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on May 22, 2012
The HP Color LaserJet Pro 400 (M451dw) is a printer that has it all. It produces terrific quality prints, at least for a laser printer.

Its key features is that it is wireless and does double-sided printing automatically. You can place the printer anywhere in your home or office and it will print beautiful copies. It uses 4 toners that print up to 2600 pages for color or up to 4000 pages for black with its high yield toner.

My previous printer was the C P2025dn which I owned for 3-1/2 years and never had a problem with, except for 2 jams in its 46,000 page run. I find that amazing! Yes, jams are easy to correct by popping open the rear of the printer.

I only have 3 negative concerns. This printer comes with 4 starter cartridges that print only 1400 pages each. When you are paying close to $500 for a printer, wouldn't you think that they would include full cartridges? The previous model noted above did come with full toners. Of course, HP does not advertise that these printers come with starter cartridges. You can only find out by reading the small print on the toner itself or noting it on the outside packaging. I could not find any HP documentation that informs the consumer that these are indeed starter toner cartridges.

The print speed on this printer rated at 21ppm is exactly the same as my previous printer. Wouldn't one think that 3-1/2 years later this speed could have been improved? The M451dw is certainly not "slow," it's just that I would have hoped for a minor improvement in print speed.

My last negative is HP's technical support. Although the install was simple enough, I could not do the wireless install on my printer using a USB cable as their instructions indicate. I talked to a technical support agent for over an hour who lead me into all kinds of sub-menus trying to activate the wireless feature. Eventually he gave up and said he could go no further. I hung up and re-tried to install software, only this time I hooked up a network cable instead of the USB cable as HP directed. It worked right off the bat and has operated flawlessly ever since.

If you're looking for a color laser printer you can always find one in the $200 price point. But the Color LaserJet HP Pro 400 series produces truly outstanding graphics. You truly get what you pay for!
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on April 27, 2013
Many other reviewers have already provided the details on this machine. I plan to provide more detailed information for people who may be using this as a home office machine and are concerned about quality, color, etc. Since I just received it, I'll add more information to this review as I use the machine.

First item, quality:

This is not a cheaply made machine. It's around 60 pounds out of the box and even though the photos make it look dinky, it's the size of standard black and white printer you probably have seen in an office environment. In comparison, I have an older Samsung black and white ML1740 laser printer. The Samsung fits neatly on a two drawer filing cabinet. The HP LaserJet 400 Pro is easily 1-1/2 to 2 times the size. So, be prepared to have a bit more space if you are used to the size of the sub $100 b&w laser printers out there.

Other quality features: the paper drawer is sturdy, has adjustable bars within it to hold many different sizes of paper and fits completely within the machine. The front of the printer has a manual feed access that is smartly angled when fully opened so a) it doesn't take up a ton of space when fully open and, b) the manual feed uses gravity to its advantage so your paper goes through the printer without you having to babysit it. The manual feed has an extender you can pull out to hold legal sized stock in place. There is a handy RAM memory panel on the side which allows you to easily switch out the memory. BTW, the upgrade RAM sells for as low as $12 on Amazon, so buy it at the same time you buy the printer so you aren't waiting forever for large layouts to print. The back has a door that gives you access to the printer rollers in case you have a jam. The toner is placed in the front of the machine. All four toner cartridges snap into position on the toner tray that easily pulls out. Everything has obvious handles and clicks into place when you close it, although you may notice a few 'fit' issues especially on the manual feed tray. So far, no big issues.

Display: As with most printers, this one has a display that is menu based. It uses the forward/backward/OK strategy you may be familiar with if you've had to fix an issue with a laser printer at work. Fortunately, you can pretty much completely ignore this once you are networked to the printer as it comes with a web-enabled menu. Also, the HP print utility will allow the printer to tell you what problems its having and how to fix them. It's well thought out, very helpful and handy.

Wireless printing: I can see how others who aren't familiar with networking would have problems setting up this printer. It's not completely obvious unless you've done this before. My recommendation: connect the printer by USB or ethernet to your computer and set it up that way, following all the instructions on the CD. If you are on Windows, use the smart installer. If you are on a Mac, I recommend using the add a printer under System Preferences. If you are tech savvy, the easiest way to get to the printer is to access its web-enabled printer menu by typing in its IP address in a browser window. That will give you full access to all the printers features in one easy and well-designed menu. Once everything is set up, all your iDevices will automatically print wirelessly as will your desktop or laptop -- no need to keep it plugged in to your computer by ethernet or USB. I haven't tried my Android device yet to see if those are just as easy, but I will follow up on that later.

Color: This is the area that made me give the printer 4 stars. Out of the box, the color is decent, but not great. It's darker and more flat than an actual printed piece. If you aren't a designer who works with clients, I'm sure you will be very pleased with the color results, so keep in mind I'm being very picky because of what I do. The nice thing is that HP gives you complete control over contrasts, mid-tones, highlights and shadows so you can find the settings that work best for you. I'm assuming they found a happy medium between color quality and toner usage for their factory settings. I plan to update this review with settings I've found that get me as close to color accurate as possible. If anyone has played around with these, I'd love to hear about your results.

Speed: Once the printer is warmed up - which is pretty fast - it prints at a decent rate. The speed isn't going to blow you away and if you use the double-sided print feature, expect that to add more time to your print run. All-in-all no big complaints here.

Double-sided printing: Speaking of double-sided print outs, this is another great feature that works flawlessly, As the first side prints and comes out the top, the printer pulls it back in to print the second side. When you pull the document off the output tray, it reads exactly like a book - no need to manually turn pages around to read them properly.

Summary: Overall, this is a fantastic buy for a color laser printer. The quality of the product and its features are stellar even if the color output is less than perfect to a critical eye. I highly recommend this printer for anyone's home office. If you are a creative, keep in mind you may need to play around with the settings and use high-end stock to get the results you want.
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on August 15, 2012
I purchased the HP M451DQ Laser Jet Pro 400 color wireless photo printer from Amazon, after reviewing other manufacturers and reading reviews of various items carefully. I selected the HP line because of excellent product experience at my various businesses. The laser printers, in particular, have been quite robust and provide years of trouble free service. i required a wireless application, to enable use throughout my office area. I was a little leary of the M451DW at first, since a fair number of reviews indicated that connectivity was an issue. Since i have a mix of MacBooks, PCs, iPhones and iPads at the office, I was a bit worried about this. No need, when I set up the machine and turned it on, I simply plugged it into my server, and off it went, for all of my "computers." I can now print from iPads, iPhones, MacBooks, and PCs. Amazing! The reason for the 4 star rating rather than 5 star is that the product shipped without full ink cartridges, and I did not see any indication of this when I bought the item (other than on one review). Seems a cheap way to start a relationship!
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on May 2, 2012
I just purchased this printer through Amazon and received it today. I can't tell you how easy it was to set it up. Also, I had it connected correctly to my home network in about 2 minutes. I am using it with my iMac, and print successfully from my iPhone and iPad. It's quiet, fast also and the quality is nothing short of outstanding. For the size, which easily fits on my credenza, it is unsurpassed in print quality for brochures, general graphics, and text. I couldn't be happier with this HP quality product.
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on February 13, 2013
I bought this as a replacement for the office when our old b/w HP 2300 finally gave in after almost 9 years of service. In my opinion, HP makes good quality, solid laser printers, but their software leaves a lot to be desired, being cumbersome, slow, bloated and buggy.

Indeed, this printer delivers excellent quality prints in both b/w and color. Prints are razor-sharp and colors are vibrant. I was a bit concerned about the stated 600 dpi resolution, since our old printer and the more expensive 500-series models, reportedly have 1200 dpi resolution, but that does not seem to make any difference at all. (It might make a difference for photo printing, but we don't do much of that.) While toner cartridges are expensive, they do last quite long (though not as long as the huge cartridge on the old HP 2300), and it's definitely cheaper than inkjet.

However, there are some quirks. We use the printer hooked up to wired internet, and that works well. I was never able to get it work on the wireless, and it seems you cannot use both wired and wireless simultaneously. The printer is reasonably fast under normal conditions, but not nearly as fast as our old HP 2300, which really cranked them out. You may have to wait 20-30 sec for the first page to come out. More troublesome is it that the printer has a tendency to freeze up at regular intervals. Suddenly and for no apparent reason, it won't print, delivers a "spool area full" message, and deleting the job and resetting the queue won't work. The only way to fix it is to turn the printer off and back on again. In spite of this, I am pretty happy with this printer.
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on February 6, 2014
I like this printer. It has served us well so far but there are things you should know to get the most out of it.

Whatever modern printer you own the first thing you should learn is how to extend the life of your toner cartridges.

The low toner message on most printers often is just an estimate based on the number of prints you have made or perhaps the avarice of the manufacturer. You can change your printers response to low toner. Download a copy of the manual and follow the instructions for "Print when a toner cartridge is at estimated end of life." I found it on page 74 of the version I downloaded. You can find it by doing a Google search for:
hp laserjet pro 400 "end of life" toner

Or you can follow these instructions from the manual:

You can enable or disable the default setting at any time, and you do not have to re-enable it when you
install a new toner cartridge.
1. On the product control panel, press the OK button to open the menus.
2. Open the following menus:
● System Setup
● Supply Settings
● Black Cartridge
● Very Low Setting
3. Select one of the following options.
● Select the Continue option to set the product to alert you that the toner cartridge is very low,
but to continue printing.
● Select the Stop option to set the product to stop printing until you replace the toner cartridge.
● Select the Prompt option to set the product to stop printing and prompt you to replace the
toner cartridge. You can acknowledge the prompt and continue printing. A customer
configurable option on this product is "Prompt to Remind Me in 100 pages, 200 pages, 300
pages, 400 pages, or never." This option is provided as a customer convenience and is not
an indication these pages will have acceptable print quality.
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on January 14, 2013
UPDATE -------------------------

Contacted the seller - PCNation - regarding returning the product. They pushed me off to HP to get a case number. Not exactly what I was expecting when I purchase from an Amazon reseller.

Talked with HP Technicians and they ran me through 30 minutes of diagnostics, which produced no results. However, during that process, I spotted a small piece of paper in the roller in the back door of the machine. Took a little finesse to get it out and, once out, the printer seems to be working fine. Going to keep it as long as no other problems occur...however, I'm not sure I'd purchase through PCNation again...might as well purchase directly from HP with this kind of service.

INITIAL COMMENTS ----------------------------------------------------------------------

Bought this printer and have had it for 3 weeks. Initial setup was difficult, but not impossible. Worked my way through it.

Pros
- Looks great.
- Wireless works well. Can print from my iPad and Win 7 laptop.
- Simple LCD interface.

Cons
- Have never gotten it to print. The right side of the page fades out in bands on the right side of the page, all colors. Probably an adjustment to the tension, but this is the kind of thing I would expect after several years of constant use...not brand new, out of the box. While I was used to this sort of poor quality control with HP's software, which IMHO has always been terrible, they were always rock solid on printers. Hate to think this is representative of the declining quality control with HP products overall.
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on October 29, 2013
I run a home-based business and print maybe 100 pages a day. This is not very much considering this is supposed to be a professional printer. This printer was bought here on Amazon on September 5, 2012, so as of writing this its just out of warranty which is suspect in itself. A printer that costs over $400 should last more than a year. I also bought the extra tray for another hundred or so.

This printer came with HP sample cartridges which should have been my first warning flag. When you spend so much on a "professional" printer the cartridges should be full cartridges, not samples that are barely 1/3 full. The cartridges are just about the same price as the printer itself which was another warning I failed to heed. I decided to use refilled cartridges after the samples ran out and the print quality was okay, but the usage was comparable to the sample cartridges that came with it. I figured it would end up costing more by having to constantly replace cartridges so I have been buying HP cartridges since for the $390 a pop.

After my second replacement cartridge the machine started occasionally to make a strange sound. It was like a hiss, but not like grinding. It only happened once out of hundreds of prints so I figured not an issue. I went to replace the cartridges again with HP original cartridges and I got an error that I needed to remove the Shipping Lock. I followed all troubleshooting steps and it did not reset the error. The only thing I could do was put in the old cartridge I just replaced. Well those are just about empty so this is not a good situation.

Now I had been printing with these cartridges for nearly 5 months and they were pretty low on ink. I tried once again to replace the cartridges thinking maybe I had missed a step. Same remove shipping lock error. I followed the trouble shooting steps again with no luck. When I went to return the old cartridges I now had the same message as the new ones. Keep in mind these are the same ones that had just come out of the machine. I tried multiple used cartridges I haven't sent to recycle yet and I was shocked that NONE of them worked. Well actually the only one we could get to work are the refilled ones that have barely any ink and aren't even HP.

Of course I called HP believing they would be of some help. They didn't want to hear about it and said sorry you're out of warranty. They were kind enough to give me a repair service number that I am now awaiting to come to my home and charge me $150 just to diagnose.

Let this be a warning to anyone looking to be what is listed as a professional printer. This is NOT one of them! The service and quality of HP is missing. Their products at one time were reliable work-horses, but now is complete trash. I'm looking at new printers I can depend on more than a year. Spending anything on HP is a complete waste of your money. Spend a little extra and get a better machine.

Well in some ways I'm happy because I was about to order 20 HP laptops for my team for their home based offices. When the service lady didn't seem to care very much I decided to cancel knowing the quality of HP is trash. It's disappointing to when a company goes from solid to garbage in such a short period. Please rethink when considering this product. You'd be better off with another name even if you spend a little more. At least you'd get more than a year out of it.
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on April 20, 2015
Great printer so far. Setup was simple. Love being able to print wirelessly. Build quality is excellent. Print quality is exceptional, with even photographs far exceeding my expectations, and better than my last photo quality ink jet printer. While I've read some reviews saying the print speed is slow, I have to ask, compared to what? For the majority of printing in the real world this printer is plenty fast! I highly recommend this printer for a small business or as a very nice home printer.
Update May 4, 2015 - After reading some of the other reviews on Amazon I was considering a memory upgrade. Totally unnecessary from what I can see. The printer has taken everything I have thrown at it wirelessly from my desktop running Windows 8.1. And I mean some very large files with plenty of graphics. I'm wondering if the issue some experience is more related with their computer than with the printer. Most likely...
Update May 23, 2015 - Using the printer heavily for more than a month now, we could not be more pleased. We only print wirelessly from one desktop, two laptops, two iPads and two iPhones, and it works every time, without fail. We have experienced zero problems, and the print quality continues to impress me, especially anything printed in color. We are very, very happy with the printer, and could not recommend it more highly!
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on November 21, 2013
Great quality of prints. Horrible cost per page. This printer installed flawlessly for both the PC and the MacBook. It’s functionality is easy to use. It produces brilliant colors and first print comes out within 30 seconds. All of this is really important stuff for a good color laser printer. However, (and it’s a big however), sadly the toner cartridges are not even close to the advertised volume.

While the manufacturer states that each color cartridge should get 2.2k pages and the black should get 2.6k (4k for high yield cartridge), it’s not even a fraction of that. We purchased this printer so that we could save money over the costs we’ve been incurring for our marketing collateral by sending out to an outside printer. We've been paying $.75 per sheet for our quarterly newsletter. So, according to HP specs, we should have been able to reduce that cost by at least half by most conservative estimates (even with 50% coverage). We are now on our third Magenta and Yellow, and our second Cyan and Black cartridges (and they’re almost empty again) and the total page count on the printer is only 566 pages. At an average cost of $100 per cartridge, that’s approximately $2 per page! And I haven’t even calculated the cost of paper and the cost of the printer.

HP… Shame on you! Thank goodness that Staples has been so gracious as to allow me to return it for a full refund.
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