HP LaserJet Pro 400 M401DW Printer Review

hewlett-packard-printer-laserjet-M401DW

Even if you have a paperless law office, you still need a quality printer to generate documents.

Solo attorneys have a tendency to buy the cheapest tech they can find—like inkjets—which is a huge mistake.

Spend the extra money and get yourself a Hewlett Packard M401DW Laserjet Pro. It’s worth every penny.

What I like about the printer

Almost everything. This is one slick machine.

First and foremost, the print quality is great. The Hewlett Packard M401DW prints at up to 1200 x 1200 dpi. I could break that down technically, but suffice to say that things look good. My previous printer was 600 x 600 dpi, and this one produces noticeably better documents. To be fair, I don’t print anything involving graphics, so you may want to investigate that further if graphics are critical to your practice. It’s also monochrome—so if you need color then look elsewhere.

Second, this thing prints fast—like super fast—without any noticeable reduction in quality. My old laser printer was 20 pages per minute, this puppy screams at up to 35 pages per minute. Most of the time, the pages are literally hot off the presses (which can be annoying at times). When you are printing documents that are more than two or three pages long, you will absolutely notice the difference in speed. In addition, it warms up in less than ten seconds.

The Hewlett Packard M401DW also has wireless capabilities, which is really nice for someone like me that uses a MacBook Pro and a Thunderbolt display. If necessary, a client or another attorney can print directly from their computer. As an added bonus, it also supports printing from an iPhone or an iPad. It’s literally as simple as hitting print. I doubt I will use that feature often, but it’s nice to know that it works. It also offers duplex printing if you’re trying to save trees.

The physical size of the printer will not overwhelm your office. It’s about 14″ x 14″ by 10″—it comfortable fits on a small table or end table. I wish it was a bit smaller, but it’s small enough for a one-room office.

The printer retails for around $450, but you can grab it on Amazon for around $260.

What I don’t like about the printer

My biggest complaint is the touchscreen interface. It’s placed in an awkward spot—you have to reach towards the rear of the printer to use it. When you are using it, you will yearn for the touchscreen on your iPhone. You have to push really really hard for your input to register on the screen.

Given it’s relatively small size, it’s just an awkward experience. On the upside, I’ve only had to use it once—to find my wireless network and enter the password.

The other concern with the touchscreen is that it is allegedly quite fragile. A very common complaint in user reviews on Amazon is that the screen breaks off at the first sign of trouble. To be fair, I’ve bumped it quite a few times and it’s held up just fine. But it is something to be cognizant of.

Who should buy it

An attorney who needs a reliable and affordable laser printer. For the price, it offers high quality, fast output, and lots of nice features.

Score

Hewlett Packard M401DW Laserjet Pro

Reviewed by Randall Ryder on .

Summary: The Hewlett Packard M401DW Laserjet Pro is a great printer for a solo attorney or a small law office. It offers high resolution, fast output, and wireless printing for computers, tablets, and phones.

Overall score: 4.5 (out of 5)

Legal Technology

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  • john_d

    You left out the most important part of the review: how much does it cost per page?

    • http://consumerlawyer.mn/cgi-sys/suspendedpage.cgi Randall Ryder

      I’m not sure what you are asking, or how to answer it. Can you be more specific?

      • john_d

        Cost per page = (Price of new toner cartridge / Number of pages per cartridge)

        Toner is the major expense of a printer. If this thing even uses one-half-of-a-cent more toner per page than the competition (and because of its beautiful 1200 x 1200 resolution, it probably does), it’ll be $50 more expensive for every 10,000 sheets.

    • http://lawyerist.com/author/samglover/ Sam Glover

      Randall does not understand your arcane concept of currency.

      The HP LaserJet Pro 400 M401DW takes the HP 80X toner cartridge, which is $157 on Amazon, at the moment. It says to expect 6,900 pages from that, which works out to about $.023 per page. With the regular 80A toner cartridge, it’s more like $.036 per page.

      • http://consumerlawyer.mn/cgi-sys/suspendedpage.cgi Randall Ryder

        Valid point, I neglected to explain that I had investigated the cost of toner prior to purchasing the printer.

        My previous printer was 600 x 600 dpi, and toner cartridges were around $80 with a 2,000 page yield. In terms of cost per page, this printer is about half of my previous printer.

        In comparison to other printers on the market, I don’t think it’s very helpful to simply compare the cost per page. This printer has options (like wireless printing from almost anything) that most comparable printers do not have.

        I hope that helps answer your question and adds to the review.

  • John

    I bought this printer. Very nice. It is very fast, can print on both sides if you want to, easy set up. The print is a bit heavy and dark for me, so I set it to econosave. The goofy arm that sticks up in the air for the touchscreen is weak. An obvious design flaw, but you can store it in the down position out of the way. And I never need to use it anyway. Add is with a scan snap scanner and you are good to go.