TRULY MOBILE AND CLOUD READY
The newly launched HP LaserJet MFP M476 is the first truly cloud and mobile ready device that prints directly from popular cloud storage services and is compliant to the new Mopria specifications for mobile printing
HP has built connectors in the new printer range for cloud services like Box, Google Drive and Flow CM that enable it to connect directly to accounts and print documents
As the world edges ever closer to a paperless existence, HP continues to find new ways to keep printers in the game. HP recently unveiled the Color LaserJet MFP M476, which will be the first printer to support universal protocols for mobile device printing and the first in its class from HP to support management that goes deeper than monitoring and status reporting.
The latest multifunction printer for SMBs also improves scanning speed and paper handling, can leverage LDAP for directory lookups and access control, and has been called the first truly cloud-enabled device for its ability to directly access documents stored in popular online storage systems beyond HP’s own.
HP gave the CRN Test Center an inside look at the LaserJet M476, which will be widely available starting April 2014. List pricing starts at $529, down from the $599 list price of its predecessor. The M476 replaces the M375 and M475 MFPs.
Mopria for mobile printing
Topping the news is the groundbreaking release of the first printer to be compliant with specifications developed by the Mopria Alliance, which permit the MFP to output from compatible tablets and smartphones without the need for special apps or setup. The nonprofit consortium was founded last year by Canon, HP, Samsung and Xerox and is dedicated to building a universal set of printing protocols and interfaces for wireless printing from mobile devices.
The Mopria protocol is already built into Android 4.4 Kit Kat. As with its predecessors, the new printer also supports printing from iOS devices via AirPrint.
Direct access to Box, Drive
For devices running neither Android Kit Kat nor iOS, the M476 supports HP’s ePrint App and ePrint Enterprise service, which permit smartphones and tablets to output via Wi-Fi Direct or by sending email through the service to an email address corresponding to the printer.
The M476 also can print documents in cloud-based storage like Box, Google Drive and HP’s Flow CM completely on its own. HP has built connectors in the device for these cloud services that enable the printer to connect directly to accounts and print documents.
The M476 will now support Web Jetadmin, HP’s fleet of management tools for networked printers, making the device more suitable in the enterprise for deployment in remote and branch office locations.
Admins can now control functions remotely by groups of users. They can manage the fleet from an authentication aspect, with certain features available to some users and not others. For example, one can say that this group can print, scan and fax, while these others can only print. Other administrative functions include remote diagnostics and firmware updates on multiple devices at the same time. Previously, these printers had to be updated one by one.
Two side scanning
Scanning and copying speeds essentially are doubled thanks to a new two-sided scanning engine. The M476 now scans both sides of the page in a single pass rather than scanning, flipping and scanning the other side. The unit’s 50-sheet auto-document feeder also has been updated to handle the faster flow.
Further enhancing the allure of the M476 to the enterprise is LDAP support, which does more than simplify its introduction to a network.
Support of LDAP allows users to easily find email addresses within their company’s directory. This is useful for routing documents or scans and for generally improving document workflow.
The bottom line
With the Color LaserJet MFP M476, HP is demonstrating that enterprise printers can be manageable, capable, fullfeatured wireless and network citizens without being overly expensive.
List pricing starts at $529 and peaks at $679 for wireless, wireless/NFC and auto-duplex bundles. The 21-page-per-minute printer is designed for groups of three to 10 people printing between 1,000 and 2,500 pages per day.