See our Law Technology Buyer's Guide for our top technology recommendations.
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.
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)