User Rating: Excellent
Ease of Use:
Pros:High quality machine, fast, great specs, reasonably priced.
Cons:Software interface needs work. Machine could use some design tweaks.
The Bottom Line: Best specs for the price. Great machine. Software interface needs work.
I am a tech-savvy computer user with a home office. I always bought HP printers, starting with LaserJet 4. My latest HP was their under-$200 3-in-1(printer/copier/fax), the HP 7210. Having a 3-in-1 machine is great for a home office. The 7210 kept breaking down, so I decided to upgrade. Also, I believe they sell the sub-$200 cheap machines at a loss to get you to buy their expensive toner cartridges. I can't afford the downtime of a broken machine. Plus, you get much better print quality and reliability with a laser printer over a jet printer.
Recommend this product?
I decided to buy an office-grade machine for around $500 - $700. I looked at Canon, Brother, and Lexmark. HP lost my respect, so they were out of the running. I did significant research, and I live by user reviews. Lexmark seemed to get the best reviews. Canon came in second, and Brother the underdog.
I picked this model because it had the best specs in my price range and had the best reviews. It does 25 ppm BW and Color, which is almost the fastest machine on the market. It has a 50-sheet autofeeder. It also scans to PDF file format. The 544 "N" model is their network model, which works on my peer-to-peer home network by connecting to my router. You should get a network model if you have several users printing often, which my family does.
The machine itself is high quality. The front panel interface is clean and professional. The autofeeder is fast and has not clogged yet. Overall, it's a great machine.
I do have some issues with it, however. First, the user software needs some work. The installation took a couple of tries before it would work. I had to download the latest version from their website. Their software user interface consists of a browser interface for settings, a scan utility, and a fax printer. It would be nice to have a single unified software interface for all of the printer's functionality.
The scan utility is a bit redundant. First you must set all your scan details in one program, then the twain driver program comes up and you must confirm all your settings, which is distracting. Although, it does have a nice feature where you can remember settings, including file destination, and name them, so I have one setting for scanning receipts, another for business cards, etc.
The printer is designed for a network office environment, so using it individually requires some adaptations. For instance, scanning from the glass or using manual load (required for envelopes), you must press "#1" then "OK" on the machine before it will print or scan. I would like to see a programmable profile for individual users. The software can program almost any other setting you can think of.
My other complaints are that the output tray is in the back of the machine. While it takes up less counter space this way, I must get up out of my chair any time I want to get my print output. Putting it on the side or top would be better. Also, I purchased the extra tray because I print alot of letters, so I wanted 1 tray for paper and 1 tray for envelopes. Their sales material made it sound like I could do that. However, for #10 envelopes, you must always manually feed, so I returned the optional second tray. I don't see why the optional second tray can't be designed for the most common type of envelope.
I won't know for a year or so if the machine is as high quality as it seems. From the other reviews I read, it should be.
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Amount Paid (US$): 538
Operating System: Windows