HP LaserJet Pro 400 M401dw review

The M401 is the successor to the LaserJet P2055 – which, according to HP was the world’s best-selling laser printer last year – so you can probably expect it to find a home in quite a few offices in the coming months.

There are four models in the M401 range, although we reviewed the top-of-the-range M401dw, which costs £341.00 and provides automatic duplex (double-sided) printing, 802.11n wifi and Gigabit Ethernet for connecting it to your office network, and a 3.5-inch touch-sensitive control screen. It also supports AirPrint for wireless printing from iOS devices.

If you don’t need all those features then there are less expensive models also available, starting at £215 for the M401a, which is USB-only and lacks a duplex option. However, all models have the same print speed, 1200x1200 dpi resolution, and 250-sheet paper tray, so you can choose whichever model has the particular features you need.

The M401dw is a straightforward single-function printer, with no scanning or copying features, so some people may prefer to opt for a more versatile multi-function device. It’s also rather bulky for a basic A4 printer, measuring 271mm high, 364mm wide and 368mm deep.

Its great strength, though, is that it’s very fast. HP quotes a speed of 33 pages per minute although we actually got 30ppm – but that’s still much faster than an inkjet printer, and also faster than most laser printers that we’ve seen in this price range. Text quality is very good, and its recommended monthly print volume of up to 3000 pages should be more than adequate for most small businesses.

The M401 is supplied with a basic toner cartridge that provides 2700 pages, but HP’s high-yield replacment cartridges last for 6800 pages and cost £160.99 when bought direct from HP. That works out at about 2.4p per page, which is quite reasonable, and you can probably save quite a bit more if you shop around for the cartridges online too.

OUR VERDICT

There’s nothing fancy about the M401dw, but it’s very fast and affordable, with modest running costs as well. It’s a good follow-up to the successful P2055, and will make an excellent workhorse printer for any small business.

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