Much like the similarly priced Samsung CLX-4195FW that I reviewed back in October of last year, the HP LaserJet Pro 200 color MFP M276nw delivers most of the basics that you're probably looking for in a colour laser MFP, but also goes beyond those basics. It even offers some of the same key extras, including, for example, a 3.5in colour touchscreen backed up by well-designed menus that make it easy to give commands from the front panel. Its low paper capacity limits it to light duty use, but if light duty is all you need, it can be a good fit.
The bad news first: When I reviewed the Samsung CLX-4195FW, I pointed out that it was a little weak on paper handling. The M276nw's paper handling is even less impressive. Like the Samsung printer, the M276nw lacks both a duplexer (for two-sided printing) and any paper handling options. However, it also lacks a manual feed capability, and it's limited to a lower paper capacity, at just 150 sheets.
A 150-sheet capacity is generally enough for personal use, but the M276nw is big for a personal printer, measuring 450 x 475 x 415mm (WxDxH), and weighing in at 23.5kg. The size alone makes it more appropriate as a shared printer, and indeed, with both Ethernet and Wi-Fi it's easy to connect to a network for sharing. In that context, a 150-sheet capacity is meagre at best, and it limits the M276nw to light duty use even by micro office standards. If that's sufficient for your needs, however, the M276nw delivers lots of attractive features otherwise.
The M276nw offers a full set of basic MFP functions, like the ability to print and fax from as well as scan to a PC, including over a network, and the ability to work as a standalone copier and fax machine. It can also both print from and scan to a USB memory stick, and it supports a variety of mobile print applications as well as HP's online print apps.
If you connect the M276nw to a network, you can print to it through the cloud with HP ePrint, print to it over a Wi-Fi connection using Apple AirPrint or HP's own mobile print app, or use the front panel touchscreen to print using HP's online apps. And because the printer also supports a Wireless Direct connection – HP's variation on Wi-Fi direct – even if it's not on a network, you can connect to it directly from a smartphone, laptop, or tablet to print wirelessly.
One other key feature is the 35-page automatic document feeder (ADF). As is typical for an office-centric printer, the ADF supplements a letter-size flatbed and lets you scan multipage documents.
For my tests, I connected the M276nw to a wired network and installed the driver on a Windows Vista system. Setup was typical for the breed. On our business applications suite (using QualityLogic's hardware and software for timing) I clocked it at an unimpressive 3.3 pages per minute (ppm), which makes it slower than a fast inkjet.
In comparison, the Samsung CLX-4195FW came in at 6.0 ppm, and the Dell 1355cnw Multifunction Color Printer managed 4.5 ppm. (While Dell no longer sells the 1355cnw directly, as of the publication date of this article, the printer can still be found for sale with some online retailers).
Partly making up for the M276nw's lacklustre speed is its better than par overall output quality, thanks mostly to text quality. The text is in the top tier for colour laser MFPs, which makes it easily good enough for virtually any business requirement, even in offices with an unusual need for small fonts. Most people would also consider the quality suitable for most desktop publishing applications.
Graphics and photo quality are both dead on par for a colour laser MFP. For graphics, that translates to being easily good enough for PowerPoint hand-outs or the like, or even output going to important customers or clients when you want to convey a subtext of being fully professional.
Depending on your level of perfectionism, you may consider text, graphics, and photos all suitable for marketing materials like trifold brochures or one page hand-outs.
The low paper capacity makes the HP LaserJet Pro 200 color MFP M276nw a poor choice if you expect to print a lot of pages. However, the printer also offers better than par output quality and a wealth of conveniences, from its touchscreen to its Wireless Direct feature that lets you connect to it easily from a smartphone or tablet. Given sufficiently light duty print needs – including copies and incoming faxes – the balance of features is enough to make this device a reasonable choice.
Manufacturer and Model
HP LaserJet Pro 200 color MFP M276nw
Laser, Copier, Fax
Direct Printing from Cameras
Rated Speed at Default Settings (Mono)
Rated Speed at Default Settings (Colour)
Colour or Monochrome
Manual with guidance
Technology (for laser category only)
USB, Ethernet, Wireless