HP Officejet Pro X576dw review: A multifunction printer without the jitters

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4 stars

CNET Editors' Rating

3.5 stars 3 user reviews

The Good The HP Officejet Pro X576dw includes the company's first page-wide array print head that increases print speeds and improves overall output quality, while the network-ready printer also gives users the ability to print from the cloud and install a suite of customized apps for use with the onboard 4.3-inch color touch-screen display.

The Bad Small businesses looking for extra features will be disappointed to find that the X576dw doesn't include a stapler or other document organization options.

The Bottom Line The Officejet Pro X576dw delivers a generous serving of features exclusive to HP, including a new Pagewide printhead that grants it the speed benefits of a laser printer while maintaining the color print quality of an inkjet, making it worthwhile for offices shopping for a professional imaging solution.

8.1 Overall
  • Features 8.0
  • Value 8.0
  • Performance 8.0
  • Design 9.0

The $799 HP Officejet Pro X576dw multifunction inkjet printer defies established industry logic that says laser printers are better for small businesses requiring speedy text output at a budget cost without a primary concern for print output quality. HP's new PageWide technology deserves the credit for this crossover -- it's featured in all of the company's new "X" series printers and uses a fixed print head instead of a traditional motorized assembly and belt system.

The application of this new feeder combines the speed of a laser printer with the color printing acumen and low cost of consumables that attracts small workgroups to an inkjet. HP also pushes the X576dw into a new generation of print services through a large touch-screen display that works sublimely with the company's collection of ad hoc mobile printing services, like ePrint, Google Cloud Print, and the HP ePrintCenter apps.

If you can look past the omission of a tactile control panel to see the benefits of "print anywhere" versatility, the Officejet Pro X576dw's advancements in printing technology will make it an easy to use, cost efficient partner for small businesses and larger work groups.

Design and features

Sarah Tew/CNET
The HP X576dw is the top-of-the-line model in the "X" series, and its size certainly communicates that stature. Its dimensions (20.3 inches tall and 20.3 inches wide) put it in the same weight class as larger workgroup laser printers, but it's surprisingly portable around the office, thanks to two handles that sit just underneath the scanner to save your lower back from heavy lifting. Since this is considered a "professional" class device (hence the moniker), the relative size of the X576dw is due to the dual paper trays that feed media into the printer.

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Sarah Tew/CNET

In terms of paper handling, you have a choice of three locations to access: there's the main input tray on the bottom that can hold 500 sheets of paper, a 50-sheet auto-document feeder on top for scanning and copying a stack of documents, and an additional 50-sheet multipurpose feed tray that folds down from a door on the left side of the printer.

If you find yourself constantly refilling paper in all three, you can also purchase another 500-sheet input tray from HP that fits on the bottom and adds a few extra inches of height to the overall measurements.

Sarah Tew/CNET

Completed prints exit through a parking bay in the middle of the device that can hold up to 300 sheets, but keep in mind that the recommended monthly page output of this printer is 65,000 pages. That's a lot of printing, and should be more than enough for any small business from real-estate agents to small law offices and anything in between.

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The printer's auto-document feeder for scanning paper stacks. Sarah Tew/CNET

The printer also features an automatic duplexer that saves you money on paper costs by automatically flipping the page over for double-sided prints. The left side also has a large panel that gives quick access to the paper feed assembly and duplexer, should you need to mitigate a paper jam. It also gives a peek at the jewel of HP's new PageWide technology: an 8.5-inch print head that stays static inside the machine, so the sheets of paper do the work as they move back and forth past the nozzles to apply the ink.

A tray opens on the left to reveal the duplexer and a glimpse at the new static print head. Sarah Tew/CNET

So what are the benefits of this new page array over traditional inkjet print heads that rely on a stepper motor, a belt, and a stabilizer bar to control its precise movements? Well, the new system means big improvements to print quality with less horizontal stripes marring graphics and text on the output page -- imaging geeks call that "printhead banding," and it's caused by a clogged nozzle or a misaligned bidirectional print head. Without a moving print head, you'll notice more solid, densely formed prints and even shading throughout.

The PageWide array also gives a dramatic speed boost to outbound prints, with HP blasting out up to 70 pages of color text per minute in its new "general office mode." The elimination of the moveable head also means an end to the printer jiggle -- a name given to the "dance" that occurs when the head vigorously passes over a sheet of paper and causes the whole device to move around on a table.

Sarah Tew/CNET

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