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HP's OfficeJet Pro 276dw is a worthy inkjet alternative to small-office lasers

Jon L. Jacobi | June 18, 2013
The OfficeJet Pro 276dw is expensive, but it's a Cadillac among inkjet MFPs—fast and capable—and a bargain compared to the laser competition.

A full-page photo printed at best quality took 2 minutes and 15 seconds on the Mac, and just over two minutes on the PC. However at the default settings, which look nearly as good, you can cut that down to 75 or so seconds. An anecdotal test of printing a relatively simple Excel spreadsheet took perhaps 15 seconds per copy on the PC, but it slowed tremendously on the Mac. We were unable to determine where the fault lay, but look for driver updates if you'll be sharing the 276dw with Mac users.

The ink is very, very cheap
Ink costs for the 276dw are outstandingly low—especially if you purchase the XL supplies: 1.6 cents per page for black and 5.6 cents per page for cyan, magenta, and yellow. 7.2 cents per four-color page is a lot cheaper than you'll get with a laser printer anywhere near the price of the 276dw, and cheaper than most inkjets. The normal capacity supplies add up to about 12 cents for the same four-color page. The difference in actual cartridge cost is so small, you might be tempted to go with the XL supplies. Just remember that if you don't print much, getting too much ink would be overkill.

The 276dw carries a standard one-year warranty, but $120 and $140 three-year add-on packages are available. The duty cycle is 30,000 pages a month and the recommended maximum workload is 1,500 pages. Paper handling features include automatic duplex printing, duplex scanning (automatic re-feed), a 250-sheet input tray, 150-sheet output tray, and a 50-sheet automatic document feeder. There's also a 250-sheet auxiliary tray available for $80.

A worthy alternative to a color laser
The 276dw's management features, smooth setup and operation, low ink costs, and quality output make it one of the nicest experiences we've had with a printer. Overall it's a temptingly nice alternative to a laser printer for a small office or workgroup.


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