Is it an affordable and simple monochrome printer you’re after? If so, you’ve probably heard about HP LaserJet Pro M201dw. It’s a B&W-only laser printer with around 100 dollars price tag. At a glance, such a budget printer looks good for home users, but it might also suit some small businesses too. Now, let’s try to figure out how this HP would work especially for you!
Due to the low price, HP LaserJet Pro M201dw doesn’t have any additional functions. It only prints, and copier, fax and scanner are absent. This of course reduces the HP’s appeal for businesses. A multifunctional device in an office is generally a better idea than a simple printer. A home user, however, might not need a fancy All-in-One printer. For them, such a basic HP should be enough.
There’s a 2-line LCD screen for operating the printer. It’s not a touch display, but it’s still better than mere indicator lights that some low end printers have.
The input capacity for the standard tray is 250 pages, an appropriate amount for this cheap printer. The output tray handles 150 sheets. Automatic duplex printing is supported, a handy feature if you’re OK with printing on both sides of paper. The largest paper size this HP works with is 8.5 x 14 inches, also known as the legal size.
The printer supports all three standard connections: 10/100Mbps Ethernet (RJ-45), 802.11 b/g/n WiFi and a USB 2.0 port. As such, it works with a variety of devices, including mobile phones, Apple AirPrint and Google Cloud print.
Supported operating systems include Windows XP, Vista, Server 2003 & 2008, 7, 8 and 8.1. Mac OS X from version 10.7 and up also work with it. In addition, major Linux distributions (including Ubuntu) are supported, probably even out of the box without the need to install any extra drivers.
The dimensions with paper tray open are 15.1 x 15.9 x 9.9 (WxDxH) inches.
HP LaserJet Pro M201dw should print with up to 26 ppm speed. Sometimes it’s slower in real use, although user reports talking about “fast printer” made me think the advertised rate is actually very close to truth. Also first page out is good 8 seconds. So speed-wise, this HP should suffice easily for home and small office user’s needs.
15,000 pages is the monthly duty cycle. Recommended volume is 250-2000 pages in a month. So if we want to play it safe, you could print ~60 pages every single day with this HP. The memory amount is maxed out at 128MB which, for a small user group monochrome printer, should be adequate.
Acquisition price of this HP is very low, but how about the running costs? They’re sometimes high on a cheap printer. Well, if you use the CF283X high yield toner, cost per page with the current cartridge price would be around 3.6 cents. If you print 20 sheets every business day, operating costs would thus be 15-20 dollars a month. Indeed, for a low-volume use 3.6 cents a sheet is alright, but it would be rather pricey if you printed over hundreds pages daily.
I would recommend HP LaserJet Pro M201dw for home users without hesitation. It costs mere 100 bucks and if you don’t print a lot, running costs are also favorable. The printer has received good comments about ease of setup and speed: 26 pages a minute should be a respectable rate for most. Just remember there’s no color support or scanner, copier and fax in this HP. It works for just one job: printing B&W pages – for which it’s an excellent device.