Home Reviews Peripherals HP has a Guinness Book of records for its new Officejet Pro X 500 printer

I don’t normally get excited over a new printer but HP’s new Officejet Pro X 500 series printers are innovative, sexy, scorchingly fast and cheap to run.

OK printers just need to sit in a corner and work. They are not objets d'art and they certainly don’t have a Guinness record. Not until now.

I have spent a few days with this printer and been subjected to a most comprehensive demonstration by HP’s Jonathan Edmonds at CeBIT.

It is hard to review a printer so lets look at the HP Pro X576dw constituent parts and see if they add up to more than the whole…

Looks: 5/5

Its killer sexy. Really interesting design, see though blouse almost scantily black clad (sorry paper delivery).

Speed: 5/5

70 pages in a minute – tested and true. Of course that is in “Office” mode which is pretty well the same as most lasers push out. If you want ultra-high quality then it slows to 42 ppm (still blazingly fast).

It achieves these speeds due to a new design of inkjet that uses a page wide print head – no moving parts, just the paper rushing by. 

Purchase Cost: RRP $899 (Printer Supermarket has it for $785.92 plus freight) 4/5

When you realise that this is a full workgroup capable printer that can support up to 10 staff it’s a bargain.

Running cost: 5/5

Inkjets were invented to sell ink but this one is a change – it brings high resolution, water resistant printing down to or below typical laser costs. Under 2 cents per page in mono and under 10 cents colour. Impressive.

But don’t have a heart attack when buying the four cartridges. Standard Black (3K prints), Cyan, Magenta and Yellow (each 2.5K) cost about $80 each ($320 in total). But there is the XL series cartridges – Black (9.2K) and Cyan, Magenta and Yellow (each 6.6K) cost under $120 each ($480 in total). These are significantly less than comparable 20ppm laser print toner costs.

Connectivity: 5/5

Wi-Fi N, Ethernet, 2 x USB for in office use. I really like connecting printers to the network instead of via USB as all can share.

And if you do this you can use HP’s ePrint feature – simply email a document to the printer@hpeprint,com and its done – great for mobile road warriors. or download the iOS (Apple AirPrint) or Andoid (Google Cloud print)apps or stick in a USB stick. Windows Phone and BlackBerry apps are under way.

CSR: 5/5

It does duplex (double sided) printing as standard. The paper tray holds 500 sheets (great – no more half used packs of paper) and there is an option to purchase another 500 sheet tray that sits underneath.

The manual feed tray also handles business card to A4 and the internal tray A6 to A4.

Unlike lasers that need heat and pressure to produce a page there are no issues reusing paper printed on one side.

It is rated for up to 75,000 pages a month but he recommended monthly page volume is 4,200 pages.

Power consumption is lower than laser at 70 watts (printing) and 4.8 watts (sleep)

It is also very quiet at 6.8 B(A)

Fax/Scan/Duplex: 5/5

Yes via the automatic document feeder or flatbed.

It does duplex (double sided) scanning – a major bonus over most other printers in its class.

HP software suite includes scanning to network folders, and remote and e-mail printing.

Workgroup security 5/5

It is OS independent but in a workgroup will obviously be connected to a server. It supports Windows, OSX or Linux/Unix. Its compatible with most terminal services like RDP and Citrix.

It has Wi-Fi PSK, Lockable control panel, HTPS access and more. It can be remote administered.

Warranty 4/5 but for a small fee 5/5

One-year, next business day, on-site exchange warranty . HP offer additional warranty at extra cost. The 3 year on-site is $220 approx.

Summary

I don’t often get excited but this new page wide inkjet printing technology is a clear winner in terms of reliability and speed.

Would I buy it for home use? Probably not but I do like the duplex scanning and low running costs so if money is no object.

Would I buy it for workgroup use? Absolutely and I can see it quickly replacing all the cheap consumer lasers being inappropriately used by small business.

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Ray Shaw

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Ray Shaw ray@im.com.au  has a passion for IT ever since building his first computer in 1980. He is a qualified journalist, hosted a consumer IT based radio program on ABC radio for 10 years, has developed world leading software for the events industry and is smart enough to no longer own a retail computer store!

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