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Lifewire / Jordan Provost
Excellent photo quality
Fast printing and scanning speeds
HP Smart is a great app for PC and mobile
Relatively big and bulky for a mobile wireless printer
USB cable not included
Single document scanner
If you’re willing to splurge, the HP OfficeJet offers professional-grade print quality, speed, and all-in-one features in a wireless mobile printer.
HP has been one of the most well-known and reliable PC tech manufacturers for decades. It shouldn’t come as a surprise that the HP OfficeJet 250 is one of the most impressive, complete printer packages on the market. It’s wireless, portable, fast, packs a scanner and LCD touchscreen, and provides superior print quality, making it a clear winner among high-end printers.
HP stretches the definition of portability with the OfficeJet 250. At 15” long, nearly 8” wide and weighing over six pounds it’s a behemoth among mobile wireless printers. On the flip side, the OfficeJet packs a lot of features into that bold chassis, including a second foldout tray for scanning and a 2” LCD touchscreen. The printer tray folds down from the top and neatly locks back into place without the need of a latch. The power outlet, USB port (cable not included), and battery pack are all located in the rear, leaving the rest of the exterior smooth and matte.
All of the comprehensive features in the HP OfficeJet 250 do not come cheap.
The glossy interior features a power button on the left along with three indicator lights for power, battery life, and Wi-Fi. A 2” x 1.5” LCD screen on the right can be popped up at a 45 degree angle by pressing down firmly above the screen. The touchscreen features icons and menus that can be scrolled through and selected, as well as phone-like home and back buttons to make navigation a breeze.
The interior includes another foldout tray that slides forward and extends for scanning documents. Both printer trays include movable paper guides to adjust to the correct paper size. Moving the left guide automatically moves the right one, making the edges shrink or expand as needed. The guides need a bit of force to move but feel quite sturdy.
The HP OfficeJet includes a large battery pack that’s easily slotted into the rear. Once connected to power and charging, setup was a simple process of downloading the drivers (or using the included CD) and following the instructions for wireless connectivity.
We had to dig around the LCD touchscreen menus to find the initial setup options. Navigating the menus isn’t difficult but there are a lot of options and tools. Wireless setup involves either entering the Wi-Fi password or using the WPS button on a router. The OfficeJet quickly connected to our home Wi-Fi network, providing instant access from our PC and our mobile devices.
Our initial printing tests resulted in streaked lines, requiring us to perform the Clean Printheads function via the HP Smart app. We were impressed with the extensive printed diagnostic page that also checked alignment and colors, and we never ran into any other ink quality issues.
The OfficeJet 250 has one of the fastest wireless printing speeds we’ve seen, even when running on the battery. HP advertises around 9-10 pages per minute. Our tests met similar results, with a 5-page, 1,500-word document taking a little over 30 seconds whether printing from the PC or mobile. The printer didn’t seem to care if it was running on battery power or not in terms of performance and speed.
The OfficeJet 250 has one of the fastest wireless printing speeds we’ve seen, even when running on the battery.
The photo quality was an absolute dream, producing bright, vivid colors across the full color spectrum. Despite a relatively lower photo resolution of 4800 x 1200 dpi, the 250 makes other printers’ photos look a bit hazy and cloudy in comparison. Blue skies, green leaves, and skin tones were produced with striking results. Photo printing speed was equally impressive, with the OfficeJet printing a best quality 5 x 7 glossy photo in about 50 seconds.
The HP OfficeJet 250 comes equipped with a document feeder scanner, meaning it can scan single page documents using the LCD touchscreen, though we had better results, and more options, using the HP Smart app for Windows and mobile devices. Scanning text documents took only a few seconds, while photos took around 30 seconds for a single 4” x 6”.
The feeding tray for the scanner can be a bit temperamental, particularly for full size pages, as the output for the scanner awkwardly overlaps the printer feeding tray. Scanned pages tended to curl and bend just enough on the way in to make us nervous, though we never ran into any significant issues or errors. Smaller 5” x 7” and 4” x 6” photos nestled easily within the adjustable paper guides. The 250 supports scanning at up to 600 x 600 dpi and photos can be printed, saved, and edited directly from the app.
HP Smart is an impressive, easy-to-use app for PC and mobile devices. Menus and buttons are attractive and well-organized, and the app instantly reveals any printer status issues, such as offline, low ink, or empty paper tray. From the app we could easily print photos and documents, operate the scanner, and perform any maintenance functions.
The app works so well that it overshadows the physical LCD touchscreen, which is impressive in its own right. The touchscreen includes an on-screen battery life percentage indicator and numerous options for wireless connections, sleep mode and auto-off timers, and scanning documents directly to an inserted USB storage drive. HP ePrint assigns the printer an email address, granting the ability to send documents or photos via email attachments, bypassing the need for any other software or connectivity to the printer. The touchscreen is bright, easy to operate, and looks great when folded up.
All of the comprehensive features in the HP OfficeJet 250 do not come cheap. It retails for over $350, making if one of the most expensive options among mobile wireless printers. That said, few printers combine all the features of the OfficeJet 250 while maintaining a compact, portable form factor. Give its portability and impressive suite of features, the 250 is a solid value, particularly if you can grab it during one of the frequent sales for closer to $300.
The OfficeJet 250 is worth splurging on if you want all the features, but if you don’t need a scanner, battery, and physical touchscreen in your wireless mobile printer, the Canon Pixma iP110 ($150) offers comparable printing and photo quality for half the price. The Pixma may even be the superior option for photo printing with its higher dpi resolution.
One of the best mobile printers available.
We were very impressed with the suite of tools and options available in the HP OfficeJet 250. It’s not the lightest wireless printer nor the cheapest, but the extra size and cost bring welcome additions (like the document scanner and LCD touchscreen). We loved the angled touchscreen and fold out trays, and the printer guides are sturdy but easy to adjust. HP also has solid, user-friendly printing software with HP Smart. Documents, spreadsheets, and photos printed quickly and beautifully, making the OfficeJet 250 a great premium option for home and business uses.