HP MFP M148fdw review: An excellent LaserJet printer for small office use

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The HP MFP M148fdw is a pretty much what you would think a printer would look like, not much in terms of great looking design.

TA-ratings-93

While we increasingly try to become less dependent on paper as a means of record keeping, there is no doubt that paper, along with printers, are still very much needed resources and tools. There is also no doubt that printers have historically been a pain to use and service.

HP has been in the printer business for a very long time, and if anyone knows how to do printers, it’s HP. While I’m certain not every HP printer is perfect and the HP MFP M148fdw probably has its own shortcomings, HP continues to try and improve their offerings year after year. Read on for the full review of the HP MFP M148fdw.

Specifications

The HP MFP M148fdw has the following features and specifications:

  • Functions: Print, copy, scan, fax
  • First page out (ready) black: As fast as 7.3 sec
  • Resolution (black):Up to 1200 x 1200 dpi
  • Resolution technology: HP FastRes 1200, HP ProRes 1200
  • Monthly duty cycle: Up to 20,000 pages
  • Recommended monthly page volume: 200 to 2,000 pages
  • Print technology: Laser
  • Display: 2-line LCD and keyboard
  • Number of print cartridges: 1 (black)
  • Replacement cartridges:
    • HP 94A Original Black LaserJet Toner Cartridge CF294A (~1,200 pages)
    • HP 94X Original Black LaserJet Toner Cartridge CF294X (~2,800 pages)
    • HP 32A Original LaserJet Imaging Drum CF232A (~23,000 pages)
  • Print languages: PCL5c; PCL6; PS; PCLm; PDF; URF; PWG
  • Automatic paper sensor: No
  • Paper trays, standard: 1 main tray plus 10 sheet priority
  • Paper trays, maximum: 1 main tray plus 10 sheet priority
  • Mobile Printing Capability: HP ePrint; Wi-Fi Direct printing; Apple AirPrint: Google Cloud Print; HP Smart App
  • Connectivity, standard: 1 Hi-Speed USB 2.0; 1 Ethernet 10/100Base-TX; 1 phone line (in); 1 phone line (out); 1 WiFi 802.11n (dual-band)
  • Security Management: Password-protected network embedded Web server; enable/disable Network ports; SNMPv1 community password change
  • Memory, standard: 256 MB
  • Memory, maximum: 256 MB
  • Printer management: HP Printer Assistant (UDC); HP Utility (Mac); HP Device Toolbox
  • Supported network protocols: TCP/IP: IPv4; IPv6; IP Direct Mode; LPD; SLP; Bonjour; WS-Discovery; BOOTP/ DHCP/ AutoIP; WINS; SNMP v 1/2/3; and HTTP/HTTPS
  • Paper handling input, standard: 250-sheet input tray, 10-sheet priority tray
  • Paper handling output, standard: 150-sheet output tray
  • Duplex printing: Automatic 2-sided printing (standard)
  • Envelope input capacity: Up to 10
  • Media sizes supported: A4; A5; B5 (JIS); A6
  • Media sizes, custom: 3 x 5 to 8.5 x 14 in
  • Media types: Paper (laser, plain, photo, rough, vellum), envelopes, labels, cardstock, postcards
  • Supported media weight: 16 to 43 lb
  • Media weights by paper path: 60 to 163 g/m²
  • Power: 110-volt input voltage: 110 to 127 VAC (+/- 10%), 60 Hz/50 Hz, 5.9A; 220-volt input voltage: 220 to 240 VAC (+/- 10%), 60 Hz/50 Hz, 3.3 A
  • Print speed, black (normal): Up to 30 ppm
  • Power consumption: 475 watts (active printing), 4.5 watts (ready), 1.0 watts (sleep), 0.1 watts (Auto-Off/Wake on USB, enabled at shipment), 0.05 watts (Auto-off/Manual-on), 0.05 watts (Manual-Off)
  • Energy efficiency: ENERGY STAR qualified; EPEAT Silver
  • Operating temperature range: 50 to 90.5°F
  • Operating humidity range: 30 to 70% RH
  • Dimensions (W X D X H): 15.9 x 16 x 12.3 in
  • Dimensions maximum (W X D X H): 15.9 x 24.6 x 17.9 in
  • Weight: 20.7 lbs
  • Package weight: 29 lbs
  • Software included: For Windows OS: HP Software Installer; HP Software Uninstaller (exclude Win8+); HP PCL6 Printer Driver, HP Scan Driver, HP Scan Application, HP Fax Driver, HP Fax Application, HP Device Experience (DXP), HP Web Services Assist (HP Connected), Device Setup & Software; HP Printer Assistant; HP Product Improvement Study; Online user manuals; For Mac OS: Directs users to download Software

What’s In The Box

  • HP MFP M148fdw
  • HP Introductory Black LaserJet toner cartridge (~1,000 pages)
  • HP Original LaserJet Imaging Drum (~23,000 pages)
  • Power cable
  • Phone cable for fax
  • USB cable for direct connect
  • User/quick start guide
  • Printer documentation
HP MFP M148fdw
At 20 lbs, this is a fairly easy printer to move around.

Design

The HP MFP M148fdw has a design that’s just about as glamorous as its name. In other words, it’s as bland as any other printer design out there. Printers in general have never been the type of device that worried too much about their looks.

The entire device is made up of plastics, with some metal components here and there. While it is all plastic, it does feel like a solid build-quality and it doesn’t feel like a cheap piece of hardware.

It has the typical look of a printer that can copy, scan, fax, and print. There is a top glass platen that takes on the copy and scan duties and a top feed paper path that handles faxes as well as copy and scan.

The opening at the bottom is where you load your paper in, and it can handle up to 250 sheets of paper. The output tray, on the other hand, can only handle 150 sheets. Inside that opening is where your toner cartridge is located. The HP MFP M148fdw is black toner only, so if you need color, it would be best to look at other models.

The rear of the printer has the power port and LAN port as well as the rear feeder access door. The printer weighs just over 20 lbs. and isn’t too hard to lift and move around. It’s certainly not portable, but it’s easy enough to relocate in an office environment if needed.

Overall, this is your basic looking white printer with your basic ports, doors, lids, trays and the like.

HP MFP M148fdw
Printers aren’t known for their amazing looks.

Software/Ecosystem

The HP MFP M148fdw works with both Windows and macOS right out of the box. The only thing I had to do to get printing right away was to connect the printer to my Wi-Fi network, which was simple. You can also hard-wire the printer to the network making it even easier. I should note, depending on your computer, you may or may not need to install drivers. I did not need to install drivers.

That being said, HP does have a slew of software you can use with this printer, most of which we did not use. If you do need to install drivers, the HP software installer will help you accomplish this. There are also fax and scanner applications which could be helpful for a busy office.

We used HP Smart which helps you to use the scanner and print photos from your computer. We really only used the scanner function of the software. You can use the same software to set up remote printing, which is kind of useful when you’re on the go. This allows you to print from your mobile device if you’re not at your office. Your HP MFP M148fdw will be assigned a URL to which you can print, and your documents will be waiting for you when you get back to the office.

Overall, our unit worked basically out of the box with a very easy network setup that took all of 5-minutes. The HP Smart software was a simple download and when opened, it recognized our printer right away and we were connected. Setting up printers used to be a chore, this one felt very simple and our experience was great.

HP
The scanner bed.

Ease of Use

We used the HP MFP M148fdw primarily for printing from our computers and occasionally from our smartphones. Printing was a breeze and this thing prints very fast (around 30 ppm). I also appreciated that the input tray can hold 250-sheets of paper. Many times these smaller printers just don’t hold enough paper and you’re stuck having to put fresh paper in more often than you’d like.

We experienced no problems with the printer at all. Our prints came out clean without any smearing or any sort of imperfections. We also used the HP MFP M148fdw heavily for label printing. Using Avery labels was a breeze and the printer never jammed, printing the labels perfectly every time.

We also used the scanning function to scan documents and send them to our computers. That was very simple using the HP Smart app, just place the document on the glass, hit scan on the HP Smart app and save to your computer. Super simple.

We did not use the fax functions on this machine as we do not have a landline and do not have any use for fax.

The toner cartridge can print 1000-1200 pages before it needs replacement and the drum can handle up to 23,000 prints before replacement. This seems like a good amount for a small office or home office. Larger businesses may need to look at a larger option from HP.

Setting the printer up on your network is simple, especially if you use the WPS feature. Simply push the WPS button on your router for 3-seconds (most new routers have this) and then the printer will try and connect which happens in less than a minute. The connection is almost instant and you’re ready to start using your printer.

Overall, this is a simple printer to use and set up. There are plenty of functions we did not use, but the core functions of printing, scanning, and copying are a breeze and most will have no problem using this printer.

LaserJet Printer
The keypad and function buttons.

Performance

As I mentioned before, we had no issue with the speed and performance of the HP MFP M148fdw. It prints very fast, it never jammed, the print quality was excellent, and it connects to the network quickly.

The M148fdw is only black and white so if you need color you should look into a different HP model. We like that the toner can handle up to 1,200 prints before needing replacing and that the drum can go up to 23,000 prints.

Overall, this printer performed great without any issues through the time we had it.

Price/Value

I’d classify this printer as affordable at US$199.99. HP toner is going to run you anywhere from US$46.99 to US$84.99 depending on quality. You’ll have to replace the toner around 1,000 to 1,200 prints. The imaging drum will run you US$88.99 but you have 23,000 prints before you need to replace that. Of course, you can probably find cheaper 3rd-party solutions for these parts but you buy at your own risk. Overall, the price point of the printer is perfect, the toner can be pricey.

Wrap Up

What can I say about the HP MFP M148fdw? We enjoyed this unit while we had it. It certainly beat our small cheap Brother ink cartridge printer in every way. It’s perfect for a very small office or home business in both size and capacity. It is only black and white so you might invest in a different HP printer if you need color. The price is pretty great for this size of printer, but genuine HP toner is going to cost you. I have no problem recommending this for a very small office or home use, it was an excellent experience while we had it.

*We received a review unit of the HP MFP M148fdw for the purposes of this review.

HP MFP M148fdw

US$199.99
9.3

Design

9.0/10

Software/Ecosystem

9.5/10

Ease of Use

9.5/10

Performance

9.5/10

Price/Value

9.0/10

Nailed it

  • Fast printing
  • Print, copy, scan, fax all in one
  • 250 sheet input tray
  • Wireless connectivity is solid

Needs work

  • Black and white only no color
  • Sort of boring plain design
  • Toner can be pricey

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