New HP Small Business MFP Supports Mobile Printing

HP is dismantling the last technical barriers that prevent small and midsized business (SMB) workers from printing from their mobile devices.

The company this week launched the HP Color LaserJet Pro MFP M476, the “industry’s first Mopria-certified printer,” boasted the company in a statement. Mopria is a wireless mobile printing standard from Canon, HP, Samsung and Xerox, founding members of the Mopria Alliance.

According to the group, the standard aims to help “make printing from smartphones, tablets and mobile devices even simpler than traditional PC-based printing.” Owners of compatible mobile devices and printers will be able to initiate print jobs with no setup or specialized apps.

David Laing, director of innovation for HP laserJet enterprise solutions, told Small Business Computing, “Android 4.4 [a.k.a., Kit Kat] operating system now supports the Mopria print standard.” Essentially, Google has included the technology in the world’s most popular mobile operating system.

Small Business Printing from the Palm of Your Hand

Since Android holds the lion’s share of the mobile device market, there will be no shortage of support, noted Laing. “The majority of tablets now have an embedded print solution.” However, iPhone and iPad owners won’t feel left out. The multifunction device supports Apple AirPrint, along with HP’s own ePrint technology.

The M476 also supports HP wireless direct printing for businesses that want to provide the convenience of wireless printing, but don’t want to put their networks at risk. Comprised of “a separate, short range Wi-Fi connection,” explained Laing, HP wireless direct printing creates a physically isolated network of sorts that lets people use the printer’s functions and nothing else. “You literally could not hack your way through the network,” assured Laing.

The LaserJet Pro MFP M476 also supports Flow CM Professional, the company’s cloud-based content and document management platform. The device features Box and Google Drive integration, allowing people who use those popular cloud storage services to access and print their online documents.

Other features include NFC support and a 50-sheet, dual-sided single-pass scanner that eliminates the need to flip pages over to capture both sides of a document. A 3.5-inch touch screen offers smartphone-like access to the device’s functions and settings. The M476 prints up to 21 pages per minute (ppm) in black and up to 21 ppm in color.

In a statement, George Brasher, vice president and general manager, of HP’s worldwide laser printer division, said the M476 aligns with the printing needs of today’s mobile-enabled workforces. “The expectation of today’s business customer is to print securely from any location or device.”

Brasher asserted that his company is “committed to delivering simple, secured mobile print solutions aimed to help customers solve the mobility challenge of working while in the office or on the go.” With the new M476 line of printers and their mobile-friendly capabilities, “HP is helping SMBs increase productivity and workflow solutions, allowing them to be more productive in their businesses,” he added.

The HP Color LaserJet Pro MFP M476 goes on sale worldwide on Apr. 1. Prices start at $529.

Pedro Hernandez is a contributing editor at Small Business Computing. Follow him on Twitter @ecoINSITE.

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