on 13 December 2013
Only started using it today but initial impressions are good.
Smaller, lighter, and fast than my old Laserjet4. If this one lasts as long, it will outlive me :-)
A few caveats for the unwary...
The image shown is *not* of the 'a' model, which does *not* have a USB socket on front left. So you cannot print direct from a USB file. I knew this wouldnt be there because I checked out the spec comparison sheet for the whole range.
But to be fair to amazon they have used the correct image off the HP website. HP have it wrong too....they cover themselves in small print with "image for example purposes only" pffft.
I think the previous reviewer meant to say the printer does NOT have wifi or networking, which I was not expecting but it could be inferred from the description. You really do need to check the spec for each model in the M401 range (on the HP website) to know exactly what you will be getting.
The 'a' model has
has 'manual' duplex printing (ie you turn the paper over yourself & feed it back in)
no usb socket on front, so you cannot print from a file without a pc attached.
NO USB LEAD PROVIDED...thats just being mean, HP. You lose a star for that.
I was surprised to find I did not need the supplied CD to install it. As soon as plugged in, the PC recognised a USB device, at which point a built-in-the-printer install routine kicked off automatically. It gives you the option to de-select the usual shovelware and go for the basic drivers.
You will need the CD (apparently) if your model has networking facilities.
The supplied startup manual is a mess. Instead of having each language in its own section they have each page (in each language) then the next page (in each language). Makes it tedious to read through. Thankfully you can get away without needing it except for instructions on removing the internal packaging around the toner cartridge, and removing the seal on the toner itself, on the first english page.
UPDATE....PAPER FEED ISSUE
On my old Laserjet4, choosing 'automatic' for the paper tray selection meant that it checked the manual feed tray first & used anything in there. If empty it then grabbed paper from the main tray.
On the pro400 it does not. Unless you go into the printer menus and manually select the manual feed tray you will never see it used. Also on my old printer sliding the paper into the tray lined it up with the jaws of the manual feed assembly. On this thing you have to raise the leading edge of the paper slightly to push it into the feed mechanism.
UPDATE 2.....HP SUPPORT ISSUE
The HP support site has no record of the 400 series lasers, even though their online shop does, so you are unable to choose the model number to gain access to the help services. ONly option is premium rate phonelines. pffft.
HP seem to have lost the plot, sadly.
UPDATE 3....MORE ON PAPER HANDLING
The manual tray shows in menus as "Tray 1 - manual feed", and not just as "manual feed" on my old printer. It seems HP have decided to have the manual feed as a sub-option of the main paper tray, rather than a separate tray.
Inside the hopper for the manual feed is an icon which seems to indicate only 1 sheet at a time.
This would seem to indicate that to do multiple double-sided prints you print the odd pages, then put all the paper back into the main tray & print the even ones.
Less convenient than the arrangement on my old Laserjet 4.
Not a show-stopper, but it would have saved me a lot of paper if HP specifically mentioned this in the manuals and/or I'd been able to use their support site.
Aside from this paper handling issue its a really nice printer.