When Charles Babbage designed a basic printer device for his difference engine, little did he know that this small but crucial invention would revolutionise the computing world forever. Since then, there have been numerous breakthroughs and innovations in the field of printing technology, all leading to people adopting the humble machines on a household basis. When Charles Babbage made his printing device, it was rather bulky ,as it involved a large number of steel rods with printed letters, but as time went on, the machines got smaller, and today, the average printer is no bigger than a small sized box. That said, it would be highly unwise to assume that the productivity of the modern day printers is lower than  its predecessors. Rather, its quite the opposite. Printers today, can handle more workload than ever before, which is why, every now and then, they require an honourable mention in the reviews.

Following that trend, I too, decided to give my tribute to the humble printer family by reviewing  the new HP M277 MFP Laser printer. First off, HP has been in the printer market since the very beginning of the home computing revolution, and despite receiving regular competition from more printer based players like Epson and Canon,they have still managed to stay strong on top of the food chain. Now, coming to the Printer in question , the HP M277 ( Lets just stick to that name for now ), is another one of HP’s affordable range of Laser printers, which, much like its predecessors. promises to give you stellar print quality , and an unimaginable printing mileage. Exactly how true and credible are HP’s claims ?

Lets find out –

Basics –
The M277 is HP’s successor to their own Laserjet Pro MFP range, and while the M277 does feature a noticeable price bump, its features and performance justify every dime of it. Many people have commented on the 150 page load limit to be a bane,but  if you look at it from application point of view, the M277 has been designed to be as compact as possible, thus making it ideal for small office use. So, for those who wanted a high-capacity , big sized printing monster, this one is definitely not the one for you. On the other hand, if a compact , high performance printer is one on your checklist, the M277 is definitely worth considering.
Next up is the paper input. The M277 comes with a duplex ( Which allows for two-sided printing ), and also features a one sheet manual feed, which allows you to feed a different type of paper without having to swap out the paper in the main tray. This can be very very efficient and saves a lot of time.
The M277 also performs well in the scanning department. While most of HP’s earlier printers came with an A4 sized bed for scanning, the M277 comes with a bigger scan area, thus allowing you to comfortably scan up to legal size documents. While the text and graphics output aren’t as good as those produced by the popular HP M177fw, it’s still commendable ,and if you are someone who isn’t too critical about the quality, you may not even notice the slight downgrade in quality, so rest assured, your documents will be at your disposal in decent to awesome quality.

Beyond Basics
Aside from the basic features that the M277 offers a few other nifty features as well. Starting off, users can print from , and even scan to a USB drive directly. Compatible formats include Word, PDF and even Powerpoint. According to the official documentation provided by HP, users can even fax from their PC using the M277 and the HP fax drivers that are available on their website. Do keep in mind that the drivers are strictly for PCs running Windows 7 SP1 and higher, so if you have an OS lower than Windows 7 and you want to use the amazing fax from PC feature, I believe an OS upgrade is in order. HP has enabled Wireless capabilities in most of their new printer devices, and the M277 is no different. Simply put, if your printer and PC and even your smartphone, for that matter ( Android or iOS ), are connected to the same network, and the network is connected to the internet, you can go as far as printing from and scanning to even your mobile devices directly. That’s really cool and again, efficient. Now, while all this sounds cool, the guys at HP decided to add one more bit of ” Awesome” in to their device, and thats NFC. So, if you have a smartphone that supports NFC, you can directly pair it with the M277. How do you pair ? Well, just enable NFC on your device, and gently tap the NFC logo on the front of the Printer device.

Setting up
The HP M277 measures 12.7 *  16.5 * 16.4 inches , which is compact enough to allow the user to make place for it in their offices and in their homes with relative ease. The entire device weights close to 90 pounds including the toner cartridges, which is not too light, and not atrociously heavy at the same time. Setting up is a generic affair. Justplug in your printer device, then the drivers kick in and a few minutes later, you have your M277 ready to rumble.

Once set up, the next logical thing to do in any printer review is to test its speed. On paper, the HP M277 is rated to perform at 19 pages per minute for both, the Colour as well as Black and White quality.  Now this speed is only applicable for prints which contain text and images which require minimal processing. When it comes to the more demanding of imagesand text documents, the M277 still shines at a brisk 8.4 ppm, which is almost three times faster than the previously mentioned HP M177fw.

Lastly, we have the output. After a couple of uses, you will see that the overall output quality of the HP M277 is only above par, and while that sort of quality is more than enough for normal executive and office use, you will have to invest in a bigger and meaner machine for the heavy duty big size posters. If you plan to use this device for small to medium sized documents, you can definitely go for the M277. Going a bit into the technical realm, the only real problem you face in the output is the colour quality . The dark tones, look a tad bit darker than they should, which can lead to the overall image look a bit muddy and dark.  Other than that, the results are A-OK.

 

Closing words
All in all, the HP M277 Laserjet Pro is a no nonsense ,bang for the buck printer, which provides the buyer with a combination of sleek looks, High performance and a host of features that are rare in most other printers in its price range. While the weight and fax drivers may act as minor deal breakers, they are still very rudimentary factors, and don’t affect the overall experience in any way. So, for those out there looking for a new high performance printer device, you should definitely consider the HP M277 Laserjet Pro.