HP Color LaserJet Pro Multifunction M479fdw Wireless Laser Printer review

The HP Color LaserJet Pro M479fdw is a mid-range color laser MFP with a robust feature set and robust output, making it a good choice for medium to medium-sized businesses and workgroups.

PROS

  • Small footprint for everything you do
  • Strong cross-platform integration with the HP Smart app
  • ADF with single-pass automatic two-sided printing
  • Unconditional security
  • Expandable

CONS

  • Slightly high operating costs
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Competing directly with our recent Lexmark editors’ choice, the MC2535adwe, the HP Color LaserJet Pro MFP M479fdw ($599.99) is a mid-range all-in-one color laser printer designed for use in a small office or workgroup. Like most HP laser printers, it produces attractive documents, although it’s not the fastest and the running costs are a bit high. The M479fdw performs solidly overall, but there’s nothing unique or exciting enough to set it apart in today’s large and highly competitive mid-range color AIO market. But if your monthly print and copy volume is average, say a thousand pages or less, this surprisingly compact LaserJet could come in handy.

Small Footprint, Features Galore

The M479fdw measures 15.7 by 16.4 by 18.6 inches (HWD) and weighs 51.6 pounds. It’s far from a featherweight, but it’s slightly smaller and lighter than most competitive laser AIOs. For example, the Lexmark MC2535adwe mentioned above is a few inches wider and longer and weighs about 8 pounds more. Canon’s Color imageClass MF746Cdw and MF741Cdw are bigger and wider, plus a few pounds heavier. By contrast, Epson’s 2019 Supertank WorkForce Pro WF-C5790 Color MFP, an inkjet-based laser alternative, is similar in size and weighs about 10 pounds less.

With printers in this class and price range, you not only get a reasonably robust machine, but also a solid set of features. For example, HP ships with a single-pass automatic two-sided automatic document feeder (ADF) to send multi-page, two-sided documents to the scanner. Of the four competitors mentioned in the previous section, only the Canon MF741Cdw lacks an automatic double-sided print ADF. Instead, your feed requires you to flip double-sided documents by hand to capture the second sides.

The Lexmark MC2535adwe, on the other hand, has a reverse duplex ADF, which means that after scanning the first side, the ADF puts the sheet back into the mechanism, flips it over and then scans the second side. Then restart the process for the next sheet. This method, of course, involves a few more steps and creates a few more points of possible misfeeds, but I’ve tried many AIOs with both types of duplexers and haven’t found a more reliable method than the other so far.

Another common feature of AIOs in this price range is a relatively large color touchscreen control panel. In this case we are talking about a large 4.3-inch screen with enough space to navigate with your fingers. Like most HP printers today, it supports the HP Smart app to automate specific functions. (We’ll take a closer look at the smart app in a moment.)

You’ll also find most configuration tasks and options, such as consumables monitoring, usage reporting, and access to security settings, on the M479fdw’s built-in web portal, accessible from almost any browser, including that of your smartphone or tablet.

The paper input capacity of the box is 300 sheets, divided between a 250-sheet main tray and a 50-sheet replacement tray. If that’s not enough, you can add a 550-sheet tray ($199.99), increasing the capacity to 850. HP’s maximum monthly duty cycle is 50,000 pages, with a recommended monthly volume of 4,000 prints.

The two Canon machines mentioned above also come with 250-sheet main trays and 50-sheet override trays. You can expand both machines up to 800 sheets, and their duty cycles and suggested monthly volume ratings are the same as the M479fdw. Lexmark has a 250-sheet tray and a single-sheet override tray; you can expand it to 1,451 sheets, and the maximum monthly duty cycle is a whopping 85,000 prints, albeit with a recommended monthly volume of one-tenth of that. Finally, the Epson WF-C5790 defaults to 330 sheets and can be expanded to 830. The monthly duty cycle is 45,000 pages, with a recommended maximum monthly volume of 2,500 prints.

Connections, Software, and Security

The standard connectivity of the M479fdw consists of Gigabit Ethernet, 802.11b/g/n Wi-Fi, USB and Wi-Fi Direct, the latter being a peer-to-peer protocol that allows you to connect mobile devices to the printer without one of them. or are part of the same network. In addition to Wi-Fi Direct, there are other mobile connectivity options, including Apple AirPrint, Google Cloud Print, HP ePrint, HP Smart App, mobile apps and Mopria.

Smart App is HP’s value-added cross-platform interface/controller combination. One way you try to optimize your interaction with the AIO is by providing a similar interface on the Android, iOS, macOS, and Windows platforms it runs on. You also get HP Smart Tasks, a collection of customizable workflow profiles, such as for scanning with your smartphone or printing from specific cloud sites, accessible via customizable shortcuts in the HP Smart app.

Security is fairly basic and consists of standard network authentication and encryption protocols, plus Secure Print to assign personal identification numbers (PINs) to confidential documents to block prying eyes. You also get Department ID verification to determine which features, such as color printing, are allowed for which users.

A range of built-in security features help protect the Color LaserJet Pro MFP from attacks, and the optional HP JetAdvantage Security Manager allows you to set configuration parameters and fend off potential attacks by taking immediate action with instant notifications of attacks. issues.

Testing the M479fdw: Midrange Performance

HP estimates the M479fdw at 28 pages per minute (ppm), an average print speed for this AIO level, and the same rating as the Canon MF741Cdw and MF746Cdw. The Lexmark MB2535adwe, on the other hand, has a power of 35 ppm and the Epson WF-C5790 24 ppm. I tested this HP (and all these other machines) over an Ethernet connection from our standard Intel Core i5 benchmark to Windows 10 Pro (see how we test printers).

Like the Lexmark and Canon machines discussed here, the M479fdw comes out of the box and is configured to print double-sided (duplex) pages. In these scenarios, we time and record both single-sided and double-sided printer performance. That said, the M479fdw printed our first test, a 12-page Microsoft Word document, at a rate of 22.1 images per minute (or ipm, where each side of the page counts as one image) and 31.4 ppm, 3.4 ppm faster than its rating. .

The duplex score of the Lexmark MB2535adwe is about 5 ipm slower, while the simplex display is 8.4 ppm faster. The scores of the two Canons were comparable to those of the LaserJet. The Epson doesn’t have the standard duplex option, so we just recorded the simplex scores – it trailed HP by about 5ppm.

For the next part of my test, I registered the M479fdw while running our collection of Adobe Acrobat PDFs, Excel spreadsheets and associated full-page charts and PowerPoint brochures with complex fonts and business charts in various sizes and colors. Combining these scores with those of the text document yielded average speeds of 10.8 ipm and 17.7 ppm.

in total? If we take this HP, the Lexmark, the two Canon AIOs and even the Epson inkjet model together, there just isn’t much speed difference here. These scores are within one ipm here or one ppm there, barely enough variation to warrant much discussion.

The M479fdw isn’t a photo printer, but I also timed it while printing our 4-by-6-inch test snapshots. It averaged about 10 seconds per image, which is about the average for most color laser printers.

An Eye on Quality: Dependable LaserJet Output

Most laser printers produce typograph-like quality text, and the M479fdw is no exception. Your text documents should be suitable for most business scenarios. However, where some laser AIOs fail to excel is printing flawless business graphics and photos. The PowerPoint brochures and Excel charts with gradients and solid fills I printed were nearly flawless, with smooth gradations from one color to another and no noticeable issues with toner distribution. Black and other dark fills and backgrounds were consistent, and colors were accurate, bright, and vibrant for color laser output.

The photos looked good too, with bright, accurate colors and excellent detail. The downside of inkjet printing is that laser printers can’t print borderless pages, and photos (and some other types of documents) look more finished and professional if the content runs to the edges of the paper.

The Consumables: Somewhat Expensive Operation

The biggest drawback of the M479fdw is the running cost. When purchasing your higher-volume replacement toner cartridges (7,500 black pages and 6,000 color pages), your operating costs should be approximately 2.2 cents per black and white page and 14.2 cents per color page. If you do a lot of printing, near this machine’s recommended monthly output volume of 4,000 pages, you will find that these numbers are relatively high and can end up costing you dearly over the life of the printer.

In comparison, the Lexmark MC2535adwe cost per page is 1.8 cents per black and white page and 11.7 cents per color page, while the two Canon machines will cost you 2.5 cents per black page and 13.3 cents per color page . The Epson WF-C5790 inkjet tells a different story, with running costs of around 1.6 cents for monochrome pages and 6.4 cents for colour.

By comparing prices, you can find mid-range and high-volume printers with slightly lower running costs. HP’s proprietary PageWide Pro 750dw, another inkjet-based laser alternative, delivers monochrome pages for just 1.1 cents. When buying a higher volume printer, keep in mind that for every 100,000 pages you print, a 1 cent difference will cost you $1,000. For example, if you print half a million pages over the lifetime of the machine… you get an idea. That’s a lot more money than the printer’s initial price.

A Color Laser AIO Running With the Pack

Overall, I liked this AIO, but there’s no reason to pay high operating costs if you don’t have to. And that’s where the HP LaserJet Pro MFP M479fdw falls short. It prints well at respectable speeds and has all the necessary productivity and convenience features. But if you plan to print thousands of pages each month, close to HP’s recommended business limit, Lexmark’s more robust MC2535adwe is a better value.

But if you don’t mind spending a little more on toner for a more modest use case, I can’t think of a good reason not to consider the M479fdw your everyday page shaker.

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