Is this the Best Laser Printer for Home Use? HP Laserjet M281fdw Review

A laser printer is a printer which uses a small laser to apply tiny particles of toner to a roller before applying that toner to a page with heat. It’s a very intricate and precise scientific process to get to a simple result: fast, cheap document printing. The HP M281fdw is a full-color all-in-one laser printer. Is it the best laser printer for home use?

HP Laserjet M281fdw Review Best Laser Printer For Home Use Joe's Printer Buying Guide Best Printer Reviews 2019 Best Printer Reviews and Ratings 2019

The HP Laserjet Pro M281fdw is a full-color all-in-one laser printer. It is fast, efficient, space and cost-effective. It looks good, it feels good, so it is good. Here are the specifics.



The HP Laserjet Pro M281fdw prints in both black and color at twenty-two pages per minute. While this isn’t blazing for a laser printer, it is very good for a laser printer for home use. Home users typically don’t need to print two-hundred pages quickly so someone else can use the printer.

Also, this printer is built with HP’s JetIntelligence technology. This allows the printing mechanism to heat up extra fast, giving you the best-in-class first page out speeds. With this printer, your first page will print in as little as ten seconds. For a laser printer, that’s cookin’!


The best laser printer for home use is one which integrates well into a user’s lifestyle. Grandma won’t be happy if you have to throw out her seat at the dinner table to fit a huge Xerox machine.

The HP Laserjet Pro M281fdw stands just under fourteen inches tall, including the auto-document feeder. The base is basically a sixteen-inch square, so this printer will fit very well on most printer stands, executive desks, or under-stairs Harry Potter closets.

Total Cost of Ownership

Most customers looking for the best laser printer for home use have one basic desire: to save money. Maybe you are sick of ink drying up when you aren’t using it. Or, maybe you’re just tired of buying tiny ink cartridges at crazy prices every month. At the end of the day, laser printer customers want to save some coin. HP laser printers do just that.

This printer uses HP’s 202 series of toner cartridges. There is an extra-large version of every color for this series, which print 3,200 pages of black and 2,500 pages of color. This works out to about three cents per page of black, and four cents of each color.

One of the wonderful things about laser printers is the ability to choose how much you print. Whether you print four pages per month or three hundred per day, your cost per page will always be the same. Because your cartridges can’t dry out, you’ll never need to throw away half-full cartridges.


In my opinion, HP’s have the most user-friendly interface. I always recommend my older customers choose an HP printer for this reason. Basically, you drag the menu from side to side and poke what you want. Want to make a copy? Poke copy. It doesn’t get any easier than that.

Easy Installation

Many printers have great software and security features. However, many of these need to be configured by IT professionals. That’s no problem for an office setting, but what about home users?

HP printers are super easy to set up at home. Most of them don’t even come with installation disks anymore. Just go to, type in your model number, and click download. This will download and install your drivers and software for you. Easy as 1, 2, 3.

HP Laserjet M281fdw Review Best Laser Printer For Home Use Joe's Printer Buying Guide Best Printer Reviews 2019 Best Printer Reviews and Ratings 2019


Customer Service

The only real con I can think of for this printer is HP’s horrid customer service. This is a big deal for home users. Again, customers who need a printer for their homes don’t have technology professionals on hand when they run into a hiccup. And, customer service is where they will turn when they are stuck. If you have to call HPs customer support, I wish you the best of luck.

Verdict: The best laser printer for home use.

The HP Laserjet Pro M281fdw has been one of my favorite laser printers to sell for a long time now. It’s the best for the price in terms of functionality, price, and performance. I love selling this printer because I know my customers will be happy with it, and that’s my goal as a salesperson. That’s why I have no problem declaring that the HP Laserjet Pro M281fdw is the best laser printer for home use.

HP Laserjet M281fdw Review Best Laser Printer For Home Use Joe's Printer Buying Guide Best Printer Reviews 2019 Best Printer Reviews and Ratings 2019

Click here to purchase the HP Laserjet Pro M281fdw on Amazon.

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As always, check out my other reviews, and happy printing!

7 thoughts on “HP LaserJet Pro M281fdw Review”

  1. While I haven’t used the MFC-L3770CDW personally, my fiance uses one at work, and she loves it. It has duplex scanning, and a couple other features the HP 281 doesn’t. IF the price is the same, I’d recommend the Brother.

  2. Thanks Joe. I purchased the Brother. It’s great so far. Only a couple of downsides.
    1. It’s very large. Much larger than the HP Laserjet M281fdw.
    2. First page takes a while (as the printer heats up). Subsequent pages are fast. This is my first colour laser, so I’m not sure if that’s normal.
    3. The color display and number pad sit right above the paper output tray. This makes it a little awkward to remove printouts.

    However, most of that is nitpicking. It’s excellent for my needs. High quality printouts and Driver support is great (Even on Linux). Airprint works flawlessly from my wife’s Macbook, we can print from our Android phones with a pretty good app, and Google Cloud Print works every time.

    Thanks for the advice and the clearly written unbiased reviews.

  3. Hi Joe,

    Gereat review!

    – Currently there is M283fdw model on the market. Is it safe to assume that this one is better than “1” model and therefore better option, especially because it is actually cheaper?
    – Is this printer capable of printing on photo paper? Is any laser printer actually?
    – M479fdw is about 100€ more expensive – what does that 100 extra buy me, except better display and 2-sided AFD scanning? Is Print/scan quality better?
    – Nobody these days uses fax anymore, especially for home non-office use. How do HP printers without this fucntion stack up against this one. Any difference in print quality?

    Thanks and keep up the good work!

  4. Hi Joe,

    What are your recommendations for a large format (11×17) laser printer. My aim is to print comics from home. Duplex and color are requirements. Thanks!

  5. Hi Curtis. Finding a large format laser printer is difficult and expensive. Having printed comics myself, I’d recommend printing them on legal size paper, which is 8.5×14. If your mockups are double-sided and you print in landscape, you should be able to make it fit with room for trimming, since most comics are less than 8 inches tall.

    Also, I like to print blue line pencils on 11×17 artboards for inking. I use an inkjet printer for that (Epson WorkForce Pro WF-7720.)

    I hope that helps!

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