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“Promises much, but poor delivery”

Written on: 05/02/2016 by TonySomerset (18 reviews written)

If you are looking for a basic home office inkjet printer that can churn out B&W paper with an occasional colour graphics then this, HP Officejet Pro x551dw, might be for you. Even then there are several drawbacks. It is a big beast but fine as it is WiFi, easily connected, it can sit anywhere.
The biggest bugbear is the paper setup software. Every print job it defaults to some basic setting that you then override. That means clicking through several boxes and screens before finally you get the paper selection and quality you want. Then it whirrs into action and churns out the pages, duplex is a doddle. So long as you remember each time to check whether it has defaulted to portrait or landscape! Note that the printed pages just spew out onto the rear collecting tray without any stack tidy. Just another job for you. A follow on print run then your previous setup paper settings become available! Beware that it will decide whether it is a follow on or that it some new media type and defaults to some random(?) setting.
There are two trays, an A4 front tray with a small capacity and a second larger capacity A4 cassette. In theory you could have letterheads in the one and blanks in the cassette, but, and a big but, the paper settings will not help you. Setting the paper handling has become a real nuisance that I have not found a work around to yet.
It has four separate ink cartridges, able to take extra large tanks for high volumes, so can handle colour but I found the colour photo rendition thin with an overly strong green bias. Just coloured graphics and it seems to do a reasonable job. The next bugbear is that it is optimised for HP paper. The configured alternate paper types accepted make no allowance for other photo/printing materials.
The slightly greyed B&W print under the General Office setting, is a nice ink saving feature, but reverting to Professional or Presentation and you get good strong sharp fonts.
It is a heavy beast with no easy hand holds if you want to shift it around, to get access to the cassette tray perhaps, and it is not quiet.
As an Small Office Home printer it has does not offer borderless printing so any graphical covers and you will struggle.
A shame, a good basic office B&W volume duplex printer with colour capability but badly let down by its paper handling software. I cannot recommend it.

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