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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

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INK COSTS AND PRINT QUALITY

Ink for this printer comes in long plastic tanks that slot in just under the control panel. For new printers there's a one-off 20-minute priming process, but you can set up drivers and change settings while this process is underway. There are just four consumables, available in XL sizes rated for 9,200 black or 6,600 colour pages. Using these, print costs work out at just 0.7p for a black page, or 3.7p for black and colour. While that's massively cheaper than an equivalent laser, we should point out that there are separate standards for measuring inkjet and laser yield, so prices aren't exactly comparable.

This MFP doesn't just give laser printers a run for their money when it comes to speed and running costs; its print quality stands close comparison too. Although there isn't the sheen you get from a laser's toner, black text seemed dark and perfectly sharp to the naked eye. Graphics were very good, with strong colours and smooth shade transitions, while photos were also impressive, even on standard 80gsm office paper. Prints weren't quite perfect, however, as those with keen eyes could pick out a small amount of graining in some regions. Overall, we suspect that no-one who received prints from the X476dw, and precious few who used it, would ever suspect it wasn't a laser device.

SCANNING

It's not all good news. We're always complaining about HP's scan software for the PC, and unfortunately we're stuck with it here. While it's fine for most office tasks, there's only a limited set of pre-defined resolutions available, and a frustrating lack of options for those who want to make more advanced changes. Scans were quick up to 600 dots per inch (dpi), and our 300dpi document looked perfect, but we weren't impressed with the image produced from our test photo when scanned at 600dpi or 1,200dpi: in both cases it appeared to have been sharpened, and looked artificial.

Advanced scan settings, Officejet Pro X476dw

^ It's a shame HP's scan interface isn't better. These advanced options are anything but

Scanning with Android app, Officejet Pro X476dw

^ HP's Android app is excellent. Here we're scanning a document

We suspect that this result doesn't reflect any problem with the scan hardware, which helps the X476dw produce excellent black-only or colour copies. It's no copying slouch, delivering a single mono page in just eight seconds, and needing only a second longer for a colour page. ADF copies aren't quite as remarkably quick, but at 37 seconds for a 10-page mono document and 51 seconds in colour, they're still comfortably ahead or level with similar lasers. Our only criticism here is that the ADF doesn't fold closed, so dust could get in if you don't use it often.

CONCLUSION

Taken purely on its price, design, performance and running costs, the X476dw is clearly ahead of the competition. It's a deserved winner of our Best Buy award. The fact that it's an inkjet, and that it's beating lasers at their own game, shows just how much things have changed.

Hardware
TechnologyThermal inkjet
Maximum print resolution2,400x1,200dpi
Maximum optical scan resolution (output bit depth)1,200x1,200dpi (24 bit)
Number of colours (cartridges)4 (4)
Maximum number of colours (cartridges)4 (4)
Quoted photo durability (source)Not stated
Standard interfacesUSB, Ethernet, 802.11b/g/n wireless, USB Host
Optional interfacesNone
Dimensions (HxWxD)517x517x399mm
Weight24kg
Duty cycle (pages per month)50,000 (max), 500-4,000 (recommended)
Paper handling
Maximum paper sizeA4/legal
Maximum paper weight300gsm
Standard paper trays (capacity)2 (550)
Maximum paper trays (capacity)3 (1,050)
DuplexYes
3550
Photo features
Borderless printingNo
Direct (PC-less) printingUSB
Memory card supportNone
Supported operating systemsWindows XP or later, Mac OS X 10.6 or later, Linux, Android, iOS
Other features10.9cm colour touchscreen
Buying information
WarrantyOne-year RTB
Price£391
Consumable parts and pricesHigh-yield black cartridge 970XL (9,200 pages) £67. High-yield cyan cartridge 971XL £66, high-yield magenta cartridge 971XL £66, high-yield yellow cartridge 971XL £66, 6,600 pages each
Quoted life of supplied black cartridge(s)3,000 pages (ISO/IEC 24712)
Quoted life of supplied colour cartridge(s)2,500 pages (ISO/IEC 24712)
Cost per ISO/IEC 24712 A4 page inc VAT3.7p
Cost per ISO/IEC 24712 A4 page inc VAT (colour part)3.0p
Cost per ISO/IEC 24712 A4 page inc VAT (mono part)0.7p
Supplierwww.ebuyer.com
Detailswww.hp.co.uk
Part codeCN461A