely a color laser printer. Some folks may find that product description confusing.
If this thing turns out to be anywhere near as reliable and durable as my older HP laserJet printers have been, then it is a home run purchase.
I will add more comments after I have used this printer for a few weeks. First impressions: awesome printer.
July 2013: After several months I found something to add to my original review. If you print envelopes, you have to remove and unload the paper tray and put your envelope in there. A minor inconvenience, but other HP printers I have owned had an envelope feed. This is minor - still a great printer and now I see it is even cheaper.
on February 19, 2013
I was having a hellish experience with a Samsung color laser printer -- a story I won't repeat here. But it is worth mentioning, because there is an important lesson here: Laser printers of the same price class are NOT created equally.
I ordered this HP printer, thinking it would be about as good as previous color laser printers I've owned. But no. It wasn't as good. It was FAR, FAR BETTER.
This is not your average junk product thrown out by some company hoping to take your money and run. This is a product built by a company that appears to care about quality and producing the most excellent printer it possibly can, and yet still manage to keep the price reasonable. It is bit heavy in the box, so be prepared to lug that thing home when you get it. But there's a good reason for it -- it is a solidly built, quality product.
And the setup? Oh my goodness. I use a Mac, and typically getting third party equipment set up is like putting your head through an old fashioned wet clothes wringer. You might make it out the other side, but you'll get a huge headache in the process. But not so with this HP laser. Setup was truly a breeze, and it recognized everything instantly and was just so simple, HP deserves some kind of award for that alone.
If you value your time and sanity, as I do, listen: Even if this cost a bit more than other, comparable printers -- and really for what you get, it doesn't -- it would still be worth it. When you can unpack this, pull a few strips of plastic protective tape, plug it in, throw in an install CD, and be up and running hassle free in minutes, that's because the company that made it cares about the experience and paid attention to details. HP got a LOT right with this printer. Another thing that just makes life so much easier is that there is a flip up, touch LCD screen. Touch! Thank you... no more printing out status pages by holding down some crazy button for a minute and wondering what's going to come out. This is how a printer should work! This is it!
The print quality itself is really great. It really looks just like what I see on my screen, too, unlike the washed out nonsense I've seen from other brands. I'm very, very pleased.
Check out the other reviews to date, and consider: Every single one of them gave FIVE STARS, except one that gave FOUR. Why? Well, according to the reviewer, he got a low toner alert too soon, and was able to print 800 more pages and the toner still had not run out yet. Wait... that's... a PROBLEM? I don't think so. If that happened to me, I'd want to give this printer SIX stars. Some people might need that early alert so they can place an order for more toner, and not run out before it arrives.
I guess some people see the glass half empty, some half full. I haven't owned the printer long enough to get to that point, but I do know of a way to solve it. Just go into your printer settings, open printer Options and then the Printer Utility, and you can actually change the warning thresholds for low toner alerts. Boom! Problem solved.
Until/unless this printer is eclipsed by something newer and better, which is hard to imagine given the relatively stable nature of laser printers over the years, in my opinion there is nothing worth looking backwards to at any price in the same class, no matter how much lower that price might be. This is an excellent, quality product that is worth every cent.
on August 8, 2014
I do professional graphic design and use my color lasers for proofs, as well as many other things ... brochures, client plaques, trifolds, menus, programs, etc. Accurate color reproduction, image quality, accurate print geometry (equal margins and not crooked), speed and reliability are very important. For the past few years I've been using a great Konica Minolta Magicolor 2530DL which produces amazingly accurate colors, but recently began printing off-center vertically with a much larger margin at the top of the pages than the bottom, and was inconsistent. Naturally, anything requiring precision printing such as a 10-up business card page on perforated stock, centering trifold info on double sides, etc became impossible. So I began researching new printers and all reviews led me to the HP Laserjet Pro 200 M25NW. A well known local office supply store had one in stock as well as a demo, so checked it out. I printed out a demo page and was very impressed with the overall image quality and color. Small fonts were very sharp and clean. When doing my research, I found a local competitor with a price $30 less (but were out of stock), so I was able to price match and walked out with a Pro 200 for $30 less than the already discounted price. However, when I got it home, I soon discovered it had been used, returned, and resold as new. Not good. There was paper in the tray, the toner protective strips had been removed, and toner had been used. I called the store and was told they never resell a returned item and this one had somehow slipped through...and apologized profusely. It printed fine, producing beautiful prints, but I still felt a bit misled and had no idea what the previous owner may have done to it. So the manager offered to order me a new one, and knock off another 20% for my trouble. Picked it up today and everything was as it should be... and prints beautifully.
Using the default settings, prints are a bit too dark for my taste, so I began trying various settings and combinations. For me, going into the Color tab and deselecting HP Easy Color, and selecting Photo (sRGB) in the Color Themes section produces nice accurate color and better density. This printer doesn't do auto duplexing, but doing it manually, I easily and quickly printed 50 two-sided folded programs for an upcoming event, and they turned out beautiful with perfect placement/registration on both sides. I've printed many images consisting of the most difficult to produce colors... purples, greens, reds, blues, etc, and I'm impressed with the color accuracy and overall image quality. Not perfect, but very accurate and on par with the Magicolor 2530DL.
This printer is definitely faster than the Magicolor 2530DL and activates instantly after sitting for a while in standby mode. When I hit "Print" in any of my programs, the Pro 200 jumps to life instantly without delay and full page prints of graphic images/photos print in just a few seconds. It required very little time to print those 50 double-sided programs.
After getting it going the first time, for the first several pages, I was hearing a continuous 'knocking/rolling' during the printing process, however, it soon disappeared and is now extremely quiet and smooth.
Overall, this is a very impressive printer. One minor complaint is the paper exit. When doing a multi-page job, pages stack up and will push previously exited pages farther and farther out, away from the page access indent on the top. But something I can deal with. #10 envelopes are easily printed with no curl. There is no manual feed tray, so envelopes must be placed in the main tray, but no big deal.
Easy setup, quiet, smooth, great image quality and color, easy manual duplexing, and accurate print geometry make this an excellent printer at twice the price. No, it doesn't have all the bells and whistles of more expensive printers, but certainly has the image quality to make up for it. Comparing the demo prints from a $300 Brother and a $400 Samsung, the Pro 200 is impressive. I'm hoping it will provide this same print quality for a long time to come, but time will tell.
on February 25, 2013
There is so much high-praise reviews of this printer that I thought i should post one to balance it out.
First a comment about HP laser printers in this price range. If you can purchase this printer with a add-on extended warranty, by all means do so. A lot of the times, extended warranties are a ripoff. But in the case of laser printers, they're worth it. This will be my third color laser printer. These puppies have a high wear/tear breakdown quotient.
My previous HP printers was a CP1525nw - which this printer replaces. After only a year and without heavy use (I was on 2nd set of toner cartridge), the printer experienced a paper jam. I called HP tech support and they told me that my only option for me to get a trade-in for a refurbished printer from them (they gave me $50 for the jammed printer). There was no service repair option. Amazing.
So word to the wise on HP printers in this price range: They're not built for heavy use or long term reliability. A simple paper jam and I had to toss my previous HP printer.
That said, the new series printer does print faster than the previous series. And HP seem to have addressed a major complaint (a chorus of complaints on discussion boards) having to do with print output being too dark. The tonality range has been improved.
HOWEVER (and this is a big one). color accuracy is off. Way off. I had to do a graphic printout with predominant purple theme, and the printer gave me blue! It could not reproduce the color purple at the default printer setting. Amazing. I got some purple only when the printer was set to Adobe RGB in the print dialog box. Further, for graphic work, the black level on a printed page eaves a lot to be desired.
This printer, then, is not for anyone doing critical color work. It's okay for the home office for sundry printing where color accuracy is not so paramount.
So that's my two cents.
on August 15, 2013
WHY A COLOR LASER PRINTER?
Like others who have turned to a Laser color printer, I was sick of expensive Canon ink jet cartridges drying up before the ink was used and non-Canon cartridges caused streaking problems on my photos. Since I've been very happy with my HP LaserJet 1018 for every day black and white printing, I decided to try a color LaserJet for my color printing needs, most of which consists of printing photographs. As soon as I installed the Pro 200, I tried to print some color photographs on it and I was REALLY disappointed. The color was way darker than what I was seeing on my monitor, and looked horrible. Totally NOT acceptable, so I went to Staples and bought some paper designed for use in a color LASER printer. All the photo paper I had on hand was of course for ink jet printers. The woman at Staples recommended I NOT try to use ink jet paper on a laser printer for fear of it "fusing" the image on my laser printer's drum. So I gave away my ink jet paper and bought a box of 100 sheets of Staples 8.5 x 11 laser color photo paper for under $25. Not the highest quality in the world, but okay for test purposes.
Since the paper I bought is 8.5 x 11, and most of what I want to print are standard 6 x 4 "snapshot" sizes I've had to use Publisher to "paste" and downsize photos onto a Publisher page, and then print and cut the photos from there. I'm sure there are easier solutions, like buying some color laser paper in 6 x 4 size, which I'll do, but the box of 100 was all Staples had in stock so for test purposes I bought it. The image quality from using this paper is 100% improved over the old ink jet paper... WAYYYYY better!!! The images, of course, are not "HD photo image quality" but are acceptable enough for every day use, e.g., giving "snapshots" to friends, etc. If I want to print a quality photograph I'll send the file to an outside lab like MPIX anyway, as I did when I had the Canon ink jet printer.
Tonight I asked my wife to try and test the wireless installation for use with her pc. That's how I have mine installed. After multiple, frustrating attempts to install the printer using the provided installation disk, I was unable to get it to work hard wired. However it works perfectly in wireless mode with no connecting USB or other kind of cable attached to my PC from the printer. Since my wife is on the same network as my computer via our router she gave it a try and in minutes was able to print on the HP Pro 200 from her computer on the other side of our home office. COOL! This is our first foray into wireless printing, and it's very nice to be able to share the color printer!
A MINOR "CON"
One irritant is that there is no "single sheet feed" capability on this printer. By that I mean in order to print a color photo one needs to replace or add to the plain paper in the print tray with a page of the photo paper. That requires removing the paper tray and adding the single sheet on top, then reinserting the paper tray. If the photo paper is a different size than the plain paper in the tray then the tray paper must be removed before "sizing" the tray properly for the new paper. That process does work okay, but it's not as easy as having a place to feed a single sheet without having to remove the paper tray. C'est la vie. It's not a BIG deal... just a pain in the butt. Overall I'm happy with the quality, performance, noise level and size of the printer, and I LOVE the wireless capability. I'd buy this printer again. Not sure how long the toner will last, but I don't do all that much photo printing so it should be more economical than throwing away dried up and clogged ink jet cartridges.
on March 13, 2014
I have been a fan of HP printers for decades. Have used them since college. When my current color laser printer at home died HP was the first consideration, and this printer topped the list. With all the good reviews, I had pretty high expectations. However, they would be crushed.
I will admit that I probably got a bad one, but still, there was more than one thing that earned the one star. First and foremost, the color printing was absolutely horrible. The registration (i think that is the right term - where the colors line up where they should on the page) was completely off. Now, I am not talking very slightly fuzzy and off. I am talking anything printed in color looked like images made for 3-D glasses blurry. So blurry they hurt your eyes. Completely and totally unusable. If you printed something that was only black (text), it was sharp and looked good.
I could get over the fact that I got a lemon and needed to replace it for the color registration issue, but the installation was a second issue. I have a simple Win7 machine with nothing fancy or abnormal in the setup. The setup disk would not work to get the printer installed. This to me is inexcusable. Problems with Win8....ok maybe. The Win7 install should be rock solid and 100%. I am above average in computer skill (used to do development work) and I had to call tech support to get it to work.
I will say a couple of things on the positive: My interaction with tech support (India) was surprisingly quick and helpful. The person was knowledgeable and was not "reading from cards". That was nice. Second, even though mine was a lemon, I think HP made a pretty nice printer with nice features for the price. It is obvious in the construction that they cut a lot of costs (it isnt the metal clad battle tank of the past), but with a bit of care, I don't see why it wouldn't last a long time and serve well in a light to moderate duty environment.
In the end I returned it and got a different brand printer. If HP improves the quality/quality control on this one, I think it will be a benchmark low-cost printer that others will be measured by.
on January 28, 2014
This was my very first color laser printer and I am so, so glad that I purchased it!
Over the past six months or so I've printed about 1,000 pages on this and haven't had a single issue. No issues at all. It just works. It prints crisply and beautifully every single time. The colors are accurate, even on graphics heavy pages, and the text is dark and rich.
I love that you can print wirelessly, which means I can keep this in an out of the way spot and not taking up valuable real estate space on my desk. It does take a smidge longer to print wirelessly, but the convenience is worth it. By the time you get up and walk over to the printer to get what you printed it's already coming out.
While the toner is crazy expensive (about $65 for black and $85 for each of the three colors) it lasts a long time and you only have to replace the color that is depleted.
I did have to tinker with the settings to get it perfectly calibrated for the specialty paper I use but it works beautifully. I've printed brochures on it using the HP Glossy Brochure Paper and they look professionally printed.
So, I highly, highly recommend this. It's well worth the investment.
As a side note, I use a Mac and it works seamlessly with it. No setup or usage issues.
on September 18, 2014
I am a professional Graphic Designer. (Just so you know where I'm coming from with this review. I'm a color/gradient/registration stickler.) I purchased a laser printer to save me a few dozen trips to the local office supply store when I need to print side projects like party invitations, Etsy products and brochures/flyers. I wasn't sure how much use I would get out of a home laser printer so I didn't want to spend a lot up front. Quality is VERY important to me, but I didn't think I would need more than 600dpi. I have NO intentions of printing photos. It works fine for my purposes.
What I LOVE:
-Price? AMAZING. I'm not printing anything valuable and my budget was $250.
-Set-up? Easy-peasy! I have a Mac and all I did was plug in the USB. Wireless set-up was simple and has not had to be repeated. Our two PCs have been able to print to it over the WiFi with no set-up or issues.
-Very quiet! Very fast!
-Quality? Wonderful - AFTER you tweak your settings. Colors are accurate and clean.
What I HATE, but not enough to warrant replacing it or recommending a different printer:
Problem 1: SETTINGS. The print settings repeatedly default to "HP EasyColor", which is garbage. It's probably fine for general printing, but I print a lot of high-quality small graphics, with fonts 5-6pts in size. Unless you get the settings just right, these are almost unreadable when printed on this printer. Likewise, without tweaking, the halftoning is janky, esp on oranges. I have saved my most-used-settings as a profile and it ignores it. It always defaults to "EasyColor" and I have to select all my settings individually EVERY SINGLE TIME. Annoying, but not a deal-breaker.
**FYI Here are the settings I use most for smooth gradients and tiny text:**
-BUY GOOD PAPER! It does no good to have excellent print quality if you use cheap paper. I use Hammermill Laser Color (The one with the blue butterfly)
(-Also buy HP OEM toner, if color quality is important to you. Suck it up, buttercup!)
-TURN OFF EASYCOLOR
-Media: HP LaserJet 90g
-Halftone: Detail <----VERY IMPORTANT for smooth gradients. I wasted a lot of prints forgetting this.
The rest are all default.
Problem 2: RED SHADOWS. Reds & pinks always print with a shadow, like a color echo, on the upper edges. I believed this was a problem with my particular printer and contacted HP. Initially they sent me a new Magenta cartridge. The problem became less noticeable on reds but more noticeable on blues. Next, they sent me a replacement remanufactured printer. The problem didn't change at all. At this point, given the marked improvement I saw from replacing the Magenta, I suspect the culprit is the Cyan cartridge. I haven't decided if I'm going to bother HP with this, or just wait it out and see what happens as I replace all the cartridges over the next year.
Problem 3: BLACKS. I want my blacks to be BLACK. These are... blackish. Maybe 95% of the blackest blackness. They could be blacker.
I have compared the quality/price of this printer to the million-dollar printer at the office store, a few $500 Brother printers and a 2400dpi HP (whatever they had on display at the store). As I had the most control over the settings of this printer, these prints were the best. Best color, best shading, best clarity. Maybe the others would do better if I could play with them more, but why would I?! Why spend the extra money for quality I really don't need?
For the price, it's really worth a try.
**CUSTOMER SERVICE SIDE NOTE**
I FOUND HP's CS to be very helpful. Make sure to keep your receipt handy if you contact them. I had to prove my printer was under warranty. My SN showed this printer was manufactured in 2012. My receipt proved I purchased it new a mere two months ago. (Perhaps my printing issues stem from it sitting on a shelf somewhere for two years??) They has no issues sending me the replacement ink or printer and used overnight shipping. They performed follow-up calls after each.
**REPLACEMENT PRINTER SIDE NOTE**
Learn from my mistakes. If they have to send you a new printer, DELETE the old printer from your computer before hooking up the new one. Delete the wireless and USB printer profiles and start fresh. I caused myself a lot of unnecessary aggravation forgetting this simple step.