This is a review of the HP LaserJet Pro M404dn. A monochrome laser printer by HP. Designed for any office with median print volume (750-4,000 pages per month).

The HP Laserjet Pro M404dn is one of their latest monochrome laser printers. It has no scan or copy function but it’s good at what it does. Monochrome printing. This review will examine this printer and what sets it apart from the competition.

Laserjet Pro M Series

The Laserjet Pro M404dn is part of a series of monochrome laser printers from HP. Included are the M200, M500, and M600 series laser printers.

Differences between the series are primarily print speed, memory, paper capacity, and duty cycle. Which gets progressively higher as you move from the M200 to the M600 series.

Differences between the M404 and M402 are only memory since HP now includes EcoSmart toner in the M402. The M404 has 256 MB while the M402 has only 128 MB.

The Laserjet Pro M404 comes in a few varieties: ethernet (n), duplex (d), and wireless (w). It also comes as an all-in-one, the M428fdw.

The series come with the same printing apps. Which are some of the rare printing apps worth taking the time to install.

Pros

Easy to use
Built in Security
Reliable
Fast print speed

Cons

HP chipped toner cartridges
star4half-image 4.5 Stars!

Why This Printer?

Why someone would need this printer is because they do a lot of monochrome printing. Whether it’s printing daily receipts, checks, or reports this printer is to be relied upon to deliver regularly.

Why someone would want this printer is because they are looking for sharp text, have an eye on security, and don’t like waiting for their prints. For a small printer it pops out paper at a good clip (40 pages per minute). Text is dark and crisp from the ones I’ve setup and worked on.

The built in security of the HP Officejet Pro M404dn is another reason someone would choose this printer. HP (and Lexmark) are leading the industry with security features for their small printer fleet. Firmware whitelisting, run-time intrusion detection, and self healing startup BIOS are built into these printers.

While a single function printer isn’t exactly a diverse piece of equipment, it does have options for wireless connectivity, an expansion tray, or HP’s JetAdvantage Security Manager. Though it’s hard to see the benefit of JetAdvantage Security Manager license unless you have a fleet of printers.

Why someone would consider this monochrome printer:

  • Speed
  • Security
  • Sharp text
  • Reliability
  • HP Laserjet Pro M404dn
  • HP Laserjet Pro M404dn
  • HP Laserjet Pro M404dn
  • HP Laserjet Pro M404dn
  • HP Laserjet Pro M404dn

Also available here, or here!

Comparable Products

Comparable products to the HP Laserjet Pro M404dw are the Lexmark B3442dw, Canon LBP236dw, or the Brother HL-L5200dw.

All have similar speed, paper capacity, duty cycle, and options. The Lexmark and HP are similarly priced. The Canon and Brother are lower but lack the built in security of the HP or Lexmark.

They are all roughly 15 inches wide and 14 inches deep. Height varies from 8.5 to 10 inches. Weight varies from 18 to 20 lbs.

The HP Laserjet Pro M404dn is the smallest and lightest comparatively.

HP Laserjet Pro M404dw vs Lexmark B3442dw

These printers are fairly evenly matched as far as security and options. From a service point of view, both are very reliable printers.

Service calls I’ve done on either have been run of the mill consumable items (fusers, feed rollers, etc). From a hardware point of view both are durable, well built, and reliable.

From a software point of view Lexmark has a highly configurable universal print driver compared to the HP what you see is what you get print driver.

Lexmark seems to open up a lot of settings on the web interface too. HP’s don’t have much to change or tweak by comparison.

Yet HP just works out of the box. Not that Lexmark’s have trouble, just that HP’s in general don’t need any tweaking.

Operating costs will favor the HP Laserjet Pro M404dn. Not only are the HP cartridges more cost effective, HP seems more efficient. Lexmark printers tend to consume slightly more toner in my experience.

Lexmark offers cartridges at a reduced cost with their return program. Which requires empty cartridges to be sent back or you’ll get billed the difference.

Even with Lexmark’s return program discount, HP cartridges edge out the Lexmark on operating costs.

The Lexmark B3442dw is stiff competition to the HP Laserjet Pro M404dn. It’s priced a bit lower and a bit faster.

Toner Cartridge Cost Yield
HP 58X High Yield$232.9910,000
HP 58A Standard$110.993,000
Lexmark Extra High Yield $225.006,000
Lexmark High Yield$117.003,000
Lexmark Standard$59.991,500
Lexmark Image unit $64.9940,000

HP Laserjet Pro M404dn vs Canon LBP236dw

Compared to the HP Laserjet Pro M404dn, the Canon LBP236dw has a generous amount of memory, an appealing initial price, but lacks the security features found in their imageRunner Advanced series.

Both the HP Laserjet Pro M404dn and Canon LBP236dw are durable printers from a service point of view. Many of the Canon laser printers and fax machines I work on share the same parts as HP printers. Print quality is excellent with both printers.

Software wise Canon’s print driver has more bells and whistles than HP’s print driver. Canon has been uneventful with compatibility or print issues in my experience.

In addition to the standard PCL6 and PS, Canon includes their own print language: UFRII. UFRII does not work on mobile devices, they will use a Mopria driver.

In my experience this driver does shave a few seconds off the time it takes to get that first page out. Still it may occasionally have an issue such as substituting fonts or reducing the page 1%. For most print jobs UFRII works fine.

The Canon and HP have roughly the same operating costs. The print apps are run of the mill for mobile devices.

HP’s Smart app does make using mobile devices easier. The built in security for the HP is what really sets the HP Laserjet Pro M404dn from the Canon LBP236dw.

Which is more appealing will depend on your needs. If cost is a priority you may favor the Canon. For security the HP Laserjet Pro M404dn can’t be beat. Mobile device use leans toward the HP as well.

Toner Cartridge Cost Yield
HP 58X High Yield$232.9910,000
HP 58A Standard$110.993,000
Canon Cartridge 057 High Yield $225.0010,000
Canon Cartridge 057 Standard$117.003,100

HP Laserjet Pro M404dn vs Brother HL-L5200dw

Compared to the HP Laserjet Pro M404dn, the Brother HL-L5200 represents significant savings.

The HP has a single supply item whereas Brother has two supply items. This is the reason for the price difference between toner cartridges for these printers. The Brother HL-L5200 will require an image unit every couple of toner cartridge changes.

Operating costs still favor the Brother. Both have good text, fast print speed, and paper capacity.

The Brother HL-L5200dw comes with the standard security found in virtually every printer.

For example, secure print is standard with any business class printer. It’s becoming more common in retail printers. Sometimes called confidential printing, secure print allows jobs to be released at the printer with a 4 digit PIN code.

One drawback of the Brother HL-L5200 is the separation pad in the paper feed unit. A printer with this speed and duty cycle should not have one.

A separation pad will wear out much sooner compared to the separation rollers found in the other printers. Also, a pad may be more prone to paper jams at this print speed.

HP uses the tried and true paper feed system since its 4000 series printer.

The cost savings of the Brother may be appealing but it sacrifices security. It also has a weaker paper feed system.

While the HP M404dn hasn’t been around that long, I’ve worked on many HP printers with over 1 million prints on the counter.

Toner Cartridge Cost Yield
HP 58X High Yield$232.9910,000
HP 58A Standard$110.993,000
Brother TN850 High Yield $109.008,000
Brother TN820 Standard$67.493,100
Brother Drum Unit$123.9930,000

Deciding Factors

What sets the HP Laserjet Pro M404dn apart is its built in security and durability. Only the Lexmark can match the built in security of the HP.

The firmware whitelisting, run time intrusion detection, and Sure Start BIOS protection are built into the HP Laserjet Pro M404dn. Only the Lexmark includes these security features.

HP’s Smart app also sets it apart from the competition. While many features are for color printers and scanners. Other devices stand to benefit from its easy connection features. Printing from mobile devices, Chromebooks, and tablets will be a simple process.

Operating costs are average for this printer. There are cheaper monochrome printers out there but they may cost more in other ways.

One drawback of the HP Laserjet Pro M404dn is HP’s chipped toner. If you buy HP toner cartridges this will not be an issue.

Buying a toner cartridge from someone other than HP will require scavenging the microchip off an old HP toner cartridge. Any toner cartridge that doesn’t have an HP microchip will give this message: the indicated cartridges are missing or not seated.

While the other printers come standard with wireless, you would need the HP Laserjet Pro M404dw for wireless. It does cost more than the M404dn.

HP Laserjet Pro M404dn

Summary

HP laser printers are worth their well earned reputation. The HP Laserjet Pro M404dn is a fast, reliable, secure printer with sharp text.

HP’s Officejet series are a good choice for Chromebooks, smart phones, or tablets as well.

star4half-image 4.5 Stars!

Pros

Easy to use
Built in Security
Reliable
Fast print speed

Cons

HP chipped toner cartridges
star4half-image 4.5 Stars!

FAQ

Is a HP Laserjer Pro M404dn wireless?

No. The M404dw has wireless connectivity.

Is HP Laserjet Pro M404dn a color printer?

No. This is a B&W printer.

Does the HP laserjet Pro M404dn have a scanner?

No. This is a printer only. The MFP M428fdw can do scanning.

Does the HP laserjet Pro M404dn make copies?

No. This is a printer only. The MFP M428fdw can make copies.

What toner does the HP Laserjet Pro M404 use?

HP 58X High Yield or HP 58A Standard Yield toner cartridges.

What is a duplex printing unit?

The part of the printer for 2 sided printing. It flips the paper internally so the printer can print on the back of the paper.


copier guy

The Copier Guy, aka Dave. I’ve worked on scanners, printers, copiers, and faxes since 1994. When I’m not fixing them I’m writing about them. Although, I’m probably better at fixing them. I’ve worked with every major brand. As well as several types of processes. If it uses paper I’ve probably worked on one.

HP Laserjet Pro M404dn

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