HP Color LaserJet Pro MFP M476dn Review

HP Color LaserJet Pro MFP M476dn

The HP Color LaserJet Pro MFP M476dw ($679.99) is a good fit for an office looking for a color laser multifunction printer (MFP) that will easily let employees print from mobile devices and scan to multiple destinations. It offers good output quality and an abundance of workflow features. The M476dw can print, scan, copy, and fax. It can scan to email, a network folder, or a USB thumb drive, and print from a USB key. And it offers password-protected printing and a number of other security features.

Design and Features

With a 3.5-inch color touch screen, the MFP measures 19.7 by 16.5 by 19.1 inches (HWD), and weighs 73.3 pounds. Its scanner, equipped with a 50-sheet automatic document feeder (ADF), can scan both sides of a document simultaneously. The M476dw has a 300-sheet standard paper capacity, split between a 250-sheet tray and a 50-sheet multipurpose feeder. An optional 250-sheet tray is available, for a maximum capacity of 550 sheets. An automatic duplexer lets you print on both sides of a sheet of paper. Its paper capacity is a bit on the low side compared with the OKI MC362w (300 sheets standard, with a 530-sheet optional tray) and the Dell Color Multifunction Printer C2665dnf (400 sheets standard, with a 550-sheet optional tray).

The M476dw can connect via USB or Ethernet (including Gigabit Ethernet), plus Wi-Fi, NFC, and HP Wireless Direct (HP's proprietary equivalent of Wi-Fi Direct, which is a standard used by many printer manufacturers that allows for a direct wireless connection between the printer and a mobile device without going through a network). It's also compatible with HP ePrint and Apple AirPrint. The M476dw has broad wireless capabilities compared with the competition: The Dell C2665dnf uses NFC, but Wi-Fi is a $99 option and it lacks Wi-Fi Direct, while the OKI MC362w has Wi-Fi, but lacks NFC and Wi-Fi Direct.

Printing Speed

On our business applications test suite (using QualityLogic's hardware and software for timing), I timed the M476dw, rated at 21 pages per minute (ppm) for both monochrome and color printing, at 5.1ppm. That's slower than the 5.9ppm turned in by the Editors' Choice OKI MC362w, rated at 25ppm for monochrome printing and 23 for color. The Dell C2665dnf tested even faster, at 6.4ppm in its default duplex (two-sided printing) mode, for which it's rated at 18 pages per minute, and 6.6ppm in simplex (one-sided printing) mode.

Output Quality, Running Costs

Output quality for the M476dw is very good. For a laser, the MFP's average text quality is good, and it should be fine for business uses other than those requiring very small fonts.

Graphics quality is good enough for PowerPoint handouts, and basic advertising flyers as well. Colors are generally bright and well saturated. There were some minor problems in my tests, such as dithering (graininess), and some faded backgrounds, but no major issues.

With photos, color is generally solid, with good detail in dark areas. A monochrome photo I printed showed some tinting, and some prints showed significant dithering (graininess and/or dot patterns). Also, posterization (sudden shifts in color or shading where they should be gradual) was apparent in a couple of test photos. Still, photos are good enough for use in company newsletters and the like.

The M476dw's running costs, based on HP's price and yield information, come to 2.5 cents per monochrome page and 16.3 cents per color page. The color figure is high for a printer at this price range. Though it improves on the OKI MC362w's 2.8 cents per monochrome page, it's higher than the latter's 13.9 cents per color page. If you print a lot of color, the difference can add up. The Dell C2665dnf has lower costs than the M476dw for both monochrome (2.3 cents per page) and color (12.8 cents per page) printing.

Two other variations on the M476dw are available. The HP Color LaserJet Pro MFP M476nw ($529.99) lacks the automatic duplexer, while the HP Color LaserJet Pro MFP M476dn ($629.99) lacks NFC, Wi-Fi, and HP wireless direct capabilities.

The HP Color LaserJet Pro MFP M476dw delivers a good mix of MFP and workflow features, wired and wireless connectivity choices, and output quality, particularly for graphics. This makes it a good choice for a small office or a workgroup seeking a color laser MFP with the ability to print from mobile devices and to send scanned documents to multiple destinations. The LaserJet Pro MFP M476dw offers better output quality and wireless connection choices than the OKI MC362w. But the OKI remains our Editors' Choice thanks to its speed, paper capacity, price, and color costs, and is overall, it's the better buy.


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