Review – HP LaserJet PRO 200 Color MFP

Review

Review – HP LaserJet PRO 200 Color MFP
Scanning... for purpose...
HP’s Laserjet PRO 200 Color MFP answers a strange demand. Certainly not one I’ve encountered before. But to its credit it fulfils its niche role and validates its place, albeit sidelining some bread and butter printing features along the way.

To install the PRO 200 Color MFP you’ll need to plug it in. Firstly, into the wall. No surprises there! Secondly, find a USB port and you’ll discover the smart install triggers automatically. Eliminating the need for CD software installation isn’t the newest of perks to the printing world. Yet its charm has yet to wane.

Sadly, its 89mm Touchscreen panel has whittled my patience to a nub. Sluggish, irresponsive and prone to resetting position with the slightest touch, this singular interface could benefit from the smallest taste of the PRO 200 Color MFP’s ambition and innovation.

The most notable change to this printer’s visage, the tried and tested flatbed scanner has been wholly replaced by HP’s new TopShot Scanner. A magnetised white board flanked by a 200mm high, articulate 8mp camera, the PRO 200 Color MFP’s TopShot provides the bulk of its visual and functional identity.

By simply placing three dimensional objects (pens, cameras, phones, puppies) onto the board, opening the desktop icon and clicking ‘Scan’, the camera will take a series of snaps, three with flash, three without, and render its composite image.

This is ideal for generating product shots. But beyond the avid eBay supplier or Social Mediaphile, it’s hard to envisage a professional corporation, be it Sony, Samsung or HP itself, choosing this method over a quality, well lit whiteboard and a DSLR to the tune of a few grand.

Thought the image quality generally impresses, TopShot is prone to hiccups, specifically triggered by shiny surfaces. Phone screens, glossy magazines and glass will prompt flare ups, distorting the composite and rendering it wholly without merit for professional use (semi or otherwise.)

Additionally, the absence of a flatbed scanner makes photocopying documents a non-runner. Due to page folding and the necessary distance from scanner to scanee, the quality of document copy lies so far below typical flatbed results, its best avoided entirely.

Elsewhere, the PRO 200 Color MFP performs admirably for a printer of its class. Aye, the general rate of printing seems sluggish to my mind. But I need to stress a medical deficiency of patience on my part when it comes to prolonged waits!

Its 150x80g/sm tray capacity will see the overwhelming majority of print jobs complete without reload, the 600 dpi resolution should satisfy sticklers for clarity and detail, while an array of apps (downloadable to the PRO 200 Color MFP’s 128mb memory) add that extra functionality to what is otherwise a brick shaped paper vomiting contraption.

And what a brick it is! Weighing in at 13.5kilos and measuring a substantial 468 x 409 x 270mm with TopShot folded away, the PRO 200 Color MFP does lend itself to portability, provided you’ve the brawn on hand to move it from desk to counter to table.

The PRO 200 Color MFP is not the cheapest laser printer on the market and you can expect it to cost you at least 300 monies despite the retailer. But it justifies this with quality prints, a slightly inexplicable if warmly received new feature and the presence of Airprint, enabling wireless syncing to devices (iPad, iPhone etc) for printing on the move.

Unfortunately it’s hard to imagine the convenience factor is a sufficient draw for consumers to drop so much cash. Certainly it’s nice to have all the tools you need for product shots in one tidy package. But realistically, for the same money, most could squeeze in a traditional flatbed, a half decent digital camera and have enough change for a chocolate shake.

And people really love chocolate. Something to consider.


6 Stars
Review – HP LaserJet PRO 200 Color MFP on ClickOnline.com


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jack@clickonline.com
Staff Reporter
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