HP says the M175 is its smallest ePrint-enabled colour laser multifunction and that’s not hard to believe. Given the need to accommodate A4 pages running left to right and front to back it’s hard to see how it could have a much smaller footprint – just 44 x 29cm excluding protrusions.
Those protrusions include the fixed paper tray and a hinged control panel (adjustment is essential as the display has a narrow vertical viewing angle).
Hardware setup is limited to removing packing pieces and tapes snapping on the paper tray and plugging in. Software installation was relatively speedy and did not require manual firewall adjustments. The software bundle is minimal apart from the ReadIRIS Pro 12 OCR program.
The installer announced that ePrint (email-based printing) was not yet available for this model but after running the update utility twice (to update the updater and then to install new firmware) we found the instructions for manually activating ePrint and then used the feature successfully with various files. As images are printed full page the server rejected JPEGs of small pixel dimensions and one particular PDF printed correctly locally but suffered from missing and misplaced characters when ePrinted.
Wireless Direct allows the M175nw to operate in ad hoc mode for walk-up printing from iOS and webOS devices.
Using Ethernet the first page of our usual business document landed in the tray after 29 seconds with page two following 24 seconds later – noticeably slower than the nominal 4ppm for colour. HP claims a black first page out time as low as 15.5 seconds – we timed it at 16 seconds which is close enough. Text and graphics quality is up to scratch though densely covered areas have a waxy feel. Noise levels are moderate but the clunking sounds emitted are initially disconcerting.
The scanner is activated by running the HP Scan utility or by using a TWAIN or WIA-compliant application such as Paint.NET but not from the front panel. Colour copying gave above-average results.
Available from HP retailing for $349.
APC rating: 7/10