Setting up the Officejet Pro X576dw
Because the Officejet Pro X576dw is designed with businesses in mind, there are a ton of new features. While that means set up will take a little longer than a normal inkjet AIO, it definitely wasn’t difficult.
You’ll find the same basic setup for all printers in the hard copy installation guide included in the packaging. Unpack, install ink cartridges (so easy to do, love it!), load paper, plug in and turn on.
From here, the Officejet ProX576dw control panel will take users through a few basic setup steps (language, country, date, time) and then start calibrating. This was the lengthy part of the process but it’s completely hands-free so you can work on other tasks why the printer gets ready.
I started the CD install. HP now offers customers the ability to complete the driver setup online (or use the CD provided). I went ahead and when the internet route this time but I don’t really recommend it unless you think the CD driver/software might be out of date because you’ll have to download and install what’s already on the CD. But either way works so really it’s up to the customer.
The CD wizard will take users through the same basic steps we’ve seen on past HP reviews: software selection, data usage permissions, enabling web services and choosing a connection type. If you decide to set up the Officejet Pro X576dw over a wireless connection like we did, you can use the control panel or go the old fashioned route with a USB cord.
Once the printer is connected to your network, you can head over to the ePrint Center to register your printer with your HP account (or create one). This will give users access to the ePrint email service and web-connected applications.\
Ease of use
For those of you new to HP products, the popular ePrint technology is a great way to share information, documents, images, etc. The HP ePrintCenter home page will display your ePrint email address (that can be changed anytime), a queue of recent print jobs, real time info about the printer and your print apps.
All of HP’s printers now come with this service and HP has continued to update and add new applications with over 120 to choose from in the ePrint Center. The Officejet Pro X576dw comes pre-loaded with 35 applications, mostly business oriented but a few for fun.
As a business class model with built-in networking, the Officejet Pro X576dw offers access to an embedded web server with real time status information about the device, supplies, network configuration and usage as well as access to troubleshooting and settings for the system, networking and HP web services.
New to the embedded web server was an option to customize the page but having the most important information appear. I like that HP continues to make the user experience more interactive.
The Officejet Pro X576dw also comes with HP Printer Assistant, a feature you don’t often see with the laser models but one I like. It’s basically a home center with shortcuts to everything Officejet Pro X576dw related; you’ll find the ePrintCenter, device software, shopping, status alerts, utilities, setup, embedded web server and more. It also offers a local search as well as a web search (granted you have internet access).
HP Scan allows users to set up scan shortcuts or use one of the six options listed. For example, if you select Save as JPEG, you can choose the scan size, output type, resolution, item type and scan device (flatbed vs. ADF) or select advanced settings.
If you want to scan to email or a network folder, HP Printer Assistant offers two wizards for helping businesses without a dedicated IT person set up these for tricky features.
Same goes for the faxing. HP Print Assistant also has a setup wizard for digital faxes. Or you can always send the fax the old fashioned way by walking up to the device. Sending a fax with the Officejet Pro X576dw was easy and you can manage settings from the control panel or through the Printer Assistant.
Overall, I found the Officejet Pro X576dw incredibly easy to use. The only thing I would do differently is make it easier to select and print photo prints. I get that the X576dw is a business model but it’s also an inkjet printer and should be able to print photos. Isn’t that one of the bonuses of owning an inkjet? But during our testing, there was no photo print option. If you select HP Advanced Photo Papers and the default Print Quality (Professional) you will get an error message about incompatible print settings. Even though it’s easy to work around, it’s still irritating. Especially since I was pretty impressed with the photo quality (more on that later).
Print Speed and Quality Tests
Ok, so you know you are on the verge of succumbing to tech geek status when you get excited to test print speeds for an inkjet printer. But that’s exactly what happened during this review (despite having to finish it on a Saturday in order to make a deadline).
Why the excitement? Because HP advertised the Officejet Pro X576dw as being able to print up to 70 ppm in General Office mode (42 ppm in Professional mode). That would make the Officejet Pro X576dw the fastest printer I’ve ever review (according to HP, Guinness World Records agreed, it was certified as the world’s fastest desktop printer.
I know what you are thinking, get to the results already. Well, our tests proved another first. The Officejet Pro X576dw was the first inkjet printer I’ve ever tested that actually lived up to BOTH set of print speeds advertised. Yes, manufacturers have started to come around a list accurate ISO print speeds but the draft print speeds are always inflated. That is until today.
The Officejet Pro X576dw easily printed 42 ppm in Professional print Mode (the default setting) and 70 ppm in General Office print mode. Even better, it did it at an amazingly low decibel which isn’t usually the case for speedy inkjets. During one of our tests, the Officejet Pro X576dw printed 160 pages in just over two minutes which actually averaged to over 70 ppm.
You can print double sided but the print speeds will slow down. It took the Officejet Pro X576dw just over a minute to print a 40 page document in General Office mode. Still, compared to the competition, that’s pretty quick.
Quality-wise, the Officejet Pro X576dw was just as impressive with crisp, dark text documents. There is no true toner saver mode, or as HP usually calls it, “EconoMode.” The General Office mode allows you to print faster so I assume it’s using less ink but side by side print out comparisons (as you can see below), it’s really hard to tell the difference.
The color prints were excellent and I noticed no discernible difference in print speed, even when printing full color charts and graphs. I used HP Bright White paper provided to me for the review (24 lb) but I also used a Staples Multipurpose copy paper (20 lb). The better the paper, the nicer the color prints (aka closer to laser quality) but I was fairly pleased with the prints on even the cheap copy paper.
The big test was how the Officejet Pro X576dw would print on specialty paper. I had seen a demo on heavy cardstock and it looked really good but I was curious to see how it would fair on photo paper. The inks are pigment based and quick drying (as you can see from our video demo during my trip to HP’s R&D Facility in Boise) and geared towards “business” printing.
But I was pleasantly surprised with the photo print quality. Clearly, it’s not up to professional photo printer standards but it was easily as good as what I’ve seen from any office inkjet on the market today. It’s always hard to share photo images but I thought the Officejet Pro X576dw did a pretty nice job scanning in the samples.
The photo prints were also incredibly quick. Took about 30 seconds to print an 8.5 x 11 inch photo and about 18 seconds to print a 4×6 photo.
No paper jams to report and as I mentioned previously, the Officejet Pro X576dw printed at a nice quiet decibel. Very impressive.