Review: HP LaserJet Pro 400 Color M451nw

Our score: 3/5
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March 14, 2012 12:20 PM
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Published: March 14, 2012 12:15 PM
By Marine Goy
The HP LaserJet Pro 400 M451nw is a laser colour printer designed for the enterprise sector. It has been designed for teams of around eight users looking for a rapid, economical, wireless solution that's manageable and affordable. Does it deliver?

Hardware

This single function colour machine is clearly designed as an enterprise model. Basic-looking, in two colours, with rounded curves at the front and standard dimensions (40.5 x 45.4 x 32.2 cm for a weight of 23 Kg), its 128 MB will be able to cope with a team of eight people. The memory can be extended up to 384 MB and recommended print volumes are between 750 and 2000 pages. It supports PCL5c, PCL 6 and Postcript 3 as well as all the various operating systems (Mac, PC, Linux). With wi-fi, it also comes with ePrint, which allows you to launch a print straight from your smartphone or tablet. The paper loader contains 50 sheets as standard and a second loader can be added if need be.

IMG 3870
Front of the HP LaserJet Pro 400 Color M41nw

The screen is tiny, as is often the case on pro models. It shows ink levels in its default mode when the machine is turned on. Overall, navigation is fluid and intuitive.

Cartouche(1)

The drawer, accessible from the front panel, contains four easy to access separate cartridges.

Speed

It prints rapidly both in colour and black & white, giving 20 pages per minute (ppm), as announced. Those who want even more rapidity will prefer the Konica Minolta Magicolor 3730DN, a single function colour model that manages up to 25 ppm or the Brother HL-4570CDW, which prints at 30 ppm.

2%2841%29
 Print speeds

Quality

The quality doesn’t disappoint, even for the smallest details. The colour shading is well rendered and the characters perfectly legible.

4%2823%29
 

The colour difference readings given by our sensor average 7.9, with a significant margin on the blues. These colour differences aren‘t really perceptible to the eye and you wouldn’t really notice the difference in the blue if the sensor wasn’t there.
 
Graphde94
Average deltaE 94 (colour difference): 7.9
The higher the value, the lower the accuracy.
For comparison, good screens score under 3.

For an idea of how this HP does with photo prints we scanned our test page. Remember, laser printers are not designed for photo prints and you can see this on the test page below.
 
5%2813%29

Energy consumption & Noise levels

A tad noisy at 52 dB (A), this printer does however have fairly low energy consumption. 350 Watts when printing and 3 Watts in standby are reasonable for a laser.


Cost per page: 14.5 pence

The cost per page of 14.5 pence is higher than on the Konica Minolta Magicolor 3730DN (11.1 pence) and Brother HL-4570CDW (7.7 pence). Compared with the Epson WorkForce Pro WP-4525DNF, which, while an inkjet, offers a capacity of 3400 pages and a cost per page of 3.5 pence (4x times less), the print costs here do make you stop and think.

ISO lifespan for text

Cartridge Price ISO lifespan Cost per page
CE410A (black) £77.30 4000 1.9 pence
CE411A (cyan) £108 2600 4.2 pence
CE412A (magenta) £108 2600 4.2 pence
CE413A (yellow) £108 2600 4.2 pence

3/5 HP LaserJet Pro 400 Color M451nw DigitalVersus 2012-03-14 13:15:00

Pros

  • Good office doc quality
  • Ethernet and wi-fi connectivity
  • ePrint
  • Extendable memory and paper capacities
  • Moderate energy consumption

Cons

  • No double sided
  • High cost per page

Conclusion

Here’s a basic laser printer that does the job when it comes to print speeds and quality. We like being able to extend its capacities according to needs but not having duplex always seems a strange choice on a pro printer.

OUR SCORE 3/5
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