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The Best Small Color Laser Printer from HP
December 22, 2019
If you regularly print documents from your home printer, you know how important it is to have a dependable one. After all, nobody wants to deal with the issues that arise from a subpar printer: smudged ink, paper jams, and failed print jobs just to name a few of the frustrations. Plus, when you’re printing out important documents, you want the results to be worthy of displaying or sending out to clients. Laser printers offer users the ability to enjoy incredibly crisp text.
Below, we’ll look into why laser printers are a great home printing device and which model from the HP Store might be right for you.
How does a laser printer work?
Laser printers use very advanced printing technology to produce impressive printouts. But how do they actually work?
Believe it or not, the advanced mechanics behind a laser printer has its origins in a jerry-rigged photocopier. In fact, photocopiers and laser printers share much of the same basic technology. Laser printers print by “writing” with a beam of light. That sounds like science fiction but it’s the basic science behind how these technologically-advanced printers work .
When you press “print” to get a document printout, your computer sends data to your laser printer. An electronic circuit in the laser printer determines how to arrange the data on the page.
Then, the circuit activates the corona wire which gives the surrounding area a static charge. The corona wire charges the photoreceptor drum so it acquires a positive charge that is universally applied to its surface. Simultaneously, the circuit activates the laser which draws a reproduction of the page onto the drum. The laser beam isn’t moving to create the image; instead, it’s reflected from a mirror that moves and scans the laser on the drum.
At the points where the drum is hit with the laser beam, it replaces the positive charge with a negative charge. By this method, the image is created on the drum. Where the page has a positive charge, the page is white. Where the page is black, there are areas of negative charge.
An ink roller touching the photoreceptor drum coats it with tiny particles of powdered ink (toner). The toner, which had been given a positive electrical charge, sticks to the areas of the drum that have a negative charge. No ink is attracted to the areas on the drum with a positive charge. An inked image is created on the drum through this process.
Then, a sheet of paper from the hopper on the other side of the printer goes up to the drum. As it moves along, the paper is given a strong positive electrical charge by another corona wire.
When the paper is fed into the drum, the positive charge attracts the negatively charged toner particles away from the drum. The image is transferred from the drum onto the paper but at the moment of transferal, the toner particles are just resting lightly on the paper’s surface.
The inked paper passes through two hot rollers which together are called the fuser unit. The heat and pressure from the rollers fuse the toner particles permanently into the fibers of the paper.
Finally, the printer delivers your finished printout. Because of the final step through the fuser unit, the paper will feel slightly warm to the touch.
Why invest in a laser printer?
If you’re shopping for a printer, you’ll need to make a choice between two major printing technologies: laser and inkjet. Laser printers are typically a bigger investment compared to inkjet printers . However, you should weigh the cost of the printer in comparison to your overall page yield, ongoing operational costs, energy efficiency, and the quality of your printouts. If you have a cost-effective printer but you’re constantly reprinting documents due to poor quality, you’re losing money through wasted supplies and resources.
On the other hand, if you choose a higher quality but a more expensive printer, you might pay more upfront but enjoy larger savings over the lifespan of the device. Better still, consistent results mean less time and resources go to reprints. In most cases, it makes more sense to choose a higher-quality printer.
In terms of printing technologies, laser printers are faster and more precise. This is because a laser can produce far more accurate lines in contrast to a jet of ink in an inkjet printer. Compared to the printhead in an inkjet printer, a laser can move very quickly - much more quickly than a printhead can move from side to side. Plus, because a laser is unchanging, it can draw more accurately without extra ink bleeding out and creating smudged, inaccurate lines.
The main drawback of a laser printer is that toner replacement cartridges are typically more expensive than replacement ink cartridges . However, toner lasts longer than an ink cartridge in most cases. In many models, the mechanical design of laser printers are also complemented by advanced processing efficiency so you can expect your laser print jobs out faster than an inkjet printer.
What are the top small color LaserJet printers from HP?
If you’re looking for the right printer to complete your home office, it can be a little overwhelming parsing through all of your options. HP’s family of laser printers are called HP LaserJet printers, top-performing printing devices engineered from top to bottom to deliver unbeatable performance. Below, we’ve gathered some of the best HP LaserJet color printers for home offices.
1. HP Color LaserJet Pro MFP M281fdw printer
If you’re ready to make a splash, the HP Color LaserJet Pro MFP M281fdw printer is the perfect addition to a home office in need of a multifunction color laser printer. With this capable workhorse, you can print, copy, scan, and fax with abandon.
Fast and efficient to keep up with your lifestyle
The HP Color LaserJet Pro MFP M281fdw is the fastest printer in its class for two-sided printing and for the first page out time so you’ll never have to wait around for your print job to finish. Your first page for a black-and-white print job will be ready in as little as 10.3 seconds. And your first color printout will be ready in as little as 11.7 seconds. Invest in a printer that can easily match your pace instead of holding you back from having an incredibly productive day.
But the speed won’t end there. Users will enjoy up to 22 pages per minute (ppm) for black-and-white printing and up to 22 ppm for color printing. But those fast speeds don’t mean you’re sacrificing quality in the name of expediency. Embrace a print resolution of up to 600 dots per inch (dpi) for both black-and-white and color printing so you can breathe life into all of your color images and other essential print jobs.
With a 250-page input tray and a 100-page output bin, this printer makes quick work of your higher volume home printing needs. Plus, a monthly duty cycle of up to 40,000 pages means there’s virtually no limit to what your printer can withstand.
A multi-function printer is useless if you can’t figure out how to leverage all of its different capabilities. But with the HP Color LaserJet Pro MFP M281fdw, you’ll never have to worry about deciphering a complex, hard-to-use menu.
This device boasts a 2.7-inch graphic color touch screen that allows you to easily switch functions on your printer. Seamlessly transition from copying to printing or scanning to faxing with a few touches. Simplify your printing experience and regain mastery over your to-do list once and for all.
Multiple printing abilities that complement a variety of needs
Scan digital files directly to your email or network folder and print out documents straight from a USB drive for absolute convenience.
HP voice-activated printing means your HP Color LaserJet Pro MFP M281fdw works with your smart devices such as Amazon Alexa, Google Assistant, and Microsoft Cortana. Automatic two-sided printing saves resources and saves you precious time.
Choose optional high yield cartridges so you can waste less time replacing toner and focus more on getting through your various tasks. And seamlessly recycle through the HP Plant Partners program.
Security options to protect your personal information
One of the best aspects of this printer is its premium security features built to defend your devices from cyber attacks and malicious files. This amazing device is one step ahead of malware and helps detect, stop, and alert you of security breaches. This printer also comes with write-protected memory to help stop malware. In the modern world, security is hard to come by but the HP Color LaserJet Pro MFP M281fdw delivers the peace-of-mind you didn’t even know you were missing.
Convenient and fast setup
A simple setup means you can start printing, copying, and scanning almost immediately. The HP Smart app guides you seamlessly through the setup process so you can make headway on your to-do list rather than spending time deciphering complex setup instructions.
2. HP Color LaserJet Pro M254dw printer
Although this is a print-only device, the HP Color LaserJet Pro M254dw printer is at home in virtually any office. It’s the perfect answer for users who are looking for a basic printing device that delivers anything but basic results.
Fits your lifestyle
If you have Amazon Alexa, Google Assistant, or Microsoft Cortana, this device is capable of HP voice-activated printing. Your print job can be as simple as a command. An easy-to-use touch screen allows you to manage your printing tasks and get the perfect results every single time.
Quality to match a professional home office
If you’re a remote worker, it’s still critical to have access to a printing device that you can depend on for professional results. Sales contracts, marketing materials, and other business-critical documents require a capable printer and the HP Color LaserJet Pro M254dw delivers.
Enjoy up to 22 pages per minute (ppm) for black-and-white printing and up to 22 ppm for color printing. If you choose to print two-sided, you can expect up to 12 ppm for your black-and-white printouts and up to 12 pages per minute for your color printouts.
And this device doesn’t skimp on detail and quality - users can expect up to 600 dpi for both color and black-and-white prints.
Printing options for a better printing experience
The HP Color LaserJet Pro M254dw printer boasts a range of printing options such as automatic two-sided printing, wireless printing, Ethernet networking, Wireless direct printing, HP ePrint, Apple AirPrint, Mopria-certified printing, and Google Cloud Print. Whether you’re at home or on-the-go, you won’t have to deal with any interruptions to your productivity. Simply press “print” and keep going.
Supports a variety of media
Easily print on a variety of different types of paper including bond, brochure, colored, glossy, heavy, letterhead, light, photo, plain, preprinted, pre-punched, recycled, rough, transparencies, labels, envelopes, or cardstock.
With a recommended monthly page volume of 150 to 2500 pages, you’ll have plenty of breathing room to print out your necessary documents.
The right printer for you
When you’re setting up your home office, every device you buy should enhance your productivity. Your printer is an essential aspect of your work life, after all, it’s how you produce important, professional business documents.
HP Store is ready to provide you with a printer that can easily serve your home office needs and help you make the most of your day. Whether you need an enterprise-level HP LaserJet printer that can easily stand up to a day of heavy use among a big team or you’re a remote worker simply looking for a way to produce quality documents, HP Store is ready to help.
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- The 3 Best HP All-in-One Color Laser Printers
About the Author: Michelle Wilson is a contributing writer for HP® Tech Takes. Michelle is a content creation specialist writing for a variety of industries, including tech trends and media news.
 How Stuff Works; How Laser Printers Work
 Explain that Stuff; Laser printers