The LaserJet 300 clearly fits into the bracket of SOHO colour multifunction lasers built for the larger home office; at 420x483x500mm and a hefty 28.2kg, this is a printer that you can't easily just drop onto a desk — or, for that matter, even lift without a little help. For those with a smaller home office set-up, this isn't really for you, but then the asking price should make that rather obvious. For what it's worth, it's large enough that when propped up on its own box, we were able to work standing up, propping an ultrabook on top of the printer.
The standout design feature of the LaserJet Pro 300 M375nw is the control panel, which is a 3.5-inch colour touchscreen. While printer interfaces are never something that you'd easily be able to describe as alluring, HP has done a decent job with the LaserJet Pro 300 M375nw's set-up; not only is it intuitive to use for basic functions, but it's also decent to look at. From a SOHO perspective, if you entertain a lot of clients from your office that may make a difference.
At its asking price, you'd reasonably expect the LaserJet Pro 300 M375nw to come with a full array of features, and, for the most part, it doesn't disappoint. The basics are covered, with printing, copying, scanning and faxing from either PC or directly from the touchscreen, with the notable exception being duplexing. Connectivity is also a high point, with in-built networking covering both Ethernet and 802.11b/g/n.
It's got Wi-Fi, as well as straight USB connectivity. HP's ePrint solution for printing from internet-connected devices with email capability — which essentially means any smartphone or tablet you'd care to name — is also supported. The in-built paper tray supports up to 250 sheets, along with the automatic document feeder at the top, which can feed up to 50 sheets.
Our experience in test printing with the LaserJet Pro 300 M375nw was a very mixed affair. On one hand, printing in colour was exceptionally good for a colour laser, even with photographic material, where many colour lasers falter. If you've got consistent need for high-quality laser output at a professional level, the LaserJet Pro 300 M375nw is highly recommended.
It's just that you can't expect it to spit out pages particularly quickly. Even over an Ethernet connection printing text only, the LaserJet Pro 300 M375nw's performance was patchy; the best speed we hit while printing was around 13 pages per minute — a bit below HP's own claimed 18 pages — but there were instances in our test run where it struggled to push out more than five pages. Adding colour and complexity only made things worse. In other words, this is a fine printer, but it's not particularly fast, which is a concern at this price point.
Pricing is also something of a concern; HP's local list price for the LaserJet Pro 300 M375nw is a hefty AU$1199, although it's possible to shop around online; we've seen it for as little as AU$900, which might, on the surface of it, seem like a bargain. Checking the US list price, however, shows the LaserJet Pro 300 M375nw selling for around US$599, meaning we're being slugged with a hefty import tax. Even taking into account shipping (because this really isn't a small printer) and GST, that's still a fairly big margin to pay.