Advertisement

Sign up for our daily newsletter

Advertisement

HP Officejet Pro X476dw review

Simon Handby
7 Jan 2015
Our Rating 
Price when reviewed 
391
inc VAT

The Officejet Pro X476dw may be an inkjet, but it beats colour lasers at their own game

Advertisement

HP's Officejet Pro X476dw is an inkjet office multifunction peripheral (MFP), designed to compete head-on with colour lasers. While it's certainly no smaller than a laser, it's lighter, quieter, and produces much less heat. It looks great, too. The printer is predominantly dark grey, with a black panel that wraps all the way from the top of the 50-sheet automatic document feeder, down the left side, underneath the main 500-sheet paper cassette and up to form the 300-page paper output. Underneath this is a handy ledge, big enough to store a spare ream of paper.

Most printers are orientated so that printed paper is ejected towards the user, but here the paper path is side-on, and the 50-page multipurpose feed is at the bottom of the printer's left panel. You'll need to leave a bit of space at the left to use this, and you'll need more still to open the whole panel if there's a paper jam. At least if this happens there's easy access to the entire paper path. The multipurpose feed is clearly marked with paper and envelope orientation, and there's a shortcut in the driver to help with printing the latter.

Default print dialogue, Officejet Pro X476dw

^ This page of shortcuts covers almost every printing job you'll need 

The X476dw is controlled entirely by a gesture-sensitive colour touchscreen, paired with a few context-sensitive touch buttons. The huge, shiny panel looks a bit like someone left their tablet behind as they picked up a print job. It tilts on a stiff hinge, and provides a fantastic, intuitive way to control all the MFP's functions. These include direct prints from a USB drive, or scans to one.

Unusually, it's not only possible to make a direct scan while the printer is busy, but you can also send print jobs; they're simply queued until the printer's free to service them. All the while the touchscreen remains lag-free and easy to navigate: it's all very impressive.

Network options in web admin interface, Officejet Pro X476dw

^ The web admin menu is very comprehensive 

The print engine is different from that of a standard inkjet. With a conventional inkjet the small print heads must rapidly traverse the width of the page, but this printer's huge, fixed heads span its entire width, laying down ink as the page moves smoothly past. This enables much quicker print speeds - HP quotes up to 55 pages per minute (ppm) in black or colour, although like any inkjet there's a compromise between speed and quality. In practice, the X476dw comfortably outpaces competing laser devices at its default Professional quality setting. In our tests, it produced black text at an amazing 35.7ppm, and delivered our complex 24-page colour graphics test at 18.7ppm. Dropping the quality to the minimum General Office setting boosted the text speed to 39.5ppm. Although there's no fuser to heat, the printer takes a few seconds longer to start printing if it's in sleep mode; the first page of text took 20 seconds from cold, or just 12 seconds from standby.

Print quality choices, Officejet Pro X476dw

^ Like any inkjet there's a tradeoff between speed and quality, but at the default setting both are impressive