HP Launches New Space-Saving SMB Color Laser Printers

By Pedro Hernandez | Posted March 12, 2015

Today's small and midsized business (SMB) workers toil away in cramped quarters, if they're even in the office at all.

"In fact, just in the last five years, office space per person has gone down by about 40 percent, which means our devices have to have to be smaller to fit into that space," said Pradeep Jotwani, senior vice president of Hewlett-Packard (HP) LaserJet and Enterprise Solutions, during the unveiling of the company's new color laser printers for SMBs in New York. "So our devices are simply leaner, and they're leaner on a bunch of different facets."

Small Color Laser Printers for Small Business

Arrayed alongside previous models, the new HP Color LaserJet Pro M252 and MFP (multi-function printer) M277 are noticeably smaller, and they sport new eye-catching white enclosures. "They're so small that they actually fit within the shell of their predecessors," added Jotwani. HP not only bested itself in shrinking the office color laser printer by up to 40 percent, it's claiming the industry crown.

While motioning toward the M277, Jotwani called it the "smallest color MFP in the world." Trimmer dimensions notwithstanding, the new Color LaserJet Pro M252 and the MFP M277, along with their big-business cousins, the Color LaserJet Enterprise M552 and M553, HP also broke new ground in terms of performance, energy efficiency, print yields and serviceability, according to company representatives.

HP LaserJet Pro M252 and MFP M277 MFP color laser printers

HP designed the Color LaserJet Pro M252 and MFP M277 small business printers to fit in small office spaces.

HP's ColorSphere 3 toner melts at a lower temperature, resulting in energy savings and shorter waiting times when the new LaserJets emerge from sleep mode. Typically, offices keep their printers completely powered up during work hours to avoid having employees wait around while they warm up. It's convenient, but murder on the power bill.

Now small business workers can "put these devices into sleep mode sooner without taking a performance hit," Troy Browne, marketing manager for HP LaserJet, told Small Business Computing. Printouts start spilling out of the machine in less than 30 seconds after users click or tap the Print button—barely enough time to hit the soda machine before collecting those documents.

HP Toner cartridges with JetIntelligence, a new design with internal mechanisms that continually redistribute the toner within the cartridge, helps office managers wring out the last bit of toner without cracking open the printer's enclosure, shaking its contents and slamming it shut. This, along with new anti-counterfeit features, helps extends the life of the printer, claims HP.

The LaserJet Pro M252dw measures 15.4- by 16.4- by 9.3-inches tall and includes a 3.0-inch touchscreen that provides access to device settings and built-in apps. Plug in a USB drive, and the M252dw can natively print out Microsoft Word and PowerPoint documents. Wireless printing options include Wi-Fi direct printing, HP ePrint, Apple AirPrint, Mopria-compatible apps and NFC-enabled Touch to Print.

Buyers can expect print quality of up to 600 by 600 dpi (dots per inch), and print performance of up to 19 pages per minute, in both color and black. Built-in in Wi-Fi (802.11 b/g/n) and an Ethernet port provide network connectivity.

Measuring a somewhat larger 16.5- by 16.4- by 12.7-inches, the LaserJet Pro MFP M277dw carries over many of the same printing capabilities with the addition of copy, scan and fax. Both printers have duty cycle ratings of up to 30,000 pages per month, although HP recommends that customers keep their print jobs to between 250 to 2,500 pages per month.

HP's new Color LaserJet Pro M252 and MFP M277 printers go on sale in April. Pricing will be announced as their ship date approaches.

Pedro Hernandez is a contributor to the IT Business Edge Network, the network for technology professionals. Previously, he served as a managing editor for the Internet.com network of IT-related websites and as the Green IT curator for GigaOM Pro. Follow him on Twitter @ecoINSITE

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