HP Officejet Pro X576dw: Printer review and how to set-up for business

Startups reviews the world record-breaking inkjet printer offering from HP and guides you through the set-up process

Overall rating: 4/5

A super-speedy, efficient and quality printer but the cost makes it a substantial investment

Company name: HP
Printer model: Officejet Pro X576dw
Average cost: £680
Ink cartridge costs:

No. Product Price incl. VAT Yield
970XL HP 970XL Black Officejet Ink Cartridge £96.99 9200
970XL HP 971XL Cyan/Magenta/Yellow Officejet Ink Cartridge £94.99 6600
970 HP 970 Black Officejet Ink Cartridge £63.99 3000
970 HP 971 Cyan/Magenta/Yellow Officejet Ink Cartridge £63.99 2500

About the printer

The office-jet pro range is aimed at the small office and home office space with the x-series specifically aimed at small businesses with three to 15 users. The X576dw uses advanced page-wide technology and the cartridges are high-yield – so particularly suitable for businesses, printing up to 9,200 pages for black ink.

There have been reservations about the quality of inkjet printers in the past but HP claim the X576dw is competitive with laser equivalents as well as being faster and cheaper to run.

Setting up

The HP X576dw is a serious piece of kit. Larger than the average printer most small businesses would purchase it takes two to lift it out of the box! Set-up is straightforward. Written and picture instructions as well as 3D videos (that can be paused, rewound and watched over and over again) make it hard to go wrong. Follow these steps:

  • Once you’re unpacked and switched on, select your country and language and then follow the on-screen guides to setting up ink cartridges and loading your paper.
  • Make sure you use the ‘setup’ ink cartridges initially.
  • The next step is for the printer to ‘initialise’ the cartridges – which can take up to 14 minutes.

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Connecting to your PC

Once your printer’s ready to go, it’s time to sync your PC (or a number of PCs) up (the printer is AirPrint enabled so it is also compatible with Apple devices). After inserting the set-up CD, you are immediately given the option to ‘go online’ and set up. Or, in smaller print, you can select ‘the basic CD installation’.

Just like the paper instructions vs. the touchscreen, it appears HP has all bases covered. If you install online, you’ll be asked to create an online account, which realistically isn’t necessary, so it may be quicker and simpler to just use the CD.

I thought I’d test out online, for the purpose of the review, and had to follow these steps:

  • You are directed to the ePrintCenter where I had to input my details and email address (creating your account).
  • Once you’ve signed your life away, the download (after a few seconds thinking time) begins. If your computer has certain security settings you may get a pop-up preventer that you’ll have to agree to allow.
  • I got the option to ‘run’ or ‘save’; it wasn’t clear which option I should be choosing so I went for the safer of the two, run. It takes a long time to download – you then need to select ‘run’ again for the software (plus lots of tool-bar add-ons) to install. The add-ons and software were a negative, but it’s not specific to HP.
  • Once the download is complete you’ll find a HP shortcut on your desktop. Click and you’ll get four options for connecting your computer to your printer: Wireless, Ethernet cable, USB or connect later.
  • I selected wirelessly (as this will be how most businesses will connect). It didn’t initially connect and I was advised to use the touchscreen and select the ‘wireless’ icon. My status appeared as ‘not connected’.
  • You then need to follow the on-screen instructions (or you can print if you prefer) to establish your wireless connection. First, you need to select ‘wireless setup wizard’.
  • Once you find your network, you’ll need to input your wireless password and you should connect successfully.
  • To check everything’s working you need to reselect the wireless button on the touchscreen – if everything is connected, the set-up instructions will ask you to input the IP address, which is displayed on the touchscreen.

Returning to your set-up on the computer, you’ll be asked to ‘select your printer’. The HP Officejet should appear as an option (meaning your printer has successfully installed!)

For more on how to connect, print speeds, and additional features turn to the next page

Additional connections

Once you’ve selected the printer, there are some final set-up options to complete.

  • You’ll be asked to set your ink alerts – there are two options, show me ink alerts right away or show me ink alerts when I print.
  • Next is some info about doing your part to keep things green, then location and language selection, and finally the chance to activate the web services of your ‘Web Connected HP Printer’ and web apps.
  • If the web services are unable to activate remotely – select the ePrint button on the printer. You’ll then need to click to enable web services and switch on auto update and the web services should be successfully enabled. An information page with instructions is automatically printed.
  • You’re then shown a web services summary, such as: Email: Not available, ePrint Status: Sign Up required, ePrint: On, Apps: On
  • The instructions direct you to www.eprintcenter.com where you need to sign in or create an account. If you set up online earlier you can use the account you’ve already created.
  • Select add printer – then put in the code from your print-out instructions. Once it’s found your printer, select next and you’ll need to put in a custom email address for your printer. You can use something like ‘companyname@hpeprint.com’, check it’s usable then hit save.
  • There’s the option to control who can send jobs to the printer using the email address, everyone or allowed senders only.

And that’s it – you’re set-up and ready to go. (To print from your mobile though you’ll need to download the ePrint app.)

Print speed testing

There are three different quality settings, professional, general office and presentation. For test purposes we trialled a number of standard documents (both in colour and black and white) using general office and professional. Speed results, along with some notes on quality, are below:

HP Old printer Notes on HP Officejet Pro X576dw
10 pages B & W (professional) 25 seconds 32 seconds Sharp printing, dries instantaneously, no smudges
10 pages B & W (general) 18 seconds 25 seconds Black is not as black but general quality is good
20 pages B & W double sided (professional) 1 minute 10 1 minute 25 Motion of double-sided printing is really smooth compared with older printers
20 pages B & W double sided (general) 47 seconds 1 minute 19 As with single-sided, the black is not as black
10 pages colour (professional) 25 seconds 40 seconds Colour quality looks really good, however pages feel a bit damp. Concentrated areas of colour are bubbly but quality of pictures is really clear
10 pages colour (general) 18 seconds 32 seconds Quality of pictures is much less sharp, block colours are pixelated
50 pages colour double-sided (professional) 2 minutes 24 2 minutes 30 Same problems with paper bubbling as 10p colour but speed and smoothness of double-sided printing is really good
Full page colour (professional) 21 seconds 28 seconds Every detail is tack-sharp – picture quality is excellent. Quality of paper makes a big difference though, professional paper holds the ink, normal doesn’t
Full page colour (general) 13 seconds 21 seconds OK – some lines in the colour and quite grainy – this setting not suitable for colour printing

Scanning & Faxing

Scanning

Using the touchscreen you can select where you want to scan to: your computer, memory device, network folder or email. If you scan to your computer you can select the file type (pdf or jpg etc.) that you want to save or email the scan as. If you scan to a USB, simply plug in to the printer and go. It automatically creates a folder within your stick called ‘HPSCANS’.

Time: 14/15 seconds to prepare to scan the first time – 10 seconds after that – 7/8 seconds to complete a one page scan.

Ease of use: The first time I tried to scan, I didn’t find the document feeder that easy to load. It’s portrait rather than landscape and I had difficult adjusting the settings so it was the right size.

The product spec says the feeder can hold a 50 page document but I made several attempts at scanning a 10 page document and it jammed every time which was frustrating.

Successful scans are very quick and the function itself is easy to use but the constant jamming is a bug-bear that lets the printer down.

Faxing

Again, the touchscreen options are really straightforward – to fax you simply enter the number, choose black or colour and scan. Remember to choose a fax option though (for instance, scan and fax). You’ll also need a working telephone connection.

For more on additional features turn to the next page

Other features

Touchscreen

As mentioned in ‘setting up’, the printer comes with a colour touchscreen that makes setting up and using the printer simple and easy. A real plus.

USB port

There’s the option to print directly from a USB stick without needing a computer which offers a great time-saving solution.

On-the-go printing

If you download the HP ePrint app to your smartphone – you can sync to the Pro X576dw printer (or any other web-connected printer) and print from wherever you are.

A nice bonus feature, but not essential for business in our opinion. You’ll still need to be in the office to collect your printing (obviously) so not quite as ‘on-the-go’ as it sounds.

General summary

The printer is pretty noisy and large, so not one to have right next to your desks however it could make for a substantial printer for your whole office, if you employ already or you share with other start-ups and small businesses.

There’s no denying its speed, it takes just a couple of seconds from pressing print before the printer kicks into action and paper really does fly out at record pace.

The printing motion is also extremely fluid, even for double-sided printing. The ink dries almost instantaneously, so no smudges and the quality is very high. A full-page colour document, when printed on professional paper, was pretty flawless.

Printer_review_colour_image

Image of professional colour print out

On the downside, the scanning function, while quick, is pretty temperamental and although the ePrint add-on sounds good in principle, I’m not sure how necessary it is for a small business.

In that sense, it may be hard to justify the rather hefty price tag, which would set you back nearly £700. With single function versions though, the price drops to just under £400, so if you’re looking for a super-fast, quality printer without lots of add-ons this could provide a happy medium.

However if you do have the cash to spare, and your business is time-poor, the Guinness World Record speeds and time-saving add-ons make for an incredibly efficient product.

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