HP’s Color LaserJet Enterprise M553dn, a single-function workgroup powerhouse

HP Color LaserJet Enterprise M553dn Review and RatingsEven though they’re often more expensive to purchase and use, all else being equal, HP’s LaserJet printers earn it. The technology inside is field-leading, and they tend to be more modern- and stylish-looking than most of their competitors. And that’s saying something when you’re talking about most single-function laser printers, which favor the “plain cube” look. Most wind up box-shaped and bland-looking.

The topic of today’s review, HP’s $799.99-MSRP Color LaserJet Enterprise M553dn, can’t quite escape that, though the company does add a few curves to give it a distinct look. It’s a single-function color laser printer meant, as the name suggests, for businesses with large workgroups to serve and a need for managed print resources. We’re catching up with this model in April 2016, but it’s been on the market for a while. And it hasn’t followed the usual price trends for a midlife product.

We should point out that as we wrote this in early April 2016, that everywhere we looked on the Internet, this specific LaserJet model sold for its full manufacturer’s suggested retail price (MSRP), or more. Indeed, at Amazon, it sold for $200 higher than the MSRP, or $999.99, which is something that we don’t often see. That this LaserJet has been on the market for nearly an entire year and still commands such pricing suggests that it has been well-received so far.

HP Color LaserJet Enterprise M553dn (Front Angle View)In fact, everywhere we’ve looked, the M553dn has received high ratings. Like most of the HP laser printers we’ve reviewed recently, such as the Color LaserJet Pro MFP M477fdw, the M553dn comes with the company’s latest JetIntelligence toner cartridges and reformulated ColorSphere 3 toner, which (according to HP), delivers a bunch of advantages compared to earlier LaserJets and other, competing laser printers.

As we noted in our reviews of some other recent LaserJets, the claims about the new JetIntelligence cartridges and ColorSphere 3 toner include the ability for the toner particles themselves to melt at a lower temperature. (In a laser printer, the toner dust that gets arranged on the page is melted in place by a hot roller.) This, along with a few other enhancements, allows LaserJets to burn—again, according to HP—53 percent less energy, take up to 40 percent less space, and wake up and print two-sided (duplex) pages faster than previous LaserJet models could. (The wake-up speed is tied in with the need for the fuser to hit a lower relative temperature to do its job.)

HP also says that the enhancements done to toner and cartridge alike deliver many more prints from a cartridge, compared to previous LaserJets. As we pointed out in our review of the Color LaserJet Pro M477fdw (and other LaserJets), while this also allows for smaller cartridges and, therefore, smaller printers, it does nothing to reduce the per-page cost of the toner. We’ll get into that issue in some detail in the Setup & Paper Handling section later on.

HP Color LaserJet Enterprise M553dn (Open)Even though the Color LaserJet Enterprise M553dn has an 80,000-page monthly duty cycle (the maximum number of prints HP says the printer can handle each month), if you actually pushed it that hard—even by as much as, say, a third of the rating—this MFP, compared to many other laser and laser-class (LED-based) printers we’ve looked at, would cost a bit too much to use in terms of toner.

That factor—the somewhat high cost per page—plus a purchase price that seems impervious to discounting and a lack of built-in Wi-Fi connectivity, are our only real complaints about this printer. Other than that, it did what we expected it to, and well.

Read the entire review at Computer Shopper.

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