Now that the Officejet Pro X is available, what’s it like?

Christine Dunne
Mar 18, 2013

Part five: Overall experience

Over the last month or so, I have blogged about my experience using HP’s new Officejet Pro X576dw MFP; I’ve also discussed my colleagues’ first impressions of the new page-wide inkjet device. The purpose of this activity has been to evaluate what it’s like using the device day-to-day in a typical office–not to provide a technical review of the product.

Officejet Pro X576dw

On the whole, my colleagues and I have been very happy with our experience of the MFP. Not only was the device easy to handle, unpack, set up, and use, but it is delivering output at the level we require for more than 10 users. Granted, most of these users are not printing every day, but it has been reassuring to find that the X576dw can function perfectly well as a primary print device in our environment.

The purpose of this fifth and final blog post is to provide an overview of InfoTrends’ experience using the MFP. We will highlight what we consider to be the key advantages of the product as well as some areas where things could perhaps be improved a little.

Setup is simple

It was very easy to set up the device, from the moment we unpacked it to the moment we finished installing the device drivers. One key advantage over many laser devices is the ease with which the cartridges can be inserted and replaced. The ink cartridge door is right in the front of the device and the cartridges pop right out and slide right in. When my colleague Cathy and I had to change the cyan toner in our HP LaserJet 4600 single-function printer the process was not so intuitive or simple.

The Officejet Pro X576dw's cartridge door

While I did have some trouble creating a Web Services account initially (I received error messages from the server), I would expect HP’s tech team to work out this kink.

The device is user-friendly

I also found it very easy to use all of the device’s functions, including printing from a PC, printing from a smartphone, printing from cloud apps, printing from a USB drive, scanning to a PC, scanning to a USB drive, scanning to email, scanning to a network folder, and copying. I especially appreciated the simplicity of printing from my smartphone as well as the usability of the touchscreen. One suggestion, however, is that HP pre-install more business-focused print apps on the device itself and continue to develop a larger number of business-focused print apps in general.

Text quality is comparable with laser devices

All of my colleagues who tested out the Officejet Pro X576dw thought the text quality of the device’s output is comparable with laser devices; some even said they couldn’t tell that the output was inkjet and not laser. With many office customers continuing to believe that laser devices produce crisper and clearer black text, these observations are powerful.

Color output is acceptable

While some colleagues thought the Officejet Pro X576dw produced better color output than our HP LaserJet 4600 single-function printer, other colleagues noted that the paper can curl when printing a full color page due to increased moisture levels. Nevertheless, it is important to remember that both ink and laser have certain inherent issues that can result in page curl. We also noticed that color output looks best on ColorLok paper (as opposed to plain office paper or specialty stocks) in professional or presentation mode.

Device is speedy

Colleagues were impressed by the print speed of the device as well as its first page out time. While the device is capable of printing up to 70 pages in general office mode, most colleagues highlighted the fact their print job had already completed when they arrived in the copy room. While one colleague said the device was a bit slow for printing a 217-page PDF document, it must be acknowledged most users will not be printing documents of this length.

Device is attractive and quiet

Some colleagues also lauded the design of the device (including one who called the color “sleek Ninja black”), while others said they appreciated its lack of noise (they were standing by the device at the time–as it’s in a separate copy room noise isn’t generally an issue anyhow).

Conclusion

To date my colleagues and I are satisfied with the Officejet Pro X; what remains to be seen is whether they will continue to print on this device or return to the HP LaserJet devices they are most familiar with. I intend to continue using the inkjet device as a sort of long-term test of reliability. Perhaps the ink costs of the MFP–which HP says are half that of comparable laser devices– will eventually have some impact on whether my company encourages us to use this device or the laser devices in the office. According to our recently completed primary research study, Is Inkjet Printing Technology Ready to Transform the Office Printing Environment?, lower supplies/running costs is a top reason U.S. laser device users switch over to a business inkjet product.

Why did you choose an inkjet device versus a laser printing device? (Top responses)

Source: Is Inkjet Printing Technology Ready to Transform the Office Printing Environment?

At this stage, we know that the MFP delivers similar levels of performance (or better in some areas like print speed and time to first page out) as our current laser devices–a key requirement for users to switch over to inkjet technology according to InfoTrends research. In fact, my colleagues and I decided to give the printer a “9” out of “10,” which makes us “net promoters.” We would happily recommend this business inkjet device to a friend or colleague. Of course, this score does not really take into account the Officejet Pro X’s low running costs as we haven’t had to pay for the ink–at least not yet!

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