Tactical Advice

Review: HP LaserJet CM4540

The multifunction HP printer can be accessed from virtually any computing device.
This story appears in the September 2011 issue of BizTech Magazine.

Multifunction printers that combine a printer, scanner, fax and copier into a single unit are a familiar sight these days. But the HP Color LaserJet Enterprise CM4540 MFP includes some unique differentiators, such as HP’s ePrint capability and proprietary hard-disk encryption.

A combination of several technologies, ePrint allows users to print from any location inside or outside of the organization to a specific printer or to alternative printers — say, in copy shops, airports, hotels or similar locations.

An encrypted hard disk securely stores forms, scans, faxes and other documents and keeps them safe from unauthorized access. The system also can e-mail faxes or scans to specified users, and allows users to print documents without worrying about them being intercepted by unauthorized users.

While many MFPs represent a compromise, the CM4540 offers best-of-breed functionality, with a very capable sheet-fed scanner, excellent fax functionality, standard copier features and superb monochrome and color printing capabilities. Unlike many color lasers, the CM4540 boasts excellent photo quality.

End-User Advantages

Users can control the CM4540 MFP through an LCD touch screen on the device, a browser-­based control panel, or through the printer control panel in Windows. Jobs can be easily printed or stored on the printer, which is especially useful for forms. Stored jobs can be protected with a personal identification number (PIN) and printed as desired.

HP’s ePrint functionality works well, allowing users to print from mobile devices such as Android, BlackBerry or iPhone smartphones; iPads; and almost any other mobile device that includes a browser. Users can send documents to the printer in advance, and store them until the user reaches the printer and unlocks the print job. They can also store files on a USB drive, place the drive in the USB port on the front of the printer, and select the file to print.

Why It Works for IT

Enabling the MFP as a network printer is as simple as plugging in a network cable and running the software CD on a Windows computer. Managing the printer is very straightforward, and it’s easy to control which features are available to groups of users.

The HP Secure High-­Performance embedded hard disk ensures that print jobs, scans or faxes stored on the printer’s disk cannot be accessed without authorization. If the disk is removed, the encrypted data cannot be retrieved without the key. Jobs can be sent to the printer from a mobile device or Internet terminal, then locked and printed only when the user reaches the printer and inputs the correct PIN.

Disadvantages

The printer is quite large — about 20 inches on each side and 24 inches high without the extra 500-sheet paper trays, which are optional. It is also heavy. Unpacking it is a job for at least two (preferably four) people.

Other than this, what’s not to like? The user-friendly CM4540 MFP offers great speed, excellent monochrome and color print quality, easy network functionality and accessibility from virtually any device.

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About the Author

Logan Harbaugh

Logan G. Harbaugh

Logan Harbaugh is a longtime technology journalist, with experience in reviewing a wide range of IT products including network operating systems, clustering, load balancing, NAS and SAN systems, traffic simulation, network management and server hardware.

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