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HP LaserJet Pro 100 M175a review

Kat Orphanides
10 Oct 2011
Our Rating 
Price when reviewed 
200
inc VAT

Although the LaserJet Pro 100 is a very capable small office colour laser MFP, its running costs are too high

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Specifications

four-pass colour laser, 16ppm print speed, USB, 338x441x421mm

While most printer manufacturers, such as Epson, seem to be trying to make their business inkjets look more like laser printers, HP appears to be doing it the other way around. The LaserJet Pro 100 closely resembles the Officejet inkjet range, with a curved case and prominent 35-page ADF. This is a good thing, as previous LaserJet MFPs have been rather ugly. Build quality is sturdier than most its inkjet siblings, too.

The M175a is designed to take up as little space as possible, so the toner cartridges are loaded into a rotating caddy. The lid has to be shut while the caddy rotates, so changing a full set of cartridges involves a lot of opening and closing. Although the LaserJet 100 doesn't have a colour screen an fancy interface, a bank of buttons and a mono LCD make it easy to copy documents and send scans to a PC.

HP LaserJet Pro 100 M175a

Mono text prints are pin-sharp, as you'd expect. Colour prints are detailed, have accurate colours and are smoothly shaded. The toner doesn't have the glossy finish we've seen from some colour lasers, but its prints look great on even thin, poor-quality printer paper. This is an advantage over most inkjets, which require a minimum of 80gsm paper to avoid wrinkling due to moisture from the ink. On the other hand, although the Pro 100 had a decent stab at printing our test photos, the results are never going to be something you'll want to frame and put up in the sitting room.

The M175a is certainly fast enough when it comes to mono printing, at 12.4ppm. As it's a four-pass printer, paper has to be sent around the engine four times for full colour. This limits speed to a comparatively slow 3.5ppm, but that's still faster than all but the speediest business inkjets. Unfortunately, colour costs are painfully high at 18.5p for a mixed black and colour page. Even a page of mono text costs 3.8p - a figure that's high when compared to almost any inkjet.