HP PageWide Pro 577dw Multifunction Printer Review-2 - Page 2

By Ted Needleman | Posted April 28, 2016

HP PageWide Pro 577dw MFP Review: Print Speed & Image Quality

The PageWide Pro 577dw excels at both output quality and speed. You can choose from four output quality settings—but you have to find them first (it should be easier). You have to go to Printer Properties and look under the second tab to find the quality settings: General Office, Professional, Presentation, and Maximum DPI.

You'll have to play with the settings to determine which one you want to use for everyday use, but the difference in print quality isn’t all that obvious unless you do a side-by-side comparison of the same document printed at the different settings. For most office printing, the General Office setting will more than suffice.

We conducted performance testing using the General Office setting (which gives the fastest speed) and again using the Maximum DPI setting (which slows the speed down considerably). We use multiple runs of the Word and Excel documents used in the standard ISO test protocol, though we don’t perform the entire ISO test Suite or full testing protocol which is what the printer vendors use to make their speed claims.

HP states the PageWide Pro 577dw can print at up to 70 ppm in monochrome. We don’t test in monochrome, and the Word document has a small color logo, which slows things down a bit, while the Excel document has lots of color, which slows things down even further.

In our Word test, the 577dw turned in an average speed of 66 ppm with the driver set to General Office, while the Excel document slowed things down to 30 ppm. At the Maximum DPI driver setting, speeds averaged 22 ppm for the Word document and 21 ppm for the Excel document.

HP PageWide Pro 577dw MFP review

The HP PageWide Pro 577dw MFP control panel.

Translation: excellent performance. You'll also see this speed reflected when you use the PageWide Pro 577dw in copy mode. The copy function in many inkjet MFPs is suitable only for the occasional copy or two—when you don’t mind waiting. But you can actually use the 577dw as a copier, even for long copy runs.

Our image-quality tests provided a bit of a mixed bag. On ordinary copy paper, colors were washed out. That improved markedly when we switched to HP Presentation Paper and changed the print driver setting to Presentation. This combination slowed the MFP appreciably, but image quality improved to where we would use the output for business brochures or flyers.

And while HP makes no claims about the PageWide Pro 577dw’s capability as a photo printer, printing the test images at the highest resolution on Red River Premium Glossy Photo Paper resulted in spot-on color and accurate saturation. It’s not a photo printer, but with the right paper it can produce acceptable photo quality.

HP PageWide Pro 577dw MFP Review: A High-volume Printer

If your small business has fairly modest print needs, the PageWide Pro 577dw is not designed for you. The printer's General mode boasts fast speed and a recommended print volume of 1,000 to 6,000 pages a month. The extra high yield ink cartridges and the extra paper drawers make very long print-or-copy runs possible—and they won’t keep you waiting anxiously for them to finish.

These capabilities make the 577dw a very practical choice for workgroups or departments. HP adds value with its JetAdvantage capabilities, one of which lets you print to the cloud and then download the print job at the MFP with a release code. This maintains document privacy and security.

Don’t be scared off by the price of the printer. And while the cartridges might seem a bit expensive, the cost-per-page is not. HP estimates monochrome printing cost slightly more than a penny a page and color pages cost less than seven cents.

If your business handles a lot of printing, scanning, copying, and faxing, the somewhat steep upfront acquisition cost of the PageWide Pro 577dw is a very good investment.

em>Ted Needleman published his first review in 1978. Since then, he has written several thousand hardware and software reviews, columns, articles on using technology, and two books. He has no intention of stopping any time soon.

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