HP LaserJet Pro 400 M401dw review
By Robin Morris | PC Advisor | Published: 17:30, 18 September 2012
The LaserJet Pro 400’s black casing makes it look more like a home model, an impression reinforced by the 3.5in touchscreen. The latter sits on a long stalk and hovers over the printer like a robot's eyeball, but helps the user experience. It isn't very responsive, and lacks the fancy visuals of the best Lexmarks but is more intuitive than a button interface.
The printer has an elegant sloping line on the front, and, when combined with the optional 500-sheet tray, flows continuously into the bottom left corner - a nice visual touch. A capacious 250-sheet tray is standard. When combined with the 50-sheet, this amounts to 300 pages, a potential 800 pages in all. The monthly duty cycle of 50,000 pages is handy too.
The M401dw is the most expensive of the models in the line. The M401dw, M401dn and M401n all include a gigabit ethernet port, although only the M401dw offers wireless networking. The M401dn is well worth considering for businesses not using wireless, saving £55.
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The M401n is only around £180, but exchanges the 3.5in touchscreen for a basic two-line LCD. Where the M401dw and M401dn have 256MB memory and auto-duplexing, the cheaper M401n has just 128MB and manual duplexing.
It also does without Walk-Up USB – a nice feature that allows users to plug in a USB drive and print files directly. All three models support a wide range of printer languages, from PCL5e and PCL6 to PostScript 3 emulation. Up to 84 scalable TrueType fonts are supported.
The HP is mono-only, but it delivers good speed, turning out a 10-page test document at a fast rate of 26.1 pages per minute.
The text is of very good quality, with beautifully defined characters. It's not the thickest of output, but it is extremely easy to read.
The speed drops by almost half (to 13.6ppm) when auto duplexing is turned on. This is still a good turn of speed, however, and may be enough to make users happy to stick with the paper-saving double-sided option.
The HP isn't shabby when it comes to graphics, showing a reasonable depth of grayscale. In all honesty, you aren't going to be buying this for graphics, but it can still make a decent job of presentations when called upon. The HP 80X LaserJet cartridge costs around £120 online, but these are specified for 6900 pages. This suggests running costs of around 1.7p a page.
That 1.7p is actually very decent for such a printer, if not as cheap as the Kyocera Mita FS-1320D.