The scanner on the HP LaserJet Pro 200 Color MFP M275nw takes 8Mpixel pictures of what’s on the scanning tray – the results are no more 3D than a regular photo. When you scan, software within the machine combines images from six different shots, three with flash and three without, to eliminate shadows and present a relatively clean image on a white background. This is ideal for product shots, as long as the products are small and not too shiny.
If they are shiny, the scanner may have trouble capturing them, as we found scanning a sample camera, which has a brushed aluminium face. There’s also a limit on the height of objects that can be scanned, not just the height of the camera bar above the tray, but also a problem with lens distortion, which enlarges parts of objects disproportionately, as they get nearer the camera.
The printer uses the same engine as in the HP LaserJet Pro 100 Color MFP M175a and we saw almost identical speeds in the text and graphics prints. The machine gave a top speed of 12.8ppm printing black, but only 3.4ppm with colour graphics, because of the slow, carousel-based print engine. Compare this with 7.3ppm from the similarly priced Xerox Workcentre 6015V/NI.
Print quality is good on both black text and colours, with dense, solid shades and bright hues. Single sheet copies from the tray are not quite as accurate as from a conventional flatbed, but adequate for day-to-day work. All scans take around 45s, which is comparatively slow.
There’s been a move to increase the running costs of cheaper colour lasers and last year Dell and Xerox set the bar at around 19p per ISO colour page, including 0.7p for paper. HP has now joined them and given that an ISO page has only around 20 percent cover, you’re not getting a lot for your 19p. A black page comes out at around 4.7p, which isn’t cheap, either. We believe these costs are much too high, on a machine costing nearly £300.
HP’s ‘3D’ scan technology is clever, but we do wonder why it’s attached to a laser printer, or indeed any printer. As a standalone scanner, particularly with height adjustment and direct scan to a USB stick, it could be a very handy Internet marketing tool. As it is, with a slow, expensive-to-run colour laser underneath, it’s not a machine with an obvious role.