Delivering enough speed, functionality and text quality to handle the busiest home offices and even some small offices, the HP Color LaserJet Pro MFP M283fdw was a shoe for our Editors’ Choice Award. It not only delivers the speed and impeccable text quality of a laser printer, but also produces sharp, vibrant color images. In addition, it has a connected fax/scanner with a 50-page automatic document feeder, so you can scan long documents in an instant and scan to your heart’s content. If you want all this impressive printing performance but already have a good scanner, check out the HP Color LaserJet Pro M254dw. It’s the same printer but without the multi-function capabilities and therefore sells for much less.
The HP Color LaserJet Pro MFP M283fdw scored highest in our tests. To determine these scores, we use various practical tests, which we divide into five test measures. Below you can read how the M283fdw performed on each of these metrics.
The MM283fdw shared the top step of the podium with three other printers in our text quality contest, scoring 9. This put it in a very different league from the worst scorer, who got a 2.
The text produced by the M283fdw during our testing was incredibly sharp, with no noticeable pixelation and clean, smooth edges. It retained this quality regardless of the font or italics. The only weakness that prevented the M283fdw from getting a perfect text quality score was that it tended to print slightly lighter at font sizes less than 10 points. This was apparent under our microscope, but only slightly perceptible to the naked eye, making it less of a problem. So you can rest assured that every report, resume or other important document produced by the M283fdw will look professional and of high quality.
Cost is the only real downside of the M283fdw. It scored a 5 on this stat, slightly better than the low score of 2, but still relatively far from the high score of 7.
It printed in black and white at a fairly reasonable price, about $0.03 per page or $14.11 per ream of paper. However, color printing costs were the highest of any model we tested, priced at around $0.11 per page or $56.09 per ream. This cost of color printing, combined with a fairly high retail price, gave the M283fdw an estimated lifetime of $645. This was the second highest lifetime cost we calculated.
Ease of Use
The M283fdw shared a maximum score of 9 out of 10 with its one feature brother on this stat, scoring just 4.+
The setup involved connecting the printer and going through a quick setup menu. The included starter inks were already in place, so we were printing within minutes of opening the box. After downloading the HP ePrint app, we were printing directly from our phones a few minutes later. Some visitors to the office were even printing airline tickets to the M283fdw directly from their phones the day we received them. If you’re printing over a Wi-Fi connection, you don’t even need to plug in the printer for the initial setup. Our testers’ favorite aspect of the M283fdw was the large touchscreen control panel. This interface made it easy to navigate through a variety of functions, including printing, scanning to multiple destinations, copying and faxing. A USB port on the front of the printer allows you to connect a flash drive and print documents directly from it or store scanned documents on it, and a convenient manual feed makes it easy to print on non-standard paper such as envelopes. We found that all the added features worked well and yielded good results. High resolution copies and scans and the automatic document feeder ran smoothly and never got clogged.
HP also offers a number of web applications that can be used by most of its multifunction printers. We found that the touchscreen on the M283fdw really gave us access to the full functionality of these apps. The genres of these apps range from productivity (printing direct from your Google Drive account or printing stamps at home through a Stamp.com account) to lifestyle (printing the daily recipe from allrecipes.com or printing a weekly menu complete with a shopping list checklist). ) to whimsical (print a template to play the dots game on).
The M283fdw received a 6 in our graphics and photo printing test. This is slightly less than the top two scorers, who both got a 7, and well ahead of the lowest score of 2.
It was one of the best models we tested for printing simple charts such as line charts and bar charts. The lines and beams were bright and vibrant colors and looked bold and solid. Even under our microscope, we could only notice small amounts of pixelation in these types of images. It lost a few points in this category for the quality of the photo. In high-resolution photos, the colors looked a bit oversaturated and dark areas looked blurry and lacked clarity. Pixelation was much more pronounced in photos than in regular images, especially in the highlights of images. While the photos weren’t great, they would certainly do well for the occasional image printed in a report or newsletter.
The M283fdw was relatively fast in our tests. It scored a 7 on our print speed test, putting it at the top of a stat with scores ranging from 2 to 9.
In our signature test of simplex text documents, it registered a print speed of 14 pages per minute. This was significantly slower than the HP LaserJet Pro M402n, which led the field at 25 pages per minute, but was still fast enough to print a bulky document before the M283fdw seemed to take a long time to print . . . The speeds were comparable when printing a combined text and graphics document. With double-sided printing, the speed was reduced to 10 pages per minute. This still felt fast enough to print long documents. It was one of the fastest models to print photos. Printed a full-page, high-resolution photo in just 19 seconds.
The M283fdw is a situation where you get what you pay for. The M283fdw is the most expensive printer we tested. It is common for printers to be available from online retailers for much less than the manufacturer’s standard retail price. At the time of writing, the M283fdw could be found online for much less than its list price, which is still a pretty high price. This price, along with the expensive color toner, also gave the M283fdw one of the highest estimated lifetime costs we calculated. However, the M283fdw was also by far the best performing we tested. While we can’t say the M283fdw is a great price, it gets top performance at a correspondingly higher end price.
The M283fdw combines all the printing, faxing, copying and scanning you would expect from an MFP, and does it with confidence. There really isn’t a job the M283fdw doesn’t excel at, other than being easy on the wallet. If your printing and office needs are diverse and you don’t mind paying for performance, you won’t be disappointed with the M283fdw.