HP OfficeJet 250 review: Mobile printing in a completely wireless package

Hardware Reviews / Mobile Reviews / Reviews / Tech

If you travel frequently for work, and need an easy option for printing, the HP OfficeJet 250 deserves a look.

Even as we try to become a more “paperless” society, there is a time when we all need to print something. If you frequently travel for work, options for printing may not be all that good. You can go to a Kinko’s, or other such establishment to temporarily use a printer, or maybe even just ask wherever you’ve traveled, though neither of those options are ideal. The HP OfficeJet 250 provides a portable printing option that you can easily take with you. In this HP OfficeJet 250 review I’ll talk about the capabilities of this completely wireless printer.

Specifications

The HP OfficeJet 250 come with the following specifications and features:

  • Print Technology: HP Thermal Inkjet
  • Display: 2.65″ CGD DISPLAY, IR Touch
  • Processor speed: 700 MHz
  • Print speed black ISO laser comparable: On AC: Up to 10 ppm, On Battery: Up to 9 ppm.
  • Print speed black draft: On AC: Up to 20 ppm, On Battery: Up to 18 ppm.
  • Print speed color ISO laser comparable: On AC: Up to 7 ppm, On Battery: Up to 6 ppm.
  • Print speed color draft: On AC: Up to 19 ppm, On Battery: Up to 17 ppm.
  • First page out black: On AC: As fast as 11 sec, On Battery: as fast as 11 sec.
  • First page out color: On AC: As fast as 13 sec, On Battery: as fast as 14 sec.
  • Recommended monthly page volume: 100 to 300 pages.
  • Paper handling input, standard: 50-sheet input tray.
  • Scanner type: Sheetfed.
  • Scan resolution, optical: 600 dpi.
  • Copy reduce/enlarge settings: 25%−400%.
  • Warranty: One-year limited hardware warranty, 24-hour, 7 days a week Web support.
  • Dimensions (W X D X H): 14.96 x 7.8 x 3.6 in
  • Dimensions Maximum (W X D X H): 14.97 x 15.8 x 10.6 in ( Scan + Print Tray opened)
  • Weight: 6.51 lb (6.73 lb with Battery)

What’s in the Box

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  • 1x HP OfficeJet 250 Mobile All-in-One Printer
  • 1x HP 62 Setup Black Ink Cartridge (~200 pages)
  • 1x HP 62 Setup Tricolor Ink Cartridge (~120 pages)
  • 1x Battery
  • 1x Software CD
  • 1x Setup Poster
  • 1x Power Cord

Design

If you’ve read our HP OfficeJet 200 review, you’ll probably notice a couple of similarities in design. While the overall design of the OfficeJet 250 doesn’t stray too far from the 200, there are definitely some differences and improvements which I’ll get to shortly.

The OfficeJet 250 features the same sort of rectangular design as the 200, and the top cover still features the HP logo and still flips up to double as a 50 sheet paper tray. You’ll notice a couple of major differences after opening the lid though. Where the 200 had a centered mono graphic control panel and buttons to control most of the features, the 250 opts for a right-justified 2.65” color touchscreen. The touchscreen sits flush with the top of the printer, but a quick touch on the upper right corner will pop the screen up at an angle for easier viewing.

hp-officejet-250-review-touch-screen

On the left side of the top of the device you’ll find the power button and LED indicators for power, battery operation, and wireless connection. The top center panel opens up to allow for scanning. Paper is ejected from the bottom of the front of the device, and lifting from just above the paper output provides access to the ink cartridges. On the right side of the device you’ll find a USB port, while the back of the printer includes a Kensington Lock port, the AC power input, a USB Type B input for wired printing, and a removable battery door with a small window to view the battery charge level.

Most of the printer is constructed from a matte black plastic, though the inside cover has a shiny black finish. Fingerprints can definitely be an issue on that inside panel. Overall though, the design is very nice. HP markets this printer for mobile use, and when folded up it can easily be stowed in a backpack, larger briefcase, or suitcase for travel. Weighing in at just under seven pounds, it’s not exactly light, but shouldn’t be an issue if stored in a backpack or other container.

Ease of Use

Printers these days are generally quite a lot easier to set up and use than they may have been in the past. The ink cartridges slip easily and securely into their holders, and setup is pretty easy as well. If your wireless router supports WPS, that’s the quickest and easiest way to get yourself up and going right out of the box. This allows you to connect your printer to your wireless network, where it will be discoverable by other devices on the same network. If you purchase a USB cable for wired printing, that setup would be pretty easy as well.

If you’re looking for truly mobile use, there are a few options available. You can download the HP companion app, available for Android and iOS, to easily print on the go. The OfficeJet 250 also supports Google Cloud Print, and you can also set up a printer-specific email address for printing documents by sending them to an email address.

Scanning requires companion software on your laptop or desktop if you want to save the file to your PC. If you’re using the 250 without a PC you can still scan to a USB drive, or directly to an email address. For PC scanning though, after initial setup that is a very easy process as well. Scanned documents can have up to a 600dpi resolution, and the OfficeJet 250 scans in color or black and white. All said and done, I had all of these options set up and ready to go in the span of about a half hour. After setup, the OfficeJet 250 is as easy to use as simply printing or scanning what you want to print or scan.

Performance

If you’re looking at the OfficeJet 250 to compete with a heavy-duty desktop printer, you’re going to be disappointed, but this really isn’t that kind of printer. The 250 is meant to be mobile, used while travelling, or while on the road. It can absolutely be left on a desk and used as a desktop printer, and it will work quite well in that regard, but it is simply not a printer meant to print thousands of pages per month.

hp-officejet-250-review-scan-tray-open

For a business traveler in need of the occasional print or scan, or even for someone like me who needs to print or scan documents relatively infrequently, this is a really nice printer. It prints fast enough for most, and the ink cartridges are meant to last for a few hundred pages. After printing approximately 75 pages of mostly black & white with a few color elements, as well as one full-page color photo, the estimated ink levels are at around 60% for color and 40% for black.

As long as you aren’t expecting the OfficeJet 250 to be something that it is not — a high volume printer — you ought to be very happy with its performance, mobility, and versatility.

Battery Life

The removable battery allows the HP OfficeJet 250 to be used when you’re out and away from power, with a slight decrease in performance, of course. Leaving the printer unplugged and printing occasionally over the course of a week only marginally reduced the battery. The OfficeJet 250 should be able to last you an entire day if necessary, though that will of course depend on the load you’re placing upon the printer.

hp-officejet-250-review-back-ports

You can keep an eye on the battery level via the indicator window on the back of the printer.

Price/Value

Priced at $350, the HP OfficeJet 250 is more expensive than your standard inkjet printer. Where the OfficeJet 250 really adds value though is in its small form factor and mobile operation. You’ll be able to take this printer nearly anywhere, and use it completely wirelessly if you so choose. The touch screen navigation is also a very nice addition, allowing you to make your way through the various menus and options with ease.

You will also have a better experience if you purchase the higher capacity toner cartridges, HP 62 XL, which have a significantly higher yield than the included starter cartridges. Those cartridges are available for around $35 USD each.

Wrap Up

If you frequently travel for business and need a mobile printer that can keep up with you on the road, the HP OfficeJet 250 is worth a look. It’s got a very nice, compact design and a full set of features.

HP OfficeJet 250 Review
4.7 Out of 5
Nailed It
Compact design, great features, good performance for a mobile printer.
Needs Work
Price may turn some off, interior finish picks up fingerprints very easily.
Bottom Line
If you find yourself needing to print while out on the road, the HP OfficeJet 250 has the features you'll need to get work done, even completely wirelessly.
Design4.75
Ease of Use4.50
Performance5.00
Battery Life5.00
Price/Value4.25
*We were sent a review unit of the HP OfficeJet 250 for the purposes of this review.
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