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HP Color LaserJet Pro M255dw Printer Review

Tested using Methodology v1.0
Reviewed Jun 18, 2020 at 09:06 am
HP Color LaserJet Pro M255dw Picture
6.1
Family
7.3
Small/Home Office
7.9
Student
8.3
Black & White
6.1
Photo
Type Printer Only
Technology Laser
Wireless Yes
Color Yes
SuperTank
No

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

6.1 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.
7.3 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.
7.9 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.
8.3 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.
6.1 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.
  • 6.1 Family
  • 7.3 Small/Home Office
  • 7.9 Student
  • 8.3 Black & White
  • 6.1 Photo
  1. Updated Jan 28, 2022: Reshot and updated the 'In Use Picture'.
  2. Updated Dec 16, 2021: Updated the adjectives in the usage box, as well as the text in the color accuracy and mobile app boxes.
  3. Updated Dec 14, 2021: Converted to Test Bench 1.0.
  4. Updated Jun 18, 2020: Review published.
  5. Updated Jun 15, 2020: Early access published.

Check Price

White Color LaserJet Pro M255dw
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Test Results

perceptual testing image
Design
8.5
Design
Build Quality

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 9.8" (24.8 cm)
Width 15.3" (38.8 cm)
Depth 16.5" (41.9 cm)
Height When In Use
11.6" (29.5 cm)
Width When In Use
15.3" (38.8 cm)
Depth When In Use
16.5" (41.9 cm)
Weight
32.2 lbs (14.6 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.

8.5
Design
Expected Maintenance
Ink Related Maintenance
Not Needed
Drum Unit
In The Cartridge
7.5
Design
Display Screen
Display Screen Yes
Display Screen Size
2.7" (6.8 cm)
Touchscreen Yes

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.

8.9
Design
Cartridge
Photo Cartridge
No
Number Of Color Cartridges
3
Black Cartridge Model
HP 206A Black
Tested Black Page Yield
88.99 prints
Estimated Black Page Yield
1,691 prints
Color Cartridge Model
HP 206A C/M/Y
Tested Color Page Yield
64 prints
Estimated Color Page Yield
1,361 prints
Third Party Cartridge
Not Found At Time Of The Review
Ink Type
Toner
High Yield Cartridge
Yes

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.

0
Design
Scanner Features
Scanner
No
Scan Flatbed
No
Flatbed Extendable Hinges
N/A
Automatic Document Feeder
No
ADF Capacity
N/A
Scan Speed
N/A
Duplex Scanning
No
Flatbed Scan Size
N/A
Fax
No
Copy
No
OCR Included
No Scanner

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

0
Design
Scanning Resolution And Color Depth
Max Scan Resolution
N/A
Max Scan Color Depth
N/A
Design
Printing Size
Letter (8.5" x 11") Yes
Legal (8.5" x 14") Yes
Tabloid (11" x 17") No
A6 (105mm x 148mm) Yes
A5 (148mm x 210mm) Yes
A4 (210mm x 297mm) Yes
Photo (2" x 3") No
Photo (4" x 6") Yes
Photo (5" x 7") Yes
Photo (8" x 10") No
Max Paper Weight
220 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.

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
8.3
Document
Cost-Per-Print
Black Cartridge Price
62.99 US$
Color Cartridge Price
221.97 US$
Black Only Printing
0.037 US$/print
Color Printing
0.163 US$/print
Photo Printing
0.433 US$/print
Ink Subscription
No

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.

8.4
Document
Printing Speed
Black Only Text Document
17 PPM
Color Document
23 PPM
Photo Printing Time
33.0 s
Single Page Out Time (Black Only)
10.4 s
Duplex Printing
Automatic
Input Tray Capacity
250 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 Sample
Color Ink Needed for Black & White
No
Photo
5.0
Photo
Photo Printing Quality
Borderless Printing
No

The HP Color LaserJet Pro M255dw has poor photo printing quality. Blacks are deep and there are some areas where the colors are rich, but the overall image is grainy, and there's also a lot of banding throughout the photo.

These results are based on the actual physical photo, not the scanned image provided for reference above, which may not be representative of the printer's photo print quality.

5.8
Photo
Color Accuracy
Average Color dE
8.72

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.

6.0
Photo
Color Gamut
Mobile App And Connectivity
9.0
Mobile App And Connectivity
Connectivity
Ethernet
Yes
USB Input To Computer
Yes
Bluetooth
No
Wi-Fi via Router
Yes
Wi-Fi Direct
Yes
External Storage Support
Yes
Apple AirPrint
Yes
Mopria Print Service
Yes

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.

10
Mobile App And Connectivity
Mobile App
Mobile App Yes
App Name HP Smart
iOS Yes
Android Yes
Photo (JPEG, PNG)
Android and iOS
PDF
Android and iOS
Microsoft Office Files
iOS Only
Text Files (TXT)
iOS Only
Webpages (HTML)
iOS Only

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 Fully
macOS Fully
Chrome OS Fully

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 printers are 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.

Canon imageCLASS MF644Cdw

The Canon imageCLASS MF644Cdw is an all-in-one color laser unit, while the HP Color LaserJet Pro M225dw is a print-only color laser unit. The HP is better suited for people who print mainly in black and don't need scanning capabilities, as it has a slightly better black page yield and marginally faster overall printing speed. It also supports printing via Wi-Fi Direct. On the other hand, the Canon has a flatbed scanner and an ADF with duplex scanning, and it also has a better color document cost-per-print.

HP Color LaserJet Enterprise M554dn

The HP Color LaserJet Pro M255dw and the HP Color LaserJet Enterprise M554dn are both decent color laser printers. The M554dn is better-suited for small offices as it's much bigger and heavier. It yields a lot more pages and prints much faster, while also having a bigger input tray capacity. On the other hand, the M255dw is a better choice for students or anyone looking for a compact size printer. It has a better touch-sensitive screen and you can easily connect to it wirelessly.

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.

HP OfficeJet Pro 9015

The HP OfficeJet Pro 9015 and the HP Color LaserJet Pro M255dw are both office printers, but the M255dw is great only if you don't need a scanner. The 9015 has a full-feature scanner and a lower cost-per-print thanks to its cheaper cartridges. Since it's an inkjet printer, the 9015 prints nicer-looking photos. However, if you only need to print, the M255dw yields significantly more pages, prints faster, and produces more accurate-looking colors.

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