HP Laserjet Enterprise MFP M725dn


The HP LaserJet Enterprise 500 MFP M725dn inhabits a sparse niche: it’s a monochrome laser multifunction printer (MFP) that can print, scan, and copy at up to tabloid size. It’s a good option for businesses that need those capabilities, provided that they don’t plan to use the graphics they output for formal reports and the like.

The M725dn is enormous, measuring 24 by 24.2 by 25.6 inches (HWD) and weighing 119 pounds, so you’ll need at least two, and preferably three people to move it into place.

This machine can print, copy, and scan (but not fax, which is available as a $300 option). It can scan to folder, email, or USB thumb drive (and print from a thumb drive as well). It has an 8-inch color touch screen and a built-in encrypted hard drive.

Standard paper capacity is 600 sheets, between two 250-sheet trays (one that fits tabloid-sized paper) and a 100-sheet multipurpose tray. The printer comes with an automatic duplexer for printing on both sides of a sheet of paper. The M725dn is built for heavy-duty printing, with a maximum monthly duty cycle of 200,000 pages and a recommended monthly duty cycle of up to 20,000 pages.

It scans at up to tabloid size from either its flatbed or automatic document feeder (ADF). The reversing ADF (which scans one side of a sheet, flips it over, and then scans the other side) can hold up to 100 sheets.

An optional 500-sheet paper tray ($359 direct) is available, as is a 500-sheet feeder with cabinet and stand ($599) and a 3 x 500-sheet feeder with cabinet and stand ($1,299), as is a 3,500-sheet feeder with cabinet and stand ($1,699). Maximum paper capacity is 4,600 sheets.

The M725dn is the base model in HP’s M725 series of mono laser MFPs. The M725f ($4,699) includes standard fax, plus a 500-sheet tray and a 500-sheet feeder and cabinet. The M725z ($5,599) includes fax, plus a 3 x 500-sheet feeder and stand, and a 500-sheet in-line stapler. The M725z+ ($6,931.33) includes fax, plus a 3,500-sheet feeder and stand, and the 500-sheet in-line stapler. There are other, minor differences between the models.

The M725dn offers USB and Ethernet (including Gigabit Ethernet) connectivity. I tested it over an Ethernet connection using a computer running Windows Vista.

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Print Speed
I timed the M725dn on our business applications suite (usingQualityLogic’s hardware and software for timing), at an effective 11.1 pages per minute (ppm). A good clip, though not particularly fast for a mono laser MFP, or for its 40 page-per-minute rated that’s based on printing text documents without graphics or photos—our test suite includes text pages, graphics pages, and pages with mixed content. It did beat the 9.9 ppm of its single-function counterpart, the HP Laserjet Enterprise M712dn $2,199.99 at HP, rated at the same 40 pages per minute.

Normally, in selecting comparison systems, they’re similar enough to the product under review that one can make a direct comparison. However, since we haven’t tested a tabloid-sized mono laser MFP in recent memory, we have no systems we’ve reviewed that are directly comparable, so I’ll have to use printers that have some characteristics in common though are far from exact matches. At the end of the review, though, I’ll try to tie some of these disparate systems together.

The Editors’ Choice Dell B3465dnf Mono Laser Multifunction Printer$1,279.99 at Dell Small Business, a letter- to legal-sized monochrome MFP rated at 50 pages per minute, tested at 15 ppm. I timed the Editors’ Choice Xerox Phaser 7100/N$1,305.99 at TheNerds.net, a tabloid-sized color laser single-function printer, rated at 30 pages per minute, at 7.6 ppm. (Granted, it was printing some of the pages in color, while the other printers mentioned here are strictly monochrome.)

Output Quality
The M725dn’s output quality is below par over all, with average text quality, slightly sub-par photos, and below-par graphics. Even average text quality for a laser is very good, though, suitable for any business use short of demanding desktop publishing applications that use very small fonts.

When it came to graphics, the M725dn did well in displaying thin lines. It did less well with backgrounds, with some showing mild blotchiness. A couple of illustrations showed faint, spurious shadows, and some showed mild banding (a regular pattern of faint striations). One figure contains a gradient between dark and light tones (which in the original are red); this printer showed the entire gradient as a uniform, darker gray. In another illustration, drop-out type against a dark background in a sidebar did not show up at all. You could probably use this printer for simple graphics for in-house use, but you’d do well to look them over closely before handing them out.

Photo quality is good enough for printing out recognizable images from Web pages. There was slight blotchiness in some dark solid areas, as well as mild banding and the ghost shadows I also saw in some graphics.

Running Costs
The M725dn has reasonably low running costs of 1.5 cents per page, in line with those of the single-function HP M712dn.

As we don’t have any directly comparable systems, we’ll first look at the M725dn strictly on its own merits. Considering that its ADF and flatbed can both handle tabloid-sized paper, and it can print at tabloid size, its price is within reason, especially considering that many HP mono MFPs limited to legal-size printing have cost more. Its price is also in line with the single-function HP M712dn. The M725dn has good paper capacity and prodigious paper-handling options. Its cost per page is competitive, and its speed is decent.

Although text is good enough for typical business uses, graphics and photo quality were both below par. This is less of a disadvantage for monochrome printers than for color models, but still it limits the M725dn’s usefulness in printing more formal documents. If this is not an issue, it’s a reasonable choice for an office that needs high-volume printing, scanning, and copying at up to tabloid size but doesn’t require color printing.

A single-function tabloid printer is another option, either a monochrome machine such as the HP M712dn or a color printer like the Xerox 7100/N. You could even add an MFP such as the Dell B3465dnf in addition to one of the aforementioned printers and still pay less than you would for the M725dn. The B3465dnf’s ADF and flatbed are limited to legal-sized pages, though; if you need tabloid-size scanning, you could combine a tabloid printer with a tabloid-size scanner such as the Xerox DocuMate 4830$2,029.00 at Scantastik.

For many companies, though, the HP LaserJet Enterprise MFP M725dn may be solution enough. It certainly has the ample paper capacity, low running costs, and MFP features befitting a device that prints, scans, and copies at tabloid size. It’s easy to recommend as such, as long as you don’t need to print in color or require graphics output of a quality suitable for formal reports and the like.

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HP LaserJet Pro MFP M521dn

The HP LaserJet Pro MFP M521dn is a quietly impressive beast. Designed as a mono laser workhorse, with a 75,000 page per month maximum duty cycle and a 6,000 page per month recommended maximum, it can print and fax from, as well as scan to, a computer – including over a network – and it can work as a standalone copier, fax machine, and direct email sender. More importantly, it does well enough at everything it does to make it a great choice for medium to heavy-duty use in a small to mid-size office or workgroup.

There’s nothing flashy here, like super-fast speed. In fact, it’s easy to find printers that are faster, such as the Brother MFC-8950DW. On the other hand, the M521dn offers a combination of features that make it more usable than most MFPs.


In addition to the basic MFP features I’ve already mentioned – printing, scanning, copying, faxing, and email – the M521dn can both scan to and print from a USB memory stick. In an unusual touch for a monochrome printer, it will even let you preview the photos stored on the USB stick before printing them. It also supports printing though the cloud.

Much higher on its list of key features is its scan capability. Like most MFPs aimed at office use, the M521dn supplements a flatbed scanner with an automatic document feeder (ADF). Unlike most of the competition, however, including some significantly more expensive MFPs like the Dell B3465dnf Multifunction Laser Printer, the M521dn offers a duplex scanner for copying and scanning. (It won’t scan in duplex for faxing, however, which takes a little shine off the feature).

Having a duplex scanner (meaning that it can scan both sides of a page at the same time) is different from having a duplexing ADF, which scans one side, turns the page over, and then scans the other. Either approach will let you scan duplex documents. And if the MFP also offers duplex printing plus appropriate copying commands, as with the M521dn, either approach will also let you copy single or double-sided originals to your choice of single or double-sided copies. However, scanning in duplex is a lot faster than scanning with a duplexing ADF.

We don’t usually time duplex scanning with MFPs, because most desktop MFPs that duplex use duplexing ADFs, which is more of a convenience feature than something that’s truly competitive with duplexing scanners. With the M521dn, however, I ran a test using a 25-sheet document just to get a sense of its speed. For scanning to disk, and including the time for saving the file to disk after scanning, the M521dn came in at 10.7 pages per minute (ppm) or 21.4 images per minute (ipm), with one image on each side of the page. If you scan duplex documents very often, this one feature can save a lot of time in comparison to using an MFP with a duplexing ADF.

Very much on the plus side for the M521dn is its 3.5in touch screen, with a particularly well-designed menu system. The combination makes it easy to both change settings in the printer and give commands for copying, faxing, and emailing.

One other strong point is the paper handing for printing, with both a 500-sheet paper drawer and 100-sheet multipurpose tray coming as standard, along with the automatic duplexer. The 600-sheet capacity should be enough for most small to mid-size offices. If you need more, however, you can add a second 500-sheet drawer for a total of 1,100 sheets.

Setup and speed

At 465 x 465 x 508mm (WxDxH), the M521dn is too imposing to share a desk with. It’s also heavy enough, at 22kg, that you’ll probably want some help moving it. Once in place, however, setup is standard fare. For my tests I connected it to a wired network and installed the driver on a system running Windows Vista.

As I’ve already suggested, speed is not a strong point. HP rates the engine at 42 ppm, and I timed it as being a touch faster, at 43 ppm, for printing a text document with little to no formatting from Microsoft Word. On our business applications suite, however (timed with QualityLogic’s hardware and software), it came in at a surprisingly slow 5.3 ppm. Although that’s a tolerable speed, it’s significantly slower than most other mono laser printers we’ve tested. The Brother MFC-8950DW, for example, managed 10.6 ppm, and the Dell B3465dnf hit 15.0 ppm.

Output quality

Output quality is a mixed bag. The good news is that the M521dn handled text particularly well, which is generally the most important kind of output for a mono printer. Text quality was well above par, making it easily good enough for any business use and even good enough for most desktop publishing applications.

Graphics output was a touch below par, but still within the tight range where the vast majority of mono laser MFPs fall. That makes it good enough for any internal business need. Depending on how critical an eye you have, you may or may not consider it acceptable for, say, PowerPoint hand-outs.

Photo quality was also at the low end of par for a mono laser MFP. It was certainly good enough to print recognisable photos from web pages. Whether you consider it suitable for anything more than that will depend, once again, on how critical an eye you have.


The one feature I feel is missing from this MFP is the ability to fax in duplex. However, if you don’t need to fax duplex documents, that won’t be an issue. It also doesn’t leave you any worse off for faxing than when using an MFP that can’t handle duplexing at all, making this oversight more of a missed opportunity than an actual problem.

It’s true that a faster print speed would be welcome, too. However, the time saved with duplex scanning and copying (presuming you need to do so) can more than make up for whatever points the printer loses on print speed. The text quality is a big plus, too, as part of a highly attractive balance of speed, output quality, paper handling, and MFP features.

For a small to mid-size office that needs to copy or scan (but not fax) duplex documents on a regular basis, all this can make the HP LaserJet Pro MFP M521dn a near-perfect fit, which is also enough to grab it one of our Best Buy awards.

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HP Plugs Leaky Password Hole Existing in Some of It’s Printers

Security flaws in a range of HP printers create a way for hackers to lift administrator’s passwords and other potentially sensitive information from vulnerable devices, infosec experts have warned.

HP has released patches for the affected LaserJet Pro printers to defend against the vulnerability (CVE-2013-4807), which was discovered by Michał Sajdak of Securitum.pl. Sajdak discovered it was possible to extract plaintext versions of users’ passwords via hidden URLs hardcoded into the printers’ firmware. A hex representation of the admin password is stored in a plaintext URL, though it looks encrypted to a casual observer.

Sajdak also discovered Wi-Fi-enabled printers leaked Wi-Fi settings and Wi-Fi Protected Setup PIN codes, as an advisory from the Polish security researcher explains.

HP has released firmware updates for the following affected printers:

  • HP LaserJet Pro P1102w,
  • HP LaserJet Pro P1606dn,
  • HP LaserJet Pro M1212nf MFP,
  • HP LaserJet Pro M1213nf MFP,
  • HP LaserJet Pro M1214nfh MFP,
  • HP LaserJet Pro M1216nfh MFP,
  • HP LaserJet Pro M1217nfw MFP,
  • HP LaserJet Pro M1218nfs MFP and
  • HP LaserJet Pro CP1025nw.

HP’s advisory is here.

Consumers aren’t very good at patching their computers, much less their printers, which rarely need security updates.

“The bad news is that many printer owners probably aren’t aware that the security issue exists, or simply won’t bother to apply the firmware update,” security watcher Graham Cluley notes. ®

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