on 5 May 2014
This printer was purchased to replace an HP Laserjet 1200, so it was a significant upgrade to color and duplex.
The HP M451dw is a bit large to be sitting on the desk, but I suppose that is the price of a duplex machine.
The wireless set-up was anything but simple and straight-forward.
Fortunately, the HP technician on the telephone was very good and very patient.
It took about 3 telephone sessions to download the appropriate driver and connect to all devices.
This is an excellent printer, but it is definitely not plug and play. For some strange reason, the driver had to be loaded onto each machine separately before the wireless set-up functioned correctly. HP lost a star because the CD that came with the printer included the wrong driver for a wireless set-up. The included driver was set for single-sided color printing...not clever for a duplex.
The printer, once installed, is very efficient and output is very good indeed.
on 8 August 2012
IN THIS REVIEW I WILL GIVE DETAILED PROS & CONS OF THE PRODUCT AND TELL YOU WHY THIS PRINTER WAS A PAIN TO SET UP. IT'S QUITE LONG, BUT YOU WON'T NEED ANOTHER REVIEW.
We bought this printer for two simple reasons:
- because it prints DUPLEX (the printing world's word for double-sided)
- because it prints WIRELESSLY (meaning you can print from all your computers without having to bring them next to the printer and connect them: useful if you have a family, multi-floor house and various computers)
It now, after 5 hours of painful telephone calls to a call centre in Bangalore (I am half-Indian, by the way!), does everything perfectly.
However, in a world of plug-and-play appliances, HP are centuries behind: there are way too many useless programs (bloatware), and to set up the printer you have to install all of them. The application takes years to set up, and often crashes.
The reason ours took hours to set up is because, like most people (correct me if I'm wrong), our wireless router is a few years old, so does not have some new features which make setting printers up easy. HP had trouble understanding this, but when after 45 minutes of desperate visits to Control Panel, wireless networks, and finally a plea from the hopeless technical advisor to let her take over my computer (Teamviewer), I managed to bypass her and talk to the supervisor.
HP then finally understood, that we, with our antiquated (4-year old BT HomeHub) router, needed a WORKAROUND: we needed to set up the computer with a wire (which they give you). There are 3 options for connecting to the printer, and if you have an old router, only the bottom (WORKAROUND) will work.
OTHER PROS INCLUDE:
- ePrint: a feature which gives your printer an e-mail address, and allows you to send it e-mails to print documents out: it will print all attachments. However, in typical HP fashion, they haven't sorted out DUPLEX printing yet for this feature.
- Very good quality of colour, speed.
- Easy to set up the actual machine.
OTHER CONS INCLUDE:
- Price: it's not cheap.
- Weight: it's not light.
- The menu screen is again quite prehistoric. For a family, you might be better off getting a printer with a touchscreen (nice and colourful, lots of options). Our menu looks like it was designed in 1990.
Overall, it is the lack of plug-and-play I do not like. In my view, printers should be set up, wireless on them should be turned on, and then every computer should be able find them ('Add a printer' can be found in Control Panel). We had to repeatedly install this rather sluggish program, install drivers from the CD, and register for every added feature. All properties, in my view, should be located on the document you are printing (Adobe Reader, Word etc.)
However, if you 'follow the onscreen instructions' and what I have given you, the machine you get is good, works, and hopefully should last a long time.
PS I am not one for taking off stars for small, petty issues. However I spent 5 frustrating hours setting up the printer, and 2 hours setting up my dad's laptop! The call centre guys were sweet but stubborn, and often hopeless. Therefore 3/5, no more, no less.
on 21 May 2013
I needed to replace a Lexmark which developed an unfixable fault and was drawn back to HP. I have a Laserjet 4 which just keeps on going after 20 years! I chose the model with wireless and duplex and both worked well. Setup on my Mac and my wife's PC was very easy: the Wi-Fi setup as well as USB. What was a pleasant surprise was the speed and relative quiet, none of the multiple bangs and shunting around that the Lexmark did. The print quality is excellent as well. My only negative point is the size and weight, but then that seems to be the way with colour lasers.