Friday, 23 January 2015 18:02

Review: HP LaserJet Pro MFD M225dw

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The $452 HP LaserJet Pro MFD M225dw is a monochrome duplex laser multifunction with a range of useful features and a compact footprint.

First the basics: Connectivity is via USB, 10/100Mbps Ethernet, and - as used in our testing - 802.11b/g/n Wi-Fi, including Wi-Fi Direct. The printer is rated at up to 25ppm, with a first-page-out time of 8 seconds. In practice, the FPO time could be a lot longer for certain documents, which means the effective speed is a lot lower, especially for shorter jobs. But once it's cranking, that 25ppm seemed about right.

AirPort support is something we've come to expect from networked printers, and 'it just works.' We couldn't find the ePrint Home & Biz app for Android that was described in the documentation. The regular ePrint app didn't seem to work via Wi-Fi Direct, but the HP All-in-One Printer Remote app did. And unlike AirPrint, it provides the option of printing only selected pages. Talking of ePrint, this model also provides the option of printing files by emailing them to an address associated with the printer. Printing from USB storage is also supported.

The ADF means a stack of pages can be scanned or copied conveniently, and is pretty much a must for faxing (since we gave up using faxes years ago we didn't test that part of the M225dw's repertoire), though duplex scanning would have been a plus. The scanner can also be used in flatbed mode for items such as magazines, books and small receipts.

You can scan to a network folder, to a USB drive (the connector is conveniently placed in the lower left corner), or to an email address. We reckon scan to email is less convenient than USB sneakernet, especially as you have to set destination addresses with a wizard on a computer, so you can't quickly and easily scan something and send it to an arbitrary address (e.g., to return a form that had to be filled in by hand).

The ePrint functions include a bunch of apps that can print various types of content ranging from business forms such as blank checklists to kids' stuff such as paper planes and Disney colouring sheets. There are also services that can be scheduled, so that your printer greets you each morning with news briefs from the ABC or comic strips. Other types of scheduled content include puzzles and recipes. Another category of apps lets you direct scans to and where appropriate print from services such as Google Docs and Shoeboxed.

One disadvantage is that it seems the M225dw has no permanent storage for this purpose, as there is an irritating pause every time you press the Apps button on the touchscreen and the list is downloaded, and again for just about every action. So it makes sense to use HP's ePrint web site to select only those apps that you use regularly. Note that simply removing an app from the list does not cancel scheduled content from that source - you need to do that before you remove the app. While it might not be intuitive, it makes sense on reflection: why clutter the Apps menu with entries you don't need on a regular basis?

We did run into a couple of glitches, such as the M225dw hanging for an extended period while displaying 'Canceling' or 'Downloading' status messages, and refusing to print a 300dpi JPEG scans from USB saying they were corrupt, even though they printed correctly via a computer.

Apart from those reservations, the print and scan quality should satisfy most office users, and the HP LaserJet Pro MFD M225dw has the connectivity options required by today's diverse environment, including Wi-Fi Direct so visitors can print without having to connect to your main network.

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Stephen Withers

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Stephen Withers is one of Australia¹s most experienced IT journalists, having begun his career in the days of 8-bit 'microcomputers'. He covers the gamut from gadgets to enterprise systems. In previous lives he has been an academic, a systems programmer, an IT support manager, and an online services manager. Stephen holds an honours degree in Management Sciences and a PhD in Industrial and Business Studies.

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