Printer Reviews

HP Officejet X551dw Printer Review

Some track and field athletes are the fastest in the world over sprint distances. Others are the best over middle distances whilst still others are better than anyone else over long distances and in marathons. It takes different body types and attributes to excel in over different distances. The skills sets are totally different’

But here’s a printer that, if it were an athlete, would be the best in the world in all disciplines. Not only that, it’s the most effective with the lowest cost per page of any printer, including laser printers.

What is it?

For the past several years the experts have been telling us that Laser printers are faster than inkjet printers. They’ve also been telling us that laser printers print each page at a lower cost than inkjet printers.

Well, they’re wrong.

The HP Officejet Pro X551dw is not just a fast printer, it has been verified by Guinness Book of World’s Records as the fastest printer in the world with a print speed of 70 pages per minute. That’s faster than any laser printer currently on the market.

But being the fastest is not the only trick in the book for this printer. It’s also more cost effective to operate than a laser printer with a price per page less than half that of a comparable laser. The printer is part of the HP EdgeLine range of printers and MFPs and uses the HP PageWide inkjet cartridges that fit across the full width of the printer. This technology eliminates the moving printhead making the unit very quiet in operation.

Combine this speed with the high level of connectivity and the printer is highly productive for single users and for workgroups up to 15 users. The high speed minimises queuing times pushing through more jobs per hour than other machines.

What does it do?

As a work printer it includes everything that a user could possibly want. Fast – yes. Economical – yes. High levels of connectivity – yes. In addition to ether bet Lan connection and Wi-Fi connections for networking it includes HP e-Print allowing printing to be from remote locations by Tablet or Mobile phone using the internet connection. The only thing it doesn’t include is a coffee maker, but at the print speed on offer there isn’t time to have a coffee before the print run is over.

The printer has two different modes of printing; Professional and General Office printing. Professional mode gives ultra-high quality printing with an output speed of 42 pages per minute (ppm) in either colour or black. Using the General Office mode you can print at up to 70ppm again in both colour and black and white. Most users will find the General Office Printing mode to be of a sufficiently high quality to meet the needs of most applications. Both modes take just 9.5 seconds to print the first page. Automatic double sided printing is available as standard as is full width page printing.

The standard paper tray holds 500 sheets of paper as does the optional additional paper tray. Both trays are fully adjustable to take a wide range of papers. An additional multimedia paper tray with a capacity of 50 sheets is fitted as standard.

As we might have mentioned wlsewhere in this review, the HP Officejet Pro X551dw is faster than a laser printer, more productive than a laser printer and at a lower print cost per page than a laser printer. Yet it still retains the traditional superiority of an inkjet printer over a laser printer with far better printing of photos and intricate graphics.

Colour print quality is up to 2400 x 1200 optimised dots per inch (dpi) from 600 x 600 input dpi (on HP Advanced Photo Papers), whilst black printing is up to 1200 x 1200 optimized dpi from 600 x 600 input dpi onto a wide range of papers.

Menu selection and input is by way of a 4.2 inch graphic display, tough and swipe screen.

It has four HP PageWide cartridges; one each black, cyan, magenta and yellow. A standard ink cartridge can print up to 3,000 pages whilst the HP XL range can print up to 9200 pages in black and 6,600 pages in colour. The printer uses HP PCL5c, HP PCLXL (PCL6), native PDF, HP Postscript Level 3 emulation print languages.

Paper handling

The standard input paper tray has a capacity of up to 500 sheets of paper ranging from through to envelopes and cardstocks in a wide range of weights and sizes. This capacity is doubled with the addition of the optional additional paper tray. The standard multipurpose tray has a capacity of 50 sheets of a variety of media types.


Although a dull set of set up cartridges are in the box they have only a limited lifespan and will need to be replaced. The printer runs on standard HP inkjet cartridges but to maximise the cost effectiveness of this printer it is recommended that HP XL cartridges are used.

Naturally CartridgesDirect can supply both types of cartridges. There is also a range of multipacks available to give even greater economy.