HP LaserJet MFP M234dw Printer Review

Tested using Methodology v0.8.1
Reviewed Feb 26, 2021 at 10:20 am
HP LaserJet MFP M234dw Picture
2.8
Family
5.5
Small/Home Office
6.5
Student
8.1
Black & White
2.2
Casual Photo
Type All in One
Technology Laser
Wireless Yes
Color No
SuperTank
No

The HP LaserJet MFP M234dw is a great monochrome laser printer for printing black and white documents. You can connect to the printer over a wired or wireless connection, and it also supports printing from mobile devices through AirPrint and Mopria. Its excellent cartridge system yields a large number of pages, leading to less frequent replacement of the toner cartridge and an exceptionally low cost-per-print. Unfortunately, even though it has a scanner, it lacks an automatic document feeder, and the scan resolution is limited to 600 DPI. Also, its printing speed for black and white documents is only decent, slower than most laser printers we've tested. Note that the HP LaserJet MFP M234dwe is the same printer, but it includes six months of replacement toner through the HP Instant Ink subscription program.

Our Verdict

2.8 Family

The HP LaserJet M234dw is an awful family printer. It can't print in color, and its photo printing quality is terrible. It has a flatbed scanner, but the scan resolution is limited to 600 DPI, which isn't ideal if you want to digitize photos. That said, it might still be a good choice if you only need to print black and white documents.

Pros
  • High black page yield.
  • Exceptional cost-per-print for black-only printing.
Cons
  • Can't print in color.
  • Terrible photo printing quality.
  • No external storage support.
  • Scan resolution limited to 600 DPI.
5.5 Small/Home Office

The HP LaserJet M234dw is sub-par for office use. It might be a good choice if you only need to print in black, but the lack of a sheetfed scanner and color printing is likely a dealbreaker for most offices. Also, its printing speed is a bit slow for a laser printer. On the upside, it has an excellent black page yield, which means you don't have to replace the toner cartridge as often, and the build quality is great.

Pros
  • High black page yield.
  • Can connect over Wi-Fi.
Cons
  • Printing speed for black and white documents is only decent.
  • Can't print in color.
  • No automatic document feeder.
6.5 Student

The HP LaserJet M234dw is okay for students. It's great if you only need to print black and white documents because it has a high black page yield and an exceptional cost-per-print, but the lack of color printing might be too limiting for some. You can connect easily over Wi-fi or initiate printing from a mobile device through AirPrint or Mopria. The mobile app is decent but doesn't support Microsoft Office files.

Pros
  • High black page yield.
  • Exceptional cost-per-print for black-only printing.
  • Can connect over Wi-Fi.
Cons
  • Printing speed for black and white documents is only decent.
  • Can't print in color.
  • No external storage support.
8.1 Black & White

The HP LaserJet M234dw is great for printing black-only documents. It has an exceptional black page yield, which leads to fewer replacements of the toner cartridge and a remarkably low cost-per-print. However, its printing speed is only decent for black and white documents, slower than most of the laser printers we've tested.

Pros
  • High black page yield.
  • Exceptional cost-per-print for black-only printing.
  • Automatic duplex printing.
Cons
  • Printing speed for black and white documents is only decent.
2.2 Casual Photo

The HP LaserJet M234dw is awful for printing photos. It can only print in black, and printed photos look terrible because they're noisy and lack fine detail. Also, it can't print on glossy photo paper.

Pros
Cons
  • Can't print in color.
  • Terrible photo printing quality.
  • Can't print on glossy paper.
  • 2.8 Family
  • 5.5 Small/Home Office
  • 6.5 Student
  • 8.1 Black & White
  • 2.2 Casual Photo

Test Results

perceptual testing image
Design
8.0
Design
Build & Design Quality

The build quality feels great. It's entirely plastic but feels sturdy, and it's designed to give easy access to the toner cartridge and paper jams. The power cord is removable and replaceable should it get damaged. The input tray is stationary, so you can't pull it out; you can only lift the top cover. The only part that feels a bit flimsy is the document mat on the underside of the scanner's lid, which is made of thin white plastic.

Design
Dimensions
Height 9.5" (24.2 cm)
Width 14.6" (37.0 cm)
Depth 15.9" (40.5 cm)
Weight
17.4 lbs (7.9 kg)

This is a relatively compact printer that doesn't take up too much space, but you still need some clearance on top to open the scanner lid.

3.0
Design
Display Screen
Display Screen Yes
Display Screen Size
1.2" (3.1 cm)
Touchscreen No

The display screen is bad. It's a tiny monochrome screen with bad viewing angles, so you have to be on top and looking at it directly to see it clearly. It only shows the Wi-fi status and the number of copies. The nine buttons below the screen let you make copies, adjust the screen's brightness, get info, and resume or cancel a print job.

Design
In The Box

  • Power cord
  • HP 134A toner (W1340A)
  • Quick start guide

8.5
Design
Cartridge
Photo Cartridge
No
Number Of Color Cartridges
N/A
Black Cartridge Model
HP 134A Black
Tested Black Page Yield
97.70 prints
Estimated Black Page Yield
1856 prints
Color Cartridge Model
N/A
Tested Color Page Yield
N/A
Estimated Color Page Yield
N/A
Third Party Cartridge
No
High Yield Cartridge
X
Drum Unit
In The Cartridge

The cartridge system is excellent. It yields a large number of black pages, which means you shouldn't have to replace the toner cartridge as frequently. Also, you don't have to replace the drum unit separately because it's built into the cartridge.

4.7
Design
Scanner
Scanner
Yes
Scan Flatbed
Yes
Scan Sheetfed
No
Automatic Document Feeder
No
Duplex Scanning
No
Scan Resolution
600 DPI
Scan Color Depth
24 bit
Flatbed Scan Size
8.5" x 11"
Fax
No
Copy
Yes

The HP LaserJet M234dw has few scanner features. It only has a flatbed, and the lid doesn't extend for thicker items like books. The maximum scan resolution should be fine for documents, but it's not ideal for scanning photos.

Printing
9.4
Printing
Cost-Per-Print
Black Cartridge Price
48.99 US$
Color Cartridge Price
N/A
Black Only Printing
0.026 US$/print
Color Printing
N/A
Photo Printing
N/A
Ink Subscription
No

The HP LaserJet M234dw's cost-per-print is exceptional due to its high black page yield and the toner's relatively low price, which is great for high-volume printing. The model that we tested doesn't include an ink subscription trial. If you need an ink subscription, the HP LaserJet M234dwe is the one to get because it comes with a 6-month supply of toner through the Instant Ink program.

8.1
Printing
Printing Speed
Black Only Text Document
16 PPM
Color Document
N/A
Photo Printing Time
27.4 sec
First Page Out Time (Black Only)
12.9 sec
Duplex Printing
Automatic
Input Tray Capacity
150 pages

Printing speed is great, although it's mainly due to its quick photo printing speed, which isn't all that important considering it's a monochrome laser printer with terrible photo printing quality. For black-only documents, it's slower than most monochrome laser printers. It takes a while to get the first page out, and it only gets slightly faster for subsequent pages.

0
Printing
Color Accuracy
Average Color dE
N/A
1.1
Printing
Photo Printing Quality
Borderless Printing
No

Like most monochrome laser printers, the HP LaserJet M234dw is terrible for printing photos. Blacks look deep, and there isn't much banding, but the pictures are noisy and lacking in detail. Also, the printer can't print on glossy photo paper. We printed the test image on regular 8.5" x 11" paper.

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") No

The HP LaserJet M234dw supports most common paper sizes. It can print on a 5" x 8" paper, but not 5" x 7".

Mobile App And Connectivity
8.0
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
No
Apple AirPrint
Yes
Mopria Print Service
Yes
7.0
Mobile App And Connectivity
Mobile App For Home Use
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, scan, and make copies from your smartphone. However, it doesn't support Microsoft Office files, text files, and webpages. You can also check the printer's toner level and order replacement toner.

Differences Between Sizes And Variants

We tested the HP LaserJet MFP M234dw. The HP LaserJet MFP M234dwe is the same printer and should perform identically, but it comes with six months of toner replacement through HP's Instant Ink subscription program. There are no other variants. Note that this printer is difficult to find at the time of writing; we purchased our unit from Walmart.

Our unit was manufactured in September 2020; you can see the label here.

Compared To Other Printers

The HP LaserJet MFP M234dw is a great monochrome laser printer for high-volume, black-only printing. However, its printing speed is a bit slow for a laser printer, and the lack of an automatic document feeder makes it less ideal for offices that need to process long documents regularly. For more options, check out our recommendations for the best black and white printers, the best office printers, and the best laser printers.

Kyocera ECOSYS P2235dw

The Kyocera ECOSYS P2235dw is better than the HP LaserJet MFP M234dw/M234dwe for black and white printing. The Kyocera has a significantly higher black page yield and lower cost-per-print. However, you have to replace the drum unit separately, whereas the HP's is built into the cartridge. The Kyocera prints a lot faster, and it has a larger input tray so that you don't have to reload paper as often during a big print job. The HP might be a better choice for some because it has a scanner and supports AirPrint, which the Kyocera doesn't.

Brother HL-L2370DW

For black-only printing, the Brother HL-L2370DW is much better than the HP LaserJet MFP M234dw/M234dwe. The Brother yields more black pages and accepts third-party cartridges. The cost-per-print is similar between the two, but keep in mind that the HP's drum unit is built into the cartridge, while the Brother's is a separate unit that you need to replace manually, which is another added expense. The Brother prints significantly faster, and its input tray can hold more paper, up to 250 pages compared to the HP's 150-page capacity. On the other hand, the HP might be a better choice if you need a scanner because the Brother doesn't have one.

Brother MFC-L2710DW

The Brother MFC-L2710DW is much better than the HP LaserJet MFP M234dw/M234dwe. The Brother's build quality is better, and it has a scanner with a higher scan resolution and an automatic document feeder. It also has a significantly faster printing speed, a larger input tray, and a much better mobile app. It doesn't yield as many black pages as the HP, but the cartridge is cheaper, and it accepts third-party cartridges as well. That said, the Brother's drum unit is a separate piece that you need to replace eventually, while the HP's drum is built into the cartridge.

Brother MFC-L2750DW

The Brother MFC-L2750DW is much better than the HP LaserJet MFP M234dw/M234dwe. The Brother has many more scanner features, including an automatic document feeder with duplex scanning capability and a higher maximum scan resolution. Plus, it has a faster printing speed, a larger input tray, and a better display screen. It has a higher page yield than the HP, and it accepts third-party cartridges. Its cost-per-print is lower as well, but you have to replace the drum separately, whereas the HP's is built into the cartridge.

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