HP Color LaserJet Pro MFP M283fdw Review
Pros: Great text and graphics quality, great interface
Cons: Can be expensive, relatively slow for a laser
Compare to Similar Products
HP Color LaserJet Pro MFP M283fdw
$489.00 at Amazon
|Check Price at Amazon||$200 List||Check Price at Amazon||$120 List|
|Pros||Great text and graphics quality, great interface||Excellent text quality, fast, great interface, easy setup||Low ink costs, intuitive interface, good graphics quality||Excellent photo quality, good text, user friendly||Inexpensive, low operating costs|
|Cons||Can be expensive, relatively slow for a laser||Very large, expensive||Relatively poor text quality, somewhat slow||High non-photo color costs||Poor interface|
|Bottom Line||This multi-function printer offers a great balance of quality and versatility for any home office||A great, print-only model for small offices with frequent printing needs, but it may be overkill for some home users||A good choice if you want to print a lot of graphics, but drawbacks in text quality and speed hurt its versatility||An excellent device that excels at printing both good text and great photos||A good low budget laser printer for those that need to print occasional forms and documents|
|Rating Categories||HP Color LaserJet P...||Brother HL-L8360CDW||Brother MFC-J995DW||Canon TS9120||Brother HL-L2350DW|
|Text Quality (25%)|
|Operating Cost (25%)|
|Ease Of Use (20%)|
|Graphics And Photos (15%)|
|Printing Speed (15%)|
|Specs||HP Color LaserJet P...||Brother HL-L8360CDW||Brother MFC-J995DW||Canon TS9120||Brother HL-L2350DW|
|Type||All-in-one color laser||Single function color laser||All-in-one color inkjet||All-in-one color inkjet||Single function monochrome laser|
|Capabilities||Print, Scan, Fax, Copy||Print, Scan, Copy||Print, Scan, Copy|
|Resolution (Black)||600 x 600||2400 x 600||6000 x 1200||4800 x 1200||2400 x 600|
|Resolution (Color)||600 x 600||2400 x 600||6000 x 1200||4800 x 1200||N/A|
|Supported Paper Sizes||A4, A5(L), A5(P), A6, B5, B6, 16k, 10 x 15 cm, Post Cards (JIS); Envelopes (DL, C5, B5)||Letter, Envelope, Custom Sizes (3.0-8.5" (w), 5.0-14" (l)), Legal, Executive, A4, A5, A6||Letter, Legal, Executive, A4, A5, A6, Index Card (5" x 8"), Envelope (C5), Envelope (DL), Envelope (Monarch), Photo (4" x 6"), Photo (5" x 7")||4x6, 5x5 Square, 5x7, 8x10, Letter, Legal, U.S.#10 Envelopes||Letter, Legal, Executive, A4, A5, A6, B5, B6, Envelopes, Custom Sizes (3.0-8.5" (w), 5.0-14" (l))|
|Dimensions (excludes extensions)||16.5" x 16.4" x 12.7"||17.4" x 19.1" x 12.3"||17.1" x 13.4" x 7.7"||14.7" x 12.8" x 5.6"||14" x 14.2" x 7.2"|
|Weight (lbs)||35.9 lb||48.1 lb||19.2 lb||14.6 lb||15.9 lb|
|Paper Handling Input (sheets)||150 sheets||300 sheets||150 sheets||100 sheets||250 sheets|
|Monthly Duty Cycle||30000 sheets||60,000 Sheets||5,000 sheets||N/A (Canon doesn't have this specification for inkjets)||15000 sheets|
|Warranty||1 Year Limited||1 Year Limited||1 Year Limited||1 Year Limited||1 Year Limited|
|Ink Cost per Ream: B/W||$14.46||$8.89||$5.50||$28.33||$12.50|
|Ink Cost per Ream: Color||$56.09||$47.63||$21.67||$101.92||N/A|
|Estimated Lifetime Cost of Ownership||$768||$550||$320||$659||$337|
|Claimed Pages Per Minute||22||33||12||15||35|
|Measured Pages per Minute: Single-Sided B/W||14||16||9||12||20|
|Connectivity||WiFi, USB 2.0, 10/100/1000 Base-TX Ethernet, Front Host USB||WiFi, Ethernet, USB 2.0, NFC||WiFi, Ethernet, USB 2.0, SD Card, NFC||Wifi, Ethernet, SD Card||WiFi, USB 2.0|
|Operating System Compatability||Windows/Mac OS||Windows/Mac OS||Windows/Mac OS||Windows/Mac OS||Windows/Mac OS|
|Google Cloud Print||No||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes|
Our Analysis and Test Results
The HP Color LaserJet Pro MFP M283fdw was the top overall scorer in our testing. We used a number of different hands-on tests to determine those scores, which we divided into five testing metrics. Below you can read about how the M283fdw performed in each of those metrics.
The MM283fdw shared the top step of the podium with three other printers in our text quality contest, scoring a 9. This put it in a whole other league than the worst scorer, which received a 2.
The text produced by the M283fdw during our testing was incredibly crisp with no noticeable pixelation and clean, smooth borders. It retained this quality no matter the font or italicization. The only weak point that prevented the M283fdw from getting a perfect text quality score was that it tended to print just a bit light at font sizes below 10 point. This was apparent under our microscope but only somewhat noticeable by the naked eye, so it is a very minor issue. So you can rest assured that any reports, resumes, or other important documents produced by the M283fdw are going to look high quality and professional.
Cost is the only real downside of the M283fdw. It scored a 5 in this metric, somewhat better than the low score of 2, but still relatively far from the top score of 7.
It printed in black and white at a fairly reasonable rate, about $0.03 per page or $14.11 per ream of paper. However, its color printing costs were the highest of any model we tested, clocking in at about $0.11 per page or $56.09 per ream. These color printing costs, combined with a fairly high retail price, gave the M283fdw an estimated lifetime cost of $645. This was the second highest lifetime cost that we calculated.
Ease of Use
The M283fdw shared the top score of 9 out of 10 with its single function sibling in this metric, which saw scores as low as 4.
Setup involved plugging in the printer and being walked through a quick installation menu. The included starter ink cartridges were already in place, so we were printing within minutes of opening up the box. After downloading the HP ePrint app we were printing directly from our phones just a couple of minutes later. In fact, some visitors to the office were printing plane tickets on the M283fdw directly from their phones the day we received it. Also, if you're printing via a wifi connection you don't even need to plug in the printer to do the initial setup. Our testers' favorite aspect of the M283fdw was its large touchscreen control panel. This interface made it easy to navigate through the myriad of functions, which include printing, scanning to various destinations, copying, and faxing. A USB port on the front of the printer lets you plug in a flash drive and either print documents directly from it or save scanned documents to it, and a convenient bypass tray makes it easy to print on non-standard paper stock like envelopes. We found that all of the added features worked well and produced good results. Copies and scans were of a high resolution and the automatic document feeder operated smoothly and never clogged.
HP also provides a number of web applications that can be utilized by most of its multifunction printers. We found the touchscreen on the M283fdw really allowed us to access the full functionality of these apps. The genres of these apps range from productivity (printing directly from your google drive account, or printing postage stamps at home via a stamps.com account) to lifestyle (printing the daily recipe from allrecipes.com, or printing a menu for the week complete with a checklist style shopping list) to whimsical (printing a template on which to play the dot game).
The M283fdw received a 6 in our graphics and photos printing test. This is just slightly behind the two top scorers, both of which received a 7, and well ahead of the bottom score of 2.
For printing simple graphics, such as line charts and bar graphs, it was one of the best models we tested. Lines and bars had bright vivid colors and looked bold and solid. Even under our microscope we were only able to notice trace amounts of pixelation in these types of graphics. It did lose some points in this category for photo quality. In high-resolution photos colors looked a bit oversaturated and dark areas looked muddled and lacked clarity. Pixelation was much more apparent in photos than in simple graphics, particularly in light areas of images. While the photos weren't great, they would certainly pass muster for the occasional image printed in a report or newsletter.
The M283fdw was relatively quick in our testing. It scored a 7 on our print speed test, putting it towards the top of a metric that had scores ranging between 2 and 9.
In our hallmark single sided text document test it clocked a print speed of 14 pages per minute. This was significantly slower than the HP LaserJet Pro M402n, which led the field at 25 pages per minute, but is still fast enough that you'll have to print a sizable document before it feels like the M283fdw is taking a long time to finish printing. Speeds were comparable when printing a mixed text and graphics document. When printing duplex the speed dropped to 10 pages per minute. This still felt plenty fast for printing long documents. It was one of the fastest models for printing photos. It printed a full page, high-resolution photo in just 19 seconds.
The M283fdw is a situation where you get what you pay for. The M283fdw is the most expensive printer we tested. It is common for printers to be available from online retailers for much less than the manufacturer's standard retail price. At the time of this writing the M283fdw could be found online for much less than the list price, which is still a pretty hefty price tag. This price, along with expensive color toner, also gave the M283fdw one of the highest estimated lifetime costs that we calculated. However, the M283fdw was also far and away the best performer that we tested. While we can't say the M283fdw is an amazing value, you are getting a top notch performer at a correspondingly top end price.
The M283fdw combines all the printing, faxing, copying, and scanning that you could hope for in a multifunction printer, and does so with aplomb. There isn't really a task that the M283fdw does not excel in, except for being easy on the wallet. If your printing and office needs are diverse and you don't mind paying for performance, you will not be disappointed with the M283fdw.
— Max Mutter and Steven Tata