HP Officejet Enterprise Color X555dn review
HP’s Officejet Enterprise Color X555dn offers an interesting alternative to a laser printer. Businesses looking for fast printers have traditionally had no other choice, but HP’s A4 inkjet aims to change that, with spritely 70ppm print speeds and laser-beating running costs.
Costing only £449, the X555dn is considerably more affordable than similarly specified laser printers. It’s also markedly more compact, with a 533 x 399mm footprint and 23kg chassis that fit comfortably on a desk. Power consumption is another major plus point: the X555dn is far more energy-efficient than a laser. Using an in-line power meter, the highest draw we registered during printing was a mere 62W.
It isn’t short on capacity, either. The X555dn comes with a single 500-sheet input tray and a 300-sheet output bin at the top. There’s a flip-out 50-page multipurpose tray at the side, and capacity can be increased with an optional 500-sheet lower tray that costs £144.
HP Officejet Enterprise Color X555dn review: new tech
The X555dn achieves its laser-rivalling print speeds using HP’s PageWide technology. Instead of using a traditional inkjet carriage that moves across the page, it has a full-width print head with more than 42,000 nozzles.
Ink is supplied by four chunky ink cartridges located behind a pop-down panel at the front. The printer ships with half-empty starter cartridges, but standard black and colour cartridges last for 10,000 pages and 6,600 pages respectively, and provide ultra-low running costs of only 0.84p for mono and 4.2p for colour.
One other consumable is an ink-collection unit. Costing £25, HP doesn’t quote an expected page life, but we suspect it will last some time before expiring: after printing 300 pages during testing, its lifespan counter in the web interface hadn’t dropped by even one percentage point.
It’s easy to get started. HP’s installation utility registers the printer with HP’s Connected service and, once enabled, it prints a unique code that you enter before assigning an email address to the printer. Remote workers can then email documents directly to the printer; access controls in the HP Connected interface allow you to decide whether colour or mono output is allowed for remote users.
HP’s ePrint driver can also be registered with HP Connected, which allows remote users to print to the X555dn natively from any application. Google Cloud Print and Apple AirPrint are supported, too, and both worked without trouble during our testing.
It’s disappointing that the X555dn doesn’t support wireless straight out of the box, however. HP’s JetDirect 2700w 802.11n adapter costs £37 and slots into the USB 2 port on the print server card.
HP Officejet Enterprise Color X555dn review: performance
We found print speeds to be entirely dependent on the driver setting and document type. In our tests, we achieved the claimed top speed of 70ppm, only for text documents printed using the 300dpi General Office setting. With this selected, our 70-page Word document blasted into the output tray in 58 seconds. On the same setting, our 24-page DTP document, with its large colour photos and graphics, slowed the pace down to 48ppm.
The Professional driver setting boosts resolution to 600 x 600dpi, but this saw the X555dn print the Word document at 40ppm and the DTP document at 30ppm. The time to first page was never more than 12 seconds in any of the tests, but we noticed the printer slowing down when it encountered colour pages.
Print quality is inconsistent. Text printed at 300dpi looked grainy, but selecting the 1,200 x 600dpi Presentation setting sharpened it to near-laser quality. Mono photos were also noticeably sharper at the higher quality setting, and we observed good levels of detail in darker areas. Prints of our test chart showed smooth transitions across complex colour fades, and colour graphs and pie charts looked bold and punchy. Photos were disappointing, however: our test images emerged looking murky with poor contrast.
You also need to choose your paper carefully. Prints of full-page colour photos and graphics on the bundled HP Everyday paper came out with curled edges. Not surprisingly, premium paper produced far superior results, but this will drastically increase running costs.
Although not without quirks, this giant-sized inkjet trounces similarly priced lasers for speed and running costs. Colour quality does take a dive, but as a high-speed workhorse for office use, the HP Officejet Enterprise Color X555dn is a capable, keenly priced alternative to a laser.
|Resolution printer final||600 x 600dpi|
|Rated/quoted print speed||70PPM|
|Cost per A4 mono page||0.8p|
|Cost per A4 colour page||4.2p|
Power and noise
|Dimensions||533 x 399 x 470mm (WDH)|
|Mono print speed (measured)||70.0ppm|
|Colour print speed||48.0ppm|
|Input tray capacity||500 sheets|
|Output tray capacity||300 sheets|
|Operating system Windows 7 supported?||yes|
|Operating system Windows Vista supported?||yes|
|Operating system Windows XP supported?||yes|
|Other operating system support||Windows 8 and 8.1|