HP really needs to rationalise its model names, which are about as complex as the management structure of BBC News. This one is called the LaserJet Pro 200 Color M251nw. The 200, at least, appears superfluous.
This is a low-end colour laser printer, providing black and colour print for SOHO customers, but with the added advantage of wireless connection, so it can print from phones and tablets.
The low-profile black case has a flip-up 89mm touchscreen LCD on a stalk, which is easy to use and can show thumbnails of documents on any USB drive plugged into the front panel socket. This is unusual for a laser printer and perhaps gives an idea of where colour laser designs may be going, certainly if they’re to take on the new generations of business inkjets.
The low profile of the machine is partly due to the single, 150-sheet paper tray, which HP heralds with ‘Refill the paper tray less often’, but is actually, hopelessly underspec. There’s no single-sheet feed, either, and no optional second tray, so you’re likely to be restocking the printer often.
We really can’t see the logic in this. If you’re targeting a laser printer at home and small businesses, why fit a single paper tray which is notably less adequate than in, for example, a £100 inkjet, like the HP Officejet 6600.
At the back are sockets for USB and 10/100 Ethernet networking. But most people will likely choose wireless connection thanks to the provision of ePrint and direct wireless printing, which works via AirPrint for Apple devices and HP Direct Print for Android.
The machine comes with its four toners in situ and you just need to remove the guard tapes to have it running. Supporting software includes drivers for PCL 6 and PostScript Level 3, as well as consumable monitoring and other alerts.