There’s a new printer line in town, and HP calls it PageWide. The name refers to the printer family's staggered printheads that stretch across the width of a letter or legal-sized page. The printhead array is fixed—meaning that the paper moves past the array.
With a greater number of nozzles than most inkjet printers (more than 40,000), PageWide printers deliver excellent print quality (1,200 x 1,200 dpi on regular paper and 2,400 x 1,200 on photo paper) at very fast speeds. HP claims print speeds up to 70 pages per minute (ppm)—on par with printers and MFPs that cost many times more than the HP PageWide Pro 577dw ($899; MSRP) we review here.
HP PageWide Pro 577dw MFP Review: Quick and Easy Setup
Unboxing the large PageWide Pro 577dw requires two people; it weighs nearly 49 pounds and measures a bulky 20.9 x 16 x 18.4 inches. It’s even wider—31.6 inches—with the manual feed tray opened and the output tray extended for legal-sized paper. You might want to consider a dedicated stand for this big boy.
Instead of a user manual the PageWide Pro 577dw MFP provides a fold-out poster, and a straightforward setup process. Remove all the tape strips and plug in the power cord. Once you power up the multifunction printer, you insert the four starter ink cartridges included with the device and wait for them to prime, which takes about 10 minutes. Once you answer a few questions on language, date, and time on the large, 4.3-inch color touchscreen, and you’re ready to install the software.
The software install sets up the print and scan drivers, as well as the fax capabilities (you can fax directly from the PageWide MFP or use the MFP’s fax modem to fax from your PC). A second CD contains Read IRIS OCR software, which lets you convert a scan into editable text.
The HP PageWide Pro 577dw multifunction printer.
The scanner includes a TWAIN driver during the install so it works with TWAIN-based applications. We had no difficulty scanning images into Picasa using the application’s Import function. And while the MFP does not include a USB cable, it does include a phone cable for the fax capability.
You finish the installation by setting up the network or PC connection. We connected the 577dw to our network using Wi-Fi WPS setup, which simply involves pushing a button on our router.
The PageWide Pro 577dw offers extensive connectivity options: USB (no cable included), wired Ethernet, and Wi-Fi, Wi-Fi Direct. You can print from a mobile device that supports NFC (Near Field Connectivity)—simply touch the device to the small icon on right-bottom edge of the printer's control panel. With the PageWide Pro 577dw connected to your network, you can also print from a remote device using HP ePrint, HP Mobile Apps, Google Cloud Print v2, or Apple AirPrint.
A USB 2 port on the multifunction printer's left side—somewhat hidden under the edge of the control panel—lets you print from, or scan to, a USB drive. Other scan capabilities include Scan to Email with LDAP email address lookup, Scan to Network Folder, Scan to USB, and Scan to Microsoft Sharepoint (if you have this application set up).
HP PageWide Pro 577dw MFP Review: Paper Handling & Ink
The standard Pro 577dw MFP's single paper tray holds 500 sheets (a full ream) of letter or legal size paper, as well as a manual tray for specialty papers like photo paper or cover stock. This manual feed tray holds up to an additional 50 sheets. If you need a bit more capacity than the standard 500 sheets, you can buy a second 500-sheet tray for $199. The MFP simply sits on top of this second tray.
The Pro 577dw supports duplexing for both printing and scanning, and the scanner scans both sides of the page in a single pass. The automatic document feeder (ADF) holds up to 50 sheets and accommodates paper up to 11-inches long; if you need to scan a legal-size document, you can place it on the glass platen.
You'll find a wide range of ink-cartridge capacities for the PageWide Pro 577dw MFP. The standard HP972 cartridges ($80 each) provide roughly 3,500 pages in black and 3,000 color pages. The high-capacity HP972X cartridges cost $136 each and yield 10,000 black pages and 7,000 color pages. Finally, the extra high yield 976Y cartridges produce about 13,000 pages in color and 17,000 pages in black. They cost $239 and $221, respectively.
If your printing needs fall on an even higher-volume level, you might consider a different model from the same 577 MFP family. The PageWide Pro MFP 577z includes the same 50-sheet manual feed, but it adds a floor stand and two more input paper trays—for a total capacity of 1,500 sheets of paper. It sells for $1,499.