Smallest home and office color laser printer review | HP Color Laser 150nw

This time I’ll tell you how I replaced my inkjet printer with a compact laser printer that could be hidden inside a 40 cm deep Ikea Bestå cabinet. Sounds easy right? We thought so too…

The problem of inkjet printers

We have decided to replace the multifunction printer (printer + scanner) we have now, an Epson XP-342 that we use via wifi, because it no longer prints very well, as often happens with inkjet printers.

Why does it always happen?
All inkjet printers have the same ink problems.
The first problem is that if the ink is not used often, being liquid, sooner or later it dries up. When it dries, you have to throw out the cartridges and buy new ones.
The second is that the ink, being sprayed from the heads, inevitably dirties the heads which therefore ruin the printing result. And cleaning them is not at all simple, if not impossible. And, even if you manage not to dirty the whole house, it still doesn’t completely solve it.
Furthermore, if we use the specific procedures of the printer through their software, we consume a lot of ink and the procedure must be repeated several times to have a satisfactory result.
And of course all of this happens just when you need to print, with a lot of inconvenience.
Without considering the costs of the cartridges, which “originals” cost almost as much as a printer! And some manufacturers even block the use of compatibles, making prints now a luxury item!

The solution

At this point, tired of these inconveniences, we decided to make a small investment and buy a color laser printer.
A color laser printer has a higher cost, a larger footprint, and replacement toners cost a lot. But the advantage is that even if we keep it unused for a long time, it still works perfectly. In addition, the costs per single print are lower than ink jets.
NB. The same reasoning can be done with the black and white printer, only with a lower initial purchase cost, and also with replacement toners.

So I recommend it to those who have to print a lot and who therefore amortize the cost thanks to the lower cost per print.
Or for those who have to print occasionally, so the ink does not dry out, for example those who:
– has a small business and has to print invoices and documents in the office
– for study reasons every now and then he has to print some documents
– for those who have a hobby, or occasionally need to print some documents

I do not recommend it instead for those who want to print photographs: unfortunately the quality of the laser is said to be still lower.

The challenge

The challenge now is to find a suitable printer! To my surprise, all laser printers have a depth greater than 40 cm!
But luckily all but one: HP Laser Color 150nw (HP code: 4ZB95A). Be careful not to get confused with the 150a model which only has support for USB, so no ethernet and WiFi network.

After hours of researching on the internet I found that no ecommerce site allows you to filter by depth (or size in general) of the printer. So I had to read all the printer specifications one by one. A huge job. Also it seems that no one has ever had this idea and done a review, or bothered to cover this topic: hiding a printer inside a cabinet!

HP Laser Color 150nw – the most compact color laser printer on the market

Unfortunately we had to leave the original idea of ​​a multifunction (printer + scanner) as the HP Laser Color 178nw model was nowhere to be found, and perhaps even out of production (I waited for it for 6 months). That model was on the verge of depth, so maybe we were just lucky!

Also, to further reduce the overall dimensions, I purchased a IEC C13/C14 “right angle” power plug (see a very similar one in the photo below). If you want to do the same, pay attention to the orientation of the plug, you may find yourself unable to use the USB and Ethernet connections.

The printer alone is 31 cm deep, but the paper tray takes up another 8.5/9 cm. Attention that in the official photos they do not show you that during use the card drawer must be mounted and then come out of the printer (because in fact it is ugly to see). Even with the power cable on the back (which from 5 cm I managed to reduce it to 2 cm thanks to the plug) it is more than 40 cm. So our solution is that when we are not using the printer we remove the drawer and place it on top. Not very fancy, but it works!

Printer review

The printer being very compact does not have fancy functions, such as the display, but only basic buttons. Through the software, however, you can manage and monitor everything. The toners it uses are the HP 116A with chips, while the replacement drum is the HP 120A.
The connection via wifi is very simple, and at the first start it requires the use of the software downloadable from the official website
During the software installation you will be asked in which mode you want to use the printer: USB cable (included in the package), Ethernet network cable, or via WiFi. If you choose via WiFi you will be offered to be able to do the first configuration of the network either via WiFi or via USB.
So beware: it is not true what I found on the net that many complained that it is not possible to use the printer without a ruter with WPS support (to understand each other, the blue button above the ruter). Of course, if you have a Mac it’s another matter, but if you have chosen a Mac you will know that, apart from the brand and that they cost a lot of money, you have only problems (so sell it and buy a real computer).

There would also seem to be an App for smartphones, “HP smart”, but its functions seem practically nil, if not to see some info on the printer and print a doc. Don’t be fooled by the “scan to printer” feature, which only works on printers that support it (not this one).

From the “Hp Easy Print Manager” software we will be able to check the status of the toners (CMYK = Cyan, Magenta, Yellow, Black), check how many print we did, and access the advanced configuration panel, read-only.
To access the advanced configurations and enable the administration mode, we can log in with the user “admin” and empty password. After that for security we will have to set a more secure password. The available settings are not many, the most interesting are the minute for automatic shutdown and network settings.

When I have mounted the printer in the cabinet I will update the article and add a few more photos. See you soon!

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