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on February 13, 2013
I bought the HP M451dn printer after doing a bunch of research. However, none of the reviews explained that this printer only comes with 128mb of memory. Within a few days of operation one of our sales guys kept getting "out of memory" messages. The standard memory places (Crucial, Newegg etc) did not carry the extra 256mb memory modules. HP sells it for almost $600! I found what I needed at for $13.99. The person I talked to was very helpful- a former HP person. I now have 384mb of memory and no problems. Why doesn't HP put enough memory in this one???
The memory you will need is CB423A HP 256MB DDR2 144-pin DIMM Code: EV_CB423A at Part-Quick - It was only after I did hours of research that I found Parts-Quick. The same module is available from Parts-Quick through Amazon but the Amazon description does NOT mention the HP M451dn as a model that this memory works with. See my similar review at the Amazon memory module page.
88 comments|351 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
We recently picked up one of the M451dn printers for use in our small business. We were using a Brother laser printer for most of our printing - and then switching to an Epson inkjet whenever we needed color.

Aside from having 2 printers, the main problems we were having were: the Brother printers in general tend to ruin envelopes and the Epson inkjets cost a fortune to run.

The main requirements we had for this printer included:

- Needed to be accessible through the network. Wireless doesn't matter at all - it just needs to be on the network.
- Good color capability
- Duplex printing - most of the documents we print are required by law to be duplex, and it's cheaper anyway since it saves paper
- Good envelope handling - As I already mentioned, I love Brother laser printers in general; but, they really do wrinkle up envelopes pretty badly
- Color printing needed to be less expensive than an inkjet - I know it's still more expensive to print color, but the inkjets are horrible!

Fortunately, this HP has delivered in every category. It is just a bit slower than the Brother HL-5370DW that we were using, but it is keeping up with our workload just fine.

I've always hated the huge software packages that HP bundles with their printers, but it was easy to just download the driver off their website and install it directly. The driver installer didn't have any issues locating the printer on the network either.

As far as print quality goes, it is absolutely amazing! The black is what we've come to expect from any modern laser, but the color just blew me out of the water! Honestly, I've always thought you couldn't get photo-quality pictures from a laser printer, but this definitely comes close. It excels at printing any kind of business graphic we would ever need - and does it quickly, and with full duplex.

Overall, I would highly recommend the M451dn. We've been very pleased with this one over the last month, and I'm having trouble thinking of anything we don't like about it. :)
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on September 23, 2012
I bought this printer a week ago, and so far I think highly of it, especially the duplex printing feature. However, I am very disappointed with HPs invasive software for detecting authentic cartridges. Google "HP print cartridge authentication" to learn more. They do a good job of selling the benefits, but after some additional searching, it's easy to see that a number of people have had unintended consequences--nothing earth shattering, but annoying time wasters nonetheless.

I have been clicking the "Decline" button (even though I buy HP Print cartridges), because I don't want big brother watching over me. If at some point I choose to take the risk and buy a third party cartridge, that's my business, not theirs. The real reason they are doing this is to force users to buy their expensive cartridges (that's where they really make their money).

I can overlook the sales pitch to install their monitoring program as long as they honor my decision to decline to install it. Unfortunately, it ignores the decline button, and displays their obnoxious dialog box every time I print. I have two days left to return this printer, and there's a reasonable chance I will.
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on July 7, 2012
Saw an ad in Office Depot's newspaper ads and checked the printer out online before buying from Amazon. Needed to replace my other laserjet. So far, and have only had it for a few days, I am impressed with its functionality. Great extras too like printing forms.

HOWEVER . . . it was VERY difficult to install the software drivers. The software installation files are actually in the printer memory as well as the CD. [HP Smart Install Program]. I had gone to HP's forum and not knowing WHAT the problem was, I stated my dilemma. An Actual thread regarding this problem was already established. EVERYONE had the same problems verbatim! OS, hardware, memory etc., nothing but the printer itself was at fault.
No one really had an adequate solution so . . . I called HP and they worked me through it. ALL I had to do was, from the printer [itself] menu, deactivate the HP Smart Install Program. The printer has a very extensive menu listing. But he told me exactly where to find it and select deactivate.
From there, the printer installed effortlessly!!!!! And yesterday, even updated the firmware! I'm quite confident this printer will give me "miles" of great usage!

Also, I have always purchased tones / cartridges off the Net and not in the stores. Get remanufactured ones at less then half price. Better and less expensive deals!!
Anyway, for those who want to consider this printer, hope this helps with the driver installations.
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on March 16, 2013
I just unboxed and installed our new 451dn. Given the hesitation I had in purchasing this product after reading some of the reviews, I thought I might help others by addressing the installation, invasive software, and memory issues others have described:

1. Driver software installation: HP shipped the driver software on an included CD. After reading the reviews citing problems with installing the software from the printer, I decided to try the CD instead. Clean/easy install. Reviewer D. Matheny points out you can also download the driver off the HP website, but the CD saves that tiny bit of time, plus it checks for any updates during the install. I was able to customize which parts of the software I wanted as another reviewer described, also. Only thing I chose not to install (With the first install! See #2 below.) was HP's "Product Improvement Study," as I do not choose to be part of some study and I read elsewhere that it can be an annoyance.

2. Invasive software complaint: During installation I didn't see any sort of "monitoring program" reviewer Joanna Ward complained about, and that reviewer YiANNI said you could choose not to install. YiANNI does explain why HP would want people to use their cartridges, and HP makes that case on their web site. However, even though I ALWAYS use genuine HP cartridges from reputable suppliers (had a very bad experience with non-HP cartridges gumming up another printer plus printing with awful quality), I am in agreement with Joanna and do not want an "Authentication" dialog popping up. I THOUGHT I had taken care of that by choosing Custom Installation, and deselecting the check mark next to "Product Improvement Study" per #1 above, BUT, a few minutes later the Authentication box did pop up on my screen. I wasn't even printing at the time - it just popped up. I tried clicking "Authenticate," thinking it would validate that my cartridges were genuine then go away and not bother me anymore, but it said the validation had not worked and I could "Try Again." After trying again twice and the process not working, I knew the annoying "Authentication" dialog box would keep coming back, and back, and back... like a virus.

OK, so I went to my computer's Control Panel and uninstalled all the HP driver software, then reinstalled it from the CD. This time, I deselected the boxes under Custom Installation next to three things to be sure: "HP Product Improvement Study" as before, plus "HP Printer Status and Alerts" and "HP Update." So far so good. I turned the printer on and off and printed several pages and no "Authentication" annoying virus popup box, ahem, I meant "Authentication" dialog box, has appeared.

3. Reviewer Joe Cambridge mentioned insufficient memory at 128 Mb, and that also slowed my purchase decision as my old printer had insufficient memory. Certainly a valid concern, and it looks like HP listened to Joe. The printer I received has 192 Mb - a big improvement over my old printer's single digit Mb memory.

Finally - I do like this printer a lot. Very clean, nice document and web site printing. I just tried printing a photo of a sunset, too, and it's almost photo quality. A huge improvement over our old HP laser printer that was 6.5 years old. Right now the printer is on but sitting there completely silent, waiting for its next job. Not noisy when printing, either, and quite fast. Good duplexing - our last printer had duplexing, too - it's a great feature to have. So if you address the issues above to your own preference, I do highly recommend this printer.
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VINE VOICEon January 16, 2013
I've had an Hp2600n since March of 2005 and decided it's time to get a new printer. I will echo the comments of some of the other reviewers that this printer series nomenclature is confusing:
* 451dw: auto-duplex, wireless
* 451nw: wireless
* 451dn: auto-duplex
Be very careful which model you order. I tried to order the 451dw because I wanted auto-duplex and thought wireless would be nice to have, but mistakenly selected the 451nw which didn't have auto-duplex. I returned it and got the 451dn. Note: if you want duplex printing then you need the "auto-duplex" feature. The 451nw is listed as a "duplex" printer, but it only will print on both sides if you take out each page and manually reload it.
I digress: my setup experience was a breeze. I plugged in the power and Ethernet cables and turned off the Smart Install feature on the front panel of the printer. Next, I set a static Ethernet address and then used the Control Panel/add printer feature on Windows 8 (32 and 64 bit systems). It found the printer immediately and I used the "have disk" option. It loaded on all 3 of my PC's w/o any issues.
I was able to use Airprint on my iPad without any setup issues after I connected the printer to the LAN.
The photo on the test page looks surprisingly good for a laser printer and the text is sharp.
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on October 9, 2013
I love the ease of the installation of this printer and the quality of the color prints from it. But, be aware that you do have to upgrade the memory if you want fast, seamless pictures or graphs. Again, easy to install DIMM memory by following the instructions in User Guide page 127.

My only complaint is when you pay for this printer you should expect full sized color cartridges not toy cartridges that run out after a short time. So, when you purchase this, purchase full sized toners and a 256MB Printer Memory Card at the same time. It will save you headaches and you will be up and running quickly and with a quality product.
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on March 19, 2014
I have used HP printers since the early days (Laserjet III) and generally liked the hardware. As with other printers, this one has good reliable hardware. The problem is the software. HP has decided that the printer setup software will be automatically installed from the printer itself. You plugin the printer, turn on the power, and it starts up the Install program on the PC by copying over the files from a ROM in the printer.

Good idea and very helpful to the consumer that does not want to fool with CDs, etc.

The only problem in this "solution" is that the software downloaded from the printer is "HP Install Software".

The install program starts up. It fails because it cannot connect to the printer (that is, the printer IT JUST DOWNLOADED ITSELF FROM!!!). The software failed to install because it could not connect to the printer. I am not kidding.

The only "solution" was to go into the Hardware Manager screen, manually remove various PNP and USB drivers, restart the computer, etc.

This is not rocket science. I write and teach software for a living. I have written low-level programs using the Microsoft Driver Development Kit (DDK). HP software is helping to kill a good hardware brand. (Google "HP Software Sucks" and see how many hits you get).

I am amazed the corporate people at HP are not aware of this problem or that they just don't care.

Purchase at your own risk....
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on September 25, 2013
This is a very nice printer for a linux based office. Color looks great, duplex-er works great too.

To setup with linux you need the hp-lip package.

On Debian/Ubuntu linux:
sudo apt-get install hplip
hp-setup -i
eg. hp-setup -i (IP is displayed on printer LED display.

Just accept the defaults and you are good to go! Tested with Ubuntu 12.04 and 13.04.

Very happy with this printer!

As a bonus, it has a built-in menu to print out standard forms like: Notebook paper, Graph paper, To-do lists (to be filled out). :)
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on October 26, 2014
Absolutely a fantastic printer. I bought this for use in an office environment. We don't print color all the time but we do host events in which case we will print out close to 2500 double sided pages for an event. We've burned through multiple color printers. The only ones that ever do anything worthwhile have been HPs.

I tried a more expensive Brother and Epson and both don't print pictures (head shots of speakers/guests) the way an HP does. Our marketing person flat out refused to use anything printed on the Brother. There is a noticeable difference in printed picture quality. The HP printers seem to be the only ones that can actually print a decent picture.

Ok, onto the greatness of this device. It's perfect for an office environment. It networks beautifully or can be shared using a direct connection with USB. It rates at 40,000 pages PER MONTH. Seriously, if you are printing more than that you should not be looking at a printer that costs below $400. It prints crisp and bright on bond paper. Double-sided printing works great as well. It's not as quick as super floor models, but it will continuously chug along for hours without complaint. Optional add-on tray (250 sheet) is also a great purchase. Printer recognizes it immediately and it all just works.

The worst con about this printer is the size of the toner cartridges. They are SMALL. Rated for about 1500-2500 pages depending on what you are printing. Of course, HP totally gouges you for them. However there are a few other brands on Amazon that work just fine. MTI brand (MTI © PRO Compatible HP 305A / 305X Color Toner Set (CMYK) for HP LaserJet Pro 300 & 400 Series) works wonderfully at half the cost. Lasts just as long and prints just as fine as HP toner will.

In the end, a small business or home office that likes to print their own marketing materials won't go wrong with purchasing this. It won't print glossy photos like an inkjet will, but this is one of the best small business-class laser color printers that you can buy.
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