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HP Color LaserJet Pro MFP M479fdw Printer Review

Tested using Methodology v0.8.1
Reviewed May 25, 2020 at 08:00 am
HP Color LaserJet Pro MFP M479fdw Picture
7.1
Family
9.0
Small/Home Office
7.9
Student
8.8
Black & White
6.2
Casual Photo
Type All in One
Technology Laser
Wireless Yes
Color Yes
SuperTank
No

The HP Color LaserJet Pro Multifunction M479fdw is an outstanding laser printer for home or small offices, especially for those who regularly print in bulk. Whether it's in black only or color, documents are printed at great speed and the cartridge's high yield means you won't have to replace them often. You can scan documents and photos at a high resolution and color depth, and the scanner is also equipped with an automatic document feeder (ADF) that can perform duplex scanning, saving you time. Unfortunately, the quality of printed photos isn't good, and color accuracy may be an issue for those working in graphic design or printed media. On the bright side, its build quality is outstanding and its design gives you easy access to the toner cartridges and various trays. It's relatively inexpensive to print in large numbers, and the printer has excellent wireless connectivity options, providing convenience as well as keeping your setup clean and wire-free.

Our Verdict

7.1 Family

The HP LaserJet Pro M479fdw is a decent family printer. Like most laser printers, it isn't the best at printing photos as the quality is quite bad. However, for black only or color documents, this printer can chug out a good number of pages quickly and at a low cost. The scanner is packed with great features, including an automatic document feeder and duplex scanning, and its excellent connectivity options allow the whole family to be connected wirelessly.

Pros
  • Exceptional black and color page yield.
  • Great overall cost-per-print.
  • Excellent color accuracy.
Cons
  • Bad photo printing quality.
9.0 Small/Home Office

The HP LaserJet Pro M479fdw is an outstanding printer for home or small offices. Its black and color toner cartridges can yield a lot of pages before they need to be replaced, and the cost-per-print remains low even if you print a large number of copies. Printing speed is excellent, whether it's in black only or color, and the scanner has an automatic document feeder that can perform duplex scanning, which is a huge time-saver if you regularly have to scan long documents.

Pros
  • Exceptional black and color page yield.
  • Fast printing speed.
Cons
  • Mobile app can't print Microsoft Office files.
7.9 Student

The HP LaserJet Pro M479fdw is a good printer for students. Its high yield allows you to print a good amount of black and color documents before you need to replace the cartridges, and the cost of printing in black only remains low over time, which is great for students on a tight budget. It can take some time to print out the first page, but subsequent pages are much faster, so you won't have to stress about having to hand in your assignments and papers at the last minute.

Pros
  • Exceptional black and color page yield.
  • Great overall cost-per-print.
  • Fast printing speed.
Cons
  • No Bluetooth support.
  • Mobile app can't print Microsoft Office files.
8.8 Black & White

The HP LaserJet Pro M479fdw is an excellent printer for printing black and white documents. Aside from the first page, documents are printed quickly and you can print a lot of pages on a single black toner cartridge. The cost of printing in black only is fairly consistent, so it won't end up costing much more over time. The printer accepts high-yield cartridges if you need more, and changing the cartridges is easy thanks to its outstanding design.

Pros
  • Exceptional black and color page yield.
  • Great overall cost-per-print.
  • Fast printing speed.
Cons
6.2 Casual Photo

The HP M479fdw is a mediocre printer for printing photos, which is expected of most laser printers. Even though it has excellent color accuracy, photos lack detail and there's a lot of banding and graininess. Additionally, it can't print on glossy photo paper.

Pros
  • Exceptional black and color page yield.
  • Great overall cost-per-print.
  • Excellent color accuracy.
Cons
  • Bad photo printing quality.
  • Can't print on glossy photo paper.
  • 7.1 Family
  • 9.0 Small/Home Office
  • 7.9 Student
  • 8.8 Black & White
  • 6.2 Casual Photo
  1. Update 6/8/2020: Converted to Test Bench 0.8.1.

Check Price

Color LaserJet Pro MFP M479fdw
SEE PRICE
BestBuy.com

Test Results

perceptual testing image
Design
9.0
Design
Build & Design Quality

The HP LaserJet Pro M479fdw has an outstanding build and design. The frame is entirely made of a thick plastic that feels solid and sturdy. The power cable is removable, making it easy to replace should it break, and the toner cartridges are easily accessible by pulling out the tray. The input trays have sliders that adjust to the paper's size and the bottom input tray can hold papers up to standard legal size. The scanner lid doesn't have extendable hinges to accommodate thicker documents and the display console is a bit in the way of the output tray; however, the scanner bed can be raised to give you better access.

Design
Dimensions
Height 15.5" (39.3 cm)
Width 16.4" (41.6 cm)
Depth 18.6" (47.2 cm)
Weight
51.6 lbs (23.4 kg)

The HP M479fdw is a large, tall, and heavy printer. For some, it likely needs to be set on a lower table for proper access to the scanner.

9.0
Design
Display Screen
Display Screen Yes
Display Screen Size
4.3" (10.8 cm)
Touchscreen Yes

The display console on the HP M479fdw is outstanding. The screen is big and it can tilt to provide better visibility, whether you're standing or sitting. The menu is easy to navigate and there's audible feedback when interacting with the console. The downside is that it does lag a bit, especially when switching from one function to another, such as going from scanning to printing.

Design
In The Box

  • Power cable
  • Phone cable
  • USB-A to USB-B cable
  • 1 x HP 414A Black toner/drum unit
  • 1 x HP 414A Cyan toner/drum unit
  • 1 x HP 414A Magenta toner/drum unit
  • 1 x HP 414A Yellow toner/drum unit

9.4
Design
Cartridge
Photo Cartridge
No
Number Of Color Cartridges
3
Black Cartridge Model
HP 414A Black
Tested Black Page Yield
126.96 prints
Estimated Black Page Yield
2412 prints
Color Cartridge Model
HP 414A C/M/Y
Tested Color Page Yield
101.96 prints
Estimated Color Page Yield
2169 prints
Third Party Cartridge
No
High Yield Cartridge
XL
Drum Unit
In The Cartridge

The HP M479fdw's cartridge system is outstanding. Both the black and color toner cartridges allow you to print a large number of copies before they need to be replaced. Pop-ups will alert you when toner levels are low, and there are high yield cartridges available if you need to print more. If you want a printer with a higher black page yield, consider the Canon imageCLASS MF743Cdw.

Although there are third party toners, changing them involves having to remove a microchip from the original cartridge and placing it on the replacement cartridge, so that the printer recognizes them as being genuine. Some people may not mind performing such tasks, but it may be an unreasonable amount of tinkering for the average user. Also, using third party toners can void the manufacturer's warranty.

9.9
Design
Scanner
Scanner
Yes
Scan Flatbed
Yes
Scan Sheetfed
Yes
Automatic Document Feeder
Yes
Duplex Scanning
Yes
Scan Resolution
1200 DPI
Scan Color Depth
30 bit
Flatbed Scan Size
8.5" x 11"
Fax
Yes
Copy
Yes

The HP M479fdw has exceptional scanning features. It can scan at a maximum resolution of 1200 DPI; however, it drops to 300 DPI if you perform the scan using the HP Smart mobile app or when using the automatic document feeder (ADF). The ADF is required to scan legal-size documents as the flatbed is only big enough for letter-size documents. You can also perform two-sided scans (duplex scanning), but the scanner's lid can't extend to accommodate thicker documents or books.

Printing
8.4
Printing
Cost-Per-Print
Black Cartridge Price
84.99 US$
Color Cartridge Price
329.97 US$
Black Only Printing
0.035 US$/print
Color Printing
0.152 US$/print
Photo Printing
0.404 US$/print
Ink Subscription
No

The HP LaserJet Pro M479fdw's cost-per-print is great. The cost of printing black documents only is fairly consistent and doesn't rise significantly, even if you print a lot. The cost of printing in color does rise sharply, but given the color cartridges' high yield, you won't have to change them too often. If you want a printer with cheaper cartridges, check out the Lexmark CX331adwe.

8.6
Printing
Printing Speed
Black Only Text Document
22 PPM
Color Document
29 PPM
Photo Printing Time
18.0 sec
First Page Out Time (Black Only)
13.0 sec
Duplex Printing
Automatic
Input Tray Capacity
250 pages

The HP M479fdw has excellent printing speed. It takes very little time to print out black only and color documents in bulk, but printing photos can take up significantly more time. It's worth noting that the printer is set to perform duplex printing by default, so it needs to be disabled if you only want to print on one side of the paper. If you want a printer with faster printing speed or larger input trays, check out the HP Color LaserJet Enterprise M553dn.

8.5
Printing
Color Accuracy
Average Color dE
8.26

The HP M479fdw has excellent color accuracy. The colors are still inaccurate and noticeable for most people, but it should be fine if you're just printing casually. However, it may not be suitable for professionals working in print media.

3.9
Printing
Photo Printing Quality
Borderless Printing
No

The HP LaserJet Pro MFP M479fdw has poor photo printing quality. Photos lack sharpness, and there's quite a bit of banding and pixelation. While the printer can print on glossy paper, HP recommends to not print on heavy glossy paper to avoid potential paper jams.

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 M479fdw has two front paper trays that support most paper formats up to the standard legal size. The first tray can hold 50 sheets while the second tray can hold 250, and both can extend to accommodate various paper sizes. An additional third tray can be purchased separately, holding another 550 sheets of paper.

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 M479fdw has excellent connectivity options. You can connect via your router's Wi-Fi or through the printer's, as it has support for Wi-Fi direct. There's a USB input that allows you to print directly from external storage devices, but unfortunately, we weren't able to connect to the printer using Bluetooth, even though it's advertised as having support for it.

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 app is decent. It allows you to scan directly from the app at a 300dpi resolution, as well as run maintenance tasks such as color calibration, and perform print quality reports. You can also print or copy documents, and send mobile faxes too. If you want a similar printer with an app that prints Microsoft Office files, check out the Canon imageCLASS MF644Cdw.

Compared to other printers

The HP Color LaserJet Pro MFP M479fdw is an outstanding printer for small or home offices. It's one of the best laser all-in-ones we've tested so far, as it's able to print quickly, affordably, and it's equipped with a full-feature scanner. For other options, check out our recommendations for the best all-in-one printers, the best home printers, and the best photo printers.

Canon imageCLASS MF644Cdw

The Canon imageCLASS MF644Cdw and the HP Color LaserJet Pro MFP M479fdw are both color laser printers meant for small offices and they have similar overall performance. The HP has a higher black and color page yield, it prints faster, and its cost-per-print is slightly lower. The HP also has a higher scanning resolution and better color accuracy, but the Canon has a better mobile companion app that's capable of printing Microsoft Office files.

Brother MFC-L3770CDW Laser

Overall, the HP Color LaserJet Pro MFP M479fdw is slightly better than the Brother MFC-L3770CDW Laser. The HP yields more black and color pages, it prints faster, and its color accuracy is significantly better. The Brother's cost-per-print is lower; however, its drum unit is a separate unit and the cost isn't factored in, while the HP's drum unit is built into the cartridge.

HP LaserJet Enterprise M507dn

Overall, the HP Color LaserJet Pro MFP M4789fdw is a much better printer than the HP LaserJet Enterprise M507dn. The M4789fdw can print in color, it has a scanner, and it has significantly better connectivity options. However,  the Enterprise M507dn is a better choice for printing black and white documents, as it has faster printing speed and its black toner cartridge can yield a lot more pages.

HP Color LaserJet Pro M255dw

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.

Canon imageCLASS MF743Cdw

The Canon imageCLASS MF743Cdw is a better printer than the HP Color LaserJet Pro MFP M479fdw. The Canon's cartridge system has a much higher page yield and a lower cost-per-print. That said, the HP's scanner resolution is much higher and it's much faster at printing black-only documents.

Lexmark CX331adwe

The HP Color LaserJet Pro MFP M479fdw is better overall than the Lexmark CX331adwe. The HP is better built, it has a much higher page yield, it supports duplex scanning, and it has much better color accuracy. However, the toner cartridges for the Lexmark are cheaper, so it's slightly most cost-effective over time with this printer.

Brother HL-L3270CDW Laser

For most uses, the HP Color LaserJet Pro MFP M479fdw is much better than the Brother HL-L3270CDW Laser. The HP has a better display screen, it yields more black and color pages, and it prints faster. The HP also has support for external drives and it has a full-feature scanner. The Brother's cost-per-print is slightly lower, but keep in mind that the drum unit is separate and will need to replaced eventually, which can be costly.

HP Color LaserJet Enterprise M553dn

Overall, the HP Color LaserJet Pro MFP M479fdw is much better than the HP Color LaserJet Enterprise M553dn. The M479fdw has a full-feature scanner, a much better display screen, more connectivity options, and mobile app support. However, if you tend to print in bulk, the M553dn is a better choice due to its faster printing speed and larger input trays, and its significantly higher page yield leads to a lower cost-per-print.

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