HP LaserJet M209dwe is a new, wireless black-and-white laser printer that includes six months of toner through subscription with HP. I’m excited about this printer, with its small footprint, up to 30 ppm 600 dpi output, dual-band Wi-Fi, built-in duplexer and up to 150-sheet input tray. In every way it appears to be solidly built.
And I was pleasantly surprised at just how well it performed under extra heavy-duty use here at Gadget Central.
••NOTICE: As an Amazon Associate, I may receive a small commission from qualifying purchases when you click article links on MrGadget.com article. Your cost will be identical.••
The cost? Another pleasant surprise It’s just $149 at Amazon.
••WHAT’S IN THE BOX••
- Printer, power cord, starter toner cartridge for up to about 700 pages
- Quick start guide, warranty
Like all modern name-brand printers, setup is a breeze on Macs and Windows computers, with mobile printing available on iOS and Android devices. With a monthly duty cycle of up to 20,000 pages, this printer will be a welcome addition to homes and small offices.
NOTE – This model does not include an ADF (Automatic Document Feeder). If this feature is a must-have, opt for the higher-level HP Printer in this series that has a 40-page ADF, scanning & copying functions, and the same 20,000-page monthly duty cycle, HP LaserJet M234sdwe, $200 at Amazon.
Lacking a display, setup is through a smartphone (with downloaded HP Smart app). You won’t miss the display! Printer sharing across the network and high-quality scanning is though the HP Smart app. Share to email, Google Drive, Dropbox or the cloud from anywhere where your device has signal.
Also absent are a glass platen on which to place documents for scanning and the ability to act as a copier. This is a PRINTER, not a copier, scanner or fax. More on this later.
Following the quick-start instructions, I pointed my mobile phone’s camera at a coded symbol, then selected to open the link for HP software, I followed along, adding the printer to my Wi-Fi just like that. Software found the printer, asked if I wanted to add it in my existing HP app and account and so on. To those new to HP, it will be just as simple.
This printer can connect to either your 2.4GHz or 5.0GHz wireless network.
Our Mac and Windows PCs, iPhone and Android phones are now set up to access this new printer, allowing its placement in the most convenient location without having to be hard wired to a computer with a USB printer cable (not included). Adding users in the home or office is easy.
Amazon Alexa compatibility is also built in by launching the Alexa mobile app and linking the mobile HP app account.
Though this is a wireless printer, the most reliable and stable connectivity will come from using an Ethernet cable to the router if at all possible. This is true for any wireless device capable of being wired to the network.
For those without an existing HP account, the final step is to create one, including a credit card with billing information. Without it, the printer will not operate through the HP app nor will the owner be able to set up HP+ ink program and the free toner.
Six months of free toner is available with activation of HP+. This requires a credit card and can be cancelled at any time. When the printer’s supplies monitor senses toner running low, the user is automatically sent a free replacement cartridge based on printing of up to 1500 pages monthly. After the trial period, users are eligible to purchase genuine HP toner cartridges at up to 50% off retail cost, or cancel and find replacement toner without this program. Activation also includes a 2-year extended warranty.
Two retail replacement toner cartridges are available with approximate yields of 1100 and 2400 pages. For users requiring greater printing volume, printers are available at higher cost and occupying more desktop space. This information is useful for those who opt out of the free toner program or simply wish to buy outside of the program.
Documentation states that, “This printer operates only with HP Original cartridges.” I did not find non-HP so-called compatible cartridges to try as this is a new series, so knock-off toner is not yet available. With history as a guide, suppliers will likely provide them in a few months. HP printers, like many others, use toner cartridges with the other necessary component, a drum assembly, built into the toner cartridge shell. Therefore, HP-branded and compatible black and white toner cartridges will cost more than other printer brands’ split systems, with individually replaceable toner and drum assemblies.
Costs for consumables, in other words, toner, are higher here than for some other brands.
••EXCELLENT BUILT-IN SECURITY••
Like all printers, this one has its own web-based address, its IP address, resembling something like the following, with numbers in place of each “x” – 192.xxx.x.xxx. This web page has all the settings and needed for the printer administrator to see and adjust. ALL owners are encouraged to check in on your printers and to get to know what the settings are and how to make adjustments. The address can be seen in the HP mobile app.
Easier still is the path through the computer’s printer settings, where there is a link to useful information, including printing a test page, Options & Supplies setting and, in Options & Supplies, a link to, Show Printer Web Page…” Well, how about that! If you have never looked before on your existing printers, try it today.
Getting there through the Mac’s System Preferences->Printers & Scanners or Windows Settings->Printers, the web page is open and available, since the printer is connected to the computer. Settings are in the clear and available to the viewer. However, getting to the Web page by its URL, that is, the numeric link found in the HP app, a username and password are required for entry. This is the built-in security in all major brand, current model printers of which I am aware, there for the user’s and network’s protection from intrusion by external bad actors. This and other printers are shipped with a randomly-generated username and/or password, again, for YOUR protection. Pictured below is the sticker with the unique information for this particular printer. The sticker is located inside and next to where the toner cartridge is placed.
I made note of this information in my cloud-based storage and in LastPass, my password manager, as well as in my computer’s built-in password manager. Why am I so careful? Simply because I NEVER, EVER want to be troubled by the alternative, by someone mucking around with MY settings in MY computer or devices connected to it. The time it would take to fix the result of an intrusion could take days. The time to prevent it from ever happening takes only minutes.
Another reason for the security is because this and other printers are online and available for printing from anywhere through an app. In other words, users can send documents and photos (in glorious black & white on plain paper) to be printed from anywhere to this printer! Why would this be needed? Maybe someone back at the ranch needs something that you can print from your mobile device when out and about? I dunno, but I think it’s pretty cool. Probably more a business need that a consumer need.
The mobile app is password protected and, therefore, secure from outside intrusion.
Safeguard this and ALL your devices to prevent unauthorized entry by outsiders. Period.
••PUT TO THE TEST••
Once set up, and as expected, using this small footprint printer was a pleasure for everyone. From the time the print command was executed, the first sheet was produced in about 7 seconds from a cold start in sleep mode. Impressive. And it continued to crank out a series of double-sided 215-page tech manuals time after time. Now, THAT is impressive to watch. Click below to watch it in action.
I continued to print and print and print in an effort to deplete the starter toner cartridge that would trigger automatic replacement. After almost nonstop printing of a total of 878 pages, of which 437 were duplex sheets (stats can be found in the Web-based printer page), the printer triggered a replacement cartridge to be sent with about 20% of toner remaining. Notification came in email.
Two observations on this. First, without a hiccup, this printer worked hard and not once misfired or jammed. Second, the six-months of free toner trigger seems to work because a fresh one is on the way and scheduled for delivery four days from the automatic order placement. About 20% capacity remained to get me by until the fresh toner arrived.
Even without setting up the app, I was able to print from all of our computers by adding this printer as any other would be added in settings. There was nothing to consciously download as both MacOS and Windows 10 had what was needed, though I suspect that is what occurred in the background. The same was true when printing directly from mobile phones and iPad through the HP Smart app OR directly from the document wished t print. From the pages available to print, I did as always, sending all or choosing only selected pages to the printer and choosing one-sided or duplex.
I printed documents from Windows and Mac computers, Android and Apple iPhones, using the standard protocols as well as through the Alexa app on mobile devices.
For Android phones, this printer is also compatible with the Mopria protocols and app. Look up “Mopria Print Service” for more information.
Need to copy, then print documents? Use the HP mobile app or built-in scanning options on your phone to create a copy of the document, even multi-page documents, then print to the HP. As a substitute for the lack of this as a built-in capability, it works! If you need to do a lot of scanning, get a dedicated document scanner, many of which do a better, faster job than any consumer or small business targeted all-in-one printer.
If you need a stand-alone scanner, I recommend and use what I believe to be the best, longest-lasting and most reliable desktop scanner available, the current model Fujitsu ScanSnap® iX1600. See it at Amazon.
The HP Smart app is beautifully designed. From the main page, click Copy to use your smartphone camera to smart scan documents, auto-figuring borders, and then print. The Print Documents button pulls from the cloud or the phone, then prints. After setup, Mobile Fax provides in-app e-faxing right from your phone IF you have a phone line from which the document can show as the sender’s fax as I do. Camera Scan uses the smart phone camera to scan documents, or electronically scan existing files. Print from Anywhere is another feature of which this printer is capable. Follow along in the setup to be able to send a job to this printer from virtually anywhere in the world where there is Internet access. This capability was tested and worked flawlessly. And SO MUCH MORE.
We have placed it next to our larger HP All-In-One color inkjet printer where it is now the default household printer. The cost to print each black and white page compared with the cost of color printing on our other HP is relatively small.
Incredibly reasonably priced, HP LaserJet M209dwe is as easy to set up and use as any I have encountered and its crisp and speedy 600 dpi black and white output is as good as any I have seen, even at twice the price. While it lacks some features as detailed above, most notably a display and ADF, these omissions are forgiven due to the low cost. Besides, the missing display is not needed because everything required for printing is in the app OR through a computer’s normal printing methods. This little workhorse is small enough to fit where some others will not.
A final word about the HP toner replacement program that comes with this printer. While the same printer can be found without being attached to the “six months of ink” program, HP model M290dw which is more expensive than this one, it does not make financial sense to pay more for less. Get this model. Sign up for the replacement ink program and cancel at any time, before the “free toner” part of the program ends.
To avoid the likelihood of paper jams, spend a little more for the good stuff, not the great stuff. Cheap paper is more apt to cause a jam. I’ve bought the cheap stuff and regretted it. Skip the no-name paper. It’s just not worth it. You have been warned!
And, in conclusion, if you want a fast little black & white laser printer that will exceed your expectations at its price, buy this HP for $149 at Amazon, of the step-up model HP LaserJet M234sdwe, for only $50 more at Amazon and get an ADF, Scanner & Copier. With either printer, you will not regret your purchase.
HP two-year limited warranty