HP OfficeJet 250 Mobile All-in-One

An innovative, affordable and portable all-in-one with a staggering range of features and top output quality

IT Pro Recommended
Price
£182
  • Excellent mobile support; Simple setup;
  • Top printing speeds lag slightly behind claims; No double-sided scanning

Aimed at professionals on the move, HP's OfficeJet 250 Mobile AIO cleverly combines colour print, copy and scan functions in an portable package. It offers both USB 2 and wireless support, with a lithium-ion battery that HP reckons will print 225 ISO pages on a single charge, and sells for less than 200.

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At 3kg, it isn't something you'll want to carry with you everywhere you go, but it folds up into a neat package measuring 380 x 198 x 91mm (WDH) that can be transported in a large bag or briefcase. When it's time to print, the top cover opens up into a 50-page input feeder, with a 2.65in colour LCD touchscreen popping up at the front. The scanner and its ten-page ADF are concealed beneath a flip-out cover further forward.

The OfficeJet 250 uses standard HP 62 or 62XL black and tri-colour ink cartridges, which snap in to holders under the front cover. Running costs are reasonable for this class, with the high-yield versions delivering mono and colour pages for 3p and 4.8p.

Installation is easy. Along with USB and wireless, the OfficeJet supports Wi-Fi Direct. After we'd set up a wireless connection on the printer's control panel, HP's Easy Start utility automatically downloaded the latest drivers, and following a few simple questions about the printer, it handled the basic setup. On our Windows 10 laptops, that included loading HP's AIO Printer Remote app for printing photos and documents. We also loaded HP's Scan and Capture app for scanning in photos and documents, and the HP TWAIN driver as well.

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For mobile devices, there's support for Bluetooth Smart and Apple AirPrint, which worked perfectly on our iPad. Availing ourselves of HP's ePrint iOS app gave access to a super set of features, including options to browse and print files directly from the cloud and web services such as Box, Dropbox, Facebook, Evernote, OneDrive, iCloud and Instagram.

Management is simple, too, thanks to the 250 Mobile's embedded web server, which provides information about status and consumables. You can keep an eye on battery capacity here, and scan documents directly to a web browser or email address.

Then there's the HP Connected portal service that assigns it an email address so you can send documents to it from anywhere. If you're in a meeting with a client and they want to print something, they can simply send it as an email attachment without having to load any drivers.

Top printing speeds aren't quite as fast as HP suggests. It promises "up to" 20ppm in draft mode when plugged into the mains, and 18ppm running on battery power. In fact, our 20-page test Word document was delivered at 15ppm on AC power, while our colour DTP document fell to 11ppm.

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We saw no such problems in the standard printing mode, though: both tests were completed at the claimed 10ppm and 7ppm. In battery mode, we found speeds dropped marginally by around 10%.

Output quality is impressive. Text is nice and sharp in Normal and Best quality modes, with only a slight dusting on smaller fonts. Both mono and colour photos revealed plenty of detail in darker areas, while graphical reports showed excellent detail, with no hint of banding or edge bleeding.

The touchscreen provides plenty of scan options, too. You can make copies of documents, scan them directly to registered systems as images or emails, or send them to a removable storage device plugged into the secondary USB port at the side of the printer. Double-sided scanning isn't supported, but speeds are as quoted, and we found output quality at both 200dpi and 300dpi to be very good.

The OfficeJet 250 is an innovative and highly portable all-in-one. With its integrated battery and wireless support it's great for those who work on the road, and is a worthy IT Pro award-winner.

This review originally appeared in PC Pro issue 267

Verdict

The OfficeJet 250 is an innovative and highly portable all-in-one. With its integrated battery and wireless support it’s great for those who work on the road, and is a worthy IT Pro award-winner.

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