HP ColorJet Pro M479fdw Color Laser Multi-function Printer Review

HP ColorJet Pro M479fdw Color Laser Multi-function Printer Review

Buy it at Amazon: HP ColorJet Pro M479fdw Color Laser Multi-function Printer [Affiliate Link]

Takeaway: Simple WiFi setup, fast printing, crisp b&w and color prints, lots of functions and flexibility

In the box, you’ll receive the printer, 6 ft power cord, 5 ft USB2.0 cable, phone cord, and quick start manuals. The printer measures 16.5” wide, 18” deep, and 15.75” high. When the lid is open, the height is 26” and when the paper tray and rear access door are open, the overall depth is 40.5” so make sure you have enough clearance in all directions to accommodate the fully printer with access to open all the panels. The weight of the printer with all the cartridges installed is just over 51 lbs. There are a lot of doors and panels on this printer to accommodate all the functions. There are two built-in paper trays with 50 and 250-sheet capacities. Note that when loaded with legal-size paper, Tray 2 extends from the front of the printer approximately 2 inches. There’s also an optional third paper tray, sold separately, that can hold 550 sheets of paper, and is added on to the bottom of the printer. The release button to access the toner compartment is on the left hand side of the printer and the printer is pre-installed with 4 cartridges (black, cyan, magenta, and yellow).

On the back of the printer, you have the rear access panel for clearing paper jams, fax and telephone jacks, USB port for job storage, USB-B port for wired connection to a computer, and Ethernet port for wired network connections. In the bottom left-hand corner is the port for the power cable. This printer also supports 2.4GHz and 5GHz WiFi network connections and Bluetooth connections for networked and mobile printing. To set up the printer, plug in the power cable and press the power button. Then, go to the touch panel to setup your printer preferences. Load the paper tray, making sure to adjust the paper guides for the size paper you are using. Then on your computer, download and install the printer drivers and software from HP’s website. After setting up the software, you can go ahead and connect the printer to your computer, but if you’re printing without a computer you can print from mobile or use the USB port in the front to print files from a USB stick and also lets you scan and save to the USB stick. For mobile or networked printing, you can download the smart phone app ‘HP Smart’ from the App store or Google Play Store and then enter in your network SSID and password or plug it into a router using an Ethernet cable. If the printer is connected to the internet, whether by WiFi or Ethernet, you can also scan directly to e-mail so you get a copy in your inbox, or fax it, if you’ve got that hooked up.

What’s great about this printer is that it has one-pass dual sided scanning and copying, which means if you have a two-sided document, you won’t have to scan one side at a time, then flip the paper over and scan the second side, hoping that you flipped the paper the right way or that it’s lined up properly, it’ll just do both sides at the same time saving you a bunch of time. Whether printing from my phone or from my computer, the jobs were accepted and started printing almost immediately. The colors of the prints are just stunning. Even with just plain white 20-lb stock paper the print quality from this printer for photographs is pretty amazing. For black and white copies, the printer is able to process and print really fast, at about 19 pages per minute. The printer is pretty quiet; it doesn’t make a ton of noise during startup or printing and it goes to sleep pretty soon after it’s done printing to save power. This also helps it reduce the amount of heat it puts out into the room while it is idle. As for the toner smell, yeah you do get a little bit of that fresh toner smell right after printing, but it’s not super strong and dissipates in a well ventilated room.

One cool feature is the job storage and private printing feature, which requires you to install a USB thumb drive in the rear USB port with a minimum capacity of 16 GB. Note that the USB stick will be formatted before it can be used by the printer. This allows you to save or send a print job to the USB stick so you can retrieve and print it at the machine. It’s useful for sensitive or restricted access documents that you don’t want to print immediately from your compuer, if the printer is in a public area. You can even set a pin number to secure each job, and whoever is printing needs to enter that unique password at the machine in order to initiate printing of that job.

There are a whole lot of other features baked into this printer that I would cover, but I don't want this review to be too long, but two interesting ones are cartridge policy and cartridge protection. Cartridge policy is a setting that restricts the printer to using only genuine HP cartridges, which have microchips that the machine uses to identify them as genuine. If this feature is on, that means you won’t be able to use aftermarket or third party cartridges, even if they are compatible with the machine because you have concerns with their quality or just prefer to use HP products. So if you buy third party cartridges and find that the printer won’t recognize them, check to make sure first that this setting is turned off. The cartridge protection feature, when enabled, permanently marks all subsequently installed cartridges as protected and associates them with the printer, or printer group, and so that the cartridges cannot be used elsewhere. The idea is to deter theft of the cartridges as each genuine toner cartridge can be quite expensive. Both features are off by default. And just for reference, the black cartridge is good for about 2400 pages of prints and the color cartridges about 2100 pages each which comes out to about 3-4 cents per page. You can also print pre-saved "forms" like checklists, music paper, graph paper, and ruled paper from the control panel.

Overall, this printer is a real powerhouse when it comes to home and home office printing. It’s great for small businesses or if you have heavy printing needs that require both black and white and color prints. The prints are fast and high quality with great color reproduction and accuracy and you can do all your printing, scanning, and copying at the machine with or without a computer and have any number of options to save, store, or send digital files of your documents at the touch of a button.

Buy it at Amazon: HP ColorJet Pro M479fdw Color Laser Multi-function Printer [Affiliate Link]

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