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Pantum P3012DW Printer Review

Tested using Methodology v1.0
Reviewed Apr 07, 2022 at 11:43 am
Pantum P3012DW Picture
2.6
Family
5.9
Small/Home Office
6.4
Student
8.0
Black & White
2.4
Photo
Type Printer Only
Technology Laser
Wireless Yes
Color No
SuperTank
No

The Pantum P3012DW is a monochrome print-only laser model that you can get on a budget. Its excellent print speed makes it ideal if you need to print black and white documents in bulk, like reports or spreadsheets for work or simple flyers for an upcoming event. There's also support for automatic duplex printing, allowing you to quickly produce double-sided prints. Its black page yield is typical for a laser printer but is still remarkably high, and although its cost-per-print isn't nearly as low as some supertanks, it's still a cost-effective model over time. You have to replace the drum unit separately, though. Unfortunately, it's a bit tricky to set it up with your wireless network, and the iOS companion app is very hard to use. Also, since there's no scanner, it isn't suitable if you need to digitize any media or make quick copies.

Our Verdict

2.6 Family

The Pantum P3012DW performs terribly for family use, mainly because it doesn't have any scanner features, and its companion app is very hard to use. As a monochrome laser model, it isn't for printing photos. Otherwise, it's a very good choice if you only need to produce simple prints like recipes or forms to fill out since it yields a remarkably high number of pages, and its cost-per-print is very cheap. It's also easy to maintain, and you don't need to run regular maintenance procedures.

Pros
  • Superb black page yield and remarkably cheap cost-per-print.
  • Rarely requires maintenance.
Cons
  • No scanner features.
  • Not suited for printing photos.
  • Companion app is difficult to use.
5.9 Small/Home Office

The Pantum P3012DW is sub-par for small or home office use. Since it doesn't have a scanner, it isn't suited for offices that need to digitize signed documents or make quick copies. However, it has a fantastic black page yield, and it prints black text documents at an outstanding speed, making it a great choice for simple black and white prints. Unfortunately, it's hard to set up with a wireless network, and it doesn't feel very well built or sturdy.

Pros
  • Superb black page yield and remarkably cheap cost-per-print.
  • Prints black text documents at an outstandingly fast speed.
  • Rarely requires maintenance.
Cons
  • No scanner features.
  • Two-line LCD screen is too simplistic.
  • Difficult to set up with a network.
  • Cheap-feeling plastic build.
6.4 Student

The Pantum P3012DW is passable for student use. It can't print in color, nor does it have a scanner, so it finds its best use in printing simple documents in black. However, you likely won't need to replace the toner throughout your entire school program, thanks to its remarkably high black page yield, making it economical in the long run. You also don't need to worry about running any maintenance tasks. Unfortunately, it takes a little long to warm up and print after going unused for a while, but it can get even the longest research papers out in no time once it gets going.

Pros
  • Superb black page yield and remarkably cheap cost-per-print.
  • Rarely requires maintenance.
Cons
  • No scanner features.
  • Takes a while to warm up and begin printing.
8.0 Black & White

The Pantum P3012DW is great for black and white printing. It yields a remarkably high number of pages at an outstandingly cheap cost-per-print, which keeps prints economical in the long run. However, it isn't as good as most higher-end laser models or supertank inkjets. It's compatible with high-yield cartridges, though. It prints black pages at a remarkably fast speed, although it does take a little long to warm up and begin printing after going unused for a while. Unfortunately, its two-line LCD screen is very simplistic, and the printer itself is hard to set up for use with your local wireless network.

Pros
  • Superb black page yield and remarkably cheap cost-per-print.
  • Prints black text documents at an outstandingly fast speed.
  • Rarely requires maintenance.
  • Compatible with high-yield cartridges.
Cons
  • No scanner features.
  • Two-line LCD screen is too simplistic.
2.4 Photo

The Pantum P3012DW is a monochrome laser printer that isn't for professional or amateur photo printing.

Pros
Cons
  • Not suited for printing photos.
  • 2.6 Family
  • 5.9 Small/Home Office
  • 6.4 Student
  • 8.0 Black & White
  • 2.4 Photo
  1. Updated Apr 07, 2022: Review published.
  2. Updated Mar 30, 2022: Early access published.

Test Results

perceptual testing image
Design
6.0
Design
Build Quality

The Pantum P3012DW has mediocre build quality. Its plastic body feels cheap, and the paper tray sticks out of the printer's rear even if you only have Letter-size paper loaded. On the bright side, in the case of paper jams, there's a large panel on the printer's rear that you can use to access the sheet rollers, and you can also easily remove the duplex feeder. Also, there's easy access to the cartridge and drum unit through a door in front of the printer. There are vents on the right and left sides of the printer, so it's best to keep it away from obstructions on either side.

Design
Dimensions
Height 9.1" (23.0 cm)
Width 14.0" (35.5 cm)
Depth 13.1" (33.3 cm)
Height When In Use
9.6" (24.4 cm)
Width When In Use
14.0" (35.5 cm)
Depth When In Use
18.3" (46.4 cm)
Weight
14.8 lbs (6.7 kg)
7.5
Design
Expected Maintenance
Ink Related Maintenance
Not Needed
Drum Unit
A Separate Unit

The Pantum P3012DW doesn't have any maintenance tasks. Since it's a laser printer, you don't have to worry about ink-related cleaning procedures. It yields more than a thousand pages before running out of toner, so you only need to open up the front of the printer every so often to replace the cartridge. You have to replace the drum unit separately, which can be a bad thing as it's another replaceable part you have to worry about. However, it also means that the cartridges are generally cheaper than if the drum unit were included.

The paper input tray holds 250 plain sheets and includes a paper level indicator to see how much paper you have left. You'll need to refill it now and then, more so if you print large print jobs often. However, you might need to regularly put aside larger print tasks instead of leaving them in the tray since the output tray can only hold up to 150 sheets. In case of paper jams, you can access the sheet rollers through a panel in the rear, and you can also remove the duplex feeder if sheets get stuck while printing double-sided documents.

4.5
Design
Display Screen
Display Screen Yes
Display Screen Size
1.8" (4.6 cm)
Touchscreen No

The Pantum P3012DW has a poor display screen. It's a small, two-line dot matrix LCD that's fixed and isn't backlit. Fortunately, it has good viewing angles, so you can see its contents while sitting or standing either directly in front of it or to the side. You can operate the printer and navigate through its options using a set of simple buttons. The power button is on the front panel of the printer, on the right side.

8.5
Design
Cartridge
Photo Cartridge
No
Number Of Color Cartridges
N/A
Black Cartridge Model
Pantum TL-410
Tested Black Page Yield
103 prints
Estimated Black Page Yield
1,957 prints
Color Cartridge Model
No Color Cartridge
Tested Color Page Yield
N/A
Estimated Color Page Yield
N/A
Third Party Cartridge
Not Found At Time Of The Review
Ink Type
Toner
High Yield Cartridge
Yes

The Pantum P3012DW has an excellent cartridge system. It yields a superb number of black pages, making it a great choice if you need to print monochrome documents. You have to replace the drum unit separately, though. The printer is also compatible with the TL-410H and TL-410X high-volume toner cartridge models, which provide a cheaper cost-per-print in addition to higher page yields.

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
No Flatbed
Fax
No
Copy
No
OCR Included
No Scanner

The Pantum P3012DW doesn't have any scanner features.

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") Yes
Max Paper Weight
200 g/m²

The Pantum P3012DW only supports 4" x 6", 5" x 7", and 8" x 10" sheets if you set them as a custom size. It supports custom paper from 2.95" to 8.5" in width to 5.83" to 14" in height. Even though the input tray supports up to 200g/m² density paper, the main input cassette only supports paper up to 105g/m², so it's best not to put label paper, cardboard paper, or envelopes in the main cassette.

Design
In The Box

  • Quick Setup Guide
  • CD with drivers, software, and documentation
  • USB-A to USB-B cable
  • Power cord
  • DL-410E starter drum (9,000 pages)
  • TL-410E starter toner (1,000 pages)

Design
Battery
Advertised Battery Life
N/A
Tested Charging Time
N/A
Document
9.4
Document
Cost-Per-Print
Black Cartridge Price
53.89 US$
Color Cartridge Price
0 US$
Black Only Printing
0.028 US$/print
Color Printing
N/A
Photo Printing
N/A
Ink Subscription
No

The Pantum P3012DW's cost-per-print is outstandingly cheap. Even though the toner cartridge is a little bit pricey, printing a page is still cheap since the cartridge yields so many pages. However, you need to replace the drum unit separately, which adds an extra cost to maintaining the printer. The TL-410H and TL-410X high-volume toner cartridge models will provide an even cheaper cost-per-print.

8.5
Document
Printing Speed
Black Only Text Document
33 PPM
Color Document
N/A
Photo Printing Time
11.9 s
Single Page Out Time (Black Only)
19.3 s
Duplex Printing
Automatic
Input Tray Capacity
251 pages

The Pantum P3012DW's printing speed is excellent. It takes a while to begin printing after going unused for more than an hour, but it gets monochrome documents out at a superb speed once it gets going. Fortunately, unlike the Pantum P2502W, this printer doesn't have any issues with paper handling or its output tray spilling due to curled sheets.

Document
Document Sample
Color Ink Needed for Black & White
No

The Pantum P3012DW prints photos and documents at a very slight angle even with all the paper guides and the cassette properly aligned. However, this might be a manufacturing defect that only occurred with a few individual units. If you have the same model and are experiencing crooked prints, let us know in the discussions!

Photo
0.5
Photo
Photo Printing Quality
Borderless Printing
No

The Pantum P3012DW is a monochrome laser unit that isn't for printing photos. Even if you expect to print basic-quality photos for use in copies of articles, pictures lose lots of detail, have heavy, irregular banding, and look significantly darker than the originals.

0
Photo
Color Accuracy
Average Color dE
N/A

The Pantum P3012DW can't print in color; the color accuracy image shown here is only for reference.

0
Photo
Color Gamut

The Pantum P3012DW can't print in color; the color gamut image shown here is only for reference.

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

The Pantum P3012DW requires hard-wired setup before you can use it to print via a Wi-Fi network. You first need to install the printer's drivers, then use the provided USB-A to USB-B cable to connect it to your computer. At this point, you can set the printer up for use directly with the USB cable, connect it to your network via an Ethernet cable, or connect it to your local network via Wi-Fi, after which you can disconnect the USB cable.

If you don't have a computer handy to set the printer up but want to print using your mobile device, you have to connect your phone to the printer via Wi-Fi Direct each time. On the other hand, if you already used a computer to set the printer up for use with your local network, you can print to it from your phone as if it were any other network-connected printer. There's an NFC tag on the printer, which brings you to the app store to download the app. If you already have the app installed, it opens the app.

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

The Pantum P3012DW is compatible with the "Pantum" mobile app on iOS and the "Pantum Mobile Print & Scan" app on Android. Despite having different names, they're the same app. There are links to "Supplies and Accessories" and "Services and Support", as well as icons for different social media websites, but they take you directly to Pantum's web pages instead. For HTML files, you can only print websites using the app's built-in browser; this means you can't choose specific HTML files to print.

The iOS app, in particular, is difficult to use. You can't print PDF, Microsoft Office, or TXT files by simply tapping the icon for each file type in the app. Instead, you have to tap "How to import files?" on the error screen, bringing you to this screen. You can tap on each one for instructions on how to execute each method. You can also tap on the iCloud disk icon from the app's main page, which opens the File app to access files from both your iCloud drive and your phone's local storage for you to print.

To connect to the Pantum P3012DW via the mobile app, you have to press the "WiFi" button to print a setup sheet. You can then scan the printed QR code to connect the printer to the mobile app. Alternatively, the setup sheet tells you to select "More" then "Configure printer WiFi", but this option doesn't exist in the iOS or Android apps.

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

On Windows, the Pantum P3012DW requires you to manually install drivers to connect and print. You don't need to manually install any drivers to print on macOS or Chrome OS.

Differences Between Sizes And Variants

We tested the Pantum P3012DW in black. It's also available in gray and white color schemes. It's closely related to the Pantum P3010D, which only supports hard-wired connections like USB or Ethernet and doesn't have wireless capabilities. You can see our unit's label here.

Compared To Other Printers

The Pantum P3012DW is a monochrome print-only laser model that you can get on a budget. It performs great if you only need to print in black and white, but it doesn't have any features that set it apart from other printer models. Also, its companion app is hard to use, and it's hard to set up with a wireless network.

For more options, check out our recommendations for the best laser printers, the best black and white printers, and the best cheap printers.

Brother HL-L2370DW

The Pantum P3012DW and the Brother HL-L2370DW are both monochrome laser units without any scanning features, but the Brother is a better choice if you want something more reliable. The Brother warms up to start printing much sooner than the Pantum, and its mobile app is a lot easier to use. While the Pantum yields more pages at a cheaper cost-per-print, it's hard to set up and get working, and the iOS companion app is particularly cumbersome to use.

Brother MFC-L2710DW

The Pantum P3012DW and the Brother MFC-L2710DW are both monochrome laser printers, but the Brother has an array of scanning features, while the Pantum has none at all. Because of its array of scanner tools, the Brother is better for small or home offices; its flatbed scanner's high resolution means you can capture very fine details, while its ADF can easily scan or make copies of multi-page documents. On the other hand, the Pantum yields many more pages at a cheaper cost-per-print; however, it's hard to set up, and its iOS companion app is cumbersome.

Brother HL-L2350DW

The Brother HL-L2350DW and the Pantum P3012DW are both monochrome laser printers without any scanning features. They perform about the same overall, but it's best to go with the Brother if you want a more reliable model. The Brother is easy to set up for use, and its companion app is a lot easier to use. The Pantum, on the other hand, yields many more pages at a cheaper cost-per-print, and it has an Ethernet port, but it isn't as reliable to use as the Brother.

Kyocera ECOSYS P2235dw

The Pantum P3012DW and the Kyocera ECOSYS P2235dw are both monochrome print-only laser units that are best suited for simple black and white printing. The Kyocera is better overall, with a significantly higher page yield that gives it a much cheaper cost-per-print than the Pantum, and it can print directly from USB flash drives. Also, the Kyocera warms up faster to get the first page out, and its companion app is much easier to use. On the other hand, the Pantum supports Apple AirPrint, making it much easier to use with Apple devices.

Xerox B210/DNI

The Xerox B210/DNI and the Pantum P3012DW are both monochrome print-only laser units best suited for simple black and white printing. The two models perform about the same, with similar print speeds and an equally wide array of connectivity options. However, the Pantum has a much higher page yield and a marginally cheaper cost-per-print, whereas the Xerox is much easier to set up and warms up much faster to print after going unused for a while. Additionally, the Xerox printer's mobile app rarely works, and while the Pantum app is hard to use, you can at least get it to print your files.

Brother MFC-L2750DW

The Brother MFC-L2750DW and the Pantum P3012DW are both monochrome laser printers, but the Brother has a full set of scanner features while the Pantum has none at all. Because of its array of scanning tools, the Brother is better for small or home offices; you can easily digitize various media types using its high-resolution flatbed scanner, while its single-pass duplex ADF makes quick work of double-sided, multi-page documents. Additionally, the Brother warms up faster to start printing after sitting idle for a while, its cost-per-print is slightly cheaper, and its mobile app is much easier to use than the Pantum's.

Pantum P2502W

The Pantum P3012DW and the Pantum P2502W are both monochrome print-only laser models that are best suited for simple black and white printing. However, the P3012DW is the better model, with a faster printing speed, automatic duplex printing support, and an Ethernet port for easy setup with your local network. On the other hand, the P2502W has difficulty handling sheets and occasionally spills them from the output tray. Unfortunately, both printers are difficult to set up, and their mobile apps are hard to use.

HP LaserJet Pro M15w

The HP LaserJet Pro M15w and the Pantum P3012DW are both monochrome print-only laser models that are best suited for simple black and white printing. The Pantum performs better overall, with a significantly faster printing speed, support for automatic duplex printing, and an Ethernet port. On the other hand, the HP is much less cumbersome to set up, and its mobile app is far easier to use.

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