HP Color LaserJet Pro M281fdw Review

Good: Standard wireless connectivity, high-yield aftermarket cartridges, mobile printing and scanning.
Bad: Only intended for small businesses.
Bottom Line: Compact and affordable device with multifunctional features to help small offices increase their productivity.
Intended Users:
Color LJ Pro M281fdw
Small businesses
Speed Black:
Speed Color:

Product Overview

The HP Color LaserJet Pro MFP M281fdw is a new MFP aimed at small businesses. At $430, it prints at up to 22ppm in black and color. First-page-out time is approximately 10 seconds in black and 11 seconds in color. It also includes standard printing, copying, scanning and faxing.

The M281fdw starts with an 800MHz processor and 256MB of memory that’s not expandable. It supports PCL and PostScript printing languages. USB, Ethernet, and wireless connectivity are standard. Users can print from their mobile devices via the HP ePrint, Apple AirPrint, or Mopria-certified apps.

The M281fdw includes a 2.7″ color touchscreen interface.

More details on this printer is in our Features section below.

The Color LaserJet Pro MFP M281fdw can be an affordable choice for small businesses that also has light scanning and faxing needs.


The M281fdw includes a 250-sheet tray and a single-sheet priority tray. There are no additional paper trays, even as an option. The 250-sheet tray supports up to legal-sized (8.5″ x 14″) paper.

There is a 100-sheet output bin as well as a 50-sheet automatic document feeder. Automatic duplexing is standard.

The monthly duty cycle is 40,000 pages but HP recommends a range of 150 to 2,500 pages.

The scanning function supports scan-to-email, scan-to-network folder and scan-to-USB. Users can also scan to Google Drive, Dropbox and Microsoft OneDrive. The faxing feature includes a 33.6kbps modem and up to 1,300 pages in fax memory. PC faxing is supported.

The M281fdw ships with a black toner cartridge (800-page yield) and three color cartridges (700-page yield). HP offers high-yield toner cartridges of 3,200 pages in black and 2,500 pages of each color. We’ve calculated our cost per page based on the high-yield numbers, which is 3 cents in black and 15 cents in color. The color printing cost is still a little high for a laser printer, however, businesses can reduce their printing costs by utilizing the printer’s environmental features, such as duplex printing.

There is a one-year limited hardware warranty.

  • Automatic Document Feeder?
  • Duplexing?
  • Ethernet Connectivity?
  • Wireless Connectivity?
  • Mobile Printing/Scanning?
  • Finishers?


The Color LaserJet Pro M281fdw is mostly intended for small businesses or small teams that don’t have a lot of printing needs. Companies that need more robust features can check out our other reviews on HP’s MFPs.


Hewlett-Packard (HP) has a motto of “engineering experience that amaze” and “reinventing everything”. It also believes in helping make people’s lives easier in work and play. It has a strong office equipment portfolio that not only includes printers, scanners and all-in-ones, but also desktop and laptop computers, tablets and business solutions. It also sells document management software, such as HP TeleForm and HP LiquidOffice.

HP’s products are typically sold on its site as well as in stores, such as Office Depot, Best Buy and Staples.

Send feedback or corrections to feedback@betterbuys.com.

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