Pros / It has excellent color accuracy.
Cons / This is an expensive printer.
Verdict / No individual feature makes the HP LaserJet Pro MFP M477fdw stand out from the competition. Instead, taken as a whole, it’s a good, solid printer that can handle most tasks you throw at it.
The HP LaserJet Pro MFP-M477fdw is a color multi-function printer. Pretty much everything about it makes it a well-rounded machine, and there aren’t any glaring holes in its feature set. Its excellent color accuracy, few print errors and many features make it our pick for the best wireless laser printer overall. This isn’t the most compact printer we tested. However, it’s smaller than our best value pick as well as our pick for best monochrome laser printer, which is impressive considering they have similar print capacities. This makes the LaserJet Pro MFP M477fdw a good option if you need a full-featured machine but have limited space in your office.
Print Performance & Quality
This printer performed well in our tests. On average, it’s a few seconds slower than some of the fastest laser printers we reviewed, but we found fewer than 10 errors in the documents it printed. Those errors were mostly tiny stray ink spots that didn’t impact text readability.
When we pushed the printer to its limits in some of our more complicated tests, we noticed some banding – it was easy to see the lines the printer head created as it traveled, especially in large areas of solid color. However, that isn’t surprising for a laser printer; these machines are primarily intended for printing text, not graphics or photos. When we used the LaserJet Pro MFP M477fdw to print photos, we noticed the printer failed to reproduce some of the details in the images’ bright and dark areas.
We also noticed some pixelation, especially in the green, yellow and orange graphics we printed. While this HP printer couldn’t match the LaserJet Pro MFP M281fdw’s color accuracy, it recreated our color images better than the Xerox WorkCentre 6515/N , which produced pictures that were much darker than the originals.
Since laser printers aren’t the best tools for reproducing color images, HP recommends using its color lock paper if you need to print photographs with this machine. If you use standard photo paper, images will come out blotchy because the toner won’t stick to the page, and it can damage your printer.
HP lists the LaserJet Pro MFP M477fdw resolution as 600 x 600 dots per inch (dpi) but says it has an “enhanced dpi” of 38,400 x 600. This is because HP’s printers rely less on dithering – using tiny dots to create different shades and coloring – and instead uses multi-level print technology to create more precise images. As such, the actual number of dots per inch it can create doesn’t matter as much as it does for other printers.
As I said earlier, we noticed banding and pixelation, though HP’s tech might account for the more precise color accuracy we saw in the images. We tested printers with higher resolutions than this HP, including the Xerox WorkCentre 6515/N, and the differences are tough to detect with the naked eye. Since printers with higher resolutions give you more print options, we preferred them over HP’s proprietary tech. Still, the MFP M477fdw’s color accuracy was good enough and it had so few errors that we are confident in recommending it as the best overall option.
The LaserJet Pro MFP M477fdw copy and scan functions worked well. However, we were surprised to find that this model’s copies and scans weren’t quite as precise as those made on the LaserJet Pro MFP M281fdw, another color, multi-function printer made by HP. The latter is more compact and includes fewer features, but it had better print quality overall in our tests. As we scanned and copied with the LaserJet Pro MFP M477fdw, its auto-feeder tray also experienced a few misfeed errors and jams.
We ran into a little bit of trouble getting the auto-duplexing feature to work. When our testers first looked at the printer’s settings, it seemed the machine only offered manual duplexing, which means you have to flip the sheets by hand if you want to print on both sides of the paper. And when we contacted HP, we received conflicting information about the machine’s capabilities. Finally, tech support provided us with up-to-date drivers, and we were able to automatically print double-sided documents. After talking with multiple representatives, the company said that duplex printing isn’t a default feature, but you should be able to access it via the print menu. Still, the run around we went through to get answers was frustrating.
The LaserJet Pro MFP M477fdw is designed to handle a heavy workload, with a recommended monthly use of up to 4,000 pages. It has a standard 250-page main paper tray, and the machine’s secondary paper tray holds only 50 pages. However, only a few other printers have higher capacity trays, including the Xerox WorkCentre, which can hold more than 500 pages in its secondary tray.
Setup & Connectivity
This HP model doesn’t have the largest color screen of the laser printers we reviewed. However, at 4.3 inches, the LaserJet Pro MFP M477fdw’s display is large enough that it’s easy to enter setup, Wi-Fi and other setting information directly on the screen. During testing, we found it was easy to set up the machine, and we connected to the printer within minutes of opening the box.
HP’s printers include many of the connectivity options we look for. For example, the company has a proprietary app you can use to print from your phone or tablet. Its printers also have networking and other cloud printing options, and they are NFC compatible.
Help & Support
On paper, HP’s support options look good. The company has a standard warranty, phone and email contact information, troubleshooting guides, and online manuals. It even has a social media presence. However, our experience with its customer service was lackluster. HP wants you to register your product before you can get help, which is a pain. Also, a lot of its phone support options end in a recommendation to contact the company via email. Still, the online features, such as the forums and online manual, are helpful and easy to find.
While we liked the LaserJet Pro MFP M477fdw’s connectivity options, color accuracy and print quality, it’s pretty expensive compared to the Dell Color Cloud, our best value pick. If you aren’t too worried about your printer’s style or heft, you can get many of the same features for less with that Dell model. We think there are other laser printers out there that are better values. If you like HP products but don’t need a super heavy-duty printer, you might consider the HP LaserJet Pro MFP M281fdw – it’s more compact and prints cleaner text than almost any other printer we saw.