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HP Color LaserJet Pro M255dw Printer Review

Tested using Methodology v1.2
Reviewed Jun 18, 2020 at 09:06 am
HP Color LaserJet Pro M255dw Picture

The HP Color LaserJet Pro M255dw is a simple color laser printer that's better suited for those who mostly print in black, with the occasional splash of color here and there. Its black and color cartridges have outstanding yields, so you don't have to replace them as frequently, but the high cost of the color cartridges can add up quickly over time if you print a lot of color documents or photos. It has great printing speed, wide connectivity options, and it's designed to make changing cartridges and removing paper jams as easy as possible. That said, it isn't the best choice for printing photos and the lack of a scanner is severely limiting for some. On the upside, it's sturdily built, and its compact size is well-suited for small spaces.

Our Verdict

N/A Family

The HP Color LaserJet Pro M255dw is a sub-par family printer. It performs well if you're mostly printing in black, as its black cartridge can yield a high number of pages before it needs replacing, which saves you money over time. However, printing in color regularly or printing photos is very expensive due to the high cost of the color toner cartridges. Also, its photo printing quality is poor, and it doesn't have a scanner at all.

Pros
  • Great overall printing speed.
  • Great cost-per-print for black only documents.
Cons
  • No scanner.
  • Poor photo printing quality.
  • Expensive to print in color.
N/A Small/Home Office

The HP Color LaserJet Pro M255dw is a decent printer for small or home offices. The toner cartridges can yield a high number of black and color pages, so you don't have to replace the cartridges often even if you print on a large scale. However, color cartridges are expensive, making the long-term cost significantly higher than just printing in black. Its overall printing speed is great, even though it takes much longer to get the first page out. Unfortunately, it doesn't have a scanner at all, which could be a deal-breaker for some offices.

Pros
  • Great overall printing speed.
  • Great cost-per-print for black only documents.
Cons
  • No scanner.
  • Expensive to print in color.
  • Slow to print first page of a black only document.
N/A Student

The HP Color LaserJet Pro M255dw is a decent printer for students. Its black and color cartridges have high yields, which helps to keep cost down over time. However, it can get expensive if you use colors often, as the color cartridges are quite expensive. The printer has outstanding connectivity options, allowing you to connect through various means, including printing from a USB thumb drive. Sadly, it doesn't have a scanner, and while it's compatible with HP's mobile app, the app can't print any Microsoft Office files.

Pros
  • Great overall printing speed.
  • Great cost-per-print for black only documents.
Cons
  • No scanner.
  • Expensive to print in color.
  • Slow to print first page of a black only document.
N/A Black & White

The HP Color LaserJet Pro M255dw is a great printer for printing black and white documents. Its design allows for easy access to the toner cartridges and paper jams, and its black cartridge's high yield makes it very cost-effective to print in bulk. It's a bit slow at getting the first page of a document out, but it does pick up speed for subsequent pages.

Pros
  • Great overall printing speed.
  • Great cost-per-print for black only documents.
Cons
  • Slow to print first page of a black only document.
N/A Photo

The HP M255dw is an okay printer for printing photos. Like most laser printers, it isn't made for such tasks. The quality of printed photos is poor, as there's a lot of banding and graininess in the pictures. Also, its color accuracy is disappointing. On the upside, it's well-built, and it can print on most photo paper sizes except for 2" x 3".

Pros
  • Can print on photo paper.
Cons
  • Poor photo printing quality.
  • Expensive to print in color.
  • N/A Family
  • N/A Small/Home Office
  • N/A Student
  • N/A Black & White
  • N/A Photo
  1. Updated Sep 21, 2022: Converted to Test Bench 1.2.
  2. Updated Sep 01, 2022: Converted to Test Bench 1.1.
  3. Updated Jan 28, 2022: Reshot and updated the 'In Use Picture'.
  4. Updated Dec 16, 2021: Updated the adjectives in the usage box, as well as the text in the color accuracy and mobile app boxes.
  5. Updated Dec 14, 2021: Converted to Test Bench 1.0.
  6. Updated Jun 18, 2020: Review published.
  7. Updated Jun 15, 2020: Early access published.

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Compared To Other Printers

The HP Color LaserJet Pro M255dw is a great printer for printing black and white documents. However, it lacks a scanner, and like most laser printers, it has poor photo printing quality. For more options, check out our recommendations for the best all-in-one printers, the best home printers, and the best inkjet printers.

Brother HL-L3270CDW Laser

The Brother HL-L3270CDW Laser and the HP Color LaserJet Pro M255dw are very similar in their overall performance. The main differences are that the Brother has a higher black and color page yield, making it slightly more cost-effective over time. The Brother also has a better mobile companion app, but the HP has more connectivity options, as it supports USB thumb drives.

Brother MFC-L3770CDW Laser

The Brother MFC-L3770CDW Laser is better than the HP Color LaserJet Pro M255dw for most uses. The MFC-L3770CDW has a scanner with an automatic document feeder, it has a higher page yield, and the display console is much better. However, the M255dw has better color accuracy and it can print off of a USB thumb drive.

HP Color LaserJet Pro MFP M479fdw

Overall, the HP Color LaserJet Pro MFP M479fdw is much better than the HP Color LaserJet Pro M255dw. The M479dw has a significantly higher page yield for both black and color pages, and it also has a full-feature scanner. The M479dw also prints faster, and it has better color accuracy and a better display console. Although neither printer is meant for photo printing, the M255dw has better photo printing quality.

HP Color LaserJet Pro M454dw

The HIP Color LaserJet Pro M454dw and the HP Color LaserJet Pro M255dw are very similar printers. However, the M454dw performs better overall due to its higher page yield and faster printing speed. That said, the M255dw and its toner cartridges are cheaper, making it a better choice for those with a lighter print load.

Brother MFC-J805DW INKvestment Tank

The Brother MFC-J805DW INKvestment Tank is an all-in-one color inkjet printer with a proprietary hybrid cartridge-tank system, while the HP Color LaserJet Pro M255dw is a color laser printer-only unit. The HP is better-suited for quickly printing documents, with a significantly faster printing speed and much more accurate produced colors, and it has an Ethernet port and can print directly via USB flash drives. On the other hand, the Brother is better-suited for a wide variety of tasks, as it has a flatbed scanner, an automatic document feeder with duplex scanning, and faxing capability. It also has much better page yields and a significantly cheaper cost-per-print, and it prints much better photos.

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Test Results

perceptual testing image
Design
N/A
Design
Build Quality
Type Printer Only

The HP Color LaserJet Pro M255dw has an excellent build and design. The printer feels sturdy and well-built, and there are no issues with its construction. The toner cartridges are easily accessible from the front, and while paper jams can only be removed from the back of the printer, it only involves removing the back panel to have access. Unfortunately, the display console doesn't have any tilt adjustments to improve visibility, and since there's no scanner, the output tray is on top of the printer and is always exposed.

Design
Dimensions
Height Lock" (Lock cm)
Width Lock" (Lock cm)
Depth Lock" (Lock cm)
Height When In Use
Lock" (Lock cm)
Width When In Use
Lock" (Lock cm)
Depth When In Use
Lock" (Lock cm)
Weight
Lock lbs (Lock kg)

Update 01/28/2022: We reshot our 'In Use Picture' since the initial one didn't have the input tray fully extended.

Since the HP Color LaserJet Pro M255dw doesn't have a scanner, it's compact and should fit easily into tight spaces.

N/A
Design
Expected Maintenance
Ink Related Maintenance
Locked
Drum Unit
Locked
N/A
Design
Display Screen
Display Screen Locked
Display Screen Size
Lock" (Lock cm)
Touchscreen Locked

The HP M255dw has a good display console. The screen itself is on the small side, but icons and text are clear, the settings menu is easy to navigate, and visibility is good whether you're standing or sitting. Unfortunately, there's no tilt adjustment to improve visibility and the interface is a little laggy.

N/A
Design
Cartridge
Technology Laser
SuperTank
No
Photo Cartridge
Locked
Color Yes
Number Of Color Cartridges
Lock
Black Cartridge Model
Locked
Tested Black Page Yield
Lock prints
Estimated Black Page Yield
Lock prints
Color Cartridge Model
Locked
Tested Color Page Yield
Lock prints
Estimated Color Page Yield
Lock prints
Third Party Cartridge
Locked
Ink Type
Locked
High Yield Cartridge
Locked

The HP Color LaserJet Pro M255dw has an outstanding cartridge system. It's able to yield a high number of black and color pages, which means that you won't have to replace the cartridges often. Third-party cartridges exist, but they require a bit of tinkering, as it involves removing a microchip from each of the original cartridges, and placing them on the replacement third-party cartridges so that the printer can recognize them. While some people may not mind performing such tasks, it may be too much of a hassle for others. Additionally, using third-party toners can void the manufacturer's warranty. If you want a similar printer with a higher page yield, check out the HP Color LaserJet Pro M454dw.

N/A
Design
Scanner Features
Scanner
Locked
ADF Capacity
N/A
Scan Speed
N/A
Duplex Scanning
Locked
Max Flatbed Scan Size
Locked
Max ADF Scan Size
Locked
Flatbed Hinge Adjustability
N/A
Fax
Locked
Copy
Locked
OCR Included
Locked

The HP Color LaserJet Pro M255dw doesn't have a scanner. If you need a scanner, check out the Brother HL-L2390DW.

N/A
Design
Scan Quality
Max Scan Resolution
N/A
Max Scan Color Depth
N/A
Design
In The Box

  • Power cable
  • USB-A to USB-B cable
  • User guide
  • Set of starter toner cartridges:
    • 1 x HP 206A Black toner cartridge/drum unit
    • 1 x HP 206A Cyan toner cartridge/drum unit
    • 1 x HP 206A Magenta toner cartridge/drum unit
    • 1 x HP 206A Yellow toner cartridge/drum unit

Design
Battery
Advertised Battery Life
N/A
Tested Charging Time
N/A
Document
N/A
Document
Black & White Documents
Color Ink Needed For Black & White
Locked
N/A
Document
Color Documents
N/A
Document
Cost-Per-Print
Black Cartridge Price
Lock US$
Color Cartridge Price
Lock US$
Black-Only Printing Cost
Lock US$/print
Color Printing Cost
Lock US$/print
Photo Printing Cost
Lock US$/print
Ink Subscription
Locked

The HP Color LaserJet Pro M255dw's cost-per-print is great. It's inexpensive to print in black only thanks to the black toner cartridge's high yield. On the other hand, printing in color gets very expensive if you print a lot, due to the high price of the color toner cartridges, and also because they don't yield as many pages as the black toner cartridge.

N/A
Document
Printing Speed
- SAMPLE -
Get Insider Access for videos & test results
HP Color LaserJet Pro M255dw Printing Speed Video Sample
Black Only Text Document
Lock PPM
Color Document
Lock PPM
Photo Printing Time
Lock s
Single Page Out Time (Black Only)
Lock s
Duplex Printing
Locked
Input Tray Capacity
Lock pages

The HP M255dw has great printing speed. It takes a while to print the first page of a black-only document, and although it does pick up speed for subsequent pages, it's still not as fast as some other similar laser printers, such as the HP Color LaserJet Pro MFP M479fdw. However, it's faster at printing color documents and photos. Note that the printer has duplex printing enabled by default, so it must be disabled first if you only want to print on one side. If you want a similar printer with faster printing speed, check out the HP Color LaserJet Enterprise M553dn.

Document
Document Printing Sizes
Letter (8.5" x 11") Locked
Legal (8.5" x 14") Locked
Tabloid (11" x 17") Locked
A6 (105mm x 148mm) Locked
A5 (148mm x 210mm) Locked
A4 (210mm x 297mm) Locked
Max Paper Weight
Lock g/m²

The HP Color LaserJet Pro M255dw has a manual feeder and a 250-page input tray that supports most common paper sizes, up to the standard legal size.

Photo
N/A
Photo
Color Gamut
N/A
Photo
Color Accuracy
Average Color dE
Lock

The HP M255dw has disappointing color accuracy. It can't properly reproduce most colors, so even casual users will notice that some colors aren't printed accurately on paper.

N/A
Photo
Small Details
Max Print Resolution (DPI)
Locked
N/A
Photo
Photo Printing Sizes
Glossy Paper (4" x 6") Locked
Glossy Paper (5" x 7") Locked
Glossy Paper (8" x 10") Locked
Glossy Paper (8.5" x 11") Locked
Glossy Paper (13" x 19") Locked
Borderless Printing
Locked
Mobile App And Connectivity
N/A
Mobile App And Connectivity
Connectivity
Ethernet
Locked
USB Input To Computer
Locked
Bluetooth
Locked
Wireless Yes
Wi-Fi via Router
Locked
Wi-Fi Direct
Locked
External Storage Support
Locked
Apple AirPrint
Locked
Mopria Print Service
Locked

The HP Color LaserJet Pro M255dw has outstanding connectivity options. It supports most types of connections, except for Bluetooth. Also, while it supports external storage devices, it's only for a USB thumb drive, not for SD cards.

N/A
Mobile App And Connectivity
Mobile App
Mobile App Locked
App Name Locked
iOS Locked
Android Locked
Photo (JPEG, PNG)
Locked
PDF
Locked
Microsoft Office Files
Locked
Text Files (TXT)
Locked
Webpages (HTML)
Locked

Using the HP Smart app, you can scan using your smartphone's camera and find retailers for toners and various supplies. You can print some files on most mobile devices, but Microsoft Office files, text files, and webpages only print on iOS. Also, a separate app needs to be installed for some of the features, called HP Print Service Plugin.

Mobile App And Connectivity
OS Compatibility
Windows Locked
macOS Locked
Chrome OS Locked

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