Printers are everywhere; we find them in our homes, at our work location, or even in a local coffee shop. As printers have now evolved into all-in-one devices capable of printing, scanning, faxing, and copying, they are essential to any user.

Even in an age where we are moving to a digital world and paper is becoming a thing of the past, documents, and photos are still things we wish to keep physical copies of. Whether the printer is used to print personal photos, send legal documents, or make copies for an upcoming meeting, you need a printer that can hold up to constant usage along with making sure the job is done correctly at the best quality.

For the past few weeks, I have had the opportunity to review the HP Color LaserJet Pro MFP M476dw printer. Focused towards the small to medium business market, the M476dw offers an easy to use functionality along with the ability to print photos/documents at an outstanding quality.

Throughout this review, I will be covering the following topics: the design, functionality, features, and my final thoughts. I would like to thank HP for providing me with the M476dw for this review.

The Design

With its small footprint, the M476dw stands proudly and looks high quality, whether placed on a table or desk. The compact size allows for businesses to rethink their printer location by giving them the option to relocate the printer.

Built using a durable plastic, the M476dw holds up to bumps or bangs that it may encounter in a work environment. The manual paper feeder tray, however, feels a little flimsy to the point where if enough pressure were applied it could break. Another design feature I was not in favor of, was the fact that the paper drawers were not flush with the left hand side black panel. This gives the impression that the paper drawer is not closed fully.

Speaking about the paper locations, the M476dw can hold up to 50 sheets in the multipurpose tray whilst the drawer holds 250 sheets of paper. This is important in a business environment as users would find themselves constantly refilling the device if the number were lower. Optional paper drawers are available through HP.

Moving on, we have the top of the M476dw. From here users can send faxes, make copies, or scans. Surprisingly, the scanner itself has a small design. Something I found to be very useful was the fact that if you scan a large item, like a book, the top tray can be raised to allow for large items to be held down while scanning.

Next, we take a look at the front of the unit where we find the on/off button, a USB 2.0 slot, an NFC pad, and the printer’s user interface display. The USB slot and NFC pad is an excellent addition to this printer as its functionality of printing from a USB flash drive or your phone’s NFC capability is outstanding. Whether you’re on the go or your computer stops working, the two functions offer an easy alternative. It should be noted that the printer does not read MS Word documents. While attempting to print using a USB and having a .docx file, the printer stated it could not read the file. This is something that puts the printer at a disadvantage since most of the world uses MS Word. The 3.5” touch display is where the M476dw really shines. With its easy to use HP interface, the touch display makes things easy with pictures indicating what function you are using. The touchpad does use a pressure touch input, meaning you need to push harder for the device to recognize your action, but I did not find it bothersome at all. Around the black border you’ll find touch buttons for Home, Back, Cancel, and Help.

Finally, we have the matter of paper jams. Although I did not encounter any jams, the M476dw comes apart quite easily. In fact by following the printer’s indications or display, any user could solve the issue on their own without the assistance of their IT department.

The Functionality

When looking to upgrade your old printer, you have to ask yourself what makes this printer stand out from the rest. As I have mentioned in previous HP printer reviews, HP understands the printer market and they understand what is essential for printers.

A must have in businesses, is the fact that you can print, fax, scan, and copy all on one device. This not only cuts back on costs, but negates the necessity of having three or four devices. The M476dw is branded with HP’s MFP meaning multifunction printer. This line of printers meet the needs of nearly all users that encounter the M476dw.

Having a 3.5” touch screen display is another great benefit. I have never been a fan of buttons on a printer and as other HP printers are coming with touch pads, I was pleased to see one with this unit as well. As I mentioned above, the display shows pictures that represent different functions such as USB, scanning, faxes, etc. When using the display, the settings menus are easy to navigate and use; the color display is also a nice benefit. If you would rather scan or copy a document to your PC, HP does offer software that covers your needs whether you’re on a Mac or PC.

When it comes to printing speed, I would say it is at par with standard business printers. Being a LaserJet printer, the speed is quick at around 15 – 20 pages per minute depending on the document. Scanning and copying speeds are similar as it takes only a minute to both copy and print your document.

The M476dw holds four different print cartridges, black, cyan, yellow, and magenta, which in my opinion print excellent colors. The laser technology allows for images to be printed with such fine detail that whilst printing a color wheel you could clearly see the difference between the color palettes of the printer. Both color and black images are shown at 600 x 600 dpi allowing for a crisp and clear photo, and text looks sharp and professional. Lastly, we have the cost of the ink cartridges. This can be a scary point for businesses as ink is not cheap. At around $90 for black and $110 for the three colors, by the second ink change you’ve already reached the original printer cost. Although it may take you quite a while to reach the point of a second cartridge replacement—each cartridge has a ~2700 page rating—it is something to keep in mind.

Moving on, we have the final functions of the printer. Having a wireless 802.11b/g/n and 10/100 LAN port is excellent for businesses as they can choose between wireless or wired. Something the M476dw lacks is onboard storage. The M476dw comes with just 256MB of memory which it uses for the operating system.

The Features

Something I am a huge fan of, is the ability to print from your mobile phone. Users can either use the NFC pad, or the HP ePrint app that allows for on-the-go printing, meaning you can be away from the office and still print! If your IT department allows for the option.

The M476dw shares HP’s dual-head, single-pass scanning that reduces the time standing-around and waiting, thus getting the job done faster and allowing you to get back to work. The scanner also has the ability to send the finished job to the cloud, email, PC, or network folder.

The M476dw is the highest edition of the M476 series and lower models are available to consumers. The M476dw shares outstanding similarities between top tier HP printer models, meaning you get a top tier printer at a lesser cost.

The M476dw has one of my favorite printing features, the ability to print automatic duplex. This saves time and takes the guess work out of printing on two sides of a sheet of paper. The printer also has an advanced feature that allows it to self-calibrate and self-diagnose for excellent prints each and every time.

Finally, you can check out the full specification list including a HP Data Sheet here .

My Final Thoughts

In the end, I would recommend the M476dw to any business looking for an upgrade. At a practical $679.99 price point, I believe you get a lot for your money. You are purchasing a printer that has top tier features, design, and functionality at a sensible price. As ink may be on the expensive side, I would expect prices to lower if more HP printers are shipped with the 312A cartridge. All-in-all I feel confident that the M476dw will meet nearly anybody’s requirements and needs.

Buy it Now:

© 2014