HP Color LaserJet Pro M255dw Printer Review

Tested using Methodology v0.8.1
Reviewed Jun 18, 2020 at 09:06 am
HP Color LaserJet Pro M255dw Picture
5.8
Family
7.0
Small/Home Office
7.4
Student
8.2
Black & White
6.5
Casual 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

5.8 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.
7.0 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.
7.4 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.
8.2 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.
6.5 Casual 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. On the upside, its color accuracy is good, 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.
  • 5.8 Family
  • 7.0 Small/Home Office
  • 7.4 Student
  • 8.2 Black & White
  • 6.5 Casual Photo

Check Price

White Color LaserJet Pro M255dw
SEE PRICE
BestBuy.com

Test Results

perceptual testing image
Design
8.5
Design
Build & Design 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)
Weight
32.2 lbs (14.6 kg)

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

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.

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

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
1691 prints
Color Cartridge Model
HP 206A (C/M/Y)
Tested Color Page Yield
64.00 prints
Estimated Color Page Yield
1361 prints
Third Party Cartridge
No
High Yield Cartridge
XL
Drum Unit
In The Cartridge

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.

0
Design
Scanner
Scanner
No
Scan Flatbed
No
Scan Sheetfed
No
Automatic Document Feeder
No
Duplex Scanning
No
Scan Resolution
N/A
Scan Color Depth
N/A
Flatbed Scan Size
N/A
Fax
No
Copy
No

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

Printing
8.3
Printing
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.

8.3
Printing
Printing Speed
Black Only Text Document
17 PPM
Color Document
23 PPM
Photo Printing Time
33.0 sec
First Page Out Time (Black Only)
12.0 sec
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.

7.9
Printing
Color Accuracy
Average Color dE
9.08

The HP M255dw has good color accuracy. Although all colors are inaccurate to a certain degree, reds and yellows are closest to the source, while blues and greens are noticeably different. It should be fine for documents where color accuracy isn't important, but it may not be good enough for professionals who require exact color reproduction.

5.0
Printing
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.

Printing
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

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.

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 has support for external storage devices, it's only for a USB thumb drive, not for SD cards.

7.0
Mobile App and Connectivity
Mobile App Print
Mobile App Yes
App Name HP Smart
iOS Yes
Android Yes
Photo (JPEG, PNG)
Yes
PDF
Yes
Microsoft Office Files
No
Text Files (TXT)
No
Webpages (HTML)
No

The HP Smart mobile app is decent. You can print most types of documents; however, it doesn't support Microsoft Office file, text files, or webpages. You can scan using your smartphone's camera, as well as find retailers for toners and various supplies. Do note that to use some of the features, a separate app needs to be installed as well, called HP Print Service Plugin.

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.

HP OfficeJet Pro 9015

For most uses, the HP OfficeJet Pro 9015 is much better than the HP Color LaserJet Pro M255dw. The 9015 has a better display screen, a full-feature scanner, and it's more cost-effective in the long run due to the low cost of the ink cartridges. The 9015 prints higher quality photos, but the M255dw has better color accuracy and it yields more black and color pages before needing toner replacement. 

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 has a full-feature scanner. The M479dw also prints faster, 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.

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.

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