As one of the first printers to sport HP's new JetIntelligence technology, HP makes bold promises on the performance of its Color LaserJet Pro MP M277dw ($429, £273, AU$528). The M277dw is a multifunction office printer that's more compact, faster and delivers more prints from its cartridge thanks to JetIntelligent.
HP's marketing claims that the new ColorSphere technology inside the toner allows the ink to melt at a lower temperature and uses less energy for efficient, high yield prints inside a printer that occupies less space on a desk.
he M277dw competes in a crowded space against personal and small workgroup inkjet and laser printers. Competitors include multifunction inkjet printers like the Epson WorkForce Pro WF-4630 ($200, £130, AU$253), Canon Maxify MB5320 ($399, £260, AU$505) and the HP OfficeJet Pro X551dw ($300, £200, AU$380). The printer will also compete in the same segment as smaller multifunction color laser printers, like Samsung's Multifunction Printer Xpress C1860FW ($224, £145, AU$285).
Although the M277dw takes up less space than the Epson WorkForce Pro WF-3630 that we recently reviewed, the size difference isn't that big unless you have a shallow desk. The M277dw weighs 35.9 pounds (16.28kg) and measures 16.5 x 16.4 x 12.7 inches (41.91 x 41.66 x 32.26cm) compared to the 31.3-pound (14.19kg) WF-4630's 18.1 x 25.8 x 15.1-inch (46.0 x 65.5 x 38.4cm) dimensions. HP claims that the M277dw is 41% smaller in size than last year's LaserJet Pro 200 color MFP M276nw.
The M277dw's size makes it somewhat of a tweener, falling in between a personal printer that can be placed on a desk and a shared workgroup printer. HP could have made a small tweak by increasing the capacity of the paper tray to make the M277dw a solid workgroup multifunction printer, but that would make the printer taller, eroding HP's compact claims.
Even though the M277dw can be used as a workgroup printer, the small 150-sheet paper capacity will likely limit the printer to personal use. You'll likely end up having to refill the tray more often than you'd like if you're sharing this printer with a team.
Compared to the angular lines and faux brushed metal finish on last year's M177fw and M276nw, the boxy, off-white design and horizontal lines on this year's model feels uninspiring. Aesthetically, it feels like HP downgraded the visual elegance on the M277dw. This year's model looks like a standard HP Color LaserJet Pro M252dw ($299, £192, AU$378) with an automatic document feeder attached on the top.
The automatic document feeder can be lifted and tilted at an angle, similar to the hood of a car, to give access to the paper output tray. I found the tilting aspect makes a big difference.
Before tilting, there is about a 1.5-inch clearance to access prints. The tilt widens the clearance to over six inches, meaning you can comfortably retrieve smaller prints, like photos, envelopes and postcards. As I rarely scan, the default position is with the automatic document feeder in its up position.
Even though the M277dw has a 150-page tray, HP says the output tray can accommodate only 100 pages, meaning you'll max out the output tray before you run out of paper. We've reached out to HP about this design decision and are awaiting response.
Save for a physical power button, the three-inch tilting touchscreen serves as the primary and only interface to control the M277dw.