HP Officejet Pro X576dw review

HP launches a superb fast and efficient MFP with proprietary printhead technology.

Results

With no fuser to heat, the X576dw was predictably quick to start printing, spitting out the first page in 12 seconds regardless of how long it was idle. At the default Professional quality it delivered 25 pages at a rate of 30.1 pages per minute (ppm), including the time taken to spool the job. Enabling the headline print speed involves dropping the driver quality setting to General Office', at which the same test completed at an even more impressive 45.5ppm. Timed over 100 pages the printer reached 62.5ppm allowing for the initial spool time this narrowly beats HP's 70ppm claim.

With our colour test using complex colours, printing was predictably slower. Still the printer reached 22.5ppm at the default, and 34.3ppm at the lower quality. Duplex (double-sided) printing was the fastest we've ever timed, with 10 sides printed on 5 sheets in 33 seconds. Repeating this test over the full 24 pages of our colour graphics test, we found the printer needed just another five seconds compared to the one minute and four seconds it took to print single-sided.

Fortunately the scanner doesn't hang about either. Single photocopies took just nine seconds whether in black or colour, while a 10-page mono copy using the ADF completed in 37 seconds. Scanning to a PC was similarly fast, with a 200 dots-per-inch (dpi) A4 scan completing in just eight seconds, and even a 1,200dpi postcard scan needing less than a minute. All of the PC results are all the more impressive given that we achieved them over Wi-Fi; which can take the edge off the fastest devices.

The high speed is matched universally with high quality results. Photocopies were excellent, and while high-resolution scans showed unwelcome evidence of processing, the results were more than suitable for office work. At the default quality, printed text and graphics were bold and crisp enough to rival laser output, although they lacked the attractive sheen of a good toner. Results weren't bad at the General Office setting, either, but here graphics were blocky as though printed with a lower resolution. We weren't given a stock of HP's recommended ColorLok paper for this test, and without it photographs were rather flat and disappointing.

Ink is this printer's only consumable, with high-capacity black cartridges lasting 9,200 pages and the colour equivalents 6,600. Using these, running costs work out at 0.7p (ex VAT) per black page and 2.8p for colour. At this point it's instructive to return to the competent and reasonably representative Xerox WorkCenter 6605, which has running costs of roughly 1.3p per black page and 7p in colour: broadly double. Moreover, in our tests the X576dw was faster in every respect, yet the peak power use we measured was only 7 per cent as high.

 

Verdict

An excellent MFP which will provide a quick ROI for workgroup users with lower ink and power costs. It also proves that inkjets not only belong in the enterprise, they may yet prove more at home there than lasers.

Print capability: 2,400x1,200dpi. PCL5c, PCL6, native PDF, Postscript Level 3 emulation Speed: 42ppm mono/colour (ISO 24734), 70ppm mono/colour (max) Duty: Up to 4,200 pages/month (recommended), 75,000 pages/month (max) Paper handling: Input 500-sheet tray, 50-sheet multipurpose tray. Output 300-sheet tray. 50-sheet ADF. Interfaces: USB, 10/100 Ethernet, 802.11b/g/n wireless Supported operating systems: Windows XP or later, OS X 10.6 or later, Linux via hplip.net Power consumption: Sleep 5W, Standby 11W, Active 83W (copying) Size: 517 x 399 x 517mm Weight: 24kg   Benchmarks TTFP: 12s Document speed: Default quality 30.1ppm, fastest 45.5ppm (over 25 pages) Graphics speed (colour): Default quality 22.5ppm, fastest 34.3ppm (over 24 pages) Scan speed (A4): 8s (200dpi), 10s (300dpi) Copy speed (A4): 9s mono/colour (platen), 37s mono/45s colour (ADF 10 sheets) Cost per page: 0.69p black, 2.79p colour (ex VAT)  

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